Hollywood Town Hall (Expanded Edition)
Label: American Recordings Catalog P&D
For the band's major-label debut, veteran producer George Drakoulias adorned the rootsy songwriting of Gary Louris and Mark Olsen with Telecaster hooks and tight harmony, resulting in a genre-defining alt country record. Using Springsteen's Nebraska and Neil Young's Crazy Horse as source material, songs like "Waiting For the Sun" and "Sister Cry" shaped the Americana groundswell of the next decade. If the tales of windswept plains, scorned love and blue collar strife sound a bit staid today, don't blame the Jayhawks; this is the pattern from which scores of imitations were drawn.