Drive-By Truckers’ beloved 2004 album, The Dirty South, is getting an expanded reissue. The Complete Dirty South is out June 16 via New West. The album is referred to as a “director’s cut” of sorts, as the album is re-sequenced and expanded to reflect the band’s initially proposed 17-song tracklist. It includes three bonus songs left off the original album, four remixed songs, and two that feature updated vocals. Hear the updated vocal version of “Puttin’ People on the Moon” below.
“The period from 2002, a few months after we self-released our breakthrough album, Southern Rock Opera, through the end of 2005, when we wrapped up the Dirty South Tour, is widely considered to be our band’s glory days. It was certainly exciting,” co-founder Patterson Hood said in a statement. “In January of 2004, the label realized that we had a new completed album and were hoping to release it that summer. Not only that, it was to be another double album. They weren’t too happy about any of this. We took their unhappiness as an insult and so it went. In the end, a sort of compromise was reached and New West agreed to release the album and we agreed to shorten it to fit on one CD. The Dirty South came out in August of 2004 to wide acclaim and went on to be the best selling of our albums at the time.” He continued:
Shortly after we left New West, they restructured the label and the source of our turmoil moved on to other things. We are on excellent terms with the powers that be now and we were happy when they reached out to us about the idea of reissuing The Dirty South, enabling us to put out the album the way we had originally intended it to be. We have reconstructed the original sequence and concept as it was conceived. Where possible we preserved the original John Agnello mixes but remixed the bonus tracks and also fixed a couple of vocal issues that I have always regretted about the original version (for purists, those versions still exist out there, but this gave us a chance to present it the way I’ve always wished it could be…. This version finally allows it to be heard and seen the way we had always hoped and intended.