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Wilco

Wilco rose from the ashes of the seminal roots rock band Uncle Tupelo, which disbanded in 1994. While Jay Farrar, one of the group's two singer/songwriters, went on to form Son Volt, his ex-partner Jeff Tweedy established Wilco along with the remaining members of Tupelo's final incarnation, which included drummer Ken Coomer as well as part-time bandmates John Stirratt (bass) and Max Johnston (mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and lap steel). Guitarist Jay Bennett rounded out the group, which in 1995 issued its debut album, A.M., a collection of spry country-rock tunes that followed the course established in Tweedy's earlier work.

Wilco's sophomore effort, 1996's two-disc set Being There, marked a radical transformation in the group's sound; while remaining steeped in the style that earned Tweedy his reputation, the songs took unexpected detours into psychedelia, power pop, and soul, complete with orchestral touches and R&B horn flourishes. Shortly after the release of Being There, which most critics judged to be among the year's best releases, Johnston left the group to play with his sister, singer Michelle Shocked, and was replaced by guitarist Bob Egan of the band Freakwater. At the same time, while remaining full-time members of Wilco, Stirratt, Bennett, and Coomer also began performing together in the pop side project Courtesy Move. In 1998, Wilco collaborated with singer/songwriter Billy Bragg on Mermaid Avenue, a collection of performances based on unreleased material originally written by Woody Guthrie.

Their stunningly lush third album, Summerteeth, followed in 1999 and met with critical acclaim but only average sales, initiating tensions with their label, Warner Bros. Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2, which featured more selections from the band's collaborations with Bragg on Woody Guthrie's unfinished songs, was issued in 2000. Following this release, longtime drummer Ken Coomer decided to amicably leave the band and was replaced by the Chicago-based Glenn Kotche. Wilco then focused on recording their fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which ultimately led to the departure of guitarist Jay Bennett and further tensions with their label. Unwilling to change the album to make it more "commercially viable," Wilco bought the finished studio tapes from Warner/Reprise for a reported $50,000 and left the label altogether.

Leaked tracks from the album surfaced on the Internet in late 2001, and the stripped-down lineup of Tweedy, Kotche, Stirratt, and multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach embarked on a small tour to support -- or drum up support for -- the unreleased record. Nonesuch Records picked up the album and officially released it in early 2002 to widespread critical acclaim. Meanwhile, an independent film documenting the drama surrounding the album (I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) followed in the fall of 2002. During the down time after the album was recorded, Tweedy composed and recorded the film score to the Ethan Hawke film Chelsea Walls, which ended up being released around the same time as Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Wilco toured extensively following the release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and in 2003 began work on their next album, A Ghost Is Born. While sessions went smoothly compared to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, after the album was finished Leroy Bach left the band in a split that was described as mutual and amicable; guitarist Nels Cline, keyboardist Mike Jorgensen, and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone joined Wilco for their subsequent tour. Shortly before the album's release, Tweedy surprised many fans by announcing he had entered a drug rehabilitation facility to treat a dependency on painkillers, prescribed to treat a long history of migraine headaches aggravated by panic disorder. Tweedy discussed his health problems in depth, along with the often tangled history of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo, in Wilco: Learning How to Die, a biography of the group written by rock journalist Greg Kot, published to coincide with A Ghost Is Born's release in the spring of 2004.

The following year, the group released Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, a 23-track collection recorded in the Windy City's Vic Theater, an album that was later deemed one of the Top 20 best live albums by Q Magazine. In 2007 Wilco's sixth studio album, Sky Blue Sky, hit shelves. Less experimental than its predecessors, Sky Blue Sky peaked at number five on the U.S. album charts and made a strong showing internationally. Wilco's seventh album, the breezy and laid-back Wilco (The Album), was released on June 30, 2009, one month after the death of former bandmember Jay Bennett, who passed away in his home in Urbana, Illinois after accidentally overdosing on the prescription painkiller fentanyl. At the end of touring that album, the band took a break for much of 2010 (their longest break since formation) and resurfaced in 2011 with their own label, dBpm Records, and the release of The Whole Love. ~ Jason Ankeny & Zac Johnson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: I Might (Single)

Comments

The best bands, like Wilco, are the ones that stay just below ground.
nicko252008
I absolutely love Wilco! the song writing is so dang good.
Love Wilco!
vtpisane
Thoroughly enjoy their music. No group today moves me the way they do.
glenda292
This reminds me of Paul Westerberg
jeffflaherty
Please come back to Boston. Jeff Tweedy and company are the best!
This was one of the first records I bought when I moved to Murfreesboro TN, in 2002. I expected to hear a Nashville country session group and got something completely different and very creative. Like cool AM rock of the 70s at times.
jeffreymqs64 1
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Wilco is the epitome of chill music.
claricentp91 7
People interested in making a few extra bucks per day you can check out BLUDOS.COM This site makes me around 70 usd per day. It's free to sign up.
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If you wish to add some extra money to you wallet go to BLUDOS.COM They offer really easy free online jobs where you can make a few extra hundred dollas a week !
danzigirwin
I was disappointed in Wilco (the Album). It wasn't Earth Shakingly GREAT. It was merely better than most anything else put out in 2009.
I just watched the rerun of Wilco on Austin City Limits, on PBS, last weekend. What a great band. Jeff Tweedy is such a compelling artist, and the whole band is just outstanding.
I'm so fn pumped for these guys in 3weeks. Ahhhhhhhhhh shiiit!
alexcollins3 7
they do seem to grow on you.
Wilco grew on me. Didn't think much of them the first time I heard them, ...I have found the bands I love most needed to win me over and am happy to report a smile on my face each time Wilco surfaces on my Pandora stations.
Such a unique compelling band.
I first heard this band around the age of 16 and I didn't really like them that much. They have grown on me for sure and I like them a lot now. :) 10 years later.
One of my top 5 favorite bands of all time, for sure.

Pure fabulous.
Wilco express heart sublime melodic earth tones
great album.
Amazing band
strangejade5
woah
woah agh what there are rainbows in my ears
help
why_tao
Such a soothing voice!
Wilco really grows on you for sure
Everything American music can and should be.
Ive seen them 7 times so far. They never disappoint.
Have to agree, great music by some really original, talented musicians -not mainstream flotsam. I 'm really grateful for Pandora Radio,(despi t e any minor shortcomings ) , s t i l l the best way to be introduced to the world's most interesting and original music. (Great background while doing Ebay).
A friend from IL told me about Wilco some 10-15 years ago...so glad he did. Really enjoy their stuff. This is true American music!
Favorite group of all time. There is a balance of emotion and rhythm that is incredibly recognizable and pure.
Greatest. Band. Ever.
aloken2
Love Wilco. Tweedy's arc from AM to The Whole Love has been a pleasure to witness on disc and many live shows along the way. Am grateful and feel so absolutely lucky to have seen many live Tupelo shows. I love Wilco, but will always long for the unique and powerful country alt that Tweedy and Farrar brought together. Had never heard anything like it before, have never heard anything like it since.
They absolutely ripped it up at Austin City Limits in 2011.
I was fortunate to meet drummer Glenn and his family at my place of work-had no idea who he was but had such a cool convo about music w/him- really nice, genuine people w/out any pretention, bs that goes w/the business etc- so gave their music a listen...ver y cool stuff. Any group w/ties to Woody Guthrie, of course, also very cool. And kudos to them for not caving to label pressure & standing for what they believe in at sake of going commercial.. . h m m m they seem to have pretty decent career-gues
famos52
cant wait dallas nov 29 fresh from europe
Wilco has really grown on me, even though I have heard a number of negative things about Jeff Tweedy. I don't know him personally, but he seems like a bit of a douche. He is undoubtedly talented, though.
yipppieeee
lol.. "rock" that nothing but old people love. effing gaysauce.
Wilco is easily one of best, most interesting & inventive bands touring/reco r d i n g currently. Have seen the latest lineup multiple times of the last 2-3 yrs(also saw them a number of times in late 90s) and they never cease to amaze. Wilco/MMJ together same bill would be worth any drive to see.
jay bennetts accidental overdose.... . v s . the other kind with a note.....
just saw these fools in Mobile, awesomeness coming out their ears!
wisegy250
HOLY LOVE FEST wilco guess i kinda like u
sucks
janinethebea n 1 0
love this song... miss me....
stormy.weath e r 9
MOREMOREMORE M O R E M O R E M O R E M O R E C O O L L C C C O L L L C C L O O O L L L C O O L
BESTBESTBBES T C O O O L C O O L O V E L O V E L O V E L L O O V V E E L O V E L O V E L O O O V E
koenigmt
Love me some Wilco...
david80x
Rock Rock Rock
Wilco is great always a good listen.
The lead singer sorta sounds just a bit like Ben Kweller.
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