Wilco - Rare Tracks, Vol. 1


When you have a back catalog as strong as that of Wilco, there are bound to be a multitude of songs that become b-sides, get tossed aside or overlooked, or used for other projects. I have about 3 cds worth of just such tracks sitting in my iTunes, and today (and later this week) I’m going to share my 12 favorites with you. So, here are numbers 12-7, with numbers 6-1 coming soon. Enjoy!

This song is from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Australian Bonus EP, and was an interesting first look at where the band might go without the presence of longtime member Jay Bennett. It’s a beautiful song that was not revisited during the A Ghost Is Born sessions (a la “Handshake Drugs”) that is filled with long instrumental passages with some expertly picked acoustic guitar.

“Cars Can’t Escape” was a leftover from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sessions. A version surfaced on the infamous YHF Demos bootleg, but this one was released by the band via their website sometime between the release of YHF and A Ghost Is Born.

10. MP3 :: This Is New

“This Is New” appeared on The Wilco Book soundtrack, which was a collection of songs left over from the highly experimental A Ghost Is Born sessions. Interestingly, this song was recorded with Jeff Tweedy isolated in a booth, unable to hear his bandmates, who were simply reacting to what he was playing. It’s slow and moody, relying on Tweedy seemingly inventing some heavily reverbed melodies as he goes. Like most of this CD, it’s more of a song experiment than an actual song, but the results are beautiful nonetheless.

This song is another leftover from the YHF sessions. It first appeared on the bonus disc of the DVD documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, and later on the Amos House Collection, Vol. 3. Its plaintive and elegiac arrangement is in stark contrast to the rest of the music coming from this time period, and also features some of Jeff Tweedy’s first attempts at the falsetto voice that he has become much more comfortable using over the past few years.

The recording sessions around YHF were wildly productive, and here is another example. “Magazine” did appear on the Australian Bonus EP along with “More Like The Moon”, but this version is a slightly brighter mix that was originally included on the YHF Demos CD. Perhaps one of Wilco’s only attempts at pure pop, the song sparkles in large part due to the heavy reverb and Glen Kotche’s inventive drumming.

This is a cover of the Gram Parsons-penned Byrds tune, originally appearing on their classic Sweethearts of the Rodeo album. Wilco covered it for the Parsons tribute, 1999’s Return of the Grievous Angel. The original was laid back, West Coast-country rock at its finest. Wilco transformed it into a rollicking bar-band rave-up, and was maybe the last straight ahead roots-rock song they ever did before the move towards more progressive sounds.

Check back soon for the 6 best rare Wilco tracks…………

7 comments:

Erik-Dardan said...

I'm afraid the link for "Cars Can" is broken; I tried adding a .mp3 and it still didn't work.

Thanks, though, for the other tracks, which I'm certain are excellent!

James said...

Thanks for the heads up Erik. It should work now.

James

Wayne said...

Thanks a lot for these. Love Magazine Called Sunset. I'm seeing Wilco next Saturday and I can't wait...

Mark C said...

Great post. I'm a huge Wilco fan and can't wait till you post your favorite six. Thanks.

geoff said...

wow thanks a lot for these!! wilco in sydney on saturday.. can't wait!

Jalpuna said...

Great stuff!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

could you possibly put 100 years from now back up or email it to me? cborosh@gmail.com