Wilco is an American rock band founded by singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy that formed in the mid-1990s after breaking away from Uncle Tupelo and evolving from its alternative country roots into one of the most successful and varied rock bands of the era. Jeff Tweedy, drummer Ken Coomer, bassist John Stirratt, and string player Max Johnston were the initial members. Guitarist Jay Bennett, steel guitarist Bob Egan, Glenn Kotche, Leroy Bach, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone were later members.
Tweedy went to Chicago after the bitter dissolution of alternative country band Uncle Tupelo, which was based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis, Missouri. Wilco, a moniker taken from the trucker slang “roger, wilco, okay,” was formed by Tweedy and former Uncle Tupelo members Coomer, Stirratt, and Johnston. They were joined by Bennett, a guitarist with a penchant for playing various instruments and a background as a recording engineer, after recording their debut album, A.M., in 1995. Bennett would become increasingly important as the band progressed beyond the country-flavored rock tracks of its debut. On the 1996 album Being There, Tweedy, the band’s primary songwriter and driving force, retooled the band’s approach. The quintet transformed into one of the decade’s most daring bands, a reputation confirmed by loud live shows, by adding keyboards and chaotic textural elements to its roots rock core. Tweedy and Wilco worked on the Mermaid Avenue CD with British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg in 1998, writing music for Dust Bowl folk singer Woody Guthrie’s words. “California Stars,” one of Wilco’s most well-known songs, was written for the project. In the year 2000, a second Mermaid volume was released.
Wilco’s music shifted again into beautiful orchestral pop on Summerteeth in 1999, a gambit used in part to hide some of Tweedy’s most twisted and anguished lyrics, which were about a crumbling relationship. The recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002 proved to be a watershed moment for the band, with the band translating a string of setbacks into a victorious release. Bennett was fired soon after the album was finished, while Coomer was fired during the recording sessions (he was replaced by drummer Kotche), an ugly breakup captured in Sam Jones’ 2002 documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. The band’s label, Warner Brothers’ Reprise, was less than thrilled about the album, and the band was eventually dropped. Wilco began streaming the album on its website in the fall of 2001, then went on tour to enthralled audiences. Foxtrot was released the following spring by Nonesuch, another Warner label, and went on to become the band’s most commercially successful album to date.
The band was engulfed in more strife shortly after completing their fifth studio album, A Ghost Is Born (2004). Tweedy entered himself into a rehab facility for a long-term opioid addiction. Tweedy, Stirratt, Kotche, and Jorgensen formed a sextet, with keyboardist Bach exiting and guitarist Cline and multi-instrumentalist Sansone joining Tweedy, Stirratt, Kotche, and Jorgensen. This would be the group’s longest-running iteration. Widening success as a touring act and stable album sales for the gently introspective Sky Blue Sky (2007) and the career-spanning compendium Wilco (The Album), released in 2009, highlighted the uncommon period of stability. Tweedy even showed a sense of humor on a tune from the latter, “Wilco (The Song),” stating, “Wilco will love you, baby.”
The band announced in January 2011 that it was quitting Nonesuch Records to start its own label, dBpm Records. The Whole Love (2011), Wilco’s first album for the label, opened with a seven-minute sound collage called “Art of Almost” and ended with a 12-minute meditation called “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend).” Tweedy’s songwriting breadth, from Beatles-inspired chamber pop to autumnal folk, was showcased in between, showing the band’s increasingly proficient interplay.
Wilco released Star Wars unexpectedly in 2015, making it available for free on the band’s website. The album’s experimentalism and songcraft gained it plaudits. Star Wars captures the energy of Wilco’s live performances and is more accessible than the band’s previous recordings.
Schmilco (2016) was primarily an acoustic, peaceful, and intimate album. Wilco went on hiatus in 2017, and Tweedy released Together at Last, a collection of solo acoustic versions of Wilco songs that had previously been released. He then recorded new material for the albums Warm (2018) and Warmer (2018). (2019). Tweedy released Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. during this time (2018).
Wilco released Ode to Joy, their 11th studio album, in 2019. The stripped-down recording received a lot of positive feedback.
|Ode to Joy|
|The Whole Love|
|Wilco (The Album)|
|Sky Blue Sky|
|A Ghost Is Born|
|Yankee Hotel Foxtrot|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Wilco’S Biggest Hit?
Wilco’s biggest hit is “A Ghost Is Born.” The song was released in 2004 and peaked at number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “A Ghost Is Born” is from Wilco’s sixth studio album of the same name.
What Is WilcoS Best Album?
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to Wilco’s best album. Some fans believe that the band’s debut album, A.M., is their strongest work. Others maintain that later albums like Summerteeth or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are superior. And still others believe that Wilco’s most recent album, The Whole Love, is their best yet. Ultimately, it’s up to the listener to decide which Wilco album is their favorite.
What Was WilcoS First Album?
Wilco’s first album was A.M., released in 1995. The album was recorded during a time when the band members were experiencing personal hardships and creative tension, which is reflected in the music. Despite these difficulties, the album was well-received by critics and is now considered one of Wilco’s best works.
What Is Genre Of WilcoS?
Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the lead singer and guitarist Jeff Tweedy, and the bassist John Stirratt. Wilco’s lineup has changed frequently, with only Tweedy and Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation of the band. Since early 2004, the lineup has consisted of Tweedy, Stirratt, Glenn Kotche (drums), Michael J. Feuerstack (guitar, keyboards, lap steel guitar), Nels Cline (guitar), and Pat Sansone (keyboards, guitar). Wilco has released ten studio albums, a live double album, and four compilations.