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Wilco – Summerteeth Deluxe Reissue (2020)

January 19, 2021

Wilco started their career as the ultimate Americana band. Their debut, A.M., was the Jeff Tweedy side of an Uncle Tupelo album. Wilco was not yet Wilco. But the follow up, Being There, was a “not so fast” declaration that they were not going to be pigeonholed. They were as inspired by Liverpool as much as by Nashville. They then pivoted to a project collaborating with the unused lyrics of Woody Guthrie and British political folkie Billy Bragg on Mermaid Avenue. That, along with severe mental distress of the star of the show, Jeff Tweedy, was the set up for Wilco’s first masterpiece Summerteeth.

I was all in with A.M. and Being There, but Summerteeth was at a whole new level. Wilco discovered the studio as an instrument and became the American Radiohead. The music was experimental, but catchy.

Wilco is working their way though their catalog developing deluxe editions that add demos, alternative takes, unreleased songs and album cycle live recordings. Summerteeth Deluxe is the latest edition.

Up to this point the band had essentially recorded live, as a band, in the studio. For Summerteeth Tweedy and Jay Bennett wrote most of the album in the studio and it was heavily overdubbed with Pro Tools. This makes the demos and alternative takes particularly interesting to the obsessive Wilco fan (is there any other kind?). Jay Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist with studio skills took a significant role on the album nearly becoming Tweedy’s peer. The two take Wilco’s county and folk essence down a Pet Sounds/Sgt. Pepper’s rabbit hole. The results are a masterpiece.

If you are a Wilco fan Summerteeth is likely on the top of your favorites list. This deluxe reissue will reward your obsessions.


From → Music Reviews

One Comment
  1. Yeah I was heavy into the first few albums. I will give a listen. Time for a revisit.

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