Monday, March 17, 2008

The Art Of The B-Side: Wilco

We were initially considering doing this feature as a top 10 list, but then we figured it had more value as a weekly regular thing. The basic concept is this: we've realized over the years that (for whatever reason) most of our favorite artists are incredibly prolific, and moreover have an exemplary B-Side and unreleased catalog. (For those wondering what we're talking about: B-Side) What this feature hopes to do is to pull some of those B-Sides and unreleased tracks out of the back of the closet, and maybe get some new ears in on the listen.

This week in The Art Of The B-Side, we're featuring one of our favorite bands: Wilco. Over the years, Wilco has released (or leaked) a vast amount of non-album material. The demos for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are a treasure trove of unreleased material, and the demos of Summerteeth offer pretty definitive insight into the process of making the record. Moreover, the band has consistently contributed non-album tracks all over the place: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Compilations. The list is long enough that there's a 3 CD fan compiled B-Side collection, and even that only makes it through Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Most recently, the Wilco B-Side machine has gone into overdrive, with a drove of official non-album releases: EP's with their last 3 albums, bonus tracks and single B-sides, and most notably an entire album of studio outtakes packaged with The Wilco Book.

These tracks are a few of our favorite Wilco B-Sides, but by no mean inclusive of the wide range of available material. We encourage you to delve further. (By the way, we know the picture's old. We just like it.)

mp3: Wilco - The Good Part
mp3: Wilco - Any Major Dude (Steely Dan Cover)
mp3: Wilco - ELT (King Size Demo)

(All Yousendit links, click through)