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Ranked: The 15 Best Wilco Songs to Date

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Ranked: The 15 Best Wilco Songs to Date
The Best from Chicago’s Best

Apr 11, 2022

By Hayden Merrick

Photography by Charles Harris

Wilco is an institution. “The American Radiohead.” Bigger than Jesus, etc. They would reasonably be one of the first bands inducted into the indie rock hall of fame, were it to exist. And the iconic artwork of their masterful 2001 release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot—featuring the imposing twin towers of Chicago’s Marina City—is recognized by even the vaguest of acquaintances.

Led by the husky-voiced Jeff Tweedy, and with bassist John Stirratt in the sidecar from day one, the band has released 11 studio albums, including the scruffy alt-country of their post-Uncle Tupelo debut, three collaborations with Billy Bragg, and the shiny drug pop of Summerteeth. Since 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, though, Tweedy and friends have settled into a comfortable groove, tinkering in the Wilco Loft—their accoutrement-filled Chicago HQ—and continuing to release solid though less ambitious work. Their influence on the modern potpourri of indie/alternative/folk pop is pervasive. (Courtney Barnett’s laidback witticisms and Parquet Courts’ anti-Americana are at least partially indebted.)

Wilco recently announced an exclusive series of shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. In honor of the album’s birthday, Under the Radar looks back at the band’s catalogue to rank the best of the best. See you on the other side, via Chicago.

Check it out in our list section here.

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