Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: #552 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

So why is Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

“Jesus, Etc.” is by far my favorite Wilco song. With Yankee Hotel Foxtrot having been released in 2002, I completely assumed* that its lyrics relate to 9/11, and it’s a gorgeous, melancholy, nearly wrenching song when you listen to it in that context.

But kind of amazingly, the song was written before 9/11, and it’s apparently a song about everyday life, relationships, and the passage of time. All told, it’s a folksy-sounding tune with intricate guitar work and lush harmonies.

Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad, sad songs.

Another thing that I find kind of fascinating about “Jesus, Etc.” is that if I didn’t know better, I would completely buy that this was a song written and performed sometime around the fall of 1975.

* I first recall listening to Wilco during the early file-sharing or peer-to-peer era. Think Napster and its ilk, where music was… shared. Not stolen, no! Shared, that’s the ticket. I also associate that era with working long hours at tech start-ups, but that’s a tale for a different day.

“I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” is another haunting and atmospheric track with layered instrumentation, subtle electronic elements, and cryptic lyrics.

And “Ashes of American Flags” is a politically charged song* featuring anthemic horns, driving rhythm, and emotionally charged vocals.

* Kind of a random aside but, why not, it’s my website and best 1,000 albums ever project, right? I’m obsessed with the comedy podcast called This Is Important, which features the stars of the fantastic TV show Workaholics, including Adam DeVine, Anders “Ders” Holm, and Blake Anderson. When a political topic comes up, the clever lads will immediately council each other not to let things get too “poly-charged.”

Some stats & info about Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Alt Country, Alternative Pop, Rock Music, Adult Alternative
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #225
  • All Music’s rating5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Yankee Hotel Foxtrot released? 2002
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #552 out of 1,000

Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad, sad songs.

What’s the most interesting thing about Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that most people don’t know?

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was initially rejected by Wilco’s label and leaked online, leading to its cult popularity and eventual re-release by a different label.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.