Build Your Own Best Of – Wilco

This post originally appeard on my now defunct My Thermos blog on April 22, 2008 and is being reprinted here with my own permission.

I’ve been a fan of the band I’ve chosen for this week’s Build Your Own Best Of (BYOBO) since I heard the first single from their first release back in 1995. I’ve written about them here before but they are certainly deserving of a place among the great artists I have already featured in this series.

They are adventurous, creative, passionate, a great live act, and one of my favorite bands. I’ve listened as they constantly experiment and develop their sound, all the while still managing to sound like and be Wilco.

I’m also a big fan of their attitude towards their audience. Not only do they allow taping of their live shows but they are a pioneer in the belief that if you trust your audience they will do the right thing and buy the records. Their Wilco World site also frequently offers live shows and other goodies for streaming and download – very very cool.

So anyway… once again inspired by Nat at Mini-Obs, the idea is the same as always:

Pick one of your favorite bands / artists and list 10-15 songs by that band / artist to compile your own best of compilation.

Wilco @ Latitude Festival

So here goes – The Best of Wilco as compiled by me:

“At least that’s what you said” – A Ghost Is Born
“Box Full of Letters” – A.M.
“Either Way” – Sky Blue Sky
“Handshake Drugs” – A Ghost Is Born
“Impossible Germany” – Sky Blue Sky
“I Must Be High” – A.M.
“Kamera” – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
“Kingpin” – Being There
“Passenger Side” – A.M.
“Poor Places” – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
“Red-Eyed And Blue” – Being There
“Spiders (Kidsmoke)” – A Ghost is Born
“War On War” – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
“We’re Just Friends” – Summerteeth
“When You Wake Up Feeling Old” – Summerteeth

Crap – that was way harder than I thought it would be. I actually picked Wilco because I thought to myself – “self, you can do this one quickly” – but it sure didn’t turn out that way.

In my first run through I had 13 tracks and I hadn’t even added anything from Ghost or Being There yet. I thought about upping the list to 20 but that felt like cheating so I trimmed it down a bit.

I am sure I missed favorites of others. Hell, I had to leave off some of my own favorites but I think it’s a good representative sample of all that is Wilco.

Also, I intentionally left off the Mermaid Ave I and II releases partly because of their collaborative nature and also because their addition would have made this even more difficult. I highly recommend both of them.

What would you have included?

Photo via / CC BY 2.0

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