Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born. This album, for me, marked the beginning of the end of seeing Wilco an al alt-country band and instead brought them into a fun and successful period of sonic experimentation. This album was also the debut of the longest running line-up in the band’s history. Written during the height of frontman Jeff Tweedy’s addiction to prescription painkillers, the album’s release was delayed because of Tweedy’s stint in rehab.
Initially, the album was perceived by critics and fans as a bit challenging to listen to, I instantly fell in love from the very first listen. Sonically, this album had everything: the quiet, almost mournful start of At Least That’s What You Said to the extended fuzz of Spiders (Kidsmoke), the tender hum of Muzzle of Bees and the soulful chords of Hell Is Chrome. Startling of all is Less Than You Think, a song that is difficult and abstract, allegedly a musical interpretation of a migraine, which Tweedy suffered from for many years.
I’m not going to wax nostalgic and try to find a connection between the lyrics and the health issues Tweedy faced at the time. I’m going to instead post a bunch of stuff off the album that I love. This is THE Wilco album I recommend to anyone and everyone. This is THE album that turned this Wilco supporter into a full on fanatic.
The guitar just devastates and shreds after the quiet intro.
Excellent showcase of the great Mikael Jorgensen’s talents.
Psychedelic intro becomes psychedelic jam session “on a private beach in Michigan.”
Just a beautiful song. ::Sigh::
Hi Wilco! It’s Bee, You know, the girl who ALWAYS requests this song at shows? It’s my all-time favorite. KThxBye (Plus this video because Jeff dances)
But it’s okay for you to say what you want from me / I believe that’s the only way for me to be / Exactly what you want me to be
If this is ‘dad rock’ then sign me up!
Remember the time you saw them at The Hideout Block Party and they played this song and you got to watch it front and center because some folks were kind enough to let the 5’0″ girl stand in front of them? Yeah. That was a good feeling that always comes back when this song is played.
This one’s fun and they don’t seem to play it often. But Jeff said Once in Germany someone said neon and I believe him.
I’m an ocean / I’m all emotion / I’m a cherry ghost / Cherry ghost
WTF is a cherry ghost you ask? Who gives a shit, the song is a jam. Shut up and enjoy.
Ver hard to find a full version of this song online and honestly, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to listen to the shrieking sounds at the end. Either way, here’s the lovely song bit.
Album closer: The Late Greats. I love this one live.