Wilco – What’s Your 20? – Essential Tracks 1994-2014 (2014) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Wilco – What’s Your 20? – Essential Tracks 1994-2014 (2014) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 2:37:08 minutes | 3,35 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Nonesuch

In celebration of their 20th anniversary, Wilco releases What’s Your 20, a compilation album of essential tracks culled from the band’s previously released studio recordings that span from 1994 to 2014. These are the first compilations of Wilco music of any kind. The collection was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Cheryl Pawelski, co-founder of Omnivore Recordings, whose credits include Big Star’s Keep an Eye on the Sky, The Band’s A Musical History and Townes Van Zandt’s Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972. What’s Your 20 gathers songs from Wilco’s eight studio albums plus two songs from Mermaid Avenue, the collection of Woody Guthrie-penned tunes set to music by Wilco and Billy Bragg.

Wilco are a band who have shown that in the 21st century, a band can succeed creatively and commercially on their own terms, even without what would be considered a hit single, especially impressive since Wilco often seemed to be doing well despite their presence on a major-label rather than because of it. Which is why What’s Your 20? Essential Tracks 1994-2014 is at once a welcome and curious release: it’s essentially a greatest-hits album from a band that’s never had a hit single, collecting 38 songs that have made some impression on non-commercial radio and become fan favorites during the band’s first two decades. At the same time, What’s Your 20? is also a fine “Beginner’s Guide to Wilco,” as the track listing gracefully charts their progress from a scrappy but heartfelt alt-country band that rose from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo to a thoughtful and imaginative pop/rock band with some outstanding players and an eagerness to experiment. What’s Your 20? includes representative selections from Wilco’s eight studio albums, as well as the two Mermaid Avenue albums they cut in collaboration with Billy Bragg and, along with a bunch of great songs, it offers a map to the emotional peaks and valleys of Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting, from the country-influenced rock of “I Must Be High” and “Casino Queen,” into the bold explorations of “Misunderstood” and “Sunken Treasure,” and the cool, pitiless self-analysis of “A Shot in the Arm” and “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” a remarkable musical journey that took less than seven years. The album also offers a satisfying summary of the band’s best and most stable lineup that coalesced after A Ghost Is Born, and delivered warmer but genuinely exciting songs like “Hate It Here,” “Impossible Germany,” and “I Might.” What’s Your 20? was released at the same time as Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, a four-disc box set for serious fans featuring outstanding Wilco tracks that didn’t appear on one of their albums; this album is the opposite, a more concise (but still hefty) sampling of the band’s best known and most accepted work, and this is most easily recommended to casual fans and folks looking for an introduction to the group’s music. However, those listeners will certainly be well-served by this outstanding selection of tunes, and if we did live in a world where Wilco regularly scaled the charts, there’s little doubt these songs would have earned the band plenty of gold and platinum plaques. And who knows, they may yet some day. ~~ AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

1 I Must Be High 3:00
2 Box Full Of Letters 3:07
3 Passenger Side 3:34
4 Casino Queen 2:46
5 Misunderstood 6:30
6 Red-Eyed And Blue 2:47
7 I Got You (At The End Of The Century) 3:58
8 Monday 3:34
9 Outtasite (Outta Mind) 2:35
10 Sunken Treasure 6:53
11 California Stars 4:59
12 Hesitating Beauty 3:05
13 A Shot In The Arm 4:19
14 Can’t Stand It 3:47
15 She’s A Jar 4:43
16 I’m Always In Love 3:41
17 How To Fight Lonliness 3:51
18 Via Chicago 5:32
19 Airline To Heaven 4:49
20 I Am Trying To Break Your Heart 6:58
21 I’m The Man Who Loves You 3:56
22 War On War 3:49
23 Jesus, Etc. 2:45
24 Ashes Of American Flags 4:48
25 Heavy Metal Drummer 3:09
26 Hummingbird 3:12
27 Theologians 3:37
28 Handshake Drugs 6:24
29 The Late Greats 2:31
30 Hate It Here 4:33
31 Impossible Germany 5:58
32 Walken 4:28
33 Wilco (The Song) 3:00
34 You And I 3:25
35 You Never Know 4:21
36 I Might 4:58
37 Born Alone 3:56
38 Whole Love 3:46

Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, baritone-guitar, bass, radio, 12-string guitar, harmonica, synthesizers, backing vocals, Mellotrons, claps
Jay Bennett – guitars, pianos, organs, harmonica, lap steel, drums, accordion, vocals, backing vocals, bass, banjo, Moog, keyboards, synthesizers, bells, tambourine, percussion, 12-string acoustic slide guitars, shakers, saw, claps
John Stirratt – bass, electric bass, vocals, violin, piano, backing vocals, claps
Max Johnston – dobro, fiddle, mandolin, vocals, banjo
Ken Coomer – drums, percussion, guitar, vocals, timpani
Billy Bragg – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Brian Henneman – guitars, small stoned guitar
lloyd Maines – pedal steel guitar
Corey Harris – lap steel guitar
Daniel Corrigan – vocals
Jerry Hey, Gary Grant – trumpet
larry Williams – tenor saxophone
Dan Higgins – tenor and baritone saxophone
Eliza Carthy – violin

Producers: Wilco and Billy Bragg
Recording engineers: Chris Sheppard, Martin Stebbing, Jim Rondinelli, Lou Whitney, Jerry Boys, Skip Bryant, Matt Ellard, Scott Eisenberg, Larry Greenhill, Mike Hagler, Dave Trumfio, Russ Long, Chris Grainger, Mitch Easter, Ivan O’Shea (assistant), Tom Skerrit (assistant), Keith McDonnell (assistant), Gordon Jensen (assistant), Ciaràn Cahill (assistant), DaveTrumfio (assistant) and Mike Hagler (assistant) and Steve Chadie (assistant)
Mixing engineers: Chris Sheppard, Jim Scott, Jim Rondinelli, Skip Saylor, David Kahne and Mike Scotella (assistant)

Recorded at Easley Recording in Memphis, TN; Chicago Recording Company, King Size Sound Laboratories, The Loft, and WarZone Recorders in Chicago, IL; Totally Wired Studio and Windmill Lane in Dublin, Ireland; Fort Apache Studio in Boston, MA; Pedernales Recording Studio in Spicewood, Texas; The White House in Nashville, TN; The Fidelitorium in Kernersville, North Carolina; and Dead Aunt Thelma’s in Portland, Oregon.



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