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Music / Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

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Tall buildings shake, voices escape, singing sad sad songs

Oh, distance has no way
Of making love
— "Radio Cure"

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by American indie rock group Wilco, released in 2001 after one of the most notorious productions in music history.

Under the working title of Here Comes Everybody, it originally consisted of a six-track demo, before conflict began to arise over Ken Coomer's drumming. Proposed by singer Jeff Tweedy and unanimously agreed upon almost straight away by the rest of the band, Coomer was replaced by Glenn Kotche, whom Tweedy had performed with a year Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations, specifically the fourth track Phonetic Alphabet - Nato''. The woman repeating the words "yankee hotel foxtrot" was sampled and included in the track "Poor Places", prompting a lawsuit from Irdial. Constant arguments between Tweedy and Bennett prompted Tweedy to kick Bennett out after the album's completion. By early 2001, after a very stressful process, the album was finished and ready to be released.


Then Howie Klein, Reprise Records' president, and a big advocate of Wilco, was fired.

The AOL-Time Warner merger resulted in the new executives terminating 600 jobs. As noted above, Reprise president Howie Klein was among the ones who were fired. His replacement was David Kahne, who dismissed the band due to lack of commercial success. Wilco's lawyer negotiated a buyout for the album: while the initial pricing was $50,000 for the rights to the album, Reprise later dropped the price altogether. After the buyout, further problems arose with the album's original release date: September 11, 2001. Some of the lyrics featured in the album (such as the one under the page image) proved tasteless in the events of the attacks. Tweedy streamed the whole album on their website for free a week later, and Wilco was approached by Nonesuch Records to distribute the album for $50,000 - the band struggled to get the money necessary.note  The album was finally released on April 23, 2002.


Despite seemingly everything working against it, Tweedy's decision to stream the album ended up being a major benefactor - critical acclaim and positive word-of-mouth resulted in their resulting tour generate a huge outcome. Reviewers couldn't stop giving the album perfect scores, and the album ended up being certified gold. Dubbed "the Apocalypse Now of music", Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has since gone on as one of music's biggest success stories, and one of the greatest of the 2000s.


  1. "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" (6:57)
  2. "Kamera" (3:29)
  3. "Radio Cure" (5:08)
  4. "War on War" (3:47)
  5. "Jesus, Etc." (3:50)
  6. "Ashes of American Flags" (4:43)
  7. "Heavy Metal Drummer" (3:08)
  8. "I'm the Man Who Loves You" (3:55)
  9. "Pot Kettle Black" (4:00)
  10. "Poor Places" (5:15)
  11. "Reservations" (7:22)

Principal members:

  • Jeff Tweedy - vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, programming, harmonica
  • Jay Bennett – programming, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, organ, bass, drums, percussion, lap steel, glockenspiel, vibraphone, bells, vocals
  • John Stirratt – bass, vocals
  • Leroy Bach - piano, acoustic and electric guitar, organ, glockenspiel, vibraphone, bass, percussion, horns
  • Glenn Kotche - drums, percussion, cimbalom, siren, chimes

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