Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014

Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014

by WilcoWilco


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In the book that accompanies Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, a four-disc collection of rare and non-LP recordings by Wilco, former Reprise Records publicist Bill Bentley admits that no less a legend than Doug Sahm thought he was making a mistake when, after Uncle Tupelo abruptly and acrimoniously broke up, Bentley opted to work with Jeff Tweedy's new band rather than Son Volt, Jar Farrar's post-UT project. "Come on, Bentley, you gotta go with the other guy," Sahm said, "he's gonna happen." Which was certainly the conventional wisdom when Wilco and Son Volt launched in 1994 -- most fans seemed certain that Farrar was going to go on to a brilliant career on his own, and Tweedy's band would be a fine but lesser commodity. But those bets were off after Wilco released their ambitious, game-changing second album, Being There, in 1996, and in the years that followed, it became clear that Tweedy was a stronger songwriter, a more imaginative sonic visionary, and a keener judge of collaborators than he'd had the chance to show in Uncle Tupelo. Two decades on from their debut, Wilco have created a large and impressively diverse body of work, and Alpha Mike Foxtrot is a massive odds-and-sods collection, bringing together 77 tracks from singles, promo releases, movie soundtracks, bonus discs, and downloads from Wilco's website. Alpha Mike Foxtrot plays like an alternate history of Wilco, and most of what's here is every bit as satisfying as what the band delivered on its first eight studio albums, if more idiosyncratic; it traces the evolution of the band from early solo cassette demos Tweedy cut in his living room to extended workouts from the lineup that solidified after the release of A Ghost Is Born, as Wilco grew from a spirited alt-country combo to a rock band as adventurous and eager to innovate as it was engaging and tuneful (Tweedy's simple but powerful way with a melody is the surest unifying factor that holds these songs together). And the plentiful live tracks here demonstrate how willing Tweedy and his bandmates have been to give their songs new shapes on-stage (a ten-minute live recording of "Spiders [Kidsmoke]" is a tremendous showcase for Nels Cline's stellar guitar work), and there's a fistful of studio tracks that didn't fit on an album but sound splendid in this context, especially the Replacements-styled "Student Loan Stereo," the soulful "The Thanks I Get," and the faux-live pop
ocker "The Good Part." In the strictest sense, nothing on Alpha Mike Foxtrot is unreleased, but there's a lot here that's never been available for general public consumption, and while the sheer bulk of this set means it's most likely to be heard by hardcore fans, anyone with a genuine interest in Wilco will find a lot of great music that fell between the cracks on this set, as well as a fascinating map of the many roads Wilco did and didn't take.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2014
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597954395
catalogNumber: 543675
Rank: 39265

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wilco   Primary Artist
Syd Straw   Vocals,Background Vocals
Nels Cline   Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Jay Bennett   Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Ken Coomer   Drums,Background Vocals
Max Johnston   Banjo,Dobro,Fiddle
Roger McGuinn   Guitar
Jim O'Rourke   Drums
Randy Scruggs   Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar
John Stirratt   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hammond B3
Jeff Tweedy   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Leroy Bach   Organ,Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar
Brian Henneman   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Jessy Greene   Violin
Glenn Kotche   Percussion,Drums,Hammered Dulcimer
Rich Parenti   Baritone Saxophone
Bob Egan   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Pat Sansone   Harpsichord,Keyboards,Vocals
TJ Doherty   Hi Hat
Mikael Jorgensen   Piano,farfisa organ,Hammond B3
Patrick Newbery   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Dave Trumfio   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Woody Guthrie   Composer,Lyricist
Chris Bell   Composer
Billy Bragg   Composer,Producer
Alex Chilton   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Donald Fagen   Composer
Gram Parsons   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Nels Cline   Composer,Liner Notes
Daniel Johnston   Composer
Jim Glaser   Composer
Ernest Tubb   Composer
Richard Brown   Composer
Walter Becker   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Jay Bennett   Composer,Engineer
David Bither   Liner Notes
Jerry Boys   Engineer
Kevin Clock   Engineer
Ronnie Freeland   Engineer
Nick Lowe   Composer
Jim O'Rourke   Producer
Brian Paulson   Producer,Engineer
Cheryl Pawelski   Memorabilia,Annotation
Timothy R. Powell   Engineer
Mike Scotella   Engineer
Jim Scott   Engineer
Randy Scruggs   Producer
Chris Sheppard   Engineer
Grant Showbiz   Producer
Martin Stebbing   Engineer
John Stirratt   Composer,Liner Notes
Jeff Tweedy   Composer,Producer
Wilco   Producer
Bill Bentley   Liner Notes
Leroy Bach   Composer
Mike Hagler   Engineer
Peter Lewis   Composer
Pete Reiniger   Engineer
Kevin Wait   Engineer
Nora Guthrie   Executive Producer
Chris Brickley   Engineer
Jim Bloomfield   Stage Manager
John Farneda   Producer
Glenn Kotche   Composer,Photo Courtesy
Chris Shaw   Engineer
Mark Neilson   Engineer
Timothy Powell   Engineer
Adam Jacobs   Engineer
Chris Girard   Composer
Lee Lodyga   Annotation
Pat Sansone   Composer
TJ Doherty   Engineer
Stan Doty   Engineer
Mikael Jorgensen   Composer
Frank Riley   Liner Notes
Mike Konopka   Engineer
Profile   Composer
Deb Bernardini   Publicity
Ron "Snake" Reynolds   Engineer
Dave Trumfio   Engineer
Cathie Pelletier   Composer
Brian Methe   Illustrations
Vivian Maier   Cover Photo
Paul Gaubin   Composer
Miguel Chorda   Illustrations

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