AUK’s Top 10 Americana Albums of the 21st Century: Number 2 – Wilco “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (2001)

As we reach the final two in our list there was never any doubt that Wilco’s masterpiece was going to feature heavily. Indeed it appeared in many our writers individual Top 10’s. Ljubinko Zivkovic, making it his personal number one called it a “turn-of-the-century masterpiece”, going on to describe it as “an album that goes beyond being just the 21st century americana classic”

Martin Johnson and myself, in line with our writers’ collective verdict, both placed it as our personal number two. Martin wrote: “Nobody can doubt the influence of Uncle Tupelo on the development of alt-country and americana, and when Wilco rose from the ashes of that band they added a broader palate to their sound, referencing influences from the Beatles to New York’s new wave. However, no one could have predicted that the band’s sound would be stretched as far as it was on ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’… Wilco didn’t throw out their previous influences and approach to music, they added to it, ensuring their long-term future, and the anticipation that always surrounds a new release” 

My own appreciation included these words: Like Sturgill Simpson more recently, Wilco have over the years picked up americana, reinvented it, and placed it down somewhere completely different. ‘Being There’ in 1996, a tremendous record itself, began this process, but never was it more fully realised than by this, their masterpiece album. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 3 in their ‘100 Best Albums of the Decade’ [The Noughties] – only two out by my reckoning”. 


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About Clint West 262 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,

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