Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
It was almost 17 years ago now that frontman Jay Farrar split ways with his alt-country group Uncle Tupelo due to differences with bassist Jeff Tweedy, leaving Tweedy and the rest of the band in the dust. Since that time, Farrar’s career has skyrocketed, and Tweedy and the boys haven’t done anything.
Wait. I’m wrong. They formed a band called Wilco, which continues to prosper as one of the most important and influential bands in indie music.
To conclude that Wilco’s longevity is due to some sort of a constant and timeless sound would be dead wrong, however, as our latest Live Collection shows. The covers below, which include romps through the works of David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, the Ramones, and even a few half-hearted attempts at tracks by one of Farrar’s subsequent projects, Son Volt, show just how much Wilco has changed through the years. The Wilco who covers “Organ Blues” in 2000 sounds little like the one who does Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart” in 1995. Sure, their 2002 cover of The Stooges’ “TV Eye” anticipates the pulsating pianos and dissonant guitars that would not truly define their albums until years later, but as a general rule, you can follow the arc of the band’s sound through the years pretty closely via the covers below.
If nothing else, don’t miss their cover of “Love Will Keep Us Together.” It’s part of a cover-heavy New Year’s set from 2004 at Madison Square Garden, alongside four others included below. I haven’t yet decided how embarrassed I should be to admit how much I like it.
Live Collection: Wilco
Listen to her Heart (Tom Petty cover) (1997)
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Carole King cover) (1997)
Color Me Impressed (The Replacements cover) (1997)
I Wanna Be Sedated (The Ramones cover) (1997)
Drown (Son Volt cover) (1997)
True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston cover) (1997)
Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) (The Buzzcocks cover) (1997)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2 cover) (1997)
Sugar Baby (Doc Boggs cover) (1997)
Tear Stained Eye (Son Volt cover) (1997)
If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow cover) (1997)
Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who cover) (1997)
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover) (1997)
100 Years from Now (Gram Parsons cover) (1998)
James Alley Blues (Richard Brown cover) (1998)
Any Major Dude (Steely Dan cover) (1999)
Give Back the Key to My Heart (Doug Sahm cover) (1999)
King of Carrot Flowers, Part I (Neutral Milk Hotel cover) (2000)
Organ Blues (T. Rex cover) (2000)
I Wish I Was Your Mother (Mott the Hoople cover) (2001)
No Depression (The Carter Family cover) (2001)
Be Not So Fearful (Bill Fay cover) (2002)
TV Eye (The Stooges cover) (2002)
I Shall Be Released, w/ Fleet Foxes (Bob Dylan cover) (2008)
Broken Arrow (Neil Young cover) (2010)
Thank You Friends (Big Star cover) (2010)
New Years Eve 2004:
Livin’ After Midnight (Judas Priest cover)
Love Will Keep us Together (Captain and Tennille cover)
Political Science (Randy Newman cover)
I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan cover)
Something in the Air (Thunderclap Newman cover)
Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
Gut Feeling (Devo cover)