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Wilco's Longevity in Context


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Hey VCers. A thought occurred to me in a nerdy record collector conversation that brought me yet another new appreciation for Wilco. The stat is this: music acts after their 20 year mark. I needn't remind you Wilco brought the excellent run of Star Wars, Schmilco, Ode to Joy and Cruel Country.

 

Set aside how many never make it that far, let's look at what other greats have coughed up at this stage in their career (if I throw shade at an underappreciated lp feel free to push back).

 

Rolling Stones-Bridges to Babylon

Bob Dylan- Empire Burlesque

Neil Young- Freedom 

The Who- It's Hard

The Kinks-Word of Mouth

Guided By Voices- Let's Go Eat the Factory

Smashing Pumpkins- Oceania

 

I have some peers for them who released strong work later, but as I think on it Wilco's longevity is pretty exceptional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nerdy note....

 

The Stones hit their 20yr mark with Undercover (not awful, IMO, given I was 15 and it was part of what formed my perception of who they were as a whole...beginning with Some Girls thru Tattoo You. The following 10yrs of discovering and digging into their entire catalogue were just as formative, and I still feel that thrill when listening from time to time, after having stepped away from their music for a while), their 30yr mark with Voodoo Lounge (uhhhh, ok*) and Bridges to Babylon, almost halfway through their fourth decade (just happy they were still active, making music to go on tour with).

 

Yo La Tengo deserves note for their longevity and continually creative output.

 

 

 

*Although, over time, Out Of Tears has become my favorite song from that album. Check the video....totally 90's slick and Charlie actually acting.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Lukestar said:

 

The Stones hit their 20yr mark with Undercover (not awful, IMO, given I was 15 and it was part of what formed my perception of who they were as a whole...beginning with Some Girls thru Tattoo You. The following 10yrs of discovering and digging into their entire catalogue were just as formative, and I still feel that thrill when listening from time to time, after having stepped away from their music for a while), their 30yr mark with Voodoo Lounge (uhhhh, ok*) and Bridges to Babylon, almost halfway through their fourth decade (just happy they were still active, making music to go on tour with).

 

 

 

 

 

Oh God, you're right! The Stones longevity exceeds my math abilities.

 

Psyched for new YLT coming soon. Those guys are definitely in the 20+ and going strong club.

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a couple spring to mind:

Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse was 20+ years after their debut.

Mogwai - As The Love Continues (24 years after the debut)

 


This bends the rules a bit but Sleep released The Sciences 27 years after their first record and i think it might be their best.

 

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U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind was a solid effort 20 years in. Their live show may have peaked in 2000, too ---- at least that Boston release from that tour is my favorite live dvd release of the theirs (though technically that was a 2001 performance).

 

Presently listening to Teenage's Fanclub's - Shadows.  Another one 20 years in -- saw them in 2010, they were putting on a great, solid show.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Mekons continue to put out great music 40+ years [!] after their 1979 debut. Twenty years in, they released "Journey To The End of the Night."   And two of my favorite releases of 2022, Spoon's "Lucifer On the Couch" and Drive-By Trucker's "Welcome To Club 13" were both released more than 20 years after each band's debut.

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1 hour ago, Chez said:

The Mekons continue to put out great music 40+ years [!] after their 1979 debut. Twenty years in, they released "Journey To The End of the Night."   And two of my favorite releases of 2022, Spoon's "Lucifer On the Couch" and Drive-By Trucker's "Welcome To Club 13" were both released more than 20 years after each band's debut.

 

Excellent picks. I still contend these, and Wilco, are the exception not the rule.

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