Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wilco - Summerteeth on Nonesuch (vinyl)

Nonesuch records (Wilco's label after being dumped by Reprise for refusing to change aspects of their brilliant Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) has re-released the band's first three albums on vinyl with Summerteeth arriving in stores late last month.  Summerteeth is considered by many to be the album which finally shed them of their alt-country moniker which they inherited from Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt's former band, Uncle Tupelo with singer Jay Farrar. And happily, this double LP follows in the band's recent tradition of quality vinyl sound, which I was slightly surprised by since I never thought Summerteeth was particularly great, sonically, on CD (a copy of that CD [or maybe a remastered CD, come to think of it, I haven't checked] is included here, as well). I always thought the Reprise CD was overly compressed and crowded sounding. This LP, on the other hand, offers a much cleaner, unencumbered sound with Tweedy's voice high up in the center allowing much more room for the instruments to stretch out - especially the percussion and Jay Bennett's little sonic thises and thatses.  And while I've never heard the initial vinyl pressing from 1998 when the album was first released, opinions I've read are that this one is much better. 

And to think people have been buying the original LP on eBay as recently as last spring for highly inflated prices. It shows a little patience pays off - especially now that a new vinyl age is upon us.

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