They Played It Live | Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

The story behind Wilco's breakthrough 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is well known thanks in part to the sensational I Am Trying To Break Your Heart documentary by filmmaker Sam Jones. The band completed the album in 2001 and sent it to their label, Reprise Records, who refused to release it. Wilco took control of the rights to the album and left Reprise, a Warner Brothers label. After streaming the album for free on the internet, Jeff Tweedy and Co. then signed with Nonesuch, another Warner label, who released YHF to great commercial and critical acclaim in 2002. Today's They Played It Live collects outstanding live versions of all 11 tracks from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Wilco has performed all 11 songs from the album at least 150 times in the past. In fact, five of the 11 tunes are among the ten most played songs in Wilco history with "I'm The Man Who Loves You" and "Jesus, Etc." only beaten out by "A Shot In The Arm" for the title of most played Wilco song in the band's history. With that in mind, let's take a look at standout versions of each tune from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

1. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - Live at Rock am Ring 2002

Both this clip and the one to follow feature the short-lived lineup of Tweedy, Stirratt, Bach and Kotche from just after YHF's Spring '02 release.

2. Kamera - Live at Rock am Ring 2002

3. Radio Cure - I Am Trying To Break Your Heart Bonus

This performance of "Radio Cure" was released on the bonus disc that accompanied the DVD release of I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - an outstanding 2002 documentary about the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

4. War On War - The Late Show With David Letterman 2002

The quartet version of Wilco was joined by a second keyboardist (Jim O'Rourke?), for a 2002 visit to Letterman.

5. Jesus, Etc. - Wilco with Andrew Bird - Live in Detroit 2007

Andrew Bird adds violin to "Jesus, Etc." on this live take from October 17, 2007.

6. Ashes Of American Flags - From 2009 Film Ashes Of American Flags

Ashes Of American Flags, a documentary released in 2009, was filmed during Wilco's February and March 2008 tour.

7. Heavy Metal Drummer - Farm Aid 2009

The current version of Wilco performs "Heavy Metal Drummer" live at the Farm Aid concert in St. Louis, Missouri on October 4, 2009.

8. I'm The Man Who Loves You - Live on Jools Holland 2001

Another Wilco quartet performance, this one finds the band visiting the U.K. show Later With Jools Holland in 2001.

9. Pot Kettle Black - Live In Chicago 2008

This take on "Pot Kettle Black" comes from Wilco's 2008 Chicago residency at The Riviera.

10. Poor Places - Live at Primavera Sound 2012

Wilco's festival set from Primavera Sound in 2012 was broadcast, giving us amazing pro- shot footage of "Poor Places" from the evening.

11. Reservations - Live at Rock am Ring 2002

We end where we started with footage from the Wilco quartet's 2002 performance at Germany's Rock am Ring.

[Published on: 5/22/14]

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