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Wilco

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

  "Hello, Fiona? Sony-Epic Records here."

"What is it, I've had a long night. You don't wanna know."

"Right. Well whatever you did, I hope you ate something."

"Hey! Save your accusations for Aimee Mann, have you had a look at her recently?"

"No, but let me get to the point. You know that Extraordinary Machine album you recorded in 2003 but we refused to release, because it wasn't, you know, commercial enough?"

"Yeeeaahh? (muffled obscenities)"

"Well, we'd like to release it this year."

"Fuckin' a!"

"Here's the thing, though. We'd like to make "Oh Sailor" the lead single."

"Great!"

"Just... not that version of it. We want you to play it faster and keep your right foot off the sustainer pedal. Can you do that?"

"(slightly-less-muffled obscenities)"

This was a long and silly way of saying, check out Fiona Apple's "Oh Sailor" at her MySpace page. (myspace.com/fionaapple)

UPDATE: In comments (er, comment), Paul wonders, as he has before, about whether the storyline offered up by the cast of characters involved can be taken at face value. I replied a while back, but it looks like Enetation ate my comment. I think there's reason to be suspicious, given the history of major bands and artists who shelve albums. Off the top of my head:

--The Beatles, Get Back

--The Beach Boys, Smile

--Dave Matthews Band, Lilywhite Sessions

The first one was an "eh" situation, mostly about the band not liking it. The circumstances of the second example are too unique to be a precedent. And the third is similar to the first, with the band choosing instead to go a new direction (the underrated Everytday) to rediscover their mojo.

But then there's Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which was a peculiar situation where there was a similar official storyline to the Fiona-gate, in a sense. Their label refused to release the album, but it was eventually released through a different label under the same corporate umbrella. So maybe if this is all how it happened the Fiona story holds water. Then again, Wilco got an acclaimed documentary out of this, so who knows.
Bren 1:35 PM




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