Wilco’s 2007 album Sky Blue Sky will be available in a limited-edition two-LP, sky-blue vinyl release on September 1. The Gold-selling album made year’s best lists from Rolling Stone, Uncut, Mojo, BBC Radio 6 Music, and more. “Near perfect,” said Spin. Featuring the band that was assembled after the release of 2004’s A ghost is born, Sky Blue Sky was the first studio album from a lineup that has remained the same to today: guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, percussionist Glenn Kotche, keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, and avant-jazz guitarist Nels Cline.
Wilco’s 2007 album Sky Blue Sky, which turned fifteen last year, will be available in a limited-edition two-LP, sky-blue vinyl release via Nonesuch Records on September 1, 2023. The Gold-selling album made year’s best lists from Rolling Stone, Uncut, Mojo, BBC Radio 6 Music, and more. “Near perfect,” said Spin.
“Hands down, this has been the easiest Wilco record to make, so naturally I’m in love with it,” Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy told Harp magazine about Sky Blue Sky ahead of its 2007 release. “From the very first session when we sat down to work on the material, everybody has been pointed in the same direction … and that made the whole experience a lot of fun.”
Featuring the band that was assembled after the release of 2004’s two-time Grammy Award–winning album A ghost is born, Sky Blue Sky was the first studio album from a lineup that had received overwhelmingly positive critical and popular acclaim for its nearly three years of live shows and which has remained the same to today: guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter Jeff Tweedy; longtime Tweedy band mate bassist John Stirratt; percussionist Glenn Kotche; keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen; multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone; and avant-jazz guitarist Nels Cline.
The 12 new songs on Sky Blue Sky were recorded at the band’s Chicago studio, The Loft. The album was produced by Wilco, recorded by TJ Doherty (Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady), and mixed by Jim Scott (The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Dixie Chicks, The Rolling Stones).
Jeff Tweedy broke down each track on Sky Blue Sky for its 2007 release:
I wanted to start off this record with this idea of acceptance.
“You Are My Face”
It’s more of a family tree, but not necessarily biographical. This song is one of the more conceptual songs on the record. It’s trying to reflect a present, past and a future in a linear kind of way, with the explosive section in the middle that’s a lot more kinetic than the droning past and the ambiguous future.
This song reminds me of waking up at a certain point in your life, and you ask yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ Sometimes you’re pretty grateful where you ended up. There are a lot of layers to that song since it’s been around so long. There are elements of political refection and historical perspective that I feel I’ve gotten more interested in as I’ve gotten older.
“Sky Blue Sky”
That is probably as direct as I’ve ever gotten in a song before. It’s a very crystallized moment: watching a parade go by in my hometown, and getting blocked from getting across the main drag, preventing me from going home. And at some point, thinking it was a good idea to turn around and not go home.
“Side with the Seeds”
It’s a pretty confusing song. There’s such a polarization in all of our lives these days, and there’s so much unhappiness. It’s a song that’s saying, ‘If an electron can do it, why can’t I?’
“Shake it off”
That’s similar to ‘Sky Blue Sky,’ in that it’s about a specific moment in time, a feeling, a reminder. The chorus is pretty direct: this too shall pass.
“Please Be Patient with Me”
I don’t know if there’s anything I can add except to point out, again, the title of the song itself.
“Hate It Here”
My wife calls this song ‘The Liar Song,’ because I don’t know how to use the washing machine.
“Leave Me (Like You Found Me)”
This one has been around for a long, long time. There’s a simple sentiment in the chorus. Though it does become more expansive in the last verse when people are waking up, climbing the trees, and actively participating in their lives suddenly.
This song was on a set list once, written out like the spelling of the actor, Christopher Walken. It became too hard to shake that spelling.
Responding to the fact that this song was the one track posted on the band’s MySpace page, Tweedy says, “I don’t know what a single is.”
“On and On and On”
This song was actually one of the earlier songs that we demo-ed on this record, and over time —we played it once or twice live—I was doubtful about it making the record. At some point, it became the closer. It became much more meaningful to me after my mom died last September. There was something that allowed me to finish that song. I really wanted to write a song that my dad could listen to, and find some comfort in, that wasn’t a James Blunt song. I was very touched that my father was being soothed in any way by music. It did make me feel like this song was much more personal. I know how to write songs, so I thought, maybe I should write one for dad and have him respond to it. My mom died suddenly, playing cards with her friends, which is a pretty awesome way to go. She was 72. My dad and she met when they were 15, and they had not been apart that entire time. That’s a pretty major adjustment for a 73-year-old man to make.