Wilco finally signs new label deal

PAUL CANTIN

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Wilco has waltzed its unreleased album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" over to Nonesuch Records.

After months of speculation, the critically acclaimed act will announce details of its new pact with the boutique label next week, the band announced on their official website (www.wilcoworld.net).

According to Billboard.com, the album will finally see release in April 2002.

The Chicago-based band had been twisting in the wind since their former label, Warner-based Reprise Records, rejected "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." The group extracted themselves from their deal and were said to be entertaining offers from 30 labels, but were also seriously considering releasing the album independently.

The record had leaked out through the Internet, and the group has also streamed the full disc at their website, as well as releasing an MP3 download of the song "Ashes Of American Flags."

The entire process of recording the artistically challenging album, which saw the departure of two band members (drummer Ken Coomer and guitarist Jay Bennett) was documented by filmmaker Sam Jones. He is editing the film for theatrical release, under the title "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart."

The pact with Nonesuch makes Wilco label-mates with a diverse roster of bands, including Emmylou Harris, Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso, and avant-garde composers Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, and and Steve Reich.

Releasing the album through Nonesuch adds another odd twist to the Wilco story, too. The label's distributor in North America is Warner Music -- parent company to Reprise Records, which was the source of the original rift. So in territories such as Canada, the band could be working with many of the same label staff that previously handled them when they were with Reprise.


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