Yanqui U.X.O.

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Yanqui U.X.O.
An overhead view of a plane flying over farmers' fields
Studio album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Released 4 November 2002
Recorded Late 2001
Studio Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genre Post-rock, instrumental rock
Length 75:00 (Compact Disc)
83:58 (Vinyl record)
Label Constellation
Producer Steve Albini
Godspeed You! Black Emperor chronology
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
Yanqui U.X.O.
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Yanqui U.X.O. is the third studio album by the Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It was produced and recorded by musician Steve Albini at the Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois in late 2001. The recording was published by the Montreal-based label Constellation on 11 November 2002, in Europe on both Compact Disc and vinyl record and one week later worldwide.

This album marks the first release by the group after slightly altering their name (moving the exclamation mark from the "emperor" to the "you"), as well as their first that was recorded outside of their native Canada. Lacking both the group's characteristic interwoven field recordings and specifically named movements, the recording was instead described by the band as "just raw, angry, dissonant, epic instrumental rock".[1]

Shortly after the record's publication in 2002, the group announced an indefinite hiatus so band members could pursue differing musical interests.[2]


"Yanqui" is the Spanish word for "Yankee".[3] The liner notes also refer to "Yanqui" as a "multinational corporate oligarchy", while "U.X.O." stands for "unexploded ordnance."[4] The packaging of the album contains an arrow diagram purporting to represent the links between four major record labels (AOL Time-Warner, BMG, Sony, Vivendi Universal) and various arms manufacturers.[5] This chart accompanied a photograph of falling bombs. The band later admitted that a particular extension of the chart (namely EMI appearing on the chart as a subsidiary of AOL Time-Warner) was incorrect, conceding that some of their research had been inaccurate.[6]

The album was released as a CD and a double vinyl LP, the latter having three noticeable differences. One is the compounding of the two-part composition "09-15-00" (the album liner notes imply that on this date the second Palestinian intifada began, although this is incorrect) into one.[7] Another is the addition of an untitled "hidden" track after some silence (it is masked in a similar manner with the short song "J.L.H. Outro" on the CD release of F♯A♯∞); this ulterior track consists of a sampled and cut-up George W. Bush speech with applause added (it also appears on bandmember Aidan Girt's related project 1-Speed Bike's debut album Droopy Butt Begone! (2000) in the track "The Day that Mauro Ran Over Elwy Yost", as well as on Museum Fire Records' compilation Azadi! (2003, a benefit for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) where it is titled "George Bush Cut Up While Talking").[8] Finally, the second section of the two-part track "Motherfucker=Redeemer" is about five minutes longer on the LP due to an extended ambient opening.

Common alternate titles for certain pieces used by the band on setlists include "12-28-99" (which became "09-15-00"), "Tazer Floyd" (became "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls"), and "Tiny Silver Hammers" (became "Motherfucker=Redeemer").[9]


The album was recorded at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini. The record was mixed by the band and Howard Bilerman (who also did some additional recording) at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal, and mastered by John Loder and Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios in London, UK.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 80/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork Media 5.6/10[12]
Spin 7/10[13]
Stylus B+[14]
Mojo Favourable[10]

Yanqui U.X.O is the band's most divided record critically. While some, such as Thom Jurek of Allmusic,[11] praised the release as the group's finest album yet, others, like Pitchfork Media, derided it for its "sluggishness and a lack of invention".[12]

Track listing[edit]

Compact Disc[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "09-15-00, Part 1" 16:27
2. "09-15-00, Part 2" 6:17
3. "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls" 20:42
4. "Motherfucker=Redeemer, Part 1" 21:22
5. "Motherfucker=Redeemer, Part 2" 10:10

Vinyl edition[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "09-15-00" 22:40
Side two
No. Title Length
2. "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls" 20:43
Side three
No. Title Length
3. "Motherfucker=Redeemer" 21:30
Side four
No. Title Length
4. "Motherfucker=Redeemer (cont.)" 15:25
  • 3:40


Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Other musicians


  1. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O. (description page)". Constellation Records. 2002. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  2. ^ Constellation Records. "Godspeed You! Black Emperor". Bands. Constellation Records. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  3. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Artnoise. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  4. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Southern Records. 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  5. ^ Marsh, Peter (2002-11-20). "...If Stravinsky was still around, he'd be a fan...". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  6. ^ "A Note On the Artwork for Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O.". Archived from the original on 2003-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  7. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2002-12-20). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui UXO". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  8. ^ GYBE's discography at Brainwashed.com
  9. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Concert Chronology". etrembla. 2002. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  10. ^ a b "Yanqui U.X.O. Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  11. ^ a b Jurek, Thom (2002). "Yanqui U.X.O. review". Allmusic. All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  12. ^ a b Schreiber, Ryan (2002). "Yanqui U.X.O. review". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  13. ^ Godspeed You! Black Emperor, 'Yanqui U.X.O.' (Constellation) | SPIN.com
  14. ^ Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Yanqui U.X.O. - Review - Stylus Magazine

External links[edit]