Yanqui U.X.O.

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Yanqui U.X.O.
An overhead view of bombs falling over farmers' fields.
Studio album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
ReleasedNovember 4, 2002
RecordedLate 2001
StudioElectrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Length75:00 (Compact Disc)
83:58 (Vinyl record)
ProducerSteve 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 recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, Illinois in late 2001. The recording was published by the Montreal-based label Constellation on November 11, 2002, in Europe on both CD and vinyl, 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
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[11]
Blender4/5 stars[12]
The Guardian4/5 stars[13]
Q3/5 stars[15]
Stylus MagazineB+[17]
Uncut4/5 stars[18]

Yanqui U.X.O is the band's most critically divisive record. While some, such as Thom Jurek of AllMusic,[11] praised the release as being among the group's finest albums, others, like Pitchfork, derided it for its "sluggishness and a lack of invention".[14]

Track listing[edit]

Compact Disc[edit]

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
Side two
2."Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls"20:43
Side three
Side four
4."Motherfucker=Redeemer (cont.)" 15:25
  • 3:40
  • Personnel[edit]

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    Other musicians


    1. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O. (description page)". Constellation Records. 2002. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
    2. ^ Constellation Records. "Godspeed You! Black Emperor". Bands. Constellation Records. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
    3. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O." Artnoise. May 4, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
    4. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O." Southern Records. December 31, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
    5. ^ Marsh, Peter (November 20, 2002). "...If Stravinsky was still around, he'd be a fan..." BBC. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
    6. ^ "A Note On the Artwork for Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O." Archived from the original on April 9, 2003. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
    7. ^ Petridis, Alexis (December 20, 2002). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui UXO". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
    8. ^ GYBE's discography at Brainwashed.com
    9. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor: Concert Chronology". etrembla. 2002. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
    10. ^ "Yanqui U.X.O. by Godspeed You! Black Emperor". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
    11. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Yanqui U.X.O. – Godspeed You! Black Emperor". AllMusic. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
    12. ^ Weiner, Jonah (February 2003). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Blender. No. 13. p. 93. Archived from the original on April 19, 2004. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
    13. ^ Petridis, Alexis (December 20, 2002). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui UXO". The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
    14. ^ a b Schreiber, Ryan (October 27, 2002). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
    15. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Q. No. 197. December 2002. p. 103.
    16. ^ Hermes, Will (March 2003). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Spin. Vol. 19 no. 3. p. 120. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
    17. ^ Jarvis, Clay (September 1, 2003). "Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Yanqui U.X.O. – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
    18. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O.". Uncut. No. 67. December 2002. p. 130.

    External links[edit]