This morning on the way in to work (Monday commutes always produce ideas like this) I decided I’d include an abridged list of great album closers in my show. I arbitrarily set the number at 5, and set about trying to narrow down a list.
I decided I’d make it a list of great last songs on great albums, which made it a little easier. So here’s what I came up with. Most of it’s pretty obvious, and I’m sure everyone who reads this will disagree completely and chew me out. That’s fine and that’s fun. Go for it.
1. Weezer – Butterfly (from Pinkerton)
Weezer’s second release was full of great songs and wacky production choices. It was a major departure from the polished sound of their self-titled debut, and predictably, there was major fallout as a result. By now everyone knows that story though, so I’ll drop it. This was my favorite of their production decisions on the whole record. An acoustic song. From Weezer. Who knew? I still get chills.
2. Idlewild – In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction (from The Remote Part)
Roddy Woomble asked famed Scottish poet Edwin Morgan to write a poem for the end of the record, and this is what he got. So he trekked out to Edwin’s place with a cheap microphone and a MiniDisc recorder, and got a recording of the old man reading his poem, and the band slapped on top of a repeating, surging riff, right after the prettiest, quietest song on the record. The first time I heard this song I did that thing where you look around your room to see what else could be playing over your music (kinda like when a song has sirens in it and you listen in your car and you think you’re being pulled over) before I realized it was part of the song. This is great stuff.
This choice is so obvious I’m almost embarrased that I chose it. But come on. How do you make a list of great songs at the end of great records and not include this one? You can’t. Period.
4. Mike Doughty – Rising Sign (from Skittish)
As much as I like Haughty Melodic, it doesn’t hold a candle to Mike Doughty’s previous, less polished release. When the ex-frontman of Soul Coughing started to tour on his own, I saw him at the Met Cafe (R.I.P.) in Providence with about 100 other people, and bought this record from him there. He signed every one and shook everyone’s hand who bought one, which made it more justifiable to pay $15 for a burned cd in a white envelope. Now you can buy it in stores, though.
5. Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland (from Born to Run)
I can remember when I first really got into Springsteen in high school, sitting in chemistry class and writing out every word to this song on the back of my notebook. I wrote really small and I still barely fit it. This song is epic and this song is beautiful. And it still hits me as hard as it did in high school.
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