Day 295-- closing tracks

Music aficionados are pretty much agreed on the importance of the opening track on an album, but it seems closing tracks often go unnoticed. I think closing tracks can make an album, and--in a year of strong albums--2007 has been graced with an abundance of great closing tracks.

Off the top of my head:
-Wilco, "On and On and On" (Sky Blue Sky)
-Arcade Fire, "My Body is a Cage" (Neon Bible)
-the National, "Gospel" (Boxer)
-Dolorean, "My Still Life" (You Can't Win)
-Andrew Bird, "Yawny at the Apocalypse" (Armchair Apocrypha)

And these are just just the closing tracks I've HEARD this year that I think are great; there are still some that are pretty darn good (Ted Leo's "C.I.A."). And 2007 is barely half over.

I think three of those above (the first three) would end up on my all-time favorite closer list (it's still unfinished, but Weezer's "Only in Dreams," Vigilantes of Love's "Solar System," Built to Spill's "Stab" and the Jayhawks' "Ten Little Kids" all have a home on it).

To wrap up this rambling post, here's a request: help me make a list of great closing tracks. And for that matter, what counts in a closing track? What makes the final song on an album special?

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 6/27/2007 10:44:00 AM,


At 11:05 PM, Blogger Christian said...

I know I use the band all the time. But here are two closing tracks that I love. They encompass the whole mood of the CD and really show a different aspect of the band. First, "Kid's Things" off of "This Desert Life." It's a hidden soundtrack, and it is extremely rough. It's a live, spontaneous cut, but the song really explores the giddiness of relationships (especially the one he references in Mrs. Potter's Lullaby). You should really check it out. Second, the song "Chelsea" on "Across the Wire: Live in New York (First disc)." Again the song is a hidden treasure. It's a studio recording, but the accompanists are musicians from a New Orleans jazz band. The song really fits the acoustic/mellowed tone of the rest of the CD.

With much love and little faith,
Christian Eriksson

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Ian said...

OK, a closing track, in my opinion, should be the glue that holds the rest of the album together. If there is a feel, mood, theme, whatever, to the album, even if few songs don't attend to it, the closing track is the one that should wrap its arms around them all and pull them into one big group hug.

That being said, I have not heard a better closing track this year, maybe even in the past few years, than Derek Webb's "This Too Shall Be Made Right" on his "The Ringing Bell" album. Besides being a fabulous song (it's that song that I've been trying to write for awhile, but since I really stink at writing songs have never been able to. C'mon, we all have songs like that, right?), it just snaps the rest of the tracks into line and totally expands the context of the whole album.

Other good ones off the top of my head: "Angel Band" on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, and "Every Grain of Sand" on Dylan's "Shot of Love".


At 11:41 PM, Blogger Lady Insomnia said...

I really like the closing songs on Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine and When the Pawn... albums. Extraordinary Machine ends with "Waltz (Better than Fine)," which I think sums up the themes of the album pretty well. I think that "I Know" from When the Pawn... is great because it's a closing song about the closing of a relationship.

I also really like "Everything" at the end of The Juliana Theory's Love album; it says "Love is everything," which just seems a fitting closer.


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