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Thread: Saving the best till last

  1. #1
    Member Munster's Avatar
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    Saving the best till last

    I have noticed that whenever I use Spotify to check a new band out (to see if I want to buy their stuff) I invariably go to the last track of an album. Usually the last track is the longest on the album and often it is untypical of what came before. Often it is the best track. Which is odd, because it used to be the perceived wisdom that the last track was just a throwaway filler. But I have just gone through some Harvey Mandel albums from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s and almost invariably the last tracks are the standouts. There are loads of other examples. Starless on Red, or When the Levee Breaks on Led Zeppelin IV etc. And (please excuse me here) the cheesy but excellent Equator on Spark’s Kimono My House. Has anyone else noticed this?

    'There are no certain answers and no time to understand / The goal's a changing paradise, a moment out of date'

  2. #2
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    In the 70s, the first and last tracks were often the best. Occasionally, the last track on side 1 and the first on side 2 were also standouts. But yes, the closer was the one they wanted you to remember.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    But yes, the closer was the one they wanted you to remember.
    Or it contained elements, themes, etc. from the previous songs to make you want to listen to the album again.

  4. #4
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    I’m sure that the first and last track on an album is always thought about the most. You’d want to start the album the same way that you’d try to start a show. Something to get the fans going. Most of the time it seemed like a fast tune. The last track always seemed to be a track that could stick in your head to want you to listen again. Many times on prog albums the last track was a standout lengthy piece that would make you say wow that was great but then you had something like Lucky Man from ELP which oddly was always one of my favorite needing tracks from any album obviously not because I thought it was the best track on the album but it was to me the only song on the album that could have been the last one and Keith’s moog solo just wrapped it all up with a prog bow.

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