505 - Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Of Nightmare
The 2nd and imo best Arctic Monkeys record was a complete reaction to the success of the first and the closing track a reference maybe to a hotel room number perhaps - that sums up the need to get back to someone or something else. Relationships now gone wrong, money letting you down, people you can't trust. "I crumble completely when you cry!" sung as the music kicks in sounds like that's precisely what Alex wants............. because he'd recognize her and the feeling.
Elvis Costello would not have a recording career if a very famous drunken incident where he used the "N" word was recorded say on a cellphone like it would be today. But 1979 was a different time and eyewitness Stephen Stills went to the press with the story details - so Costello only could say his version of the truth to the press - basically "I was drunk, I'm not a racist, I am a key figure in Rock Against Racism - and that's all I'm going to say about it".
Costello's commercial ascendancy was clipped a bit and some shows protested, and people looked at him for a time with raised eyebrows and so Costello did what he does best - he performed a song about it, veiled, hidden, unclear - it's part sort of apology/part more clear F-You and it closes his 4th album, my favorite of his work, in typically spectacular fashion.
Don't Get Excited - Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks
Sex is a subject that you'd think is common in Rock but it's usually hedonistic/fantasy sex - never had it been addressed previously the way Parker did here on his best album - one that can stand with Costello in the 70s.
Parker looks at sex realistically and metaphorically, it's frustrations a stand-in for his commercial recording failure (Local Girls), in its contradictions he wrote of (anti?) abortion (the devastating, You Can't Be Too Strong) and in this classic closer wrote about how the trappings of sex..... and love..... and the modern world leave him isolated.
The 2nd Uncle Tupelo album - maybe their best - upped the stakes on their first. Their first was hard to not take as a band trying something out and showing you their influences - but the 2nd showed how to build on those influences and deepen them less and go forward.
This closer - one of their best songs too - pulls all the strands of the album together and doesn't make a grand statement, it rather makes a simple one that fits what came before. It evokes a lot of people - Gram Parsons AND J Mascis and yet sounds like neither at all. It seems tossed off but the more you play it, it's too sophisticated to be random.
"There's nothing to make out or even notice" as the song says....you could miss it if you weren't looking.
Wall of Death - Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights
This album - one the 80s best albums by any standard - if you don't know it, you should it's a cool version of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (and better!) and is helped by Linda with some great songs too but Richard Thompson is the star here. He is one of the great triple threats in Rock history a distinguished and special singer, songwriter, guitarist - only Chuck Berry and Neil Young come to mind as much as he does - he's an amazing talent from Fairport Convention through his work with Linda and his solo career.
This song is not the one anyone would pick to close the album - they'd pick the masterpiece, scary and epic title track - but this song is the one that sums up the albums themes of love like a joyous (or cruel) game, an amusement park exhilaration "you can waste your time on the other rides"......dude knows of what he speaks, so let him take his chances.
Ramones - Why Is It Always This Way? - Rocket To Russia
The best Ramones album - one of the best American albums period - closes in a way they hinted at all through the record - that life itself got the last laugh on them - that pretending to be dumb always gets slapped out of you. The chorus is repeated on a fade-out, they know no more than they did at any point and as they remember mundane things about the songs subject (hitching a ride) mixed with bittersweet (waving bye-bye) mixed with things the singer can't ever truly quite understand (contemplating suicide).
It's all mixed up and then it gets to the song/album fade out......
The Strokes - Red Light - First Impressions of Earth
The 3rd Strokes album after 2 classics was a slight disappointment - starting spectacularly for a few songs it mostly goes off a cliff in the later half but this closer reverted back to what they did best - insanely catchy, buoyant retro-New Wave and it was funny too - when the lyrics say "I was waiting..." the music waits into a walking bass line too.
It's abrupt stop ending was sort of a thrill too ......because what do you do at a red light anyway?
One of the few essential EP's (Signals, Calls and Marches, Chronic Town, a few others) - this debut EP, the only release with Howard Devoto on lead vocals - ends with this assessment of his weird social circle. A sort of Johnny Rotten in how he sang - a true peer really - they were a fairly different band than what they became afterwards - with Devoto they sound threatening - later they'd sound far catchier - both were of course terrific.
One of the 3 great albums (career bests for all 3) by first wave punk bands but that came within the second wave along with The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette and The Clash's London Calling - this song sounds like nothing the Jam recorded prior and sounds completely modern and they used it as a template for some other great songs too (Funeral Pyre).
The album has a mix of love songs with a whole other side - a creepy tension to political/current events songs slipped into key points in the album to suggest you've got problems far worse than your relationship. This song sums up all of that, you can't trust people in your bed or the monster under your bed.
Great closer to one of the decades great albums.....almost military and threatening......
Post by waterloobridge on Apr 15, 2020 23:51:02 GMT
One of my favourite albums ever (#3 maybe). The whole album is in a universe of itself, and the closer cements that further with a very emotional Torn Curtain. I like that it was chosen to close because they end it on a sad note, instead of the fun Prove It. So when its over its like you're thrown back on earth and shattered.
1994's best album closes with the kind of song that at first you're not sure why it's closing the album at all ......but after they did it, it got copied a lot. It's the closer that sums the record's feel and attitude......... A total put down of his sober (probably), straight laced (and literate!) friend, this song and its spirit informed the Strokes, Libertines, Arctic Monkeys near a decade later and made people who didn't get Oasis at all not get them even more.
For those people.........there was Blur, who were a lesser band in '94 .........but nicer boys.