Remember when song choice and song order mattered?
Remember when artists wanted to tell a story with how they arranged their music and so a record’s closing song carried special significance?
So here they are: my Top Five Album Closers of them all.
1. The Beatles, Golden Slumbers Medley from Abbey Road. I am not even much of a Beatles’ fan. (Are you throwing a tomato at the screen yet?) But the variety, unpredictability, and pathos of the Golden Slumbers Medley tops my list.
2. The Eagles, The Last Resort. The closing song of Hotel California still sounds as good as it did on the eight-track tape player in John Low’s car when he would give me a ride home from tennis practice. Interestingly, I’ve heard Don Henley say that he wished the song had more instrumentation in it, but I believe the simplicity of the music adds to the power of the song.
3. U2, All I Want Is You from Rattle & Hum. EVERYONE hated Rattle & Hum, U2’s follow up to The Joshua Tree. Everyone but me, that is. And this closer, with its chaotic crescendo and gentle denoument, is a primary reason why.
4. Don Henley, The Heart Of The Matter from The End Of The Innocence. How does a surly genius write a song of such poignant beauty? Must be the grace of God . . .
5. The Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want from Let It Bleed. When our kids were younger and asking for bling, how often did we say to them, “The Rolling Stones wrote a song about you”? Admit it — that’s just good parenting.