“If novelists truly wanted to simulate the delta of life's possibilities, this is what they'd do. At the back of the book would be a set of sealed envelopes in various colours. Each would be clearly marked on the outside: Traditional Happy Ending; Traditional Unhappy Ending; Traditional Half-and-Half Ending; Deus ex Machina; Modernist Arbitrary Ending; End of the World Ending; Cliffhanger Ending; Dream Ending; Opaque Ending; Surrealist Ending; and so on. You would be allowed only one, and would have to destroy the envelopes you didn't select.” – Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot
“If I can’t take it with me, I’m not going.” – Trad. Arr.
It is becoming a habit. I tick off those absolute nailed-on A-listers as they are nominated, add some others I hadn’t considered or had not previously heard of, arrive at a shortlist approaching three figures and proceed to whittle away.
Result: hardly any of those certainties survive the cull. But, I have discovered a wealth of great stuff. Not all of this is new – there have been a number of songs from artists I would have crossed the street to avoid in a past life, which have completely bowled me over.
That said, such was the strength in depth this week that an awful lot of these slipped off the A-list, then some off the B-list, often very late on.
So, to the songs …
Neneh Cherry – So here I come: nominator severin notes:
“I have had the reissued and extended CD of this album for so long I'm not entirely sure what the original final track actually was”. Like him, my brother was a great fan and played Raw Like Sushi almost to death. Great song.
Pink Floyd – Bike: In the words of ShivSidecar:
“The Madcap's shopping list. The Room of Musical Tunes is always worth another visit.” Amen. Closer to the Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – There, there my dear: from attwilightlarks,
“Dexys in their pomp, all scorching horns and strut, referencing their search for the young soul rebels”
Lorde – A world alone: nominated by EnglishOutlaw and “remains a clever way of bookending the album. The first track of Pure Heroine (Tennis Courts) starts with the line ’Don't you think it's boring how people talk?’. This final track ends with ‘The people are talking, The people are talking. Let them talk.’”
FKA Twigs – Kicks: from FretlessBasser:
“When the final track on a new LP really appeals to me, I find that I want to turn the LP straight back over and listen to the whole album again.”
Lynden David Hall – Medicine for my pain: nosuchzone:
“Lynden David very soul-exposed, very last words – his finest moment for sure.”
Bat for Lashes – The Big Sleep: Bethnoir: and "features Scott Walker sounding fragile and yet still very Scott. I find it final and moving".
Many thanks Beth, a real find.
Triffids – Tender is the night: nominated by bishbosh. 'Triffic Triffids indeed. Closer to their 1984 album Born Sandy Devotional and, for me, Jill Birt’s finest hour.
Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship – Starship: Jefferson Airplane groovy, Jefferson Starship, stodgy. Well, not quite – an absolute beauty. From Tempusfugit.
“Let's join Paul Kantner and Co as they head off into infinity at the end of Blows Against the Empire.”
Love – You set the scene: an almost perfect song wrapping up an almost perfect album. Was tempted to use the 2003 Glastonbury performance for the look of ecstasy on Arthur’s face when the strings and horns kick in towards the end. But, here’s the marvellous original from Forever Changes nominated by megadom:
“Arthur's girlfriend; "You said you would love me forever!"
"Well, forever changes."
Rolling Stones – Moonlight mile: nominated by amylee, who, having scoured her Stones collection, adds:
“… I'm left with the beautiful ending tune of Sticky Fingers. Where they're just tired of it all.”
Ry Cooder – I can’t win: from magicman. Great song from a great album (sleeve only to be viewed with sunglasses).
“Saw him last weekend in City Hall. He had the same line-up as on this record. He did four songs from it among the newer ones and Jesus On The Mainline, they went off and came back for an encore of this sublime song, the last track on Bop Til You Drop.”
REM – Electrolite: again from megadom. I have loved this song to distraction since the appearance of New Adventures in Hi Fi – 20th century go to sleep. It did.
Special mention for Terry Reid: Superlungs, my supergirl. One of my finds of the weekend and would have strolled it, but for the fact that it opens the album Terry Reid. Not even my shoehorn is that mighty.
The A-Ending Playlist:
Neneh Cherry – So Here I Come
Pink Floyd – Bike
Dexy’s Midnight Runners - There, There My Dear
Lorde – A World Alone
FKA Twigs – Kicks
Lynden David Hall – Medicine For My Pain
Bat For Lashes – The Big Sleep
The Triffids – Tender Is The Night
Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship – Starship
Love – You Set The Scene
The Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile
Ry Cooder – I Can’t Win
REM – Electrolite
The B-Ending Playlist:
The Stone Roses – Love Spreads
The Zombies – Time Of The Season
Roxy Music – Bitters End
Jimi Tenor – Call Of The Wild
Kool & The Gang – Caribbean Festival
Super Furry Animals – Pric
Echo and the Bunnymen – In Bluer Skies
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird
Allman Brothers Band – Whipping Post
Funkadelic – Wars of Armageddon
David Bowie – Bewlay Brothers
Pink Floyd – Brain Damage/Eclipse
Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails
As ever, thanks to all who nominated songs this week. If there are any lurkers wondering whether to take the plunge, come on in, the water’s lovely and there are no sharks (or trolls).
“Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over! …” – Kenneth Wolstenholme.
Reading this back, it sounds uncomfortably like this.
My Wildcard Picks:
Frank Sinatra – This Love Of Mine: from In The Wee Small Hours. One of the first grown-up LP records and a lovely reworking of one of his earlier hits.
Otis Redding – You Don’t Miss Your Water. Closer to Otis Blue. No words needed.
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Late goals: striking song and album endings. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.