Great Backsides

 Posted by
Jun 302009

I’m listening to Neil Finn‘s first solo album, Try Whistling This, right now. There are fine songs spread all across the disc, but the last five songs are especially strong, and flow especially well together. Can you name other albums save most or all of the strongest songs for the end?

(Incidentally, I believe Neil Finn is one of the best songwriters around, and I will fight you on this.)


  8 Responses to “Great Backsides”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    This is a great name for this type of album. Is it your own creation, Oats? I’m a big fan of albums that work this way, and I TOTALLY agree with you on your example! The first two that come to mind for me are The dB’s Repercussions and Elvis & the Attractions’ Get Happy!! (the TRUE side 2, which ends with “Riot Act”). I’ll think of some more through the day, I’m sure.

  2. I know the Mod is not a fan but I think that side 2 of the Smithereens’ Strangers When We Meet is near perfect and I never listen to side 1.

  3. I don’t have a contribution to this thread (have to think about it) other than two vague notions. The first is that I believe that one common sequencing trick is to try to put the artist/producer’s least-favorite song in the penultimate position. Whether this opinion of said song is held by the listener, who can say?

    Also, I recall talking with a guy who was ending his album with a big rocker of a tune. He was insistent that most albums he heard these days tended to taper off with a mellow song, and he wanted to end his album with a bang.

    That’s all…

  4. 2000 Man

    Side two of Let It Bleed is as good as it gets. I don’t much care for the choir on You Can’t Always Get What You Want, but I like the song a lot and I can get past it. The whole album is pretty fabulous, but I like side two best.

  5. Harvest.

  6. On the Beach

  7. Lola Heatherton – Live At The Dunes. She slays ’em, especially on side two. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more moving version of MacArthur Park. And the way it leads into American Trilogy? THAT little lady has got talent, my friends.

  8. mikeydread

    I find it hard to turn away from the last five songs of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Like a novel, this record gains momentum and density as it moves towards conclusion. The final five being: California, This Flight Tonight, River, A Case of You and The Last Time I Saw Richard.

    Most people would be happy with that across a career.

    I heard people dismiss the idea of records like this having a kind of narrative purpose…”It’s pop music, that’s why they stick the hit single up the front”. But here I am afraid, I couldn’t agree less.

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