The last song on an LP is an important song. It’s a song that, when done well, finishes off the meal like a great cup of coffee. Some go for a big ballad (“You See Me Crying” on Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic, for example). Some for an epic monster (“I Am The Resurrection” on The Stone Roses, “Jungleland” on Born To Run). Others just have that ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ feeling; what in my head is called The Grease Effect, named after the wonderful “We Go Together” at the end of Grease.
A lot of artists don’t seem to grasp this concept. That’s their right, of course. If they want their album to be a shiny disc stuffed full of their most recently recorded songs, so be it. But for me, the great last song is an art. “After Hours” on The Velvet Underground, “When The Levee Breaks” on Led Zeppelin IV, “Dream Attack” on Technique, “Empty Cans” on A Grand Don’t Come For Free.
So, the November Mix is made up entirely of Last Songs. It was hard work sequencing it into some sort of order, as they all sound like the Last Song on any mix tape. I’ve unashamedly gone for a bunch of songs which, for me, sum up the beauty of a last song; so once you get past the first few uptempo numbers, it settles down into a mid-tempo, melodic, slightly minor chordy, mush. That, my friends, is how I like my albums to end.
Anyway, the November Mix. The Last Songs mix. Online for a week.
novembermix.mp3 (55MB, 48m 16s)
Pixies “Levitate Me”
The Libertines “I Get Along”
The Chemical Brothers “Surface To Air”
The Human League “Don’t You Want Me”
Rufus Wainwright “Imaginary Love”
Blur “Battery In Your Leg”
Baxter Dury “Boneyard Dogs”
The Specials “Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)”
Pulp “Bar Italia”
Richard Hawley “The Nights Are Made For Us”
Jason Falkner “Untitled”
Badly Drawn Boy “Donna and Blitzen”
The Beach Boys “Cuddle Up”
Kraftwerk “Endlos Endlos”
One last note. The Beach Boys song shouldn’t really be on there. It’s off a slightly-above-average album, (the rather clumsily-titled Carl and the Passions – “So Tough”), so it doesn’t really finish off a glorious album as such. it’s just that I figured that “Cuddle Up” would’ve been a great last song on virtually all of the Beach Boys’ 1970s output. And, y’know, when it comes to The Beach Boys, it doesn’t take much for me to justify putting them on a mix tape.