The Ten Best Last Songs on an Album
"The Repudiated Immortals" -- Of Montreal, from 2005's The Sunlandic Twins
This is probably my favorite last song on the list. Many Of Montreal fans get bogged down by Hissing Fauna and False Priest, yet I believe The Sunlandic Twins is Kevin Barnes' best work. To put such a peppy, upbeat song like "The Repudiated Immortals" as the last song on the album is a brilliant move -- it's perhaps the best song on the album.
"A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to be Free" -- Elliott Smith, from 2004's From a Basement on the Hill
This is, for all intents and purposes, the final song on the final album from Elliott Smith -- an album, might I remind you, that was posthumously released after Smith's death from an apparent self-inflicted knife wound in October of 2003. It's a stripped-down, sombre offering from Smith, a fitting end to one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time.
"Chonkyfire" -- Outkast, from 1998's Aquemini
Many a hip-hop album is ended with the standard "outro" or some asinine skit. Outkast, back before they got into polaroid pictures and roses, released perhaps their best album, Aquemini, in September of 1998. The album concluded with the perplexingly enjoyable "Chonkyfire," proving that hip-hop albums can, indeed, end with an actual song -- perhaps even a good one.
"Knights of Cydonia" -- Muse, from 2006's Black Holes and Revelations
The last track from the British rock trio's landmark album can be seen as the real last gasp from the band, especially considering what their follow-up to Black Holes, The Resistance, turned out to be. Black Holes was overblown, grandiose and just fucking good. Sigh, things were so innocent back in 2006.
"Would?" -- Alice in Chains, from 1992's Dirt
Some might already disagree with the songs on this list -- which may or may not matter since The Rapture is set for this Saturday at 6 p.m. "How could he start the list with such a weird of Montreal song?," some might think. You know what? So I made a big mistake -- try to see it once my way.
"Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt" -- The Mars Volta, from 2003's Deloused in the Comatorium
I have no problem admitting that I was a huge fan of At The Drive-In. Lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and lead guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López were always my favorite members of the seminal El Paso indie/punk band. Once the band split in 2001, The Mars Volta, of which Bixler-Zavala and Rodríguez-López were both members, quickly helped ease my pains. Deloused is still a favorite album of mine, and its final song, "Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt," concludes the concept album -- one that follows the life of its main character, Cerpin Taxt, as he ingests suicidal amounts of morphine and rat poison and slips into a coma, eventually dying.
"Street Spirit (Fade Out)" -- Radiohead, from 1995's The Bends
One of Radiohead's more celebrated songs -- whether you are an original, Pablo Honey-era fan or a post-Kid A sympathizer -- "Street Spirit" is arguably the best last song the band ever wrote. "Motion Picture Soundtrack" (the last track on Kid A) might be favored by some, but I'm more inclined to give The Bends some love. Besides, how many of those diehard Radiohead fans actually still listen to Pablo Honey these days?
"Train in Vain" -- The Clash, from 1979's London Calling
Fun fact about the final track on The Clash's 1979 masterpiece -- it was added to the album at the last minute, ending up in the song being left off the album sleeve. Good thing they decided to add the song -- it ended up becoming the third and final single from London Calling, a rather fitting title for the album's final track.
"Bold as Love" -- Jimi Hendrix Experience, from 1967's Axis: Bold as Love
The name of the song is in the album's title -- it has to be the best song on the album, right? You're damn right. It was a toss-up between this song and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" from 1968's Electric Ladyland. There's something ephemeral about "Bold as Love," a quality that transforms the song into one of the best songs to ever close out an album. Hendrix didn't have to melt your face to show that he was the best guitar player that ever lived, he could do so in a mellow, somewhat toned down fashion. "Bold as Love" proves this point perfectly.
"Raining Blood" -- Slayer, from 1986's Reign in Blood
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.