Now certainly I realize that I'm entering into a new mode of thinking here (not completely new though - I tried making some lists a couple months ago, for the first time), one which I don't want to be construed as, or allowed to start constructing, my way of thinking. But after reading Hornby lately and also seeing the film-ization (Do we have a word for that? In Russian it's "ekranizatzia") of High Fidelity, I have a hankering to make lists. Though in the novel Rob somewhat gave up on his list-making mentality (recall, he says - in the film too - that it's not what a person's like that matters, but what they like; later he somewhat changes his mind, but in the film they don't revisit that little bit), I think a little dialectic, a little give-and-take, between the two kinds of thinking can be instructive. To me and you.

So, I give you my top five songs that could be best end of the album songs, if it weren't for the fact that they're the second to last.

  1. "Heat Miser" - Massive Attack, from Protection. Ruined especially because on my copy it's followed by a particularly loathsome live cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire," which I normally like.
  2. "We're an American Band" - Yo La Tengo, from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. Because I'd rather have the lovely, slightly quaint "My Little Corner of the World" come before it, than forego the extra bliss that would come from having "American Band" drone away into the album's fadeout.
  3. "Do You Know How to Waltz?" - Low, from The Curtain Hits the Cast. Which is cheating really because "Dark," which follows, is charming and a brief minute or so to "Waltz"'s 17 or so, so I don't even really think of it as being there. But still - it makes the list, for reasons much the same as "We're An American Band".
  4. "Flamenco Sketches" - Miles Davis, from Kind of Blue. The definitive verison, formerly the final track on the album, but made second-to-final on the most recent remaster by the inclusion of the same song's alternate take, after it on the CD. Aside from being newer to me and thus less familiar and less memorably etched in memory, it's a great, worthwhile performance - Cannonball's solo is even a good deal different from that of the definitive cut, rather than just somewhat different, which is more typical for an alternate take. Despite this, having the track repeated detracts from the magic. And I hate moving to stop the CD after track 5, or worse, programming it.
  5. "Immortality" - Pearl Jam, from Vitalogy. Admittedly, a choice with problems. Not musical ones, but extra-musical. Extra-musical because I haven't really listened to this CD in months, though it was once one of my favorites. Extra-musical because I might now not actually think "Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me" is that long and tedious any more at 7:44 with an endlessly repeated loop of a girl talking about wanting a spanking, what with my intervening appreciation for minimalism and drones. But when I was 17 - or hell, when I was 19 or 20, still, living with Damon in Lyon 305 Harwood listening to our shared favorite music (except for Bad Religion, which he hated and still does), I thought that "Immortality," with its existentially woeful guitar solo and the way Eddie Vedder didn't say "immortality" that one time just when I still always expected he would, despite always knowing he wouldn't... I thought it was one of the best songs in the world, let's just say. So of course the confused mess that is (or was - I'll have to check on that) "Foxymophandlemama" always put me off. It took me forever to actually listen to it and decide it wasn't so bad after all. But despite that, I would've rather had "Immortality" last, again preserving my blissful moment until its natural time (as this list indicates is my wont).