We're finally bringing the top five songs project to a close. Kind of (more on that later).
Two years ago to the day, I rebooted the Top Five idea with a theme of lead-off tracks. Today, I write about the complementing bookend: the closing track. For those of us of a certain age, the closing track carries unique importance: it's the artist's last word, last note, parting thought; over the decades, we've made songs our own parting thought through mix tapes, burned cds, or playlists. To keep things straightforward, this is a list of closing listed
album tracks - hidden tracks are excluded (Millennials and Gen Z, ask someone older).
As usual, no Beatles or Stones songs are permitted in the list. Here are my top five:
HONORABLE MENTION - The Doors, "The End"
"My only friend, the end."
It's kind of hard to make a top five list about closing tracks without The Doors, Oedipal monologue and all. It's a bit too on-the-nose to make the official list, though.
NUMBER FIVE - Guns n Roses, "Rocket Queen"
"Don't ever leave me, say you'll always be there / All I ever wanted was for you to know that I care."
The first three minutes of this song would be enough to serve as a sufficient wrap to one of the greatest albums of all time. After all, it includes an infamous vocal booth encounter between Axl Rose and a groupie - a fitting conclusion to a album focused on the LA underworld. And yet, the song takes an interesting turn at the 3:25 mark, wrapping the album with a proper coda.
NUMBER FOUR - R.E.M., "[Untitled]"
"I stay up late to hear your voice."
Untitled but noticeably referenced as the eleventh track. The sparse instrumentation and vocal harmonies make it feel like a track that's more suspended between Green and Out of Time.
NUMBER THREE - Bob Marley and The Wailers, "Redemption Song"
"How long shall they kill our prophets / While we stand aside and look?."
Originally recorded as a full-band track for Uprising, Marley opted instead for an unaccompanied acoustic version. Recorded just over a year before his death, it's an appropriate closing track for both album and his legacy.
NUMBER TWO - Weezer, "Only in Dreams"
"She is your marrow, and your ride home."
Nearly nine minutes in length, it's an incredible end to The Blue Album, featuring a harmonic-driven crescendo in the last three minutes.
NUMBER ONE - Pink Floyd, "Eclipse" 
"And all that's to come and everything under the sun is in tune / But the sun is eclipsed by the moon."
Dark Side of the Moon remains Billboard'slongest-charting album in the history (736 straight weeks, and 954 in total). Segueing from "Brain Damage", the song climbs verse by verse, until the listener is left with a heartbeat and an acknowledgement: the entire moon is dark; it's only because of the Sun that anything has light.
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