Sunday, May 4, 2008

Best Swansong?

There have been many discussions on the greatest debut albums of all time, but I don't seem to remember seeing one on the greatest swansong albums. Perhaps it's because most bands call it quits after releasing a whimper rather than a bang, but some actually do go out in style.

Such as:

Let It Be, by the Beatles
Burning From The Inside, by Bauhaus (until they shocked everyone recently and released Go Away White this year)
Odessey and Oracle by the Zombies
Loaded by the VU (I don't count 1973's Squeeze)
Achtung Baby by U2 (Oh, what's that you say? They released more albums after this? Well my God, you learn something new every day...)
Laughing Stock by Talk Talk (possibly the best swansong album ever)
Raw Power by the Stooges (again, last years the Weirdness doesn't count)
More Specials by the Specials
Special Beat Service by the English Beat
Strangeways Here We Come by the Smiths
Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols (in a rare case where the debut and the last are the same thing)
Avalon, by Roxy Music
All Shook Down by the Mats
Synchronicity by The Police
The Gift by The Jam
Pink Moon by Nick Drake (Death)
Grace by Jeff Buckley (Death)
The White Room by KLF
Closer by Joy Division (Death)
Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix
Grievous Angel by Gram Parsons (Death)
Third/ Sister Lovers by Big Star

That's all I can think of. Any more?


Holly A Hughes said...

What about Seconds of Pleasure by Rockpile? their one and only album, if you don't count all the Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds albums that had the same personnel. When they finally got free of label commitments so they could record as a band, they blew up in no time.

Same thing with Little Village, the John Hiatt-Nick Lowe-Ry Cooder-Jim Keltner band. One album and then they stopped speaking to each other.

Franko6677 said...

Cool post! Never thought about this, really. I'm totally with you on Odyssey and Oracle and Special Beat Service, especially.

Phil Fountain said...

Hate to quibble, but "Abbey Road" was actually the Beatles' last recording together. I know, I know, "Let It Be" was the last release but "Abbey Road" was the last time they worked together. In fact, it was their displeasure with the "Let It Be" project that drove them back into the studio to record "Abbey Road." They didn't want "Let It Be" to be their final word as a band.
Yes, I'm nit-picking, but being a primate, that's what I do...pick nits.

Uncle E said...

I have the Rockpile album on 'order' at the moment and will no doubt agree with you after listening.
Frank, Special Beat Service was a fine swansong, eh? Too bad they didn't continue.
Phil, all right, you got me on a technicality! You are right. Not a bad catch for an American...