Good albums ruined by bad opening/closing tracks


#1

I’m thinking of situations where the bad start or end of an album makes you feel less kindly towards it, even if the overall album is pretty good.

A Weekend in the City by Bloc Party inspired this thread; a good indie rock album (much better than most of the second albums by their contemporaries) with some interesting experiments with electronics and song structures, and some very touching lyrics. However my entire view of the album has been coloured by just how awful, how stupid and how misplaced Song for Clay is. Doesn’t play to the strengths of his voice and is filled with endless lyrical clunkers that make it hard for me to believe I’ve ever enjoyed anything he’s written. Not sure I’ve listened to that song fully since the first time I heard the album.

The newest Waxahatchee album suffered from this slightly too. What I found to be the three weakest tracks were all grouped together at the end of the album, so every time I finish it I’m left pretty disinterested. Then a few weeks later I fire up the first tracks again and get surprised by how great they are.


#2

I always skip the first track on ‘Lifted…’ by Bright Eyes


#3

Disco Volante by Mr Bungle.


#4

That one at the start of Ted Leo’s Hearts Of Oak. Oooh, look at me being all Irishy.


#5

Do “bonus tracks” count? If so, I’ve known a few albums where the final track, or sometimes the final two or three, are bonus tracks that are simply not of the same standard as the rest, and often a glaring misfit. One such track is at the end of the Killers’ album “Day & Age”.

Bonus tracks probably merit a whole topic thread. Sometimes it’s good to have them. Other times I find them annoying, especially if they are at the end and don’t fit with the atmosphere of the rest of the record. I can always program the disc to not play them, which is a pain to have to do; I could hit the Stop button at the end of the final track proper; but most of the time I don’t want to be bothered with that, I just want to put the disc in, press Play and let it do its thing without further interference from me. If bonus tracks are included, I’d rather they were placed at the start, for easy skipping, or else on a separate disc. I know this is a First World Problem, but that’s my feelings on the matter.