10 Greatest Album Closers Of All Time

8. Looking Glass - The La€™s (The La€™s, 1990)

Trawl through any €˜Best of the €˜90s€™ CD, or worse, watch one of those €˜One Hit Wonder€™ video compilations on the basest of music channels and I€™ll lay bets that the Liverpool group€™s There She Goes is sitting somewhere on each. To everyone but aural appreciators, it€™s the only song that The La€™s ever wrote, end of story, goodbye. It€™s a sad truth that would make me throw my laptop angrily against the wall and spit out my tea if I weren€™t so ruddy, bloody British. But to those of us with more than a passing interest in recorded sound, we know this to be a falsity of the most scandalous proportions! The La€™s, finally released by Go Discs! after four-years of trying and notoriously perfectionist band leader, Lee Mavers, burning through a veritable collection of disgruntled producers, is a mercurial masterpiece that overspills with first-rate song-writing, enchanting melodies and €˜60s-inspired sounds.

Opener Son of a Gun dabbles in folk balladry, Liberty Ship is a good old-fashioned sea-shanty whilst the blistering likes of I Can€™t Sleep and Feelin€™ add a rockier vibe to the album€™s acoustic-orientated proceedings. Crafted by a line-up that chopped and changed as much as the album€™s producers, Mavers and his one constant, bass player, John Power, harmonise effortlessly on each track and in their innate chemistry had the beginnings of a relationship that could have blossomed into one of a Lennon and McCartney magnitude were it not for Mavers€™ unachievable, unquenchable vision and his subsequent monomaniacal attempts to realise it.

Looking Glass takes all of the album€™s creative highs (of which there is an abundance) and distils Mavers€™ perfect pop sensibilities into a lengthy and epic closer. Fittingly, the La€™s leader€™s lyrics explore the deepest recesses of his own personality and provide a study of the artist as a tortured, self-destructive soul, holding a €˜looking glass€™ up to the singer€™s ragged visage and asking it to €˜tell me where I€™m going, tell me where I€™m bound€™. An almost self-aware perpetuating of his own revered mythos, the €˜smashing€™ of the Looking Glass hints at Mavers€™ enigmatic nature, how his fragile personality can never be pieced together and fully understood.

He may endlessly deny it, and be forever striving to release a version of the album that he is happy with, but Looking Glass cements Mavers€™ status as a musical visionary and alchemist. As soaring guitars and quickened drumming augment his insistence that €˜the change is cast€™ at the song€™s crescendo, it calls back to some of the album€™s previous songs with lyrical snippets abounding to suggest that Mavers€™ genius is ubiquitous and omnipotent. As Bob Dylan once declared €˜I€™ve got a head full of ideas and it€™s driving me insane€™, a remark that would make for a fitting epitaph if The La€™s is Lee€™s only major label release. A portrait of a man so defiant and committed to replicating the sounds in his head, that he may indeed die for his art.


A 22 year old English Literature graduate from Birmingham. I am passionate about music, literature and football, in particular, my beloved Aston Villa. Lover of words and consumer of art, music is the very air that I breathe.