CDs seem like they’re on their way out; with downloads and iPods changing the way people consume music, the physical disc and even the concept of the album are under threat. I don’t have particular feelings about this either way. Whatever an artist’s intention when putting together a set of tracks, my interpretations and tastes dictate which songs I listen to when. If I want to play Spoon-Mozart-Fiery Furnaces, I damn well will. But I digress.
There’s always been a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that artists deliberately put strong songs in certain slots. The first track is obviously important, as first impressions count for so much. Track 2 is also typically strong. After that, it gets a little hazy. Setting the first two songs aside as obvious choices for A-material, what else is a power slot? My contention is that it’s #6.
Falling roughly in early-to-middle section of most albums these days, the sixth track is the perfect place to sneak in a hit to reinvigorate the listener. It’s an assurance that the CD isn’t winding down, but still has plenty of punch left. It’s as good a track as any. Here are six great sixth tracks from six great CDs. Enjoy and discuss.
06 Radiohead – Karma Police : OK Computer
06 Ben Kweller – Penny on the Train Track : Ben Kweller
06 Band of Horses – Lamb of the Lam (In The City) : Cease to Begin
06 The Shins – New Slang : Oh, Inverted World
06 Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings : Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
06 Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man : Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits