I’m skipping the intro this week to focus on “Songs With Great Instrumental Outros.”
“Freebird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
I really don’t need to say much about this one. The long guitar solos at the end of “Freebird” are simply among the best in recorded history.
“Thunder Road” – Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen ends the lyrical portion of “Thunder Road” with “It’s a town full of losers/We’re pullin’ out of her to win,” and the outro kicks in right after that. The jangly, jaunty melody that is weaved between the guitar, piano, and sax indicates that the protagonist’s path to freedom is likely paved in gold.
“Baba O’Riley” – The Who
When people think of “Baba O’Riley,” they most likely think of the classic intro first, but the song’s outro is nearly as awesome. The rollicking synth/violin pieces that gradually picks up in tempo before ending abruptly compliments the rest of the song perfectly.
“Fade to Black” – Metallica
The outro of “Fade to Black,” which features a blistering solo from Kirk Hammett, sounds like a musical release of power. It fits the song perfectly, as the clearly depressed narrator’s last words are “Death greats me warm/Now I will just say goodbye/Goodbye…”
“A Day in the Life” – The Beatles
The cacophonous orchestral crescendo at the end of “A Day in the Life” has been likened to a musical orgasm. Bonus points go out to The Beatles for recording the entire minute-long fadeout of the last, synchronous note and keeping it on the record.
“Layla” – Derek and the Dominoes
This is my favorite outro of all time. In stark contrast to the rest of the song, the outro starts off with just a simple-yet-beautiful piano melody playing. The drums and bass kick in shortly, along with a guitar playing a slow (but still knee-buckling) solo. All the instruments are woven together seamlessly, and literally play the song off. Just stunning…