Song of the Day #4,102: ‘The greatest’ – Lana Del Rey

Concluding my countdown of the songs on Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell.

2. ‘How to disappear’ – This is another track that was released, in a way, well before the album came out, when Del Rey and Jack Antonoff performed a piano-and-vocals version live at an Apple event. That recording is a thing of beauty, but the studio version is just as transcendent, adding ramshackle instrumentation that reminds me of the work Jon Brion did with Fiona Apple back in the 90s.

1. ‘The greatest’ – As I’ve mentioned a few times this week, many songs on Norman Fucking Rockwell are worthy of this top position. I’m going with ‘The greatest’ because it’s the track that feels most emblematic of the album as a whole, both thematically and musically. Alternately soaring and mournful, it finds Del Rey at her most mythic and romantic. Using the fires in Los Angeles as a metaphor for an America that has seemingly gone to hell, this song is an anthem to sing on the way down.

[Verse 1]
I miss Long Beach and I miss you, babe
I miss dancing with you the most of all
I miss the bar where the Beach Boys would go
Dennis’ last stop before Kokomo

[Pre-Chorus]
Those nights were on fire
We couldn’t get higher
We didn’t know that we had it all
But nobody warns you before the fall

[Chorus]
And I’m wasted
Don’t leave‚ I just need a wake-up call
I’m facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess I’m signing off after all

[Guitar Solo]

[Verse 2]
I miss New York and I miss the music
Me and my friends‚ we miss rock ‘n’ roll
I want shit to feel just like it used to
When‚ baby, I was doing nothin’ the most of all

[Pre-Chorus]
The culture is lit, and if this is it‚ I had a ball
I guess that I’m burned out after all

[Chorus]
I’m wasted
Don’t leave, I just need a wake-up call
I’m facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess that I’m burned out after all

[Outro]
If this is it, I’m signing off
Miss doing nothin’ the most of all
Hawaii just missed a fireball
L.A. is in flames‚ it’s getting hot
Kanye West is blond and gone
“Life on Mars” ain’t just a song
I hope the live stream’s almost on

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,102: ‘The greatest’ – Lana Del Rey

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Thanks for exposing me to Del Ray’s new album. Good stuff!

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