This is a big one. This song is one of THE defining records in my collection. I have listened to Buffalo Tom do Taillights Fade at least a thousand times.
The song is both emotive and nonspecific enough to feel like it’s talking to you through good times and band. It’s the pinnacle of slacker anthems. It takes what Paul Westerberg, Alex Chilton, Evan Dando and Greg Dulli have done before and ransacks them for parts.
There are two types of people in the rock world. Those who love Taillights Fade and those who haven’t heard it.
And yet, this song is something of a minor footnote in the lexicon. Everyone who has heard it loves it. People wistfully recall the era when it pops up in the wild now, but it also gets treated like the fine china. Only very occasionally does the highlight of Let Me Come Over get played.
I think there’s an unspoken agreement among all who know the song to not spoil it through repetition or over exposure. So it’s kept for special occasions, the twilight hour at a barbecue, tucked way back on the playlist or in the mid afternoon on a rainy Thursday on the radio in March.
Everyone can stop for moment. Tell whoever is in ear shot how much they love this tune and then put it away again so it doesn’t get spoiled like something by Oasis or latter day R.E.M.