Mountain/(End of) Travelling

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"The Mountain" was the first and only Palace single to also appear on a proper album, in this case the brilliant Viva Last Blues -- strangely, it's perhaps the weakest song on the LP, and consequently the least-effective single Will Oldham's yet released. Beginning with the inexplicable couplet, "If I could f*ck a mountain/Lord, I would f*ck a mountain," the song's weirdly jaunty melody quickly grows tedious, and although on the LP it serves as part of a much bigger picture, when stripped of its proper context it's completely lifeless. Much better is the flip side, "(End Of) Travelling," which complements one of Oldham's most passionate vocals with a swooning pedal steel lead. [Both songs reappeared on the four-song Mountain EP; "(End Of) Travelling" also turns up on the essential Lost Blues and Other Songs compilation.]