Don’t Miss the Train

Train in Vain18 tracks weren’t enough for the illustrious London Calling, the third studio album by the legendary misfits of genre-bending punks, The Clash. Unofficially hidden, or rather lopped on after the appropriate concluder Revolution Rock, the third and final single stemming forth from this prodigious album, Train in Vain (not unlike a retaliatory missile, or the first bullet fired during a revolutionary riot), was originally written and recorded as a giveaway track for the publication NME (or New Musical Express… I just found out), and was to be released as a flexi-disc single through the magazine… something that, for whatever reason, never came to be.

Certainly not news to the astute a-Clash-ionado, this little nugget of info explains why London Calling ends perfectly (with Revolution Rock), then spits out an unscheduled, and unwanted encore with Train in Vain. This is certainly not to say TiV is a song of lesser listening value, rather its inclusion on London Calling, or its position therein rustles the feathers of album perfection. Since London Calling is the closest thing to a perfect album as is (save maybe for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, This is Tim Hardin, The Shape of Punk to Come, Paul’s Boutique, Circa: Now!, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, or Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde) it really doesn’t matter.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Miss the Train

    • I can’t even imagine what a Clash show would have been like. I think my mind would explode if I’d ever had the opportunity. What year did you see them? How were they live compared to their studio sound? Cherish that memory (or break it up and sell it! I know some viable buyers!)

      • Hi – the date was Tuesday January 8, 1980 – and they were just fantastic. I can’t remember much about it really except it left the imprint on my brain – and that I needed to borrow some cash from my friend Andy to buy a Clash tee-shirt at the gig. It was a fairly small venue and the crowd was lively. Perhaps the best moment of the the UK punk scene – from someone who decided not to go and see the Sex Pistols in Manchester in ’76 days after the Bill Grundy incident even though I had a ticket. Missed opportunities!

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