Thursday, September 8, 2016

A version

The other recurring feature on this blog hasn't been seen in a while either. Final Songs, that is. I still have ideas, but haven't developed them in a bit. One of these days.

"Version City" wouldn't be eligible, because it's not  the last track on the album it originates on. On Sandinista! it is the last coherent song before the dub instrumentals and "children sing the Clash" covers. It seems self-aware, too, that the start of side six is the end of the road in some ways. Hence Joe Strummer's - if it's him - bout of Stanshall-esque surreal comedy.


semiconscious said...

great song, & i agree, very self-aware (as well as somewhat mythically autobiographical?). then again, when it comes to blues/rock, train songs've always been some of the best songs (with the kinks 'last of the steam powered trains' being a particular personal favorite). another couple, which i just recently re-familiarized myself with, & which i hadn't heard in at least a couple decades: 'gone dead train', the song that played over the end credits of the movie 'performance', & 'train to nowhere', by savoy brown...

Ben said...

I think you're onto something with the "mythically autobiographical" observation. It's a train song about train songs, but it's also (primarily?) about the fascination they hold for Strummer.

The Kinks' "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" is of course one you can't not mention and admire. Ray Davies just wrote it the way no one else had even thought of. I also loved Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'" as well as George Thorogood cover. Beck's "Broken Train" follows the tradition nicely I think.