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26 June 2019

The Clash: “Train in Vain”

The Hook: The hidden track becomes the hit.

Album: London Calling

Year: 1979

Writer: Mick Jones

Stats: Peaked at number-23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: If you have an original vinyl copy of The Clash’s London Calling, there’s no mention of this song anywhere on it. Lead guitarist Mick Jones, who wrote and sings lead on “Train in Vain,” explains why.

“We did it last, the very last song of the LP. And we have this weekly music paper, the NME, at home and it was originally going to go out on that. But when it turned out, we said we’re not going to give it away, because it’s really good. The album artwork was already gone to press, so we put the record on, but it wasn’t mentioned on the record. And then it just sort of came out and it was, like, a big success.”