Buried Treasure: Foo Fighters – A320

Godzilla Soundtrack
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Buried Treasure is a semi-regular feature that explores some hidden musical gems – the rare and forgotten B-sides, covers, hidden tracks, live versions and alternative takes that deserve some recognition.

The Godzilla film that came out in 1998 was crap. The soundtrack that came with it was also fairly weak.

It starts off badly. First we have Bob Dylan’s son stripping David Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’ of any appeal. This is followed by P. Diddy posturing and say “uh” a lot over the top of Led Zepplin’s ‘Kashmir’.

With the exception of a few OK tracks, this album must be a collection of the lamest songs that existed in the  90’s “alternative” scene. Even the Rage Against The Machine song “No Shelter” ironically critiques the film it was commissioned to be written for. The best song would have to be a remix of Green Day’s ‘Brain Stew’, although I find it humourous that the remixing consists of a drum pattern played on the bell of a ride cymbal and Godzilla roars and growls scattered throughout the song.

Why did I bother to buy the CD then? Two reasons:

1) it only cost me $1

2) it features a rare Foo Fighters song called ‘A320’.

‘A320’ is a long song (almost six minutes long). It is also quite unlike anything else the Foo Fighters had released, at least until Dave Grohl decided to double the size of his band in 2006 for the Skin and Bones tour. The main things that sets this song apart is the inclusion of a string section. It’s soft and slow building, almost like a lullaby. To be honest the song is pretty unexciting until it hits the breakdown. This is when the going gets good. During the breakdown the Foos grunge it up with a filthy distorted riff, sloshy cymbals and squealing guitars. This follows on from then on. The grungy rock band actually sounds pretty good coupled with the orchestral string section.

Foo Fighters fans should find ‘A320’ fairly interesting, seeing as how it’s a departure from their usual sound. It’s not the most exciting song that they’ve ever written, but it sounds pretty epic by the time it comes to an end.

Joseph James

Buried Treasure: The Clash – Train In Vain

The Clash London Calling Vinyl Album Cover
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Buried Treasure is a semi-regular feature that explores some hidden musical gems – the rare and forgotten B-sides, covers, hidden tracks, live versions and alternative takes that deserve some recognition.

A few years ago when I was visiting my family in Nelson our neighbour came over for a chat. He already knew that I liked punk music. He couldn’t help it, really – he’d had to put up with hearing me practicing drum most evenings throughout my teenage years. And somehow he’d heard that I had started collecting vinyl records. He invited me over and generously gifted to me two LPs from his childhood: 999’s eponymous début, and The Clash’s London Calling. Our neighbour was probably the last person I would have expected to have listened to punk music in his youth, but I was delighted with his present nevertheless, and thanked him for it.

Which leads us to the song in focus for this segment of Buried Treasure: ‘Train in Vain‘, by The Clash, off the album London Calling.

First off, this song is well-known. It was actually a single. But it was also a hidden track on London Calling, so it counts as a Buried Treasure entry.

The Clash London Calling (1)                          The Clash London Calling (4)                               

                        No mention of the song ‘Train in Vain’, the last track on side D.

The song is considered hidden because it didn’t feature on the track listing. The song was initially designated to be on a promotional disc for NME magazine, but when that plan fell through the members of the band made a last-minute decision to include the song on London Calling instead. The album sleeves had already been printed though, so instead of opting to re-print with an updated track listing and additional lyrics, they decided to leave the extra song on the album unlisted, as a bonus surprise for their fans.

It’s a fairly upbeat song, led by piano and drums with open and closed hi-hats punctuating throughout. There is also some faint harmonica at times that adds to the pleasantry. However, despite the cheeriness of the music, the lyrics discuss a difficult relationship. Mick Jones, who penned the song, would often catch the train to visit his girlfriend. His efforts proved unfruitful, hence the title: ‘Train in Vain’.

Joseph James