Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
|"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight"|
|Single by The Jam|
|from the album All Mod Cons|
|B-side||"So Sad About Us / The Night"|
|Released||13 October 1978|
|The Jam singles chronology|
Keith Moon, who died shortly before the single's release
"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" was the second single taken from the album All Mod Cons by The Jam. Released on 13 October 1978, it reached #15 in the United Kingdom's Singles Chart on release. The single was backed by a cover version of The Who's song "So Sad About Us", and the song "The Night", written by Bruce Foxton. (Some copies of the single were pressed with "Down in the Tube Station" as the B side, with "So Sad About Us" and "The Night" appearing on the A Side).
Originally Paul Weller had wanted to exclude the song from the All Mod Cons long-player release, on the grounds that the arrangement had not sufficiently developed during the recording sessions. He was persuaded to include it by the record's producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven.
Lyrical theme and musical composition
The song tells the story of an unnamed narrator travelling on his own who enters a London Underground tube station at midnight to get the last train home, where he is attacked by a gang of skinheads as he buys a ticket from an automated machine. The song starts with the atmospheric sounds of a London Underground station, then a tense, syncopated beat carried by the bass guitar. The lyrics are sentimental, contrasting the warmth of home and domestic life with the dangers of 1970s London's urban decay and casual late-night violence. Tension is heightened by a heartbeat audio effect in the left stereo channel at points during the song.
The front cover photograph was taken at Bond Street tube station, on the westbound Central line. On the back cover was a portrait photograph of Keith Moon who had died a month prior to the single's release.
- Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine released a version of it as the B-side of their single release "Do Re Me So Far So Good" (1992).
- The Bad Shepherds covered the song in their album Yan, Tyan, Tethra, Methra! (2009).
- The Jam, The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001) accessed 8 November 2010.
- "The Jam: All Mod Cons Revisited". mojo4music.com.
- "CLASSIC TRACKS: The Jam 'The Eton Rifles' -". www.soundonsound.com.
- "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight by The Jam Songfacts". www.songfacts.com.
- "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight". snapgalleries.com.