Last Train (song)

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"Last Train"
Last Train-Anu.jpg
12" single cover
Single by Christine Anu and Paul Kelly
A-side"Last Train"
Released20 September 1993
Format12" single, CD single, cassette single
Recorded1993, Alberts Studios, Sydney
LabelWhite Label
Songwriter(s)Paul Kelly, Peter Crosbie, Angelique Cooper
Producer(s)Angelique Cooper, Peter Crosbie
Christine Anu singles chronology
"Last Train"
"Monkey & the Turtle"
Paul Kelly singles chronology
"When I First Met Your Ma"
"Last Train"
"Song from the Sixteenth Floor"

"Last Train to Heaven" is a song written by Paul Kelly for the album, Gossip (September 1986), which was performed by his group, Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls. It was re-written as "Last Train", a dance-orientated remake, and is the first single released by Christine Anu. Anu and Kelly performed "Last Train" as a duet, which was issued on 20 September 1993 and peaked at No. 93 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart in the following month.[1] It was listed at No. 61 on national radio, Triple J's Hottest 100 for 1993.


In 1986 Paul Kelly wrote "Last Train to Heaven"[2] as the lead track of the debut album, Gossip, by his group Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls. The album was issued in September that year on Mushroom Records while Kelly was living in Sydney.[3][4]

Early in the 1990s Anu and Kelly met each other when she was a dancer with Bangarra Dance Company and he was touring Queensland.[5] During 1992 while still at her dance company Anu started singing backing vocals with Neil Murray's group, The Rainmakers.[6][7] Murray encouraged her to sing lead vocals and she signed with the White Label, a subsidiary of Mushroom Records.[6] By early 1993 Kelly had relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Vanguard Records to tour the United States as a solo artist.[3]

Kelly had stayed in the US for nine months and upon his return to Australia he was contacted by Mushroom Records to collaborate with Anu.[3][6] With record producers, Angelique Cooper and Peter Crosbie, Kelly co-wrote "Last Train",[8] as a dance remix of "Last Train to Heaven". As a duo Anu and Kelly recorded "Last Train" with Anu on lead vocals, Kelly on acoustic guitar and backing vocals and guest artist MC Opi's toasting. Anu praised Mushroom Records "[t]hey were really helpful in giving me my first song to record (Paul Kelly's 'Last Train'), and there was always the idea of we're going to get together and write songs — collaborate with other people for experience sake".[6]

On 20 September 1993 the single was released on White Label (an alternative Mushroom Records label), which peaked at No. 93 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart in the following month.[1] It was listed at No. 61 on national radio station, Triple J's Hottest 100 for 1993.[9] In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph Anu reflected on working with Kelly, "I'm in reverence just being in the presence of this man, knowing so many of the songs that have touched my heart have come from him".[10]

"Last Train" was nominated for an ARIA Music Award at the 1994 ceremony for 'Best Video',[11][12] which was directed by Paul Elliot and Sally Bongers. It also provided Anu with a nomination for 'Breakthrough Artist – Single' and a nomination for Cooper as 'Producer of the Year'.[12]

On 29 July 1995 Anu promoted her debut album, Stylin' Up (June 1995), with a gig at The Metro in Sydney. The performance was recorded and included as a bonus live disc for the international release of the album, the disc included a live version of "Last Train".[13] Anu collaborated with Kelly again for her second album, Come My Way (September 2000),[5] where she recorded his track, "Beat of Your Heart", and the pair co-wrote "Jump to Love" together with Stuart Crichton.

Music and lyrics[edit]

"Last Train to Heaven" was described as a "mesmerizing gospel/reggae rocker" by L.A. Times' reviewer, Steve Hochman.[14] Allmusic's Mike DeGane found the lyrics were "sparse and repetitive" while the steel guitar conjured up a "hollow, distant feeling".[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Paul Kelly, Peter Crosbie, Angelique Cooper[8].

1."Last Train" (Master Mix)4:23
2."Last Train" (Groove Mix)5:13
3."Last Train" (Dub Mix)8:26


Recording details

  • Producing and arranging - Angelique Cooper, Peter Crosbie
  • Recording - Angelique Cooper
  • Programming - Peter Crosbie, Angelique Cooper
  • Mixing - Peter Cobbin


Format Country Label Catalogue No. Year
CD single AUS White Label D11565 1993
12" Single PRX 93/35
Cassette single C11565


  1. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  2. ^ ""Last Train to Heaven" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Paul Kelly'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Archived from the original on 30 September 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  4. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Paul Kelly". Australian Rock Database (Passagen). Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b Kelly, Paul (21 September 2010). How to Make Gravy. Camberwell, Vic: Penguin Books (Australia). pp. 266–268. ISBN 978-1-926428-22-2.
  6. ^ a b c d Armitage, Liz (20 July 1995). "Good Times: Movin' Up in Style". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 25. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  7. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Christine Anu". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 April 2002. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b ""Last Train" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Hottest 100, 1993". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  10. ^ Tschmuk, Peter; Pearce, Philip L.; Campbell, Steven (2013). Music Business and the Experience Economy: The Australasian Case. Springer. p. 37. ISBN 978-3-64227-898-3.
  11. ^ "ARIA Awards 1994: Winners by Year search". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  12. ^ a b "17th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 23 February 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2013. Note: User may be required to access archived information by selecting 'The History', then 'By Year', '8th Annual ARIA Awards (1994)', and 'Option Show Nominations'.
  13. ^ Stylin' Up (Media notes). Christine Anu. Mushroom Records International. 1995.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ Hochman, Steve (23 August 1987). "Aussie Treasure". L.A. Times. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  15. ^ DeGane, Mike. "Gossip - Paul Kelly & the Messengers". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 December 2013.

External links[edit]