Spanish Train and Other Stories

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Spanish Train and Other Stories
Spanishtraincover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 November 1975
RecordedRamport and Scorpio Studios
GenreRock
Length43:28
LabelA&M
ProducerRobin Geoffrey Cable
Chris de Burgh chronology
Far Beyond These Castle Walls
(1974)
Spanish Train and Other Stories
(1975)
At the End of a Perfect Day
(1977)
Alternative cover
Non-European releases
Non-European releases
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Spanish Train and Other Stories is the second album by Chris de Burgh, released by A&M Records in 1975.

Releases in some markets eg. Canada and the USA used different cover art than those in Europe. Rather than the simple white-on-black text of the European releases, the North American releases depicted an image of a train speeding through an evening sky.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Spanish Train" – 5:00
  2. "Lonely Sky" – 3:52
  3. "This Song For You" – 4:14
  4. "Patricia the Stripper" – 3:30
  5. "A Spaceman Came Travelling" – 5:10
  6. "I'm Going Home" – 3:34
  7. "The Painter" – 4:20
  8. "Old Friend" – 3:40
  9. "The Tower" – 5:22
  10. "Just Another Poor Boy" – 4:46

All songs written by Chris de Burgh.

Personnel[edit]

  • Chris de Burgh – acoustic guitars, lead and all backing vocals, piano on "The Tower" and "This Song For You"
  • Barry de Souza – drums
  • Ray Glynn – electric guitars
  • Lennox Laington – percussion
  • Tony Hymas – keyboards
  • Tony Reeves – bass, string bass on "A Spaceman Came Travelling"
  • Phillip Goodhand-Tait – harmonium
  • Chris Laurence – string bass
  • Ken Freeman – string synthesizer
  • Chris Mercer – saxophone on "The Painter"
  • Mick Eves – saxophone on "The Painter"
Technical
  • The Strings, Choir, Recorders and Ocarinas on "The Tower" and "Lonely Sky" were arranged by Robert Kirby who also arranged the brass for "Old Friend" and "This Song For You"
  • David Hentschel arranged and performed synthesizer on "A Spaceman Came Travelling"
  • Richard Hewson arranged the strings and brass for "Just Another Poor Boy" and "Spanish Train"
  • Mixed at Scorpio and AIR Studios.
  • Engineered by Robin Geoffrey Cable, assisted by Mark Dobson, Ian Major and John Kelly.
  • Front and Back Illustrations: Bill Imhoff
  • Inside Photography: Clive Arrowsmith
  • Art Direction: Fabio Nicoli
  • Design: Junie Osaki

Chart positions[edit]

UK Chart Positions
Date Position Comment
31 August 1985 48 New Entry
7 September 1985 37 Highest & Final Entry

Controversy[edit]

The title track is a story about a train carrying the souls of the dead to the Underworld. Jesus and Lucifer are playing Poker - gambling with the souls. Lucifer cheats and wins the game. The song finishes with the stanza:

And far away in some recess
The Lord and the Devil are now playing chess,
The Devil still cheats and wins more souls,
And as for the Lord, well, he's just doing his best...

— "Spanish Train"

The song was deemed blasphemous in South Africa, and a ban was ordered. A&M records sued to get the ban overturned - the suit was eventually successful. However, while the suit was in progress, A&M released the album under the title "Lonely Sky and Other Stories" (without "Spanish Train"). This album is considered a collector's item today - copies are extremely rare. Perversely, the ban only applied to the LP record, so the cassette issue of Spanish Train was always freely available.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]