Saturday, October 26, 2019

Certain Songs #1666: The Psychedelic Furs – “Into You Like a Train” | Medialoper

Album: Talk Talk Talk
Year: 1981

As different as the U.S. and U.K. versions of Talk Talk Talk were, they fully agreed on one point: side two needed to start off with “Into You Like a Train,” the incredibly unsubtle fuck song that featured a typical pummeling Vince Ely drumbeat and a near-perfect mix of roaring guitars, soaring sax and pouring keyboards.

Back in the fall of 1981, I was a learning how to be a DJ at the pre-on-air KFSR — broadcasting down the hall to the KFSR office!! (and maybe the dorms, though I never believed that) — one of my most vivid memories of that time is putting on “Into You Like a Train,” and just fucking turning the studio monitor up as high as it would go, trying to get taken away by the overwhelming momentum of it all.

And why not? Train songs should have that kind of momentum, even if they’re only metaphorically about trains, and “Into You Like A Train” has momentum in spades, starting with Ely’s kick-drum heavy beat, totally and completely unrelenting. Kinda like Butler’s lust.

No kind of love
No kind of love

I don’t wanna make no scene
Lovers come and go
Or make you Mrs. Anyone
Or make you Mr. Me

I’m into you like a train
Into you like a train
Into you like a train

Check out how Ely — already hitting all of his drums at once like five Mo Tuckers — somehow ramps it up at the end of each chorus. It’s utterly remarkable, and a big big reason I love this song so much.

In the meantime, the guitars of John Ashton and Roger Morris are wrapping around each other like lovers in while Duncan Kilburn’s sax is trying to make it a threesome; no matter where you look it’s all white light white heat up in here, sweaty noisy and fun as all hell, especially on the bridges, when there’s a keyboard flourish that may or may not be singing “into you” over and over again, but also sets up what I think might be the bridge.

If you believe that anyone
Like me within a song
Is outside it all
Then you are all so wrong

If you believe that anyone
Like me within a song
Would try and change it all
Then you have been put on

And yet, and yet, the ending of “Into You Like a Train” kinda makes me sad. Or maybe nostalgic. Butler has stopped singing, though everybody else is on full throttle, and Kilburn comes out with an almost mournful sax riff a couple of times before the fade, and it’s like turning around and watching my youthful innocence fade away into the distance or something.

Or it could be because the song is ending, and I want it to last forever now.

“Into You Like a Train”

“Into You Like a Train” live in Germany, 1981

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