“Downtown Train” was a song originally recorded by Tom Waits in 1985. In 1989, Rod Stewart recorded a cover of the song and included it on the Storyteller – The Complete Anthology: 1964-1990 release. “Downtown Train” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January of 1990.
This song was released when I was in the ninth grade, and I fell in love with the song instantly. There was just something about the sound of it musically that grabbed me, and Rod’s vocal performance sounded like he really meant what he said. At the time, I had no idea that it was a cover song; that was something I learned a little later. Unfortunately, as of this writing, I haven’t had the opportunity to hear the original Tom Waits recording in order to compare the two of them.
To this day, I still love Rod’s rendition of “Downtown Train,” and it still ranks as one of my favorite Rod Stewart songs of all-time.
The video isn’t anything terribly fancy, but it does provide a kind of story that ties in with the lyrics of the song. It’s a good video for what it is, and I still enjoy watching it over 20 years later.