Driving the Last Spike

Last updated
"Driving the Last Spike"
Song by Genesis
from the album We Can't Dance
RecordedMarch September 1991
Genre Progressive rock
Length10:08
Label Charisma/Virgin (UK), Atlantic Records (US)
Songwriter(s) Lyrics - Phil Collins
Music - Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford
Producer(s) Nick Davis, Genesis

"Driving the Last Spike" is the third track on the Genesis album We Can't Dance , released in 1991.

Contents

The song's lyrics by Phil Collins are about the Navvies: railway workers of the 19th century, many of whom died constructing Britain's railways. The song narrates the thoughts and feelings of an unnamed railway worker in the form of a soliloquy or internal monologue. The title is a phrase meaning the completion of a major railway project—placing the "last spike" is often a momentous occasion. The original idea came from a book that actor Dennis Waterman gave to Collins.

Despite not being released as a single, "Driving the Last Spike" charted in Canada and the United States, peaking at number 51 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and number 25 on the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

Personnel

Live performances

"Driving the Last Spike" was performed live only on the band's 1992 The Way We Walk [1] Tour. The second half of the song (starting at 5:41) was transposed to a lower key starting after the first nine shows of the tour. This was done to accommodate Collins' deepening voice without straining. (A recording of an early performance of "Driving the Last Spike" was released as an Atlantic Records promo CD featuring the entire song in the album key.)

"Driving the Last Spike" was featured on the live album The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs , and the live DVD The Way We Walk - Live in Concert .

Charts

Chart (1992)Peak
position
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [2] 51
US Mainstream Rock ( Billboard ) [3] 25

See also

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References