In the music world, there are some things you hear about and can't help but laugh - like Tommy Lee getting kicked out of Motley Crue and replaced by a female drummer or the Scorpions making an industrial dance album - and then there are those things that are just so absolutely misguided that, even after weeks of trying to wrap one's head around it, continued to defy all earthly logic.
Train Does Led Zeppelin II so emphatically falls into the latter category that you almost wish they'd released it on April 1st.
What next, Matchbox 20 Does Black Sabbath? Three Doors Down Does The Doors?
To my ears, the only thing Train and Led Zep have in common is a well-documented penchant for "creative borrowing" of others' tunes.
Of course, Train's real talent seems to be continuing to add hits to their already-sizable catalog without anyone noticing they're still around. For all the albums they've released (the Zep covers collection is their ninth studio effort), this writer would bet a months' salary that most reading this couldn't name three of them if their lives depended on it
If Train and Nickelback toured together, you'd have the first tour where every show sold out but nobody admitted attending.
Ultimately what separates Train and Nickelback is that most of us couldn't name a single Nickelback song, yet there are at least two Train songs readily on the tips of our tongues should the convo ever turn to "annoying songs the radio won't stop playing".
Funnily enough, though I can't name a Nickelback song,, I certainly know one when I hear it Basically anything that sounds like an Air Supply song with layers and layers of Tom Scholz-ian guitars as played by your local Guitar Center manager and then compressed until every shred of humanity has been removed,
Though they've been around longer, Train aren't quite as "inhuman" and, thus, they don't sell nearly as many tickets. I suspect that mostly has to do with just how invisible the band's rise to platinum has been. We all know Train, but few of us know what they look like. They could be sitting next to us on the plane and we wouldn't even suspect.
And with every new Train song that hits the airwaves, there is a collective GASP, as if to say "Seriously, ANOTHER fucking Train song?" It's not that we begrudge them their success, but for a band with no face, no personality, and a reeeeeeealy dull name sure keeps pumping out the hits.
Imagine starting out...you're looking for your first gig...what's your band called? "Train?"
Not even Blue Train or Steel Train or Love Train...just Train.
If it had been up to them, "Matchbox 20" would just be, you know, "Meh".
Legend has it that when Billy Corgan told Metro booker and soon-to-be-manager Joe Shanahan that his band was called Smashing Pumpkins, Shanahan BEGGED him to change it. In a way, I applaud Billy for sticking to his guns and ultimately becoming rich and famous despite one of the absolute worst band names ever.
So the talent booker at Slurpy's Beer Shack takes pity on Train a gives them their first gig. Their on a bill with eight other bands:
Thick Stench Of Decay
Stiff Middle Finger
Manson's Tool Shed
Dick Twist & The Hey Don't Do Thats
Death By Technicality
Rockin' Gandhi & The Flip Flops
Destroy All Machines
And somehow they clawed their way to headlining status. I mean, nobody will admit to ever giving them that slot, but they did and, before long, a major label came along. I dunno which one because no record company has actually owned up to it yet.
Whoever it is will certainly have their work cut out for them trying to move copies of Train Does Led Zeppelin II because even despite the non-April 1 release date, most still think this is a joke.