"Last Train to Clarksville" was the debut single by The Monkees, released August 16, 1966, and later included on the group's 1966 self-titled album, that was released on October 10, 1966. The song was recorded at RCA Victor Studio B in Hollywood, on July 25, 1966. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 on November 5, 1966.
The song has been compared to The Beatles' "Paperback Writer", both in the style of "jangly" guitar and the chord structure. It also resembles the guitar riff in "Blue's Theme", by Davie Allan and the Arrows, from the Peter Fonda biker movie The Wild Angels. The opening/recurring guitar riff on the song "Find Your Way Back", written by Craig Chaquico and performed by Jefferson Starship on their 1980 album Modern Times, is almost identical to the one on "Last Train" in note structure, but very dissimilar in tempo and meter.
The plot comprises a phone call from a military person to his wife / girlfriend, requesting that she 'get the last train to Clarksville' in order to have one last night together before he has to leave on his morning train. He doesn't know when he will return, so this may be a long or dangerous assignment.
Though the Clarksville in the song's...