Greg Phillinganes brings the dreamy ‘80s synths to John Mayer’s one-take ballad version of Last Train Home

We might have just had Halloween, but every day is Valentine’s Day in John Mayer’s world; witness his sensual new ballad version of Last Train Home, the lead single from 2021 album Sob Rock.

The 10 synths and drum machines that defined the '80s

Recorded live and in one take, this slowed-down slice of even sobbier rock features David Ryan Harris on acoustic guitar and vocals, Sean Hurley on bass, Aaron Sterling on drums, Lenny Castro on percussion and keyboard session legend Greg Phillinganes on keys.

Phillinganes is in full-on ‘80s mode here, pulling out some dreamy pads to back up Mayer’s guitar histrionics.

John Mayer

(Image credit: Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Images)

Premiering the track, Mayer said on Facebook (opens in new tab): “Releasing an album is the beginning of the journey, not the end… once you’ve built the world, you can then embark on side quests to find what else might be hiding inside the songs.”

Adding that “you can’t do it without a band like this,” he describes the track as “six minutes of something you couldn’t do a second time no matter how hard you tried. A room full of musicians capturing the same moment together.”

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.