Train

  • Rock group formed in 1993 from San Francisco California. Original members were Patrick Monahan (vocals, percussion), Rob Hotchkiss (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Charlie Colin (bass guitar), and Scott Underwood (drums).
  • Monahan had been playing with a Led Zeppelin cover band in Pennsylvania. When the band split up in late 1993, he moved to California, where he met Hotchkiss, who was performing at coffee houses and clubs. They decided to form a band, and they recruited the other musicians in 1994, naming themselves Train.
  • Unable to get interest from a record company, they independently released an album, the self titled Train, in 1996. The music was popular, and they found themselves touring as the opening act for established bands like Hootie & the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies.
  • Record companies now noticed, and the band was signed in 1998. The debut album was re-released with a different track listing. Three singles were released – Free, Meet Virginia and I Am. Meet Virginia peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and ultimately the album sold over 1 million copies. Train had become rock stars.
  • Their second album was released in 2001. Drops of Jupiter was a huge success, thanks to the song of the same name, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written in remembrance of Monahan’s mother, who had died of cancer a year before it was written. The band won 2 Grammy awards for the song. The album has sold over 2 million copies – their largest selling album. Two other singles from the album – Something More and She’s On Fire – also were popular.
  • In 2003, My Private Nation was released. Hotchkiss contributed to 6 of the 11 songs on the album, but suddenly left the band, resenting that the band was not so receptive to his writing. The album sold well, and the single Calling All Angels became Train’s third top 20 hit. Colin also left the band later that year, due to substance abuse.
  • An album was released in 2005 that was not commercially successful. Following this, the band took a break for several years to be with family.
  • Train returned to music in 2009, releasing the album Save Me, San Francisco. The single Hey, Soul Sister was a mega-hit, by far their biggest hit of all time, selling over 6 million songs, and winning them another Grammy award. Their follow up to the album, 2012’s California 37, was their highest charting album, reaching #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and the single Drive By sold over 3 million copies.
  • Four more albums have been released since California 37, including a Christmas album and a cover album of Led Zeppelin’s second album called Train Does Led Zeppelin II. Their most recent album, A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat, was released in 2017. It includes the single Play That Song which uses the melody of the Hoagy Carmichael/Frank Loesser 1938 standard, Heart and Soul. The single has racked up more than 1 million copies sold/streamed since its release.
  • In total, Train has released 10 studio albums, 2 live albums, 4 EPs and 30 singles.
  • When you look at pop rock in the 00s, you have to look at Train as part of that sound. They’ve been very popular and still have managed to maintain an indie and alternative aura about themselves. It clearly is Monahan’s band, particularly since long time guitarist Jimmy Stafford left the band early this year. I always feel good hearing a Train song. Listen and watch the feel good video Play That Song – you’ll hear the Heart and Soul melody throughout, and you will enjoy the choreography. I promise.

1 thought on “Train”

  1. Love the group. Play That Song is fun. An updated version of Heart and Soul.

    Also like Hey Soul Sister. Who didn’t?

Leave a Reply to Tim Lenartz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *