Train holds a very special place in my heart. Mainly due to the fact it is the one band my wife and I enjoy together. We have seen them in concert at least 4 or 5 times and twice we took our kids. For my wife and I, there is just something special about their songs and their music.
We like them so much we even paid for the Meet & Greet on one of their tours as an anniversary present for ourselves. They were extremely pleasant and gracious. If you haven’t seen them live, you must. Pat Monahan is a great frontman as he is energetic, funny and he makes you feel like you are part of the show.
We also like them because my brother-in-law was the recording engineer on their Drops of Jupiter album for which he received a Grammy nomination (he didn’t win). Maybe I can get him to tell us about that experience for another time.
Train has been playing together since 1993 and after over 20 years are still going strong. The original band members were Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford, Scott Underwood, Rob Hotchkiss and Charlie Colin. Currently, the only remaining original members are Pat & Jimmy.
They are getting ready to release their 9th studio album (includes their Christmas album) which is a covers album of Led Zeppelin II called “Train does Led Zeppelin II”. In honor of this release, I thought I would look back at the 20 best Train songs.
Here we go:
20. “Get Out” off For Me Its You – The only song off For Me Its You that makes my list. This was my least favorite Train album but I had to pick a song off this album to make the list. It was an easy choice as this is truly my favorite on that album as it is a good uptempo song with a catchy chorus. And sometimes you just want to tell people to “Get Out”.
19. “Lincoln Avenue” off My Private Nation – When I hear this song it takes me back to the street I grew up on (which was not Lincoln Avenue) and all those memories. I enjoy going back to the time so I enjoy playing this song a lot.
18. “You Already Know” off Save Me, San Francisco – Starts off with a slow build and goes into an uptempo beat that just makes for a fun song. You can’t help but sing along with the chorus.
17. “Angels in Blue Jeans” off Bulletproof Picasso – Train changed it up with a western style feel to the song. The video goes along with that cowboy theme (and Danny Trejo is in it so it must be great). My youngest really likes this song so that is why it holds a special place for me just the fact she enjoys something by an artist that I enjoy so much.
16. “She’s On Fire” off Drops of Jupiter – The opening track to Drops of Jupiter and the third single off the album. It had moderate success on the radio but it is one of my favorites off that album. I like the guitar sound on this song and Pat’s voice is great as always.
15. “If It’s Love” off Save Me, San Francisco – On a lot of Train’s songs, their choice of words in their lyrics is so purposeful and they throw in all these pop culture references that makes their songs so enjoyable to listen and I mean really listen to what he is singing. A lot of songs on this list will have that style and this is the first of many.
14. “Bulletproof Picasso” off Bulletproof Picasso – I love their songwriting and this is another great example of their lyrical talent. Just listen to the lyrics and you will see it is a different kind of love song.
13. “Calling All Angels” off My Private Nation – The first single off the album and I feel they were trying to capture some of the magic from the song “Drops of Jupiter” and they succeeded. The song is about commitment and you walk away singing the song in your head even after it is finished.
12. “I’m About to Come Alive” off My Private Nation – A beautiful ballad both musically and lyrically about a struggling relationship and the one partner asking to not give up on them just yet. It is very moving.
11. “New Sensation” off Alive at Last – When I heard the 2 studio tracks off the live album I was hoping this was the direction the band was heading into for their next album. The song was a little heavier song than you are used to from the band. I liked the harder rocking edge to it and was disappointed when they released For Me It’s You and I discovered that was not the direction they were heading.
10. “Drive By” off California 37 – Another upbeat song with fast lyrics and a good beat. The song seems to be about convincing the other person that you are committed and not a quick one night stand. That is how I interpret the song.
9. “When I Look to the Sky” off My Private Nation – Another ballad and I love the way Pat Monahan dances with his lyrics. His delivery of his lyrics is impeccable and done like not many other singers. There is always so much feeling in his voice and you can’t help but feel it as well.
8. “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” off California 37 – This song is just pure and utter fun. It starts off with a mariachi band, kicks in the drum and just loads up on fast, fun and crazy lyrics. Absolutely love it. Another of my kids favorite songs. Whenever we pass a “crappy, purple Scion”, we think of this song. And David Hasselhoff is in the video – even better!!!
7. “Ordinary” off Alive At Last – The song was on the Soundtrack for Spiderman 2. Along with “New Sensation”, this is another of their harder edged songs and why I thought they were going to change it up a little with their next album. Overall, an awesome hard song (ok, hard for Train).
6. “California 37” off California 37 – Probably their shortest song at just 2:12. Lyrically this song feels like Pat is just getting a lot off his chest and it works. Very different from their normal songs which is why I like it. Short, sweet and to the point.
5. “Give it All” off Bulletproof Picasso – This could be the most powerful song they have ever written. It is about what you would give up to spend one more night with the one you love. The video for this song is absolutely breathtaking. It blends the beauty of music and dance and is just so well done. If there is one video out of the 20 you watch, make it this one.
4. “Hey, Soul Sister” off Save Me, San Francisco – The song that brought Train back into the public eye after taking a little break. The song is fun and it is one of their great lyrical songs. Another with well placed lyrics and pop culture references. This was also the songs my kid really became introduced to Train and when they became fans.
3. “Bruises (feat. Ashley Monroe)” off California 37 – A wonderful duet between Pat Monahan and Ashley Monroe. If you don’t know Ashley Monroe, she is a country singer and part of the trio Pistol Annies. What is different about this duet is that they are talking back and forth throughout the song as if they were having a conversation. The theme of it the song is everyone has a past and it is that past that make us who we are.
2. “Meet Virginia” off Train – The song that started it all for me was “Meet Virginia”. At first I didn’t like it and didn’t know who Train was but each time I heard it, it got a little interesting until the point where I had to get the album. I grew to love Pat’s delivery and voice and I will always be a fan.
And #1. “Drops of Jupiter” off Drops of Jupiter – I don’t know where to begin about this song. This is pure lyrical perfection and paints such a vivid picture. The meaning behind the song had been debated for awhile. Most common belief is that it is a past relationship and having to find yourself before you can make the relationship work. Pat clears it up in a Behind the Music episode on VH1.
The process of creation wasn’t easy, according to frontman Pat Monahan: “I just couldn’t figure out what to write, but then I woke up from a dream about a year after my mother passed away with the words ‘back in the atmosphere,’” he remembers. “It was just her way of saying what it was like – she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair.”
All I know is that it is one of my all time favorite songs and is so beautifully written. It never gets old.
If you aren’t that familiar with Train, listen to these songs and you will be. Once you are hooked go get caught up on all their songs as there are a bunch more that are great that didn’t make my list as I wanted to keep it to 20. It was really hard to narrow it down.