D. Train

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For the New York City Subway service, see D (New York City Subway service). For other uses, see D Train (disambiguation).
James "D-Train" Williams
D. Train image.jpg
Background information
Origin New York City
Genres R&B
Post-Disco
Boogie
Funk
Dance
Soul
Instruments James "D-Train" Williams (vocals)
Hubert Eaves III
(keyboards, bass, drums)
Years active 1980–1985
Labels Prelude Records
Columbia/CBS Records
Past members James "D-Train" Williams
Hubert Eaves III

D. Train (sometimes written as D-Train, D Train or "D" Train) was an American R&B duo that scored several significant hits on both the Billboard Dance and R&B charts during the first half of the 1980s.

Overview[edit]

The project was a collaborative effort between the band's namesake, James "D-Train" Williams, who was featured as the lead vocalist and songwriter, and Hubert Eaves III, a keyboardist and producer, who performed the instrumentation on the recordings. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Williams himself was a R&B-dance producer as well. He and Eaves met during high school and began performing together. Eaves would spend most of the 1970s as a member of the R&B band Mtume. However, by the 1980s, he and Williams had teamed up again. The group named itself D-Train after a nickname Williams had acquired as a football player in high school.

D-Train released its first single "You're the One for Me" in late 1981. The track became an instant success, hitting #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart that year; it was remixed and re-released successfully several times since and was contemporaneously covered by Paul Hardcastle with vocalist Kevin Henry in the United Kingdom. The duo's self-titled debut album (which prominently featured the "You're the One for Me" title on the front cover, and the album became known by this name) followed in early 1982, and several additional singles from this effort were successful on both the R&B and Dance charts, although they were not as popular as the debut hit. Among these tracks were "Keep On", which reached #2 on the Dance chart, and a cover version of the Burt Bacharach- and Hal David-penned "Walk on By," which owed more to the Isaac Hayes version than to Dionne Warwick's original recording.

In 1983, the band released its follow-up album, Music. The title track became another dance-floor anthem and is the most gospel-infused of D-Train's floor fillers.[citation needed] This track nearly equalled the success of the group's debut single. Several other singles from the album were moderately successful.

In 1984, D-Train had its only Billboard Hot 100 entry with "Something's on Your Mind," which climbed to #79 and was later covered by Miles Davis on his album You're Under Arrest. The single also cracked the top five on the R&B chart, becoming the group's biggest hit in that market as well. The accompanying album, also titled Something's on Your Mind, found the band branching out into new musical territory, incorporating elements of reggae and more adult contemporary-oriented R&B into their music.[1] Williams himself played acoustic guitar on a cover of Carole King's "So Far Away."

A greatest hits album titled You're the One for Me-The Very Best of D-Train was issued in several European countries in 1985 [1]. Featured on this compilation was a remixed version of "You're the One for Me" and the tune charted a second time that year. This version was remixed by Paul Hardcastle, who had previously issued a cover version of the song and, by 1985, had become well known for his own hit "19." Despite this success, the group would disband that same year.

Williams as a solo artist[edit]

Following the dissolution of D-Train the band, Williams embarked on a moderately successful solo career. Although he was billed as a solo artist, however, he did continue to work with Eaves acting as a producer and key instrumentalist. In 1986, Williams released his debut album, Miracles of the Heart, which featured a Top Ten R&B single, "Misunderstanding." The follow-up single, "Oh, How I Love You, Girl" also performed well in the R&B market.

His second album, In Your Eyes followed in 1988. The title track narrowly missed the R&B Top Ten, and one other single was also released.

Legacy[edit]

D-Train's albums were eventually rereleased on CDs on Unidisc Music, which acquired Prelude Records and several other New York dance-music labels during the 1990s.

The song "You're the One for Me" exists in remixes by Larry Levan and Shep Pettibone, and most recently was sampled by DJ Kue in his 2006 hit "I Got Love." "You're the One for Me" is also sampled in the song "Girls" by the Prodigy from its album Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned.

D-Train contributed to the Pokémon anime's "Pokérap" on the official television soundtrack, 2BA Master.

In 1999 D-Train did the backup vocal for Eyes Of A Child a song written by Trey Parker and Performed by Michael McDonald for the film South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut.

Williams was hired as a DJ for Heart & Soul Channel 51 on the Sirius Satellite Radio service based in New York from 2001 to 2008. In 2007, his performances of "My Funny Valentine" and Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" appeared on the soundtrack of the film Perfect Stranger.

The Notorious B.I.G.'s Sky's The Limit interpolates part of D-Train's 1982 song "Keep On."

Rapper Yo-Yo's "Iz It Still All Good" sampled D-Train's "Something's on Your Mind," which featured Gerald LeVert, in 1998.

In 2007, ex-Moloko frontwoman Roisin Murphy issued her second solo album, Overpowered. In interviews and radio appearances, she cited disco music as a major inspiration and noted D-Train's "Keep On." For the Overpowered tour, Murphy medleyed the extended version of "Keep On" (in the form of audio samples from the original featuring Williams' vocals) with her own composition "Let Me Know." The song was the only composition in Murphy's set list that was not co-written by herself.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Name Label Format U.S.
1982 You're the One for Me Prelude, Unidisc Records LP, CD 128
1983 Music Prelude, Unidisc Records LP, CD
1984 Something's On Your Mind Prelude, Unidisc Records LP, CD

James "D'Train" Williams solo albums[edit]

Year Album Name Label Format U.S.
1986 Miracles of the Heart Columbia Records CD
1988 In Your Eyes Columbia Records CD
2009 701 Franklin Ave. Jungshin Inc. CD

Singles[edit]

Year Song U.S. Dance U.S. R&B U.S. Pop UK[2]
1982 "Keep On" 2 15
"Walk on By" 45 42 44
"D" Train's Theme"
"You're the One for Me" 1 13 30
1983 "Keep Giving Me Love" 24 55 65
"Music" 12 20 23
"Something's on Your Mind" 5 79
1985 "Just Another Night (Without Your Love)" 59
"You're the One for Me" (remix) 15

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ D. Train- Something's on Your Mind @allmusic.com
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 133. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]