|Single by The O'Jays|
|from the album Back Stabbers|
|B-side||"Who Am I"|
|Recorded||Summer 1971 to 1972|
|Genre||R&B, Philly soul, disco|
|Length||6:15 (extended version); 2:50 (single version)|
|Songwriter(s)||Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff|
|Producer(s)||Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff|
|The O'Jays singles chronology|
"Love Train" is a hit single by The O'Jays, written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Released in 1972, it reached number one on both the R&B Singles and the Billboard Hot 100, in February and March 1973 respectively, number 9 on the UK Singles Chart and was certified gold by the RIAA. It was The O'Jays' first and only number-one record on the US pop chart.
"Love Train" entered the Hot 100's top 40 on January 27, 1973, the same day that the Paris Peace Accords were signed. The song's lyrics of unity mention a number of countries, including England, Russia, China, Egypt and Israel, as well as the continent of Africa.
Recorded at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, the house band MFSB provided the backing. Besides its release as a single, "Love Train" was the last song on The O'Jays' album Back Stabbers. The O'Jays' "Love Train" was a 2006 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The music video shows a group of people forming a human chain near a railroad station, while at the same time, some railroad cars are shown in motion. Throughout the video, more people join in the chain, which they call the "Love Train". It was most likely filmed around the Northeast Corridor, as Long Island Rail Road MP75 railcars appear throughout the music video (in which the words "LONG ISLAND" are clearly visible), as well as Amtrak railcars and other railcars. Not much is known about the music video, although it was recorded in 1973.
By early 1974, The Supremes' line up (Wilson, Birdsong and Payne) adopted the song to perform in live appearances. Hall & Oates covered the song for the 1989 soundtrack to the film Earth Girls Are Easy, as well as Daryl Hall and his band joining the 2016 version of the O'Jays in a live version on Hall's "Live from Daryl's House" television show. The Rolling Stones played Love Train on their worldwide Licks Tour during 2002 and 2003. Roots rock 'n' roll band The Yayhoos' cover appeared on their 2006 release, "Put The Hammer Down." Gospel Group Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites covered this song in 2003.
A cover version was sung by Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden and Ron Funches in the opening of Trolls Holiday. Australian band Human Nature covered the song on their 2018 album Romance of the Jukebox.
In popular culture
- The song is featured in a number of Coors Light commercials.
- The song is featured in a Mug Root beer commercial from the mid 90s.
- The song is played in the King of the Hill episode "Nancy's Boys"
- The song is used in the episode My Dumb Luck of the TV series Scrubs.
- The song was also featured in the 1995 film Dead Presidents.
- The song plays during the final scene and end credits of the 1998 film The Last Days of Disco.
- The original O'Jays version of the song was used on the soundtrack to the 2015 film The Martian. It is played at the end of the film, just before the final credits.
- The O'Jays sang the song at Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010.
- In Part 7 of the manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, a stand ability was named after the song (under the name "D4C Love Train").
- The song was used frequently on the Arsenio Hall show as Arsenio's favorite song
- In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the England team's set piece corner routine was nicknamed the "love train" by football commentator Glenn Hoddle 
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 438.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- "Love Train - The O' Jays". September 8, 2008 – via YouTube.
- David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Train". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- "Cash Box Top 100 3/31/73". tropicalglen.com.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". musicoutfitters.com.
- "Love Train - The Rolling Stones". YouTube. October 12, 2012.
- "Dalvanius & The Fascinations – Love Train / Chapel Of Love". Discogs.
- "The Martian (2015)". Soundtrack.Net. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- "ComPost - Peace Trains, Crazy Trains, Love Trains and automobiles at Stewart rally". Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Have England's World Cup heros taken the 'Love Train' from Lincoln City?". LincolnshireLive. July 4, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2018.