Love Train

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"Love Train"
Side A of the US single
Single by the O'Jays
from the album Back Stabbers
B-side"Who Am I"
ReleasedDecember 20, 1972[1]
RecordedSummer 1971 to 1972
Length6:15 (extended version); 2:59 (album version)
LabelPhiladelphia International
Songwriter(s)Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s)Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
The O'Jays singles chronology
"992 Arguments"
"Love Train"
"Time to Get Down"
Music video
"Love Train" (Official Soul Train Video) on YouTube

"Love Train" is a hit single by the O'Jays, written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Released in 1972, it reached No. 1 on both the R&B Singles and the Billboard Hot 100 in February and March 1973 respectively,[4] and No. 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. The song has been considered one of the first songs of disco music.

"Love Train" entered the Hot 100's top 40 on January 27, 1973,[5] 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.

Record World said of the single release that the "tune chugs right along with a Gamble and a Huff" and could become the biggest hit from the Back Stabbers album.[6]

Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, 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. "Love Train" was a 2006 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[7]

Music video[edit]

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".

The video was likely filmed around the Northeast Corridor, since Long Island Rail Road MP75 railcars appear throughout the music video in which the words "LONG ISLAND" are clearly visible, along with Amtrak railcars, Penn Central railcars, and other railcars.[citation needed] It was recorded in 1973.[8]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Gold 400,000
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

By early 1974, The Supremes' line up (Wilson, Birdsong and Payne) adopted the song to perform in live appearances. Hall & Oates covered it 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.[17]

Roots rock 'n' roll band The Yayhoos' take on the song appeared on their 2006 release, "Put The Hammer Down." Gospel Group Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites did a rendition in 2003. In 2006 Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee performed "Love Train" for the ending credits of Final Destination 3.[citation needed]

"Love Train" was sampled in the 1973 break-in record, "Super Fly Meets Shaft" (US #31).[citation needed]

An Australasian cover was recorded in 1973 by Dalvanius Prime.[18][better source needed]

Pop Culture[edit]

The song was featured in the popular long-running Coors Light series of commercials featuring the Silver Bullet Express train from approximately 2005-11, returning as a Super Bowl and March Madness ad in 2024.[19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Love Train / Who Am I - O'Jays". 45cat. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia | BLACK GROOVES". December 12, 2008.
  3. ^ Breithaupt, Don; Breithaupt, Jeff (October 15, 1996). "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?: Utopian Pop". Precious and Few - Pop Music in the Early '70s. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 75. ISBN 031214704X.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 438.
  5. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  6. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. January 6, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  7. ^ [1] [dead link]
  8. ^ "Love Train - The O' Jays". September 8, 2008. Archived from the original on December 18, 2021 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Australian Chart Books". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  10. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Train". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  12. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 3/31/73". Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "Item". July 17, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973".
  15. ^ "British single certifications – O'jays – Love Train". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  16. ^ "American single certifications – O'jays – Love Train". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Love Train - The Rolling Stones". YouTube. October 12, 2012. Archived from the original on December 18, 2021.
  18. ^ "Dalvanius & The Fascinations – Love Train / Chapel Of Love". Discogs. 1973.
  19. ^ "How Coors Light's beer train became an icon". 7 February 2024.
  20. ^ "Coors Light's silver bullet train returns for Super Bowl with seats for fans".
  21. ^

External links[edit]