|Single by The O'Jays|
|from the album Back Stabbers|
|"Who Am I"|
|Recorded||Summer 1971 to 1972|
|Genre||R&B, Philly soul, Disco|
|Length||6:15 (extended version); 2:50 (single version)|
|Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff|
|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.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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. In 2006 Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee performed a cover of the song for the ending credits of Final Destination 3.
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.