The band Train were formed in 1994 in California, and they’ve sold over 4 million albums in the US alone, collecting Grammys along the way and having three songs make it to Billboard’s Top 20 Hot 100. Their biggest successes so far have been Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) and Hey, Soul Sister.
Founding members Patrick Monahan (lead singer) and Rob Hotchkiss (guitar and vocals) played local clubs in San Francisco, with Monahan intent on creating his own musical style following a stint in a Led Zeppelin cover band. Hotchkiss also had solid musical roots, having been lead singer for the Apostles, a band based in Los Angeles. The duo took on Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Charlie Colin (bass) and later Scott Underwood (drums) as the group solidified.
They were turned down in their attempt in 1996 to get signed up by Columbia Records, although they did do a national tour in 1997 supporting Counting Crows and Barenaked Ladies. Following release of their first album, Train, which they financed themselves, the group was finally signed up under Columbia’s Aware Records label after they heard the album.
The song Free was a major break, popular on rock radio, and Meet Virginia was an adult radio hit that got into the top 20 and helped their debut album make it to Billboard’s 200 Album Chart.
Train’s biggest success was the single Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me); it spent over a year on the Hot 100 chart, winning Grammys for Best Rock Song and Best Arrangement. The album Drops of Jupiter came out in 2001 and went multiplatinum. Its producer was Brendan O’Brien, who had a background working with Neil Young and Bob Dylan amongst others. Drops of Jupiter reached number six in the Billboard 200 chart, and umber eight in the UK charts. The second single from that album didn’t do so well, although it was used in a movie The Animal, with Rob Schneider. Midnight Moon, a DVD from Train’s Drops of Jupiter tour that highlighted their hits and favourites with the fans, was recorded on May 21 2001 in San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre. Subsequent albums, Private Nation and For Me, It’s You were followed by a break in 2006 to relax for a while, and Pat Monahan brought out a solo album, Last of Seven, in September 2007. After the departure of recently recruited members Bush and Colt, the band retrenched to their original trio and released Hey, Soul Sister from the new album Save Me San Francisco in 2009.
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