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Train

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Biography

Arriving at the twilight of the post-grunge era, Train managed to simultaneously exist squarely at the center of American mainstream rock while not belonging to any particular trend. Despite the hard rock background of lead singer Pat Monahan, the San Francisco-based combo never sounded particularly heavy. Instead, they tapped into the sturdy sounds of classic rock, an aesthetic epitomized by their breakthrough "Drops of Jupiter." That 2001 international smash gave Train a career, but the group turned into superstars in 2009 when the breezy "Hey, Soul Sister" established the combo as adult contemporary superstars. Certified as sextuple platinum, "Hey, Soul Sister" was a sunny, nostalgic number that illustrated how Train was quintessentially Californian: they were transplants drawn to the West Coast, besotted by the sounds and sights of the Pacific, preferring good times to grit. After "Hey, Soul Sister," Monahan and Train made no bones about celebrating their adopted home, in the process racking up a string of Top Ten adult contemporary hits that stretched into the late 2010s. Following the dissolution of his Led Zeppelin cover band, singer Pat Monahan left his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, in late 1993. He resettled in California and crossed paths with Rob Hotchkiss, the former frontman of a Los Angeles group named the Apostles. The two formed their own duo and began playing local coffeehouse shows, eventually expanding the group to a trio with the addition of former Apostles guitarist Jimmy Stafford. Bassist Charlie Colin and drummer Scott Underwood also climbed aboard, thus solidifying Train's lineup in 1994. Over the course of several years, Train developed a sizable audience in the San Francisco area. The band also toured the country, opening shows for the likes of Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows while drumming up enough money to record an album. Although few labels showed interest at first, Train eventually attracted the attention of Columbia Records, who signed the band to one of its smaller labels -- Aware Records -- and issued the self-financed debut record Train in 1998. "Meet Virginia" became a Top 40 hit one year later, but the band truly hit its stride in 2001, when Drops of Jupiter became a multi-platinum success thanks to its titular single. The song remained in the Top 40 for nearly 40 weeks, while the album itself sold more than three million copies. My Private Nation followed in 2003 and went platinum, largely due to the successful single "Calling All Angels." Although the album didn't yield any more Top 40 hits, three of its songs fared well on the adult contemporary charts, a sign that Train had traded its alternative rock roots for an older fan base. For Me, It's You followed in 2006, but sales proved to be the lowest of Train's career. Accordingly, Monahan briefly turned his focus inward, releasing a solo album in 2007 and briefly touring behind it. He returned to the fold shortly thereafter, though, and Train issued their fifth album, Save Me, San Francisco, in 2009. The album helped rejuvenate Train's career, with "Hey, Soul Sister" peaking at number three on the Billboard 100. In 2012, the band released its sixth studio album, California 37, which debuted at number four on the Billboard chart. Despite these successes, the bandmembers felt that mainstream "cool" continued to elude them. Monahan spoke of wanting to record an album that was more commercial, but would also connect emotionally with the public. With these ambitious goals, they knuckled down to writing and recording a new album, though without drummer and founding member Scott Underwood, who left the band amicably before production began and was replaced by Drew Shoals. Train's seventh studio album, Bulletproof Picasso, was finished in 2014 and released in September of that year. It was preceded by the slick, country-tinged single "Angel in Blue Jeans," which didn't make many waves on the charts. Nevertheless, the album debuted at number five on the Billboard Top 200. A year later, after Bulletproof Picasso failed to generated any subsequent hit singles ("Cadillac, Cadillac" and "Bulletproof Picasso" did make the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart), Train released the seasonal Christmas in Tahoe. The following summer, Train covered the entirety of Led Zeppelin's second album with Does Led Zeppelin II; the album peaked at 71 on Billboard. In September 2016, Train released "Play That Song," the first taste from their tenth album. Not long afterward, lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford announced he was leaving the band on good terms. He did not play on a girl a bottle a boat, which appeared in January 2017. The following year saw the band issue the collaborative singles "Philly Forget Me Not" (with Daryl Hall and John Oates) and "Call Me, Sir" (with Cam and Travie McCoy). ~ Andrew Leahey & Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Hey, Soul Sister
  3.   Drops of Jupiter
  4.   Drive By by Smash Mode
  5.   Meet Virginia
  6.   Calling All Angels
  7.   Shake Up Christmas
  8.   50 Ways to Say Goodbye
  9.   Joy to the World
  10.   If It's Love
  11.   Marry Me
  12.   Save Me, San Francisco
  13.   Play That Song
  14.   This Christmas
  15.   What Christmas Means to Me
  16.   Run Run Rudolph
  17.   Call Me Sir featuring Cam
  18.   Free
  19.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  20.   Please Come Home for Christmas
  21.   Merry Christmas Baby
  22.   O Holy Night
  23.   Merry Christmas Everybody
  24.   Following Rita
  25.   Working Girl
  26.   Bruises
  27.   I'm About to Come Alive
  28.   When I Look to the Sky
  29.   Brand New Book
  30.   Angel in Blue Jeans
  31.   Ramble On
  32.   All I Ever Wanted
  33.   Brick by Brick
  34.   Am I Reaching You Now
  35.   This Ain't Goodbye
  36.   Feels Good at First
  37.   Mermaid
  38.   50 Ways
  39.   Train
  40.   Ordinary
  41.   Same Old Lang Syne
  42.   Save the Day
  43.   She's on Fire
  44.   Drink Up
  45.   Mississippi
  46.   Loverman
  47.   Sing Together
  48.   I Got You
  49.   My Private Nation
  50.   Wonder What You're Doing for the Rest of Your Life
  51.   All American Girl
  52.   The News
  53.   Christmas Must Be Tonight
  54.   I Am
  55.   Call Me Sir
  56.   Look to the Sky
  57.   Blue Christmas
  58.   The Cherry Tree Carol
  59.   Lost and Found
  60.   What Good Is Saturday
  61.   Don't Grow Up So Fast
  62.   I'm Drinkin' Tonight
  63.   Just a Memory
  64.   Futon
  65.   Bruises by Marilou
  66.   Flatfoot
  67.   When the Fog Rolls In
  68.   California 37
  69.   This'll Be My Year
  70.   What Child Is This?
  71.   Half Moon Bay
  72.   You Already Know
  73.   Words
  74.   Cab
  75.   New Sensation
  76.   Landmine
  77.   Whole Lotta Love/Ramble On/Walk on the Wild Side
  78.   Get to Me
  79.   Let It Roll
  80.   Hopeless
  81.   It's About You
  82.   I Wish You Would
  83.   Swaying
  84.   Eggplant
  85.   Homesick
  86.   Christmas Island
  87.   If You Leave
  88.   Valentine
  89.   Silver Dollar
  90.   Lottery
  91.   Bring It On Home
  92.   Moby Dick
  93.   Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
  94.   Thank You
  95.   The Lemon Song
  96.   Wait for Mary, Christmas
  97.   The River
  98.   Give It All
  99.   Bulletproof Picasso
  100.   Prisoners
  101.   We Were Made for This
  102.   You Can Finally Meet My Mom
  103.   The Finish Line
  104.   Shelter Me
  105.   All I Hear
  106.   If I Can't Change Your Mind
  107.   Latin Interlude
  108.   Your Every Color
  109.   It's Love
  110.   Getaway
  111.   Something More
  112.   Days
  113.   Should We Believe
  114.   Blind
  115.   You Better Believe
  116.   Heartbreaker
  117.   Whole Lotta Love
  118.   What Is and What Should Never Be
  119.   Tinsel and Lights
  120.   Baby, Happy Birthday
  121.   The Bridge
  122.   I Will Remember
  123.   Cadillac, Cadillac
  124.   Imagine
  125.   To Be Loved
  126.   Umbrella
  127.   Breakfast in Bed
  128.   This Is Not Your Life
  129.   Fascinated
  130.   Coming Home
  131.   For Me, It's You
  132.   Skyscraper
  133.   Always Remember
  134.   Get Out
  135.   Stay with Me
  136.   Counting Airplanes
  137.   Fall Out
  138.   Heavy
  139.   Whipping Boy
  140.   Respect
  141.   Rat
  142.   2000 Miles
  143.   Idaho
  144.   Careless Whisper
  145.   Only You
  146.   Parachute
  147.   I'm Not Waiting in Line
  148.   Explanation
  149.   Lincoln Avenue
  150.   Give Myself to You
  151.   Son of a Prison Guard
  152.   Dream On
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