Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Having a Rave Up With the YardbirdsReleased: 1965
This song is about a guy who is blown away by a woman, but he has to act cool to make sure he doesn't scare her away. The train rolling is in reference to sex.
This track was produced by Sam Phillips of Sun Records, the man who signed Elvis Presley.
Written by Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, and Lois Mann, this song was originally performed by Tiny Bradshaw's Big Band in 1951. Johnny Burnette recorded a rock version in 1956, and The Yardbirds popularized the song with their rendition in 1965. Aerosmith covered it in 1974
, often playing the song as their encore in their early years. In the '60s, Aerosmith were on the same bill as The Yardbirds for some shows, and former Yardbird Jeff Beck opened some shows for them in the '70s.
In the beginning of the song, Jeff Beck used his guitar to create the train whistle sound.
There are two voices singing throughout the song. Both belong to lead singer Keith Relf. In the beginning, they sing different words, but by the end, both sing in unison.
When Jimmy Page joined the band and he was playing lead guitar with Jeff Beck, the Yardbirds appeared in the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni film Blowup playing a new version of this song re-titled "Stroll On." The Yardbirds appeared as a band in the film, which is about a London fashion photographer who may have witnessed a murder. It was one of the first major films with a full frontal nudity scene.
In an interview with Q Magazine January 2008, John Paul Jones recalls this was the first ever song he played with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham after joining Led Zeppelin: "I can remember the first song I played with Led Zeppelin in a tiny basement room in Soho in 1968, with wall-to-wall amps. That was 'Train Kept A-Rollin',' the Yardbirds song, which I didn't know at the time. But I knew immediately, 'This is fun.'"