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Train Kept A-Rollin' by The Yardbirds

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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • 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.'"
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Comments: 11

McCarty's high hat work on the Rave Up version of this is amazing, like he does on "I Wish You Would".D. R. - Okc, Ok
there are two guitar solos in the song. the first one by jeff beck and the second one by jimmy page. so this song is unique for that. but contrary to claims the song "stroll on" by jeff beck is a totally different song - apparently only the riff is the same.Vtpcnk - Chennia, India
aerosmiths version is better in my opinionDerek - Shrewsbury, Ma
Aerosmith's version is a playable song on Rock Band.Alec Thorp - Yorktown Heights, Ny
Here is a link to a video of the Yardbird's 1966 performance of "Train Kept a-Rollin".

http://stage6.divx.com/My-Taste-in-Music/video/1288028/Yardbirds---Train-Kept-A-Rollin-(1966)

Check out Jimmy's cool outfit ... Enjoy!
Dan - Harrisburg, Pa
Below is a link to an excellent Rolling Stone article by Mikal Gilmore. The article describes (among many other Led Zeppelin facts) that "Train Kept a-Rollin'" was the first song that Bonham, Jones, Page and Plant played in their very first session together. This song and the talents of four gifted artists are the genesis of Led Zeppelin.

Please click on the link below, to read Mikal Gilmore's article.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11027261/the_long_shadow_of_led_zeppelin/
Dan - Harrisburg, Pa
memphis slim, I don't know if I'd call the song bad luck just becuase it was played at their last concert. It was also played at a lot of their concerts when they were starting out and you could argue that if not for the train kept a' rollin' they would have never got their baloon off the ground? just a theory--not necessarily what I believe but food for thought and conversation.Alan - London, England
What do you think those riffs come from? Chords! Buddy probably ment improvising over the chord progression done by the riffNick - Moncton, Canada
Page improvised with the chords? There are no chords, the entire rhythm is a riff.Warrinder - A Town, Canada
Odd thing.. they also performed it at their last ever concert in Berlin in 1980.

Consider this song bad luck perhaps? :P
Sean - Colorado Springs, Co
Jimmy Page also covered this song with Led Zeppelin during the group's first live BBC performance. During that performance Page improvised with the chords that would later become part of the signature riff and solo for "Communication Breakdown"Memphisslim - Streamwood, Il
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