"Love Train" is a hit single by the O'Jays, written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Released in 1972, it reached No. 1 on both the R&B Singles and the Billboard Hot 100 in February and March 1973 respectively,[3] and No. 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. The song has been considered one of the first songs of disco music.

"Love Train"
Love train by o'jays US vinyl.png
Side A of the US single
Single by the O'Jays
from the album Back Stabbers
B-side"Who Am I"
ReleasedDecember 20, 1972[1]
RecordedSummer 1971 to 1972
GenreProto-disco,[2] R&B, Philly soul, bubblegum pop
Length6:15 (extended version); 2:59 (album version)
LabelPhiladelphia International
Songwriter(s)Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s)Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
The O'Jays singles chronology
"992 Arguments"
"Love Train"
"Time to Get Down"
Music video
"Love Train" (Official Soul Train Video) on YouTube

"Love Train" entered the Hot 100's top 40 on January 27, 1973,[4] 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. "Love Train" was a 2006 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[5]

Music videoEdit

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, Penn Central railcars, and other railcars.[citation needed] It was recorded in 1973.[6]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Gold 400,000 
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versionsEdit

By early 1974, The Supremes' line up (Wilson, Birdsong and Payne) adopted the song to perform in live appearances. Hall & Oates covered it 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.[15] Roots rock 'n' roll band The Yayhoos' take on the song appeared on their 2006 release, "Put The Hammer Down." Gospel Group Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites did a rendition in 2003. In 2006 Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee performed "Love Train" for the ending credits of Final Destination 3.[16]

"Love Train" was sampled in the 1973 break-in record, "Super Fly Meets Shaft" (US #31).

An Australasian cover was recorded in 1973 by Dalvanius Prime.[17]Australian singer Kylie Minogue performed a version during her 1991 Let's Get to It Tour.

The Wiggles' album Racing to the Rainbow features a cover of Love Train on the deluxe edition of the CD.

Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden and Ron Funches performed the song in the opening of Trolls Holiday. Australian band Human Nature included it on their 2018 album Romance of the Jukebox.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Love Train / Who Am I - O'Jays". 45cat. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  2. ^ "Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia | BLACK GROOVES". 12 December 2008.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 438.
  4. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. ^ https://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards/hall-of-fame#l
  6. ^ "Love Train - The O' Jays". September 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 2021-12-18 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Train". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 3/31/73". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  11. ^ Bac-lac.gc.ca
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". musicoutfitters.com.
  13. ^ "British single certifications – O'jays – Love Train". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  14. ^ "American single certifications – O'jays – Love Train". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "Love Train - The Rolling Stones". YouTube. October 12, 2012. Archived from the original on 2021-12-18.
  16. ^ Final Destination 3 (2006), retrieved 2019-02-28
  17. ^ "Dalvanius & The Fascinations – Love Train / Chapel Of Love". Discogs.

External linksEdit