Train Kept a Rollin'

Song Review by

One of the guaranteed highlights of any Aerosmith show since the early '70s would unquestionably be their show-closing, turbo-charged rendition of the blues standard "Train Kept a Rollin'." Written in the 1940s by Tiny Bradshaw, it was a hit in the '50s by the rock & roll trio, and in the '60s, the Yardbirds reworked it, but Aerosmith's rendition is one of those rare cases when a cover version eclipses the original (or in this case "originals"). Although the Smiths had been playing it in concert from their beginning, it was first recorded on their sophomore release, 1974's Get Your Wings. Since it had taken on a life of its own in a live setting, the band wanted to use a live version, but they were talked out of it by producer Jack Douglas. Instead, Douglas overdubbed the audience sounds from George Harrison's the Concert for Bangla Desh. But the slight studio tinkering didn't dull the band's spirited reading. Split into two parts, the first part is more groove-oriented and funky, while the second part (the one that resembled a concert setting) was breakneck rock & roll. An instant and perennial concert standard for the band, the bandmembers soon realized that they had to keep out of singer Steven Tyler's way at the song's end, since he got into the habit of wildly swinging his scarf-draped microphone stand in time to the song's crescendo closing.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Get Your Wings 1974 Columbia 5:33
Gems 1988 Columbia 5:41
Pandora's Box 1991 Legacy / Aerosmith / Columbia 5:33
The Collection: Aerosmith/Get Your Wings/Toys in the Attic [2004 Long Box] 2004 Legacy / Columbia 5:33