Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – “Train Kept a Rollin'”


Today is July 15th and things are heating up for another Battle of the Bands. My battle today is focusing on the song “Train Kept A-Rollin'”:

Train Kept A-Rollin’” (or “The Train Kept A-Rollin'”) is a song first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. Originally performed in the style of a jump blues, it has been reworked into a “classic guitar riff song for the ages.” Bradshaw borrowed lyrics from an earlier song and set them to an upbeat shuffle arrangement that inspired other musicians to perform and record it.

Here’s that 1951 version by Tiny Bradshaw (this is NOT a contender for today’s contest; just wanted you to hear the original, if you care to give it a listen):

In 1965, the Yardbirds popularized the song as an early psychedelic blues rock song, due largely to Jeff Beck’s fuzz-toned guitar work. Theirs soon became the most copied arrangement with recordings by a variety of musicians. After guitarist Jimmy Page joined the group, the Yardbirds recorded an updated version with new lyrics as “Stroll On” for the film Blowup in 1966. With a highly charged rhythm section and a dual lead guitar attack by Beck and Page, it is seen as a forerunner to heavy metal. When the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, “Train Kept A-Rollin'” was adopted as a concert opener by Page’s new band, Led Zeppelin, during its early (and again later) touring years.

Later, the song also became an important part of Aerosmith‘s early live repertoire and in 1974, they recorded it for their second album. Their version is actually a two-part song – the first has a slower, groove-oriented arrangement, while the second uses that of the Yardbirds. Aerosmith turned it into a hard rock standard and a staple of classic rock radio; it remains one of their most popular tunes. “Train Kept A-Rollin'” has been performed and recorded by numerous other artists. Source: Wikipedia

Today I’m pitting The Yardbirds against Aerosmith. Which one suits your fancy:

The Yardbirds


TIME TO VOTE! And when you’re done voting, be sure to stop by the other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

26 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – “Train Kept a Rollin'”

    • Hey Paula. Thanks for your vote. I grew up listening to Aerosmith’s version so I know that’s where my vote is going. Glad you liked it best too. 🙂


  1. This battle is fascinating! Kudos, Michele 😀
    I love both the Yardbirds and Aerosmith, but as you know, hard rock is one of my biggest musical passions, so of course I’m choosing Aerosmith. \m/


  2. I was expecting to like the Yardbirds but they seemed to be all over the place with music and it was hard for me to actually listen to. Aerosmith, while harder rock, per se, had more balance…if this makes sense so I vote for Aerosmith


  3. This one challenges everything I believe about music 😀 How can a third-degree cover be my favorite? But yes, that’s what’s happening… I’m voting for Aerosmith’s version. I love Aerosmith, and there’s something in their version that seems more “together”, somehow, than the Yardbirds’. Although I confess it feels sacrilegious to be voting against Jimmy Page 🙂

    Great battle, Michele! And thanks for the visit & vote over at Quiet Laughter 🙂


  4. Back in the LP era, I owned BOTH of those albums by The Yardbirds and Aerosmith. In fact, in high school, Aerosmith was one of my very, very favorite bands. Today, I don’t own a single album by them (in ANY format) because my musical tastes changed drastically over the years. But I still do like a handful of Aerosmith songs.

    In my opinion, ‘TRAIN KEPT A-ROLLIN” is the single best Aerosmith recording. I do still like ‘Dream On’, and my second favorite Aerosmith song I won’t mention by name because I have it on my ‘Future BOTB Song List’ and I don’t want anyone to beat me to it.

    The AEROSMITH version of this song is SO MUCH BETTER than The Yardbirds cover that I’m shocked you don’t have a shutout on your hands here. (Glad you don’t, though.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


    • I can’t wait to see what your second favorite Aerosmith song is! I love Aerosmith. Probably my favorite band, if I were to pick only one. At least they were in the 70s and 80s. My musical taste has not drastically changed at all. In fact a friend tells me I’m stuck in the 70s. Which honestly isn’t a bad decade to be stuck in. So I’m quite happy there. 🙂
      Thanks for your vote Stephen


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