Music News

Don't (Tell Me) it's been 20 years since 'Drops of Jupiter' was released

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Columbia/Legacy Recordings

Saturday, March 27 marks the 20-year anniversary of the release of Drops of Jupiter.  It’s the album that put the band Train on the map, and it remains their best-selling title to date, largely due to the success of its now-iconic title track.

To mark the milestone, here are five fascinating facts about the album — and the song.

5. Drops of Jupiter followed Train’s self-titled debut, which the band self-produced for $25,000. After the songs “Meet Virginia” and “Free” had some success, the band landed a deal with Columbia Records.

4. The initial version of the album Drops of Jupiter didn’t include the title track: Lead singer Pat Monahan wrote it at the last minute after, he says, he woke up with the lyrics and melody in his head. The song was inspired by his late mother, though Monahan deliberately wrote it so it could be interpreted as being a love song.

3. “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” became a top five hit and was nominated for five Grammys, winning two, including Best Rock Song.  The only hit Train ever had that was bigger was “Hey Soul Sister,” which reached number three in 2009.

2. The strings on the song were arranged by the late Paul Buckmaster, who’d done the same for such classics as Elton John‘s “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer,” David Bowie‘s “A Space Oddity” and Carly Simon‘s “You’re So Vain.” The piano was played by Chuck Leavell, the Rolling Stones‘ musical director and touring keyboardist.

1. When the Drops of Jupiter album was released, Train had five members. The band now has seven members, but the only one who appeared on Drops of Jupiter is Monahan.

Train has just released a digital 20th anniversary version of Drops of Jupiter with six bonus tracks, including a live version of the title track recorded in San Francisco in 2001, and an acoustic cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Ramble On.”

By Andrea Dresdale
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