"Long Train Runnin'" (or "Long Train Running") is a song written by musician Tom Johnston and recorded by The Doobie Brothers. It was included on the band's 1973 album The Captain and Me and released as a single, becoming a top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 8. This song became very famous for its intro with the guitar.
It was covered by Italian band Traks in 1982 and was then covered by English girl groupBananarama in 1991. In 1993, the Doobie Brothers version was remixed and charted in several countries.
The song is sometimes titled "Long Train Runnin' (Without Love)" due to the words "without love" being sung twice in the chorus.
The tune evolved from an untitled and mostly ad-libbed jam that the Doobies developed onstage years before it was finally recorded. Its working title, according to Johnston, was "Rosie Pig Moseley" and later "Osborn". "I didn't want to cut it," Johnston later confessed. "...I just considered it a bar song without a lot of merit. Teddy [Templeman], on the other hand, thought it had some." Templeman convinced Johnston to write words to the song.
Johnston performed the lead vocal and the distinctive, rhythmic guitar strumming that propels the song.
Bananarama's version appeared on their fifth studio album Pop Life in 1991 and was released as the album's third single in the UK. The group discovered the song when they were browsing through the record collection of Youth, producer of the Pop Life album. They needed one more song recorded to complete Pop Life and decided to go with a cover version.
Bananarama's music video features them dressed in black Spanish dresses eating at a decadent feast and performing the song on a large bed in a Spanish castle. Bananarama's then-manager Hilary Shaw appears on the feast scene.