“Long Train Runnin'” (or “Long Train Running”) is a song recorded by The Doobie Brothers and written by band member Tom Johnston. 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.
It was covered by Italian band Traks in 1982 and then by English girl group Bananarama in 1991. In 1993 the Doobie Brothers version was remixed and charted again in several countries, including reaching number 7 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song is sometimes titled “Long Train Runnin’ (Without Love)” due to the words “without love” being sung frequently during the song. The harmonica solo is played by lead vocalist Tom Johnston.
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 rhythmic guitar strumming that propels the song.