When the headline of the Billboard article about this week’s Hot 100 is keyed around a Train song climbing from 11-10 on the chart, you can probably make an educated guess that there’s not a whole lot of note going on in the top ten. Indeed, Gotye and Kimbra spend their fifth week at pole position with “Somebody That I Used to Know,” leaving it just one week short of matching Fun. and Janelle Monae’s six-week run on top for the longest-reigning #1 of 2012 (not counting “We Found Love,” which spent eight of its ten weeks on top in 2011). Maroon 5 and Fun. swap places, now at #2 and #3 respectively, while Our Girl Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Flo Rida and Sia’s “Wild Ones” stay chilling at #4 and #5.
So you can see why we’re going to spend most of this chart update article talking about Train, and how their song “Drive By” has become their relatively improbable third top ten hit. This band seemed for all the word to be a Tal Bachman, Eagle Eye Cherry-like one-hit wonder with “Meet Virginia” 13 years ago—a song that wasn’t even as good as “She’s So High” or “Save Tonight”—but somehow, with each album that’s followed since 1998′s self-titled effort, they manage at least one career-jump-starting single, be it the title track off Drops of Jupiter (#5, 2001), “Calling All Angels” off My Private Nation (#19, 2003) or “Hey, Soul Sister” off Save Me, San Francisco (#3, 2009). We’re not sure exactly what happened with 2005′s For Me, It’s You—must’ve been an off year.
It’s not the most sustainable model for success—they never seem to get more than one off the same album, and so none of their albums ever really sell like blockbusters—but it does mean we’re still talking about them about 15 years into their career, which is certainly more than we can say about Tal or ol’ Eagle-Eye. Though how good was that “Save Tonight” video? Saw it on VH1 the other morning, still a winner.