Drive By (song)

"Drive By" is a song by American roots rock band, Train, from their sixth studio album, California 37. It was released in the United States as the album's lead single on January 9, 2012, three months before the release of California 37. The song was written by lead singer Patrick Monahan and Norwegian songwriting duo Espen Lind, Amund Bjørklund, the same team responsible for Train's 2009 hit single "Hey, Soul Sister".

"Drive By" peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's third top 10 hit in the US. It was awarded a double platinum certification by the RIAA on July 23, 2012, for more than 2 million sales in the US. Internationally, the song became a top ten hit in 13 countries. Train performed the song on television series 90210 in the episode "Blood Is Thicker Than Mud", which aired on March 13, 2012. Train also performed a parody entitled "Five By" with Elmo and Count von Count for an episode of Sesame Street.


"Drive By" is a pop rock song. The instrumentation consists of "buoyant acoustic riffs and a hook-laden melody". Lead singer Patrick Monahan sings in a characteristic "sing-talk vocal croon".

The chord structure is based on the IV–I–V–vi chord progression.

Critical reception

Billboard gave the song a positive review stating:
If at first you succeed -- why not try again? For the first single from its forthcoming "California 37," Train returns to the Espionage, the Norwegian songwriting and production duo of Espen Lind and Amund Bjorklund that helped the group put together its 2010 comeback smash "Hey Soul Sister." "Drive By" starts with a staccato guitar strum and a percussive thump that certainly recalls its predecessor, with a slight ethnic flavor that makes it recall a Bar Mitzvah reception. Frontman Pat Monahan semi-speaks the [verses] in tuneful, rap-like cadence, then turns to smooth pop singing for the choruses. The lyric, however, is a bit darker, with Monahan's protagonist trying to convince a one-night-stand that he really wants to "get down to the more-than-friends" at last. We bet she's heard that from all the pop singers, but Monahan pleads with enough joyful exuberance that she -- and we -- might just buy it.

Commercial performance

The single has proved to be a worldwide success primarily in the band's home country where it has been certified double platinum and was the 19th most successful song on the Hot 100 chart. In the UK, "Drive By" sold 502,700 copies and was the 23rd best selling single of 2012. It reached #6 in the UK, making it their biggest hit there since "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" in 2001.

Music video

The music video was posted on YouTube on February 15, 2012, and was directed by Alan Ferguson. In the video, Monahan portrays a character who reconciles with an old flame during a weekend trip to Wine Country, and features the other band members driving classic cars.

Track listing

;Digital download # "Drive By" – 3:18 ;CD single # "Drive By [Song Edit]" – 3:21 # "To Be Loved" (Pat Monahan, David Hodges) – 3:41

Credits and personnel

  • Recorded at Integrated Studios, New York City and at Ruby Red Studios, Venice, Los Angeles

  • Patrick Monahan – songwriter, producer, vocals
  • Espen Lind – songwriter, producer, engineer, additional guitars, bass, keyboards and backing vocals, programming
  • Amund Bjørklund – songwriter, producer, programming
  • Butch Walker – producer
  • Mark Endert – mixing
  • Francis Murray – engineer
  • Jake Sinclair – engineer
  • Jimmy Stafford – guitar
  • Scott Underwood – drums
  • Jerry Becker – keyboards
  • Hector Maldonado – bass

    Credits adapted from "Drive By" CD single liner notes.


    Weekly charts

    Year-end charts


    Release history