Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)

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"Drops of Jupiter"
Train Drops of Jupiter single.jpg
Single by Train
from the album Drops of Jupiter
  • "It's Love"
  • "This Is Not Your Life"
  • "Sharks"
ReleasedFebruary 20, 2001 (2001-02-20)
Producer(s)Brendan O'Brien
Train singles chronology
"Ramble On"
"Drops of Jupiter"
"Something More"
Audio sample

"Drops of Jupiter," initially released as "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," is a song written and recorded by American rock band Train. It was released in February 2001 as the lead single from their second album Drops of Jupiter (2001). The song hit the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and also charted in the top 40 for 29 weeks.[2] The single from Europe had tracks "It's Love," "This Is Not Your Life," and "Sharks" as its B-sides.

The recording features the signature strings of arranger Paul Buckmaster, who won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "Drops of Jupiter."

Background and writing[edit]

Lead singer Patrick Monahan has stated that the song was inspired by his late mother, who had died after a struggle with cancer, and that the opening lines "came to [him] in a dream." He said, "The process of creation wasn't easy. I just couldn't figure out what to write, but then I woke up from a dream about a year after my mother passed away with the words 'back in the atmosphere...It was just her way of saying what it was like – she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair."[3][4] The verse has a noted resemblance to the chorus of "Drift Away", a song most famously performed by Dobie Gray.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that it "demonstrates a truly artistic lyrical bent that merits instant acceptance of this credible rock-edged song." He sums up the review saying "add piano, a splendid orchestral backdrop, and a vocal shimmering with passion and personality, and this is a runaway track for Train."[4]

Chart performance[edit]

"Drops of Jupiter" ascended to the top 10 of the Adult Contemporary chart in its 49th week, marking the longest climb to the top 10 on that tally by any act.[6] The song has spent over 100 weeks on the Adult Contemporary charts, and is still charting on the Recurrents chart. Although the song was released years before digital download became commonplace, the song has sold over 1,000,000 downloads (it was also certified Gold by the RIAA), and hit the top 50 of the Digital Songs charts five years after its release due to Ace Young singing it on the fifth season of American Idol.

The track re-entered the UK Singles Chart for the week ending on April 7, 2012 at number 53 following a performance from contestant Phil Poole on The Voice UK. On the week ending April 28, 2012, "Drops of Jupiter" climbed to number 34, marking its ninth non-consecutive week inside the top 40.[7] As of January 2017, the song has sold 564,460 copies in the UK.[8]

Music video[edit]

There are two music videos for this song. The first one shows the band performing it on a stage, with a large banner reading "TRAIN" in the green-lit background. Clips of a woman performing various actions in various backgrounds related to the lyrics (e.g., Jupiter, holding her hands out in the rain) are inserted into various parts of the song.

The second, more famous video shows the band performing the song on a stage backed by a string ensemble. As the video progresses, people come in to watch the song being performed. The video was shot at Union Station in Los Angeles, California, and was directed by Nigel Dick. The first version of this particular video also featured the story of a girl who ran away from home and, upon arriving at the station where the band was playing, was so moved that she decided to return home. However, this storyline was dropped during the editing process.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Drops of Jupiter"
  2. "It's Love"
  3. "This Is Not Your Life"
  4. "Drops of Jupiter" (Video Version)


The song was nominated for five Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and won two for "Best Rock Song" and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)".

Charts and certifications[edit]


In popular culture[edit]

The song was made available to download on May 1, 2012 for play in Rock Band 3 for Basic and Pro modes. The song was also played in the Netflix series Daredevil, during a flashback college scene between the two main characters Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). It was also played in the American Dad! episode "Bully for Steve". The song is also featured heavily in the 2016 film Other People.


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  2. ^ Billboard Drops of Jupiter Facts
  3. ^ "Train". Behind the Music. Season 15. Episode 1. September 16, 2012. Vh1.
  4. ^ a b Billboard, February 3, 2001 - Vol. 113, No. 5, Page 38.
  5. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/train-the-little-band-that-could-20020328
  6. ^ Drops of Jupiter Songfacts
  7. ^ "Official Charts Company - Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) by Train Search". Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
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External links[edit]