"Downtown Train" is a song by Tom Waits released on his album Rain Dogs in 1985.

The promo video for the song was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and features the boxer Jake LaMotta.

Rod Stewart recorded a cover version that became a #3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after being released as a single in late 1989, and was also a number-one single on the album rockand adult contemporary charts.[1] The song went to number-one in Canada and made the top ten on the UK Singles Chart in 1990. Stewart received a Grammy nomination for the song in the category Best Male Pop Vocal performance.[2] Stewart's cover featured the slide guitar playing of Jeff Beck, who also appeared on the music video.

Other artists who have covered "Downtown Train" include Mary Chapin Carpenter, who included it on her debut album Hometown Girl in 1987; and Patty Smyth, who released a version that same year that reached #95 on the Billboard Hot 100Everything But the Girl produced an acoustic cover of the song. Bob Seger recorded a cover in 1989, but opted not to release it because Stewart's version had been released earlier. On February 28, 2011, Seger finally released his version of the song as a single, which appears on the retrospective album Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets. The German band The Piano Has Been Drinking included a version of Downtown Train (Rude Jolf) on their 1990 album The Piano Has Been Drinking which only consists of cover versions of Tom Waits songs in Kölsch dialect (Colognian).

The Swedish artist Moneybrother released a Swedish version of the song; it is included on his album Pengabrorsan. Austrian hardcore/punk band Rentokill recorded a cover of the track for their 2009 EP The O.S.E.


 [hide*1 Chart performance

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Patty Smyth version[edit]Edit

Chart (1987) Peak


US Billboard Hot 100 95
US BillboardHot Mainstream Rock Tracks 40

Rod Stewart version[edit]Edit

Chart (1989-1990) Peak


Canadian Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 39
Irish Singles Chart 13
Dutch Single Chart 42
New Zealand Singles Chart 30
UK Singles Chart 10
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US BillboardAdult Contemporary 1
US BillboardAlbum Rock Tracks 1

Bob Seger version[edit]Edit

Chart (2011) Peak


US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[3] 17
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