Some Like It Hot

hot temperature

You might want to bring along a light jacket just in case it dips below 100.

We’re climbing on up (or is it down?) The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Song countdown, and another Monday means another entry that will leave you scratching your head about whether or not I am actually tone deaf.  Good thing DJ Scratchy and the Sponkies are more than immune by now to my peculiar taste in tunes, so they’re more than ready to illegally download the 23rd best cover of all time for your listening pleasure…. which is not, if you were guessing, The Power Station’s version of “Bang a Gong”….


#23. “Heat Wave” – Linda Ronstadt

Motown was where it was at in the 60’s, and the Detroit label churned an endless array of vocal groups who put countless songs way up in the rarified air of the Billboard charts.  One of Motown’s A-list groups was the trio Martha and the Vandellas, who had us dancing in the streets long before Mick Jagger and David Bowie did… and who also were the first to introduce us to a little ditty called “Heat Wave.”  I’m not gonna knock on their version of the hit… even 50 years later it still sounds great!

But I'll bet it would sound better if sung by a stoned poney.

But I’ll bet it would sound better if sung by a stoned poney.

Linda Ronstadt traveled to the beat of a different drum, and during her breakout solo career in the 70’s, she took the Motown classic and gave it a whitebread makeover that makes it one of my favorite musical guilty pleasures…

Ronstadt’s version of “Heat Wave” was riding high on the charts in the first couple months of my life, peaking at #5 in September of 1975, when this little squirrel probably hadn’t even opened my eyes for the first time yet.  As much as I love me some horns in my rock music, the pure piano and guitar driven take by Linda and her band still gives me a happy smile whenever I hear it.

There's always a heat wave in Rock and Roll hell... and how did The Righteous Brothers know the final destinations of all those dead musicians anyway?

There’s always a heat wave in Rock and Roll hell… and how did The Righteous Brothers know the final destinations of all those dead musicians anyway?

There’s your short and sweet edition of The Nest’s cover song countdown for this week!  Come back next Monday and be prepared for a truly blasphemous cover that I absolutely adore!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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26 Responses to Some Like It Hot

  1. that’s exactly what it is… you have to smile if you want or not… bet even grumpy cat would smile (and that would porbably ruin his career lol).Linda is great!

  2. I agree on this one for sure, Squirrel! I’ve long been a LR fan, and am especially fond of the album she did in the 80s with the Nelson Riddle orchestra… but really, if it’s Linda, I love it! Great, great choice. 🙂 MH

  3. fanrosa says:

    Thank goodness! After reading the title I thought you were going to try and con somebody into thinking somebody might have done Bang a Gong better than T. Rex….

    Meanwhile, why a light jacket? Why not a heavy sweater? Where does the windbreaker come into play?

    • fanrosa says:

      And ha! On first read, I managed to skip right past the intro where you anticipated just that….

      • That will teach you not to skim my finely crafted, cleverly worded posts!

        And since I specifically mentioned the song, that means it’s not in the countdown! Of course, I knew the Power Station version long before I even knew there was a band called T-Rex, and while I am partial to my g-g-g-generation, it just didn’t stand out enough from the original for me to make the cut…

    • I don’t know… it seems to be in the weatherman’s code that if the temperature is going to drop during the evening, they have to remind the public to bring along a “light jacket.” I guess it’s because for some people, it’s impossible to say “windbreaker” while keeping a straight face….

  4. sam says:

    Luv Linda and her live version of Heatwave rocked my teenage heart. Recently they asked Martha Revees her favorite moment in Motown’s anniversary special from the 80s. Michael Jackson’ s moonwalk? No way – she said it was Ronstadt singing with Smokey. Truth is the singing voice of Linda just wanted to wrap around great tunes, genre be damned. A big, rich, natural set of pipes that brought us to great songwriters we non-aficinados would not have heard otherwise. A doll to look at as well.

  5. JackieP says:

    I always did like Linda. Good job! 🙂

  6. Trisha says:

    Linda is one of the few 70’s artists I actually heard during the 70’s. We even had her cassette tape, which was way unusual and modern for my family.

  7. We saw Linda at the Newport Folk Festival in 2010, probably one of her last concerts. She was still in GREAT voice … maybe even better voice that when she was younger.

  8. Linda does everything better. What a beautiful voice. Her version of Blue Bayou is the best. ❤

  9. PigLove says:

    We remember that song!! And we wholeheartedly agree with Auntie Sharon – Blue Bayou is the best of her songs. We ❤ that one. XOXO – Bacon

  10. Ally Bean says:

    I’d forgotten all about her version of this song. I always liked her singing and personality, but never saw her in concert. I read that she is unable to sing anymore due to some chronic illness. Pity that. She was [and is] coolness, in a 70s way.

  11. markbialczak says:

    Linda is great, agreed, Bill. Martha Reeves rocked it out pretty tight, though. I have to give her some lovin’, too. Plus, back-up singers that go by the name The Vandellas are too cool for school, too. Contrary teen ’till 77 Bialczak votes for the original. Though I’m truly sad that Linda is too sick to sing anymore. She’s a classic.

    • Had I not liked the original as well, this one would have ranked much, much higher. Thank you for coming along to vote against Linda and keeping her from pulling off the countdown’s first clean sweep!

      • markbialczak says:

        I may be slow, typical for the Geritol generation (ha!), but I indeed will vote before the next Monday edition rolls off your press. You know I wlll be fair and have voted for the newbie covers when they beat the oldies in my aging heart, Bill. 🙂

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