Third Time’s A Charm

Swing those hips now!

Swing those hips now!

Welcome to the first Monday of Summer!  Yeah, hard to believe that the hot weather’s just getting started… but it’ll go oh so well with all that rain the non-drought portions of the country have gotten hammered with to create heat indices in the too fucking hot range by July.  But before you sweat to the humidity, Scratchy and the Sponks are gonna have you sweating to the oldies, and another classic cut (or three) from the land of cover song utopia!  The second half of The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown is ready to leave the station….. all aboard!!!


#15. “The Loco-Motion” – Kylie Minogue

Way back in 1962, the husband and wife songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King penned a silly little dance song that wound up setting all kinds of crazy Billboard chart records.  “The Loco-Motion” was first recorded by none other than the couple’s babysitter, who we would come to know as Little Eva.  Her version was a smash hit that topped the charts!

We do not recommend children attempt to stand on top of trains without parental supervision.

We do not recommend children attempt to stand on top of trains without parental supervision.

Naturally, the first band to successfully cover this nonsensical dance song was only one of the pioneers of the heavy metal sound, Grand Funk Railroad.  In 1974, everyone’s favorite American Band recorded the song on a lark, and what do you know, number one gold again!  At the time, it was only the second song to have two versions top Billboard’s pop charts.

Come on!  How could a band named Grand Funk Railroad not record a song called "The Loco-Motion?"

Come on! How could a band named Grand Funk Railroad not record a song called “The Loco-Motion?”

No song had ever had three versions reach #1 on the US charts, but in 1988, the land down under had one of their up and coming pop singers by the name of Kylie Minogue invade the States to give it the old college try.  Minogue’s ultra poppy version of the song (which was a remix of her original Australian version a year earlier) was another smash hit, but she couldn’t get so lucky… lucky, lucky, lucky to match the feats of those who came before her.  Somehow, someway, despite it’s awesomeness, Kylie’s “Loco-Motion” only made it to #3.

Aw, crikey!

Aw, crikey!

But we at The Nest love the Aussie Barbie and the infectious pop hits she showered us with in the late 80’s, and we thought so much of her version of “the Loco-Motion” that we ranked it this high in our countdown!

And besides… Kylie still helped “The Loco-Motion” become the only song to have three different versions land in the Top 3.  And I don’t hate either of the previous two versions either.  In fact, this silly dance song is truly one of the greatest rock and roll ditties that was ever penned…. not only because three different artists had success with it, but three artists from immensely diverse cultural and musical backgrounds from three totally different decades.  Now that’s a song with unmatched versatility and staying power.

Music is one of the truest forms of a melting pot.

Everyone can do the loco-motion!  Well, probably except for LaToya…

And with that rousing chorus of Kumbaya, we’ll end this week’s entry in the countdown on a harmonious note.  Tune in next Monday, as this countdown’s locomotive is about to run off the rails into musical insanity…

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to Third Time’s A Charm

  1. I loved the version of Kylie and I loved Kylie… I even came too late to my driving test, just because I wanted to see “Neighbours” with Kylie and Jason ( the examinor said failed and I had to wait 6 week for a new appointment, what a moron!) Glad that you picked a photo of The Body, I loved this movie and I still ponder if Goofy is a dog or a wolf or whatever, I mean he can drive a car ( because he wasn’t a fan of neighbours and wasn’t too late LOL) :o)

    • My venture into the world of animal themed art has resolved the legendary Goofy/Pluto debate in my mind. There are two types of animal cartoon characters… anthro and feral. Pluto is a feral dog, which is why he’s easy to species-identify, he looks just like a plain old dog. Goofy, on the other hand, is an anthro dog… he has human characteristics and personality, but is nonetheless a dog… just like Mickey is an anthro mouse and Donald is a pantless anthro duck.

  2. Mental Mama says:

    They’re all so very different that they really do feel like 3 distinct songs. Excellent pick for this week. 🙂

    • Yes, and any good cover is going to sound like a different song than its predecessor. I’m surprised nobody else has had success with this song since ’88 (though it seems like the day of the pop cover is dead)…

      • Mental Mama says:

        The most recent, and decent, cover I’ve heard is Mumford & Sons version of “The Boxer.” It’s good, really good, but definitely not pop.

  3. fanrosa says:


    Remember I said that I’d tell you my personal #1 after your countdown because it wouldn’t even be in yours? Yeah, I forgot that your girlfriend Kylie did a cover of this. Same church, different pew…..

    Why is the GFR remake of a song whose original I don’t really even like all that much the best remake in history? Well, besides it being the extraordinarlily hot Mark Farner (and who are all of those old guys in that picture?), it’s the slow start with just the vocals and the competent drum work of Don Brewer.

    I guess guys with long hair and tight pants doing covers of female songs from the ’50s are a weakness of mine, because Black Oak Arkansas’ cover of Lavern Baker is for sure in my top 10 as well…..

    • Ooooh, I knew you always raved over the middle version of Loco-Motion, but I wouldn’t have guessed it for your #1 (Actually, I may have just because I can’t really think of many other covers you’ve talked up in the past, but I wouldn’t have expected it to be #1).

      Isn’t that clapping at the beginning of the GFR version?

      • fanrosa says:

        It does, but the part I was talking about was when the bone rattling bass comes, but I couldn’t remember that part of Homer Simpson’s GFR speech. You know my motto: always commit to the bit even if you can’t remember it correctly and don’t bother googling it to check. Ha!

        Also I reread the beginning of your post to see if you gave any cred to Dick Clark and I see this was 1962, not the ’50s so mea culpa on that one, Eva!

      • Oh geez, you were quoting Simpsons? No wonder you had me thrown for a loop!

      • fanrosa says:

        And I bet you might guess my #3 as my #1. The only reason it’s #3 is because the original is also super awesome, whereas I didn’t care all that much for the Little Eva and Bill Withers songs. Kind of the opposite of why I don’t count I Love Rock and Roll (because while it’s technically a cover, who outside of England ever heard the original?).

        So, just to keep the non-existent suspense going, I’ll let you know if you hit it (and, once again, I bet you won’t).

  4. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Your intro of “all aboard” made me think of “Party Train” by the Gap Band, which then reminded me that I heard a Robert Palmer cover of “Early in the Morning” not too long ago. Not sure if made your list,since I am still not 100% sure if this list is genuine in it’s love of music or quest to drive me further into earworm hell.

    Happy Monday! 🙂

    • NotAPunkRocker says:

      (seriously, I know the difference between it’s and its, but I had to mess it up anyway!)

    • You know, I never did know whether Robert or the Gap Band did Early in the Morning first… so I guess that answers the question of whether it appears or not! The Gap boys did it better…

      Welcome to Monday at The Nest…. Earworm Hell since 2014!

      • NotAPunkRocker says:

        You know what? I don’t care, I am still saying Palmer ripped them off, even if it’s not true. (though if that is the case, I think we owe GB a humanitarian award for saving us from that song and giving us a good song to groove to)

  5. You win. I finally recognize something. This one. I suppose I could hardly miss it. I think (I’m embarrassed to admit) I can actually still sing it. Oy.

  6. Little Eva! Wow. She was great. I had to look up Miss Kylie and discovered had I been Australian I would have known just how famous she is. She is Madonna famous down there but not so scary. Madonna is now just pathetically sad scary creepy, something Kylie would never be. Anyway, she does look like Barbie. Cute cute cute. As for the Grand Funk Railroad version – that is one of the great summer crank-it-up and roll down the car window songs of all time. Thanks for the Cover Song Countdown. I can’t wait for the next one!

  7. Trisha says:

    This song was one that always made me wish I could dance. Other kids knew how to swing their hips and all that stuff but not me!

  8. gentlestitches says:

    I love, love, love Kylie! Her version is so full of life and her smile is so real and fun! ❤

  9. draliman says:

    Straight from “Neighbours” fame into a singing career. What a girl! I remember when her version of this song came out. Very catchy!

    • I’m only aware of her musical career… which isn’t too shabby. I remember she came back with another hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” in the early 2000’s…

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Didn’t know that Kylie Minogue had covered this song, but I like her pep doing so. [Whenever I see her I think of the Dr. Who, so now I’m off to find the episode she was in– and watch it again.]

  11. markbialczak says:

    You ain’t kidding about this song’s staying power, Bill. The way I figure it, it’s time for a group from Asia to record a version to land in the top five just … about … now! By the way, I’m giving my vote to the Grand Funk Railroaders for selling their audience on this one after Little Eva’s cool and happy little dance version of the ’60s.

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