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!
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.
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.
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.
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…