Did you wake up this morning and notice the sun was shining just a bit brighter, the birds were singing just a little merrier, and the coffee tasted just slightly less like Juan Valdez’s donkey? There can be no doubting the reason why this Monday morning may very well be the bestest Monday morning of the entire year, as we have finally reached the terminus of “anything you can do I can do better” music. It’s time to present the number one song in The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown! DJ Scratchy picked out her best glow in the dark, postmodern ballgown to wear for the occasion of dropping the final needle on the top of this golden record, while the Sponkies chose more conservative formal wear to celebrate such a glorious occasion.
Alright, let’s do this! Can I get a drum roll please, Hottie….?
#1. “Funkytown” – Pseudo Echo
Lipps Inc. was not the original name of the band Milli Vanilli, they were one of literally thousands of pop acts to come out of the Minneapolis R&B scene that was not named Prince. In 1980, they stumbled upon a disco earworm that literally took the entire world by storm. “Funkytown” not only hit #1 on the US charts, but on the official music charts in 27 other countries as well… a record setting achievement at the time. I love disco… probably way more than you do. But I can’t stand this goddamn song. It’s a musical abomination of which I will not tolerate. Can anybody out there take this song and keep it moving and grooving with just a little more energy?
In the mid 80’s, Pseudo Echo was an Australian New Wave quartet who wasn’t making much noise outside of their home continent and surrounding islands. In 1987, the released a US version of their second album “Love an Adventure” for American audiences, and included a track on the international version that was left off the original…. a five minute remaking of the Lipps Inc. classic, which bought the band their one and only entry onto the Billboard Top 40. How this song only made it to #6 is baffling… it isn’t just the greatest cover song of all time… it’s one of the best pieces of fucking music to ever be supplied to us by means of electricity!!!
I had a hell of a time sorting out the order of the songs I presented in this countdown, but this was the one position that was absolutely locked down from the beginning. Pseudo Echo took one of my least favorite disco songs and kept the high energy of that genre, while transforming it into a guitar rock/synth pop mashup that is almost too good to be true. This is hardcore 80’s goodness Straight Outta Melbourne!
Naturally, despite Lipps Inc.’s universal appeal with the original and Pseudo Echo’s kickass cover, the only town these two bands wound up moving to was OneHitWonderville. Neither group ever hit the US charts with another Top 40 hit. I guess you can check out of Funkytown anytime you like, but you can never leave…
And how oddly ironic is it that despite my self-professed love of all that is disco, even including several disco remakes of songs from different genres in my countdown, that three of my top four choices for this countdown were just the opposite… remakes of disco songs in a different style? It just goes to show you that putting a big, sparkly, spinning ball above something doesn’t necessarily make it automatically awesome.
And that does it for The Nest’s special presentation of The Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown. While I surely didn’t expect anyone to love all, or even most of what I chose to include in this tribute, I do hope you all found some hidden gems in the songs I featured over the past seven months. I have some ideas for a new countdown on tap beginning sometime next year, and sometime soon I’ll post a poll to let you all pick which theme you want me to tackle… but for now, I’ll be returning Mondays to more of the lesser known songs of excellence I’ve picked up from the Mecca Muzak CD’s. Happy earworming everyone!
I liked their version and I also liked Don’t Go… but that hairstyles….what have we done to this world with Aquanet….
Who needs ozone when you can have totally awesome hair?
I am suddenly suspicious of the idea of other themes and that they may be left to a popular vote….
I was going to unilaterally decide which theme I used next year, and had even begun compiling a list of songs to include in it… but upon further reflection, though my avid readers might like to decide for themselves which kind of shitty music they wanted to hear next. I’m just so thoughtful like that… 🙂
But, I read a lot from those who comment on your blog! I don’t trust them…er…us! 😉
I wouldn’t worry about them… the dead folks from Chicago who read my blog will cancel out their votes.
At the top of the heap, stands … the curvy female dancer to the horns from Minneapolis. LIPPS Inc. wins my last vote in your terrific cover song countdown, Bill, as valiantly as the Australian boys tried to rock out with ‘Funkytown.’ Thanks for 30 weeks of where-did-I-hear-that-before anticipation! I look forward to your next madcap series.
And thank you for making your voice heard on all 30 of these classics and classic remakes! I can’t wait to see your reaction to next year’s Top 30 polka standards redone by heavy metal bands. Motley Crue and accordions go hand in hand…
We have a game polka band here that isn’t afraid to tackle Motley Crue, Bill. It’s gotta go both ways. Hey, your countdowns are always much fun.
The only thing keeping them from being a fruity English club band is that their great-grandparents were criminals……
Well, since being fruity was frowned upon back then, I’m surprised all of those kind of bands didn’t end up in Australia…
Hey, I remember this one! I was more of a hard rock girl in the 80’s but I always kind of liked this song. Not if someone played it at the school dance though. Even in my younger days I didn’t have enough energy to keep up with a song like this!
You just needed more sugar slathered cereal and Kool Aid! Oh Yeah!
Holy possum trots that is fun. I have this to add it to my workout mix.
Sweating to the oldies but goodies. I can’t stay seated whenever I hear this song…
Now that is/was music. Gotta love the aussie boys Such a blend of tough and sweet. Oh and musically VERY TALENTED. It is almost time for the biggest footy match for the year speaking of tough and sweet. THE GRAND FINAL! ❤
That was a big fun series ES! thanks for the ear worms and memories. 😀
You’re welcome! I knew you’d love the #1! I’ll bet this song could rock the crowd at the footy match…
OOOOhhhhhhhh YES! 😀
Okay, gotta ask. Do you keep all this stuff in your head or do you have to look it up?
Some stuff is retained, but I definitely do some spotty research for all of these posts. For example, I was unaware the original song set a record for being #1 in the most different countries… and given how little I think of that version of the song, I kinda wish I didn’t learn that.
That is the dark side of research. I research everything. It’s almost like a reflex to something I find interesting that I immediately have to look it up and find out what else there is to know. Sometimes — often — it’s great. But then, there are the things you wish you hadn’t learned. Oh well 🙂
That was actually pretty good (he said in surprise). Just a one-hit-wonder? There’s no justice.
I often wonder why some acts stalled at one hit wonder status while others continued on. I don’t think talent has as much to do with it as people think… more likely lack of promotion of future work.
You need to be “noticed” by a professional promoter or you’re sunk these days. Creative geniuses aren’t usually the best self-promoters.
Even we non-geniuses aren’t really great at the promotions thing. It’s why we publish, but no one knows about it!
Okay, first, I don’t know how I missed it, but I did NOT know you were a disco fan. And I thought you had such good taste. I only like disco pre-Saturday Night Fever, when it was still funky. I guess I will have to agree to disagree on disco. Second, I found it very amusing that after disco, my least favorite music is commercial 80s songs. (I Stopped Believing way long ago). So to pick a disco song redone as an 80s song was quite funny to me as I waited with anticipation for this last entry. I am not sure which version I “like” more, but this gave me a good laugh. Loved the countdown and most of the songs!
I realize I’m on a very lonely island when it comes to the disco fan club. And I am totally with you on overplayed commercial crap like Journey. I like songs that sound fun and that make me want to get up and move… or at least rock/sway/dance while I’m sitting. Thanks for sticking with the countdown all the way until the disappointing end! 🙂
As the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. While much of your list had me channeling Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (“..the horror….the horror”), I’m in agreement on the merits of this one. You know well my feelings regarding that genre whose name cannot be mentioned, but I liked the Pseudo Echo remake so much that I….bought the 45! Yup, I did. So the countdown has a happy ending. All kidding aside, I enjoyed reading the weekly entries in this series, whether or not I agreed with some…ok, most…of them.
I remember you mentioning you liked this one during my covers LS game, so I know you have some musical taste after all! 😉 Thanks for following along, TBone. I don’t expect anyone to agree with all of my choices, in fact, I’d be worried if someone did like all of these songs I presented!