Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Eva - Llllloco-Motion (1962)


'C'mon baby, do the Locomotion!' Who can ever forget those memorable lyrics to that lovable 60's pop classic? Lately, I've been travelling waaaaaaaaaaay back and getting into the music that was popular before my time, digging up, becoming acquainted and getting reacquainted with the likes of Lesley Gore, Helen Shapiro, THE MOONTONES, Gene Pitney, THE SHIRELLES, Sandie Shaw..... I know I just made somebody smile with the listing of those marquee names :-) But somehow, I think I'm forgetting a few people from that list. There's something about 60's music that I find so appealing that I haven't quite been able to pinpoint after all these years. So as I've been continuing to get the 'L' entries in my music library organized, I yanked out Little Eva's 1962 classic from my old-school collection—very old school, I should clarify—and have spent the better part of the past week with it. "The Loco-motion" was quite possibly the very first old-school song that I'd ever heard when I first even became aware of music at a young age and remains at the top of my list of old-school favorites today. Just a simple song with simple, fun lyrics at a time when short n' sweet was the name of the game in the music biz. I've always liked Little Eva's vocals on this classic, but just as much, I've always liked the ladies who perform those cutesy backup vocals for her in that classy girl group style: THE COOKIES. Hadn't ever known who they were until I explored the origins of "The Locomotion" in-depth, and got another surprising bit when I discovered that the original members sang backup for soul legend Ray Charles. As for the dance itself? Well, I'm sure it was among the crazes when this hit first came out decades ago, yet I think these days, people are moving to other things besides the Loco-motion. Oddly, I've never performed the Loco-motion for myself, considering that I did a lot of wacky dances when I was a kid (what kid didn't?). Oh, and I can't neglect to mention that jazzy trumpet instrumental midway through. Moving along now to the rest of the best tracks on this album..... My locomotive comes to a halt on "Down Home", which has a Southern, back-in-the-country vibe about it that I like. Two stops after that, it's another fun pop tune that totally captures that 60's girl-group sound: "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do". I'm curious if THE COOKIES sang backup on this one, too? And the train stops altogether when I get to my favorite one of all: "He Is The Boy". It's your classic I'm-in-love-with-a-bad-boy tune that I always have a lot of fun with. Has a gospel-sorta feel to it with a perky bounce about it that keeps me hooked to the music. The best line on the song: 'he's the laziest person I know', and it's quite humorous when coupled with the backup girls echoing 'yes he is, yes he is' in response:

1. The Loco-motion
2. Some Kind Of Wonderful
3. I Have A Love
4. Down Home
5. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
6. Run To Her
7. Uptown
8. Where Do I Go?
9. Up On The Roof
10. Sharing You
11. He Is The Boy
12. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

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