The Loco-Motion: Wikis


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"The Loco-Motion"
Single by Little Eva
from the album Locomotion
B-side "He is the Boy"
Released June 1962
Format 7", 45rpm
Genre Pop, rhythm and blues
Length 2:27
Label Dimension Records
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer Gerry Goffin
Little Eva singles chronology
-- "The Loco-Motion"
"Keep Your Hands Off My Baby"
"The Loco-Motion"
Single by Grand Funk Railroad
from the album Shinin' On
B-side "Destitute and Losin'"
Released May 1974
Format 7", 45rpm
Genre Rock
Length 2:46
Label Capitol Records
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer Todd Rundgren
Grand Funk Railroad singles chronology
"Walk Like a Man"
"The Loco-Motion"
"Shinin' On"
"Locomotion"/"The Loco-Motion"

Cover of 1987 Version.
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Kylie and Arthur 2: On the Rocks
B-side (1987 version)
1. "Glad To Be Alive"
2. "Getting Closer"
(1988 version)
1. "I'll Still Be Loving You"
Released July 28, 1987
(See release history)
Format CD single, cassette single, vinyl single
Recorded London
Genre Pop, Dance, Freestyle
Length 3:12
Label PWL/Mushroom
A&M Records
Geffen Records (US)
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer (1987 version)
Mike Duffy
(1988 version)
Stock Aitken & Waterman
Certification 3x Platinum (Australia)
Platinum (Canada)
Gold (UK & U.S.)
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
- "Locomotion"
"I Should Be So Lucky"
Kylie Minogue American singles chronology
"Got to Be Certain"
"The Loco-Motion"
"Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi"
Alternate cover
Cover of 1988 version
Music video
"Locomotion" at YouTube

"The Loco-Motion" is a 1962 popular music song written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The song is notable for appearing the American Top 5 three times – each time in a different decade: for Little Eva during 1962 (U.S. #1); for Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 (U.S. #1); and for Kylie Minogue in 1988 (U.S. #3).

The song is a popular and enduring example of the dance-song genre: much of the lyrics are devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually done as a type of line dance. However, the song came before the dance.

"The Loco-Motion" is ranked #350 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

"The Loco-Motion" is also one of only nine songs to reach US #1 by two different artists.


Notable releases

Original Little Eva version

The original recording of the song was sung by Eva Boyd, under the stage name Little Eva. Boyd was actually Carole King's babysitter, having been introduced to King and husband Gerry Goffin by The Cookies, a local girl group who would also record for the songwriters. "The Loco-Motion" was the first release by the new Dimension Records company, whose releases were mostly penned and produced by Goffin and King, and reached #1 in China during 2001.

A cover version of the song was recorded quickly by British girl group The Vernons Girls and scored the chart the same week as the Little Eva version. The Vernons Girls' version stalled at #47 in the UK, while the Little Eva version reached #2 on the UK charts. It re-entered the chart some ten years later and almost became a top ten again, peaking at #11.

In the United States, "The Loco-Motion" was the sixth most successful single of 1962 according to Billboard. It was also the third most successful single of 1962 in South Africa.[1]

The Little Eva version of the song was featured by the 2006 David Lynch film Inland Empire.

Little Eva "The Loco-Motion" Myth

The widely-believed story of how the song "The Loco-Motion" came to be is that Carole King was playing music at home and Eva Boyd was doing some chores and started dancing to it; the dance The Loco-Motion was born. However, this is not true. Eva Boyd was introduced to Goffin and King and they realized she had a good singing voice, so they had her record "The Loco-Motion." Carole King stated this during an interview on National Public Radio (NPR) shortly after Little Eva died.

As the song came before the dance, there was no dance when the song was originally written. When the song became a smash hit, Eva Boyd ended up having to create a dance to go along with the song. Carole King stated this in her "One to One" concert video.

In live performances of the song, Little Eva can be seen doing her version of the dance.


Chart Peak Position[2]
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 2
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1

Grand Funk Railroad version

American hard rock group Grand Funk Railroad recorded a version of the song during 1974, produced by Todd Rundgren. The song appeared on their album Shinin' On album and, released as a single, scored #1 on the U.S. charts. The Grand Funk version of the song featured guitars, several layers of harmony, and heavy drums.


Chart Peak Position
Australia Go-Set 5
Austrian Singles Chart 7
Canadian Singles Chart 1
German singles Chart 11
US Billboard Hot 100 1

Kylie Minogue version

A cover version of "The Loco-Motion" was the debut single by Australian popular music singer Kylie Minogue.

After an impromptu performance of the song at an Australian rules football charity event with the cast of the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Minogue was signed a record deal by Mushroom Records to release the song as a single. The single was released on July 28, 1987 in Australia, Sweden and Italy under the title "Locomotion". The song was a success in Australia, reaching number one and remaining there for seven weeks. The success of the song in her home country resulted in her signing a record deal with PWL Records in London and to working with the successful team Stock Aitken & Waterman.[3]

In 1988, a re-recorded version produced by Stock Aitken & Waterman was released worldwide with the title "The Loco-Motion". This release again was a major success, reaching the top five in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Minogue's version of the track appeared in the 1988 film Arthur 2: On The Rocks, starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.

Release history

Country Date
Australia July 28, 1987
Worldwide July 25, 1988

Music video

The music video for "Locomotion" was filmed at Essendon Airport and the ABC studios in Melbourne, Australia. The video for "The Loco-Motion" was created out of footage from the Australian music video.

Near the end of 1988, the song was nominated for Best International Single at the Canadian Music Industry Awards.

Formats and track listings

Australia, Sweden & Italy "Locomotion" (1987)
Australian cassette single
  1. "Locomotion" — 3:17
  2. "Locomotion" (Chugga-Motion Mix) — 7:38
  3. "Locomotion" (Girl Meets Boy Mix) — 3:15
  4. "Glad to Be Alive" (7" Mix) — 3:42
Australian 7" vinyl single
  1. "Locomotion" — 3:15
  2. "Glad to Be Alive" (7" Mix) — 3:42
Australian 12" vinyl single
  1. "Locomotion" (Chugga-Motion Mix) — 7:38
  2. "Locomotion" (Girl Meets Boy Mix) — 3:15
  3. "Glad to Be Alive" (7" Mix) — 3:42
Swedish 7" vinyl single
  1. "Locomotion" — 3:17
  2. "Getting Closer" (7" Mix) — 3:33
Swedish 12" vinyl single
  1. "Locomotion" (Chugga-Motion Mix) — 7:38
  2. "Getting Closer" (Extended Oz Mix) — 4:11
  3. "Locomotion" — 3:17
Italian 7" vinyl single
  1. "Locomotion" — 3:17
  2. "Getting Closer" (7" Mix) — 3:35
Worldwide "The Loco-motion" (1988)
UK 7" vinyl single
  1. "The Loco-motion" (7" mix) — 3:17
  2. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45
UK 12" vinyl single
  1. "The Loco-motion" (Kohaku Mix) — 5:59
  2. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45
UK 12" remix
  1. "The Loco-motion" (Sankie Mix) — 6:35
  2. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45
USA 7" vinyl single/Cassingle
  1. "The Loco-motion" (LP Version) — 3:17
  2. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45
USA 12" vinyl single
  1. "The Loco-motion" (Kohaku Mix) — 5:59
  2. "The Loco-motion" (Sankie Mix) — 6:35
  3. "The Loco-motion" (LP Version) — 3:17
  4. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45
German CD single
  1. "The Loco-motion" (Kohaku Mix) — 5:59
  2. "I'll Still Be Loving You" — 3:45

Chart performance

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The 1987 "Locomotion" release was a huge hit in Minogue's native Australia, reaching number one on the AMR singles chart and remaining there for seven weeks. The song set the record as the biggest Australian single of the decade. Throughout Europe and Asia the song also performed well on the music charts, reaching number one in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, and South Africa.

The 1988 release of the song in the United Kingdom debuted at number two on the singles chart — the highest entry on the UK singles charts by a female artist — due to strong 7" single sales and radio airplay. It remained in the number two position for four weeks before falling to number three. With sales of 440,000 it was the 11th best selling single of the year.[4] The song became Minogue's third top five rated single in the UK and remains one of her most successful single releases to date.

During late 1988, Minogue traveled to the United States to promote "The Loco-Motion", where she did many interviews and performances on American television.

"The Loco-Motion" debuted at number eighty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and later climbed to number three for two weeks. The song was Minogue's second single to chart in the U.S., but her first to reach the top ten. It remains her best success in the United States. She would not even reach the top ten again until 2002 with the release of "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", which reached number seven on the chart.

In Canada, the song also reached the top spot in the pop sales charts.

Live Performances

Kylie performed the song on the following concert tours:

The song was also performed on:


Chart (1987) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Chart (1988) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 3
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Singles Chart 6
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 1
Finland Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart 1
Italian Singles Chart 6
Japan Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 8
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Peru Top 100 1
South Africa Singles Chart[8] 1
Swedish Singles Chart 10
Swiss Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 4

Peru top.100 No.1 for 3 weeks in Nov 1988, ask peru top.100 for info!!

Sylvie Vartan version

In 1962, French singer Sylvie Vartan recorded a version of the song in French called "Le Locomotion." It went to #1 in France on October 13, 1962 and remained there for one week.[9]

Carole King versions

Carole King herself sings the song on her live album The Living Room Tour released July 12, 2005. The album peaked at number 17 on the US album chart on July 30, 2005[10].

She also recorded a version for her 1980 album Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King. The album peaked at number 44 and spawned King's last top 40 hit to-date, One Fine Day, which would reach number 12 on the charts.

Chart precession and succession

Preceded by
"Breaking Up is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
(Little Eva version)

August 25, 1962 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Sheila" by Tommy Roe
Preceded by
"You'll Lose a Good Thing" by Barbara Lynn
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
(Little Eva version)

August 25, 1962 – September 9, 1962 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Green Onions" by Booker T. & The MG's
Preceded by
"TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB and The Three Degrees
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
(Grand Funk Railroad version)

May 4, 1974 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Streak" by Ray Stevens
Preceded by
"He's Gonna Step on You Again" by The Party Boys
Australian number-one single
(Kylie Minogue version)

August 10, 1987 - 21 September 1987 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"La Bamba" by Los Lobos

Other versions

The song has inspired dozens of cover versions over the years. Besides those already mentioned:


Orange Range used the melody line of "The Loco-Motion" on their 2004 song "Locolotion" which became the number-one success on the Japanese singles chart. The commercially successful song brought about controversy because Goffin and King were not indicated on its songwriting credit, therefore their name were later added as co-writers to avoid lawsuits, when the song was featured on the band's musiQ album released during the same year.


External links

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