"Loco In Acapulco" was written and produced by Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier for the soundtrack of the film Buster, in which Collins played the title role. They met in Acapulco, Mexico to track music for "Two Hearts," a #1 hit they also co-wrote for the film.
While at Motown and working with his partners Eddie and Brian Holland, Dozier wrote two #1 hits for The Four Tops: "Reach Out I'll Be There" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)." By this time, the group was recording for Arista Records, which later released the song on their album Indestructible. Collins, a huge Motown fan, was thrilled to work with The Four Tops.
"Loco" is a very musical word, but tough to get into a song. Carole King and Gerry Goffin pulled it off with "The Loco-Motion," turning it into a dance, while Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier used it in its true meaning: "crazy." The song tells a story about a guy who goes to Acapulco to have a good time, warning him that leaving behind a girl who loves him will soon drive him to madness.
In America, this wasn't released as a single, but it was a big hit in the UK, reaching #7. It marked the last time The Four Tops reached the upper reaches of any chart.
This song has an upbeat vibe that doesn't seem to fit the soundtrack to a film about a train robbery, but that story has been sanitized and romanticized by the mass media. Buster Edwards was one of the men known as The Great Train Robbers. In August 1963, a Glasgow to Euston mail train was robbed netting over two million pounds for the perpetrators. When the gang were brought to book they received Draconian sentences - many convicted murderers served less time. Ronald Biggs, the most infamous gang member, famously escaped from Wandsworth Prison and fled to South America; likewise, Edwards ended up south of the border with his wife - hence the song - but eventually returned to Britain and surrendered to the authorities, receiving a "lenient" fifteen year sentence. He ended his days selling flowers outside London's Waterloo Station.
The Great Train Robbers won admiration for the sheer audacity of their crime, but the driver of the express, Jack Mills, was struck over the head with an iron bar, and suffered both physical and psychological trauma until his premature death in 1970.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England