[11] Goldie, ‘Inner City Life’

Apart from enjoying 4Hero’s messaround with ‘Mr Kirk’s Nightmare’ in the early ‘90s and enduring a terrifying hungover experience in a Brixton café one Sunday morning in 1993, I was never at the sharp end of jungle – or indeed its refined descendant, drum ‘n’ bass. But I like a bit of Omni Trio and, er, Marcus Intalex, and, well, this. I’m sure I’m committing all sorts of genre offences (there’s rarely been a more heavily policed form of dance music), but that’s what we’ll call this – drum ‘n’ bass.

Or jazz, let’s face it. Goldie’s urban odyssey is pilled-up, snare-fuelled jazz. It’s also thrilling; not that you’d know this from Junior’s response. She stayed resolutely down the other end of the room, playing a grotesquely speeded-up preset ‘Jingle Bells’ on her shocking pink keyboard. Yeah, yeah, you could hardly tell which was Goldie.

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[12] The Charlatans, ‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed’

The Charlatans are rather cuddly, aren’t they? Or is that just me? They make untaxing but rewarding records and thumb their noses at fashion. There were those initial dalliances with baggy, sure, but after that they settled into a decade and a half of filling songs with warm melodies and loose-limbed rocking. It’s all been faintly unremarkable, hasn’t it? Still, there was a mid-‘90s purple patch where everything Tim Burgess and the lads touched turned to Byrdsian gold, and ‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed’ kicked it off.

The verses are the best bit, slow riffs and hooks. A curious Junior asked for the song title, then took to lying on the floor, pretending she couldn’t “get out of bed”. That’s as far as her critical appraisal went.

[13] Oasis, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’

For all his habitual recourse to magnetic poetry set gobbledigook, Noel did once have a knack for connecting with the nail. To start off a song called ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ with the line “Is it my imagination, or have we finally found something worth living for?” takes a special kind of understanding of a mindset most of us have found ourselves in at some point or other. That the whole concept is pulled off with massive T. Rex riff steals and a vocal of absolute dunderheaded belief from the mighty Liam only underlines its gauche brilliance.

Junior misheard the title: “Are they in a hole?” Well, yes, usually – ha ha ha. It nearly works. She pulled a few snarly faces to match the raucous rock’n’roll but mainly busied herself with choosing the next records to play. “Put on the pink one [an odd special edition cover for Wham!’s The Final] first, then Girls Aloud.” I left that to Mum.

[14] Warren G. & Nate Dogg, ‘Regulate’

Well, Junior’s reactions were many and varied: “Can I play my guitar, please?”; “Can I have Girls Aloud on, please?”; and, to me asking why she was laughing, “Because your dancing’s funny.”

It’s a difficult record to react to, anyway – so laidback, so smoooooth, so easy on the ear yet sneaking in a hard-edged undercurrent. “Hard-edged” hardly suffices, really, what with Nate Dogg wiping out all those muggers. But the groove is purest r’n’b, destined for the coffee table if it wasn’t so accomplished and the lyric so banal in its violence. That’s G-Funk. Still gangsta, but all sophisticated, like.

[15] The Beautiful South, ‘Prettiest Eyes’

Junior strolled around the room for the duration, looking solemn but trying to hide a smirk. Well, how apt! Paul Heaton delivered his kitchen sink dramas and trad love songs with a figurative wink almost every time. Almost every time.

‘Prettiest Eyes’ sounds sincere to me, a warts-and-all celebration of a love grown old yet never stale. “Sixty 25th of Decembers/Fifty-nine 4th of Julys” are writ in every laughter line, “and I only write them down just in case/You should die”. It’s a great glob of sentiment, but that glob isn’t gloopy and Heaton inhabits the older man as if he’s the future he longs for. It’s all set in a typically radio-friendly arrangement, the type of comfortable noise that passed everyone by until they idly nosed at the greatest hits set at the end of this year and made it one of the fastest selling albums in history. That was a bolt from the blue.

[16] Livin’ Joy, ‘Dreamer’

Riffing on a theme, the Fender Plastic was out again despite me telling Junior I was pretty sure there’s no guitar on this record. But hey, she’s into fusion, man. She did take time out to ask me who was singing, and I admitted I didn’t know the nice lady’s name. “The band’s called Livin’ Joy, though.” She nodded sagely.

The “band”, as it were/was, were just a couple of Italian DJs in the fine tradition of Black Box, Starlight and all that. Italo House had moved on by this point from thumped piano hooks to something that sounded like disturbed windchimes – a motif in the fine tradition of Erasure’s peerless ‘Drama!’ – and was now ringing the death knell of dance music. ‘Dreamer’, however, is thrilling, ecstatic, beautifully structured.

As for the demise of mainstream dance, I blame Faithless. Or my age. One of the two.

[17] Primal Scream, ‘Rocks’/’Funky Jam’

For ‘Rocks’, Junior clapped her hands in a far more robust way than Bobby “Dough Wrists” Gillespie ever mustered, before whipping out the plastic guitar once more to throw some hammy rock poses. And let’s face it, Give Out But Don’t Give Up was all about the hammy rock poses. After 1991’s Screamdelica and the 10-minute bliss-out track of the same name on 1992’s Dixie-Narco EP, ‘Rocks’ was a massive disappointment, but its puppy-dog enthusiasm is infectious and it warrants a place in the chart for the number of times I played it while trying to like it. Wow, that endorsement rings out.

‘Funky Jam’ was drowned out by the squalling bedlam of bashed plastic guitar buttons, and maybe that was a blessing. From what I could make out, it’s become leadfooted in the intervening years – and it never had convincing funk chops in the first place, despite the presence of Godfunker George Clinton. Triumphs all round, then. Junior just kept playing the riffs, asking her mum each time, “Do you recognise this one?”

Afterwards, I showed her the cover of the latest CD to land on the doormat. “Do you know who this is?” Junior studied it for a moment: “Girls Not Allowed”.

[18] The Sabres Of Paradise, ‘Wilmot’

Before we’re inundated with letters (as per), Andrew Weatherall’s crew did indeed have a “The” in front of their name. It’s not a particularly outlandish claim. Not like, “The record’s actually about popular children’s TV presenter and latter-day West End musicals stalwart Gary Wilmot”. Not like that.

Reminiscent of Weatherall’s work on Primal Scream’s Screamdelica, this is a dub symphony to match The Orb’s excursions on ‘Higher Than The Sun’. With its exotic gibber and tribal hoodoos, let’s call it Rainforest Skank. Junior latched onto the trumpets – this coming the day after it emerged her top request for Father Christmas is in fact a pink trumpet – and tried to recreate the deep, juddering bassline with her plastic “electric” guitar. Let’s call that a flair for improvisation.

[19] Oasis, ‘Supersonic’

Walking like a monkey, combing your sideburns forward into cute little curls, dressing like a Brookside truant, spouting your older brother’s nonsense poetry while it was still the right side of hackneyed – THIS is what constituted Being A Rock Star in 1994. Oasis were an oddly stale breath of fresh air, coming on like…

… hang on – this just in from a Jukebox Junior reader: “Junior’s say doesn’t get enough weight. If she don’t like Jacko, he should only warrant a sentence.”

Right; Junior and her mum agreed ‘Supersonic’ was “just noise.” That’s that, then. Don’t fret though, Oasis fans. I doubt we’ve heard the last.

[20] Portishead, ‘Sour Times’

1994 looks dark. Maybe it was dropping out of my Masters and taking coy steps into the record industry in forbidding London. Maybe it was the dawn of clog-footed Britpop. Maybe it was four months of Wet Wet Wet.

Or maybe it was the magnificently maudlin Portishead, introducing a refined and bleak take on the Massive Attack template, woefully misplaced on the coffee table yet a mainstay there all the same. It may boast gnomic lyrics, but ‘Sour Times’ is so steeped in woe-is-me and chilly zithers that it seems pretty clear where Beth Gibbons’ head’s at. Still, while the desperate “Nobody loves me” might come on like a tiresome whinge, it’s immediately undercut by “… not like you do”. Relief! She does have someone after all! Not that it sounds like a bed of roses. “After time, the bitter taste… Scattered seed, buried lives…”

Dummy’s a beast of an album, as I told Junior. She mulled it over, mesmerised by the sleeve. “Is it a beast? Is it scary?” Well, yes, it is a bit; it’s not one for the fragile listener. I wondered whether she liked the song and she murmured, “I don’t know.”