[11] The Blue Boy, ‘Remember Me’

A gruesome horror story, this – “Remember me, I’m the one who had your baby’s eyes”. Sickening stuff, but an irresistible and barrier-busting record. I mean, everyone loved it. The streets, bars and clubs vibrated to people stuttering “ging-gi-ga-ging-gi-gi-ging-ga-ging” or whatever. It was everywhere.

Can’t tell you much about the record’s provenance, who the Blue Boy was or anything. Well, I could if I researched it, but let’s leave it at it being a Marlena Shaw sample and a subtle yet propulsive Sure Is Pure remix. What more do you need?

Junior wigged out so hard, she hit her chin on the coffee table.

[12] Belle & Sebastian, ‘Dog On Wheels EP’

Tough to choose just one of Belle and Sebastian’s legendary EPs – tough to call them ‘legendary’, but we eschew understatement here – so ‘Dog On Wheels’ gets the nod for ‘The State I Am In’. I reckon the album version is better, so I played them back to back for Junior to judge. She disagreed with her dad, possibly not for the last time.

The rougher EP version had our baby Belle grinning and banging her hairbrush on the coffee table. Quite a raucous response to B&S, but then I’m not sure Junior’s going to be a twee, gingham-frocked, church hall sort of girl. She’s going to be a B-Girl, Acid Tess, Studio 54 rawk chick.

Speaking of the Mercury Prize (as I was in my head), how the hell did Belle and Sebastian’s fantastic The Life Pursuit not get a nod? Makes the whole thing look like a sideshow farce.


[13] Daft Punk, ‘Around The World’

Dum dum dum, de do do do do do do-do der dum dum dum. SING ALONG.

I can’t get enough cute, glitterballed French disco, and nor should you. Junior loved it so much, I could’ve persuaded her to wear a luminous body sock and dance in formation with her mum (who’s rarely out of her luminous body sock). As it was, she was throwing some robotic shapes from the first bar, even modifying her moves when the bass thudded in. Music sounds better with her.

As the track bleeped and popped towards its sixth minute, Junior grabbed the electronic songbook and pressed the ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes’ button. It was as if Daft Punk were in the room, accompanying themselves, riffing on their own tune with da nursery rhyme funk.

We’ll be releasing our own limited edition glitch techno white label before the end of the year.

[14] Tricky, ‘Makes Me Wanna Die’

Paranoid, narcotic, sinister, disjointed and resolutely undanceable. But enough about me, sort of. Junior found a way to dance to Tricky’s brooding curio, but then the girl has rhythm and style beyond the common punter’s wildest dreams.

Is this record widely known? I used to play it to death, loved the Rhodes piano and Martina’s broken vocals, but I might have been the only one. It was the third single from Pre-Millennium Tension, yet still a Top 30 SMASH.

No.29, in fact.

[15] Finley Quaye, ‘Sunday Shining’

Finley was 1997’s one year wonder. Smash hit single, monster album, scene-stealing Brits appearance (in ’98, admittedly, but you know what I mean), Mercury nomination… hmm, apparently no Mercury nomination. He must’ve been gutted. The flippin’ Propellerheads got a nomination. ROBBIE BLEEDING WILLIAMS got a nomination.

Well, I thought Maverick A Strike was quite good. 60-70% of it anyhow. ‘Sunday Shining’ takes a Bob Marley tune, makes it interesting, adds some light rawk, a sprinkle of cool and maintains the ma-ri-ju-ana quotient. Wikkid, man.

Junior and the iDog hook into the sinuous beats and lazy, slinky guitar licks. “Yes, sweetheart,” I say, “I know Robert de Niro didn’t seem like much of a ‘hero’ in Meet The Fockers the other night. Finley’s referring to… erm, jeez, I dunno.”

He’s Tricky’s uncle, doncha know. These segues are getting worse.

[16] Super Furry Animals, ‘Demons’

“I have a dartboard memory, so I’ll forget any felony”. One doesn’t often link the words ‘Welsh’ and ‘genius’, but the Super Furries have been confounding received wisdom for years. ‘Demons’ isn’t their best, not that it matters to Junior. It draws her in right away, the psychedelia-lite pulling her towards the stereo where she can adopt her forthright chairman pose at the coffee table. But this is no Bored Meeting!

SFA were easily outstripping their Creation cohorts by this stage. Oasis had tanked hugely – nah, you won’t see the ‘D’You Know What I Mean’ drone here – and the Boo Radleys were desperately trying to stamp on the embers of their commercial success. Primal Scream were feigning a return to form with Vanishing Point, but you try listening to the singles (at least) now. I did.

So, hats off to the Welsh chaps. Junior liked ‘The International Language Of Screaming’ too. She could sing along to that.

[17] James, ‘She’s A Star’

Well well well. Who saw this coming?  Kicking off with the guitar signature from the end of ‘Torn’, segueing into that bit with Keeley Hawes (as a little girl) being spun around, it’s a smorgasboard of pop culture references. I think they got to the guitar thing first, though. Imbruglia’s a magpie.

What to say about James that hasn’t been said? Have they split up? Why? Anyway, this song could be great if only it had a proper chorus, but they were never good at choruses. They were good at atmospherics, rousing lyrics, swooping guitars, funny dancing and getting students to trip over their stupid mates.

Junior just kept twirling around with her mum until she threatened to throw up. Kids will use anything as a weapon.

[18] Natalie Imbruglia, ‘Torn’

Not just a pretty face, young Nat surprised her public with a highly serviceable pop tune (nicked from some Scandinavian; I forget the details) and fuelled many a male fantasy with the “lying naked on the floor” bit. Men are acutely adept at dismissing context when beautiful girls say “naked”. Scientific fact.

It’s a swinging little number with its insistent acoustic guitar and standard jangly indie riffs, and gets right under Junior’s skin from the outset. By the chorus, she’s been whisked into the air by her mum, and is twirling around like a designer hippie chick, Imbruglia-style.

Lovely guitar solo outro too. Very familiar. Can’t quite put my finger on it…

[19] Radiohead, ‘Paranoid Android’

Radiohead’s first fan-shedding phase started, paradoxically, with the Greatest Album Of All Time (© Q Magazine, probably). It was a fantastic bit of over-hyping that even led to ‘No Surprises’ being tagged the Greatest Rock Single Of All Time early the next year. Stupendous. Your stalwart rock hacks were breathless, feverish. Just imagine the couple of seconds of awkward silence after they heard Kid A for the first time.

And last time.

Keeping up the contradictions, ‘Paranoid Android’ alienated swathes of fans and took Radiohead to the Top 3 for the first and – so far – only time. It’s a six-minute riot of joyous Italo-house pianos, frog choruses, Elton and Kiki Dee-style cheeky vocal interplay and Junior Senioresque infectiousness.

Nah, it’s a six-minute trial of studious fretwankery. But pretty good with it. It’s certainly worth a flash of air guitar, as Junior appreciated, and a wave of the castanets. I think she was being sarky there.

[20] Beth Orton, ‘Best Bit EP’

An acquired taste, Beth Orton’s voice, but Junior seemed to have some appetite. She swung jerkily from side to side, rather like a Go-Jo on an early Top Of The Pops, and clacked her castanets in time. I think we’ll introduce more accompanying instruments as this chart goes on.

We listened to ‘Best Bit’ itself (and a tiny bit of the lovely Terry Callier duet, ‘Lean On Me’). The lead track has the timbre and widescreen delta feel of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode To Billie Jo’; it might also read like a sequel. Grand claims aside, it’s a fine piece of mood music that makes a decent fist of not going anywhere.

Two more things about our Beth before we go: she gave the most impressively drunk performance I’ve seen, at Glastonbury a few years ago; her name is a misplaced letter from greatness.