[4] Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, ‘Crazy In Love’

Crazy In Love

When the Lord was handing out booty, Beyoncé asked for hers to come ready-slapped. It still reverberates to this day. Like that booty, ‘Crazy In Love’ shakes in all the right places, from fearsome horny fanfare to splashy drum fills, an epicentre of deep R&B sass, the perfect first rumble for that coming-of-age solo career. Let’s ignore the Austin Powers single ‘Work It Out’.

Although that was good too.

Junior says:
“Everything sounds great and beautiful and I like her name.” She says things with so much more economy. Because everything does sound great – even Jay-Z’s typically leadfooted show – and a just-reined-in-enough B sounds beautiful. Cool name as well.

Best bit: Take-no-prisoners intro. No messing, no fear.

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[12] Madonna, ‘Beautiful Stranger’

Madonna

Ooh, a William Orbit production without those bap-bap-bap echoey synth noises and heavily treated guitar. Sorry, there’s the heavily treated guitar now. As one of the Austin Powers themes, it’s meant to have a 60s psychedelic feel and, 10 years on from ‘Dear Jessie’, Madge has clocked that this doesn’t have to mean pink elephants, paisley patterns and newspaper taxis. The spiralling tune, flutes and whizzy effects can cover all that without any feeble “Oh man, look at the COLOURS” tosh.

To think I put 11 singles higher than this. It’s a seriously infectious pop hip-swinger, one of the year’s more obvious stand-outs. Junior takes a while to cotton onto this too, starting off vexed because I wiped her nose, but she’s wiggling her padded behind before long. Even she’s beginning to realise that the musclebound old girl’s put in a handy 20-year innings.

Still to come: three American female soloists, an all-girl band, a Strepsils-avoiding pretend British blues band, the Saviours Of Dance Music (for a bit), a bunch of hairy septics, a not-so-hairy septic with a made-up band, a guest spot from Kelis, some faceless lounge noodlers and, er, Moloko.

Don’t go away.