[1] TLC, ‘Waterfalls’

There’s a persistent rumour that this song was written by Prince, perhaps spread by those who refused to believe his muse had long since shrugged its shoulders and snuck off. Anyway, I don’t think it is, not even one of his ‘Manic Monday’ noms de plume. No doubting though that its tight funkiness and melody could have graced the mauve midget’s mid-’80s output.

So, it’s No.1. It’s not the expected conclusion of the preceding tracks, but I never tire of it. Not one jot. The soft wah-wah, T-Boz’s purr, the flowing bassline, Left-Eye’s arsonist Minnie Mouse rap – it sticks together like glue, every element essential to the sequencing of the tune. Yeah, the lyrics can be facile, but they lodge in your brain, the harmonies papering over the cracks. TLC led the ’90s r’n’b girl group boom, tracks like this, ‘Creep’ and ‘No Scrubs’ easily outstripping their peers.

A big hit with Junior too, this time giving the tray of her high chair a hammering, bouncing up and down within the strictures of the straps, her eyes crinkling with delight. A perfectly formed little gem for, well, you know. Aww.

[13] Radiohead, ‘Fake Plastic Trees’

Now – forget your standard rock candidates – The Bends is The Best Air Guitar Album In The World… Ever! I could never be doing with all that angsty navel-gazing ‘Creep’ stuff, so imagine my surprise when ‘My Iron Lung’ turned up with its friends in tow, with all that melody, warmth, heart and biceps. There was no better album in 1995.

‘Fake Plastic Trees’ doesn’t call on your Aircaster. Junior sat back and listened to her dad’s early morning cracked voice singing along, only livening up with a few giggles and leg-slaps when the soothing keyboard line came in towards the end. It’s a soft, sleepy record about, erm, plastic surgery or something and the, er, fragility of the psyche, living up to modern ideals. Help me here. Ah, it’s beautiful and affecting, whatever.

The whole warmth and melody thing became a bit of a millstone for Radiohead, of course, so they set about excising it from their oeuvre. 

‘There There’ is the only song on Hail To The Thief that I ever play.