[12] Jessie Ware, ‘Tough Love’


Regular readers of Jukebox Junior (generous plural there) won’t be surprised to learn that if a song sounds like it could be from the 80s then I’m likely to give it a more than fair hearing. But here’s the thing – it needs to be a good tune too. I won’t accept any old Little Boots or Metronomy crap. This has been a strong year for excellent songs that sound as if they could be from the 80s, and I’m going to stick my neck out and guess there’s more than a handful to come in this countdown. Anyway, here’s Jessie Ware.

“It’s good because it’s called Jessie and it’s a ‘where’,” says Junior 3, somewhat cryptically. Well, it’s a point of view. I think it’s “good” because it could be a splice of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’, Sheila E’s ‘The Belle Of St Mark’ and in fact any Prince slowie of the mid-decade, and Ware maintains a stiff upper lipped poise against uncertainty, floating above the turmoil and popping beats. “I like it,” says Junior, “because it was all silent and calm.”

[5] Madonna, ‘Like A Virgin’

Seasoned 12-year-old chart watchers knew that this single was make or break for Madonna. ‘Holiday’ made a decent impact, but ‘Lucky Star’ missed the Top Ten and ‘Borderline’ barely registered at all. ‘Like A Virgin’ edged up the chart at agonising pace, before peaking at No.3, and then the world just went into Madonna meltdown with seven more UK Top Five hits in 1985 alone.

She could’ve gone the way of Cyndi Lauper. That wouldn’t have been pretty.

What a perky number it is. Junior misses any naughtiness in the lyrics, chews every toy in sight, has a go at singing along and dances with her mum. Perfect.