[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.

[7] Erasure, ‘Drama!’

Erasure

We had The Beatles in 65/66, ABBA in 76/77 and Blondie in 79/80. Top singles bands captured at the very peak of their powers. Erasure were showing this kind of form at the back end of the 80s, unable to stem the flow of startlingly good pop songs. ‘Drama!’ doesn’t even have a CHORUS, not really, but it’s no-sweat Top 10 gold dust.

And I’m nothing if not a sucker for sparkly pop music with killer hooks, squelchy noises, shouts of “GUILTY!” at various pitches and legions of battling synths – always have been. Junior’s going to go this way too, if I have to frogmarch her. She looked pretty sanguine about the whole thing, anyway, her arms propelling her ceilingwards on Vince Clarke’s 303 skyrocket.

Ol’ Vince, eh? 80s pop’s ubiquitous eminence grise. His dread hand will appear twice more in this chart, actual and implied. Oooooo.