[6] Buggles, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’

I’m concerned I may have to defend this one. EASY. Just look at Junior finding the glee in the poignancy, making her plastic tiger leapfrog her plastic lion, all in time to the ecstatic pulse of the music. Watch her punching the air and performing the dance of the seven veils with her sister’s muslin square; it’s a dizzy representation of the song’s way with the possibilities of pop.

‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ suffers from the “novelty” tag, being, on the surface at least, a one-hit wonder with a chipmunk, quasi-synthesised chorus. Then there’s Trevor Horn, all bubble-perm and oversized specs, hardly projecting an image of a man about to push pop’s boundaries to glorious and ludicrous extents with ABC and Frankie Goes To Hollywood respectively. But we’re not interested in surface. The song’s depth is in the bittersweet nostalgia, the regret at the passing of an age of music even as it embraces the new world, and also in the symphonic electronica – crescendos, drop-outs, even a sense of the fat lady singing. MTV co-opted it as the anthem of triumph of picture over audio, making it the first song to be played on the station, and perhaps they hit the nail on the head. It’s a requiem and celebration rolled into one.

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[9] Britney Spears, ‘…Baby One More Time’

Britney Spears

Odd to think that this is the first time Junior’s heard this, when the rest of us could probably sing it in our sleep. That’s almost the case for her too – I have to wake her up, and we grab our jukebox moment in the five minutes before we need to scoot off to nursery. Junior greets the song with a blend of crying, laughing, dancing and squawking. She’s obviously been watching Britters’ recent videos.

With this record, teeny pop took a swerve for the better, beefing up its sound and realising that the kids wanted something more than saccharine ballads. Which was hardly rocket science. The 8-12 year olds used to buy Blondie, Duran Duran, Frankie, A-ha, all of whom had a bit of muscle behind the velvet. Surely the 90s kids could cope? OK, I suppose some of this record’s success was down to the school uniform – no accounting for dubious taste – but it’s still top-drawer power pop.

Of course, Britney’s second single was ‘Sometimes’, a sugarsweet ballad.

[4] Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Relax’

Junior passed the time walking up and down her mum’s belly. Just checking for siblings.

My claim to credibility is that I bought this before Radio 1 banned it, back when even my mum liked it. She claimed that she didn’t when it was dogged by notoriety, but children don’t forget these things. I’d bought my first record player for £10 from a guy in Hemel Hempstead – actually, my dad paid and it was only £9.50 but, inexplicably, he let the seller keep the change. I was aghast. 50p was a fortune. To get to the point, it was one of those record players on which you could flick a switch and it would keep playing the record on the turntable over and over again until you took the arm off.

The day I bought ‘Relax’, I played it 11 times in a row.

Junior probably won’t want her dad to go out and buy a rickety turntable with a free 7” single (Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis, ‘You’re Gonna Get Next To Me’) thrown in. She’ll just want that chip in her right earlobe upgraded.

[9] Duran Duran, ‘The Reflex’

While Frankie and Wham! were carving up the UK, Duran Duran were perfumed, whacked-out, be-mulleted Kings of the World. Cash and supermodels dripping off them like sweat from Le Bon’s podgy face. Total UK chart domination seemed to elude them, this being only their second and last No.1 single, but of course they provoked scenes of hysteria not seen since you-know-who.

I was one of those quieter, male Duranies. Bought this single on poster bag 7”, admired by the boys on the lift home from school. It was only when you hit 13 that Duran Duran became hopelessly naff. I stayed bewilderingly faithful, achingly cool though I was, until they slipped off my radar ten years ago.

The best bit of this song is obviously Andy Taylor’s processed burps in the middle section. It’s the only part that makes sense in the lyrical sea of nonsense. They tried to convince us that Taylor was saying “yeah”, but where’s the fun in that?

Junior is an aficionado of the belch, a burping connoisseur. None were forthcoming this morning as she’d obstinately foregone breakfast, so she contented herself with leaning forwards over the side of the inflatable, trying to give her parents the fear. The only time she paid attention was when the “ta la la la”s came in at the start. The moment Le Bon opened his mouth, she dived for cover.

That’s your lot, Duranies. God knows what happened to ‘Wild Boys’.

[10] Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Two Tribes’

I haven’t listened to the Welcome To The Pleasuredome LP in 20 years. I’m suddenly thinking that it might be quite good. Can anyone endorse this?

We were rushed this morning, as it was Junior’s first full day at nursery. I did notice she was sitting there shaking her head, so I wonder whether she suspected this was all hype over substance. But what hype. We’ve noted how big Wham! were in 1984; Frankie were bigger. Not since Gerry & the Pacemakers blah blah blah. Jive Bunny rather cheapened the feat by matching it a few years later.

The Hamnett/Morley t-shirts, the bribing of Mike Read, the naughty sleeves, the big sledgehammer-subtle messages, not to mention the massive Trevor Horn production – you couldn’t miss them. This record still sounds huge, empty though it is. Even “The air attack warning sounds like…” made Junior jump.

Must say, though: I couldn’t see what was special about modelling shirts by van Heusen. I used to wear my dad’s ones for painting.