[1] The Stone Roses, ‘Fools Gold 9.53’

The Stone Roses

The last couple of minutes of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ gave us a clue, ‘Fools Gold’ rammed it home with wah-wah to spare. British rock had found the funk, and we tripped over our unfeasible trousers to show that we’d had it all along. The beat is still aggressive enough to startle Junior into involuntary bouncing, and she’s right into it in seconds. A bit of rock, a bit of groove, mix them together and it’s a nine-month-old’s nirvana.

Heaven knows what Ian Brown’s on about, mind. Something about his mate shopping at Mr Pyrite. Soz. It didn’t matter, it was all about the Funky Drummer and John Squire putting his guitar to good, economical use – possibly for the last time. Everyone was waiting for this single – me, I bought it on the day it came out, in Replay in Bristol. I was there on a university open day, clearly more concerned about red hot new tunes than whether the Classics department was the place for me.

1990 went rock-dance crossover crazy, but nothing had this record’s brass balls, and Northside never blew The Late Show’s sound system. Fookin’ amateurs. The Stone Roses, of course, hoovered up Colombia’s gross national product and went on to release records that actually sounded like expanding paunches.

‘Fools Gold’ is still lithe.

[13] Public Enemy, ‘Fight The Power’

Public Enemy

Deliriously exciting intro, punchy message, the first of many* appearances on this chart for the ‘Funky Drummer’ backbeat, that “ELVIS was a hero to most…” line: this ROCKED DA HOUSE, man. Junior pivoted the highchair on its front legs and flipped out like a b-girl.

Back in ’87, I nearly bought a Public Enemy jacket in Watford Market, but left with nothing except regrets and that sawdusty aroma of pet cages. I could’ve been the flyest hip hopper in the Herts commuter belt. Instead, by 1989, my shirts were flowery and my fringe was long.

Junior won’t miss any trends, I promise. I’ll have her in a Gnarls Barkley sleepsuit by the end of the week.

*Well, three. I think.