[9] Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, ‘Stay (I Missed You)’

I suppose I could do some actual idle research, but for the sake of argument let’s say that Lisa Loeb disappeared off the face of the planet. She made a nice single though; a meandering little delight with no proper chorus. It was the theme to slacker flick Reality Bites – again, I could get off my behind and find out, but I believe it starred Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder, and was about a bunch of bohemianly beautiful Generation X-ers doing sweet Fanny Adams for an hour or two. I couldn’t get with the slacker thing. Plaid’s too drab.

Junior sat quietly on my lap. She gets “missed” mixed up with “lost” and had a hairy can’t-see-mum moment while disappearing down aisles in M&S this week, so perhaps this was a time for panicky contemplation.

[1] Blondie, ‘Heart of Glass’

Pick a card, any card.

An unholy marriage of rock and disco? One unlucky shuffle and you could get Electric Six.

A dazzling blonde singer backed by some lens-shattering blokes? Have Transvision Vamp. Or, at a stretch, Shakatak. Or, if you’ve broken a mirror recently, here’s Generation X.

Now you know how damned lucky we are to have Blondie, and ‘Heart of Glass’. Their place in pop’s firmament was sealed by this record, punk poise not misplaced but overshadowed by complete understanding of the mechanics of disco. It’s atypical, of course, and yet fits seamlessly between ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl’ in the rich run of sterling singles Blondie dashed off in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. They showed a taste for adventure rarely matched, and could even consider their gorgeous singer a bonus, not an essential selling point – let’s not pretend she didn’t help, mind you. Still, looks aside, Debbie Harry’s presence (dear) is a boon on ‘Heart of Glass’ for her casual juggling of comforting coos and acid dismissals. The velvet glove.

For all its diverse ingredients, this is a dance record – and we danced en masse. Junior 2 shook her shoulders in the style patented by both mum and big sister, while Junior herself watched with widening eyes as the groove burst out of the click-track intro. It’s a pleasure to see pop music’s greats hitting the spot; one of the reasons we’re here.

Extra, extra: in a victory for ambition over commonsense, I plan for us to tackle 1994 now, hoping to finish it in time for the feverishly anticipated 2008 Top 20 – which in turn I have mad ideas of finishing on or around Christmas Eve. Who’s with us?