[5] Mott The Hoople, ‘All The Young Dudes’

Mott The Hoople

Anyone would think David Bowie was some sort of big noise in 1972, poking his otherworldly beak into all areas of the pop scene, spreading his message of galactic destruction. And of course he was. He was freaking the kids out with his proto-Kiki Dee hairstyle and doomy fantasies of Earth’s imminent demise, from ‘Five Years’ to ‘All The Young Dudes’. Yes, ‘All The Young Dudes’ – it might feel like the coolest record on the block, a rallying call for hip youth, but it’s really more baloney about dudes bearing bad planetary tidings. Downer.

We shouldn’t ignore Mott The Hoople, although let’s face it, they lucked out here with a giveaway that Bowie himself could have taken to No.1. Not No.3. Ian Hunter knows he’s on a winner with a sterling Dame impression and generally the Hoople carry off the swagger with skill, but you’d have to be some dog to muck it up.

Junior thinks she’s heard it before. Maybe she has or maybe, being one of those young dudes, she’s carried the message over from ‘Starman’. Or something. I fail to pursue the matter, because she’s soon breathlessly telling me all about Jurassic Park and Laura Dern putting her hand in some dinosaur poo.


[19] Radiohead, ‘Paranoid Android’

Radiohead’s first fan-shedding phase started, paradoxically, with the Greatest Album Of All Time (© Q Magazine, probably). It was a fantastic bit of over-hyping that even led to ‘No Surprises’ being tagged the Greatest Rock Single Of All Time early the next year. Stupendous. Your stalwart rock hacks were breathless, feverish. Just imagine the couple of seconds of awkward silence after they heard Kid A for the first time.

And last time.

Keeping up the contradictions, ‘Paranoid Android’ alienated swathes of fans and took Radiohead to the Top 3 for the first and – so far – only time. It’s a six-minute riot of joyous Italo-house pianos, frog choruses, Elton and Kiki Dee-style cheeky vocal interplay and Junior Senioresque infectiousness.

Nah, it’s a six-minute trial of studious fretwankery. But pretty good with it. It’s certainly worth a flash of air guitar, as Junior appreciated, and a wave of the castanets. I think she was being sarky there.