[11] Malcolm McLaren, ‘Madam Butterfly’

One of Talcy Malcy’s grand follies. He’s had loads, hasn’t he? “I know, hip-hop sounds just like country dancing! Hmm, that Vivienne Westwood’s rather cute. What if I did a record about a skipping troupe, with Soweto singing? I’ve had this idea that I could mix house music with Strauss. No, it doesn’t sound like Hooked On Classics at all. This is a good one: it’s about the history of Oxford Street, only with Alison Limerick singing and the Happy Mondays being the Bee Gees. What about these chaps? Yes, I know he’s ginger, but he isn’t half nasty and anarchic and that.”

This is a brilliant conceit. Junior even flexes her knees to it. Go on, track it down; it’s even better now.

I met Malcolm McLaren at a dinner party about six years ago. He’s a pleasant old duffer.

[2] The Sugarcubes, ‘Birthday’

Junior thought this was coming from the light fittings and, let’s face it, that probably isn’t far off. When not staring at the ceiling, she spent the rest of the song craning to look around the room, determined to find that Icelandic pixie. We’re no wiser than we were back then.

Back then, I first heard about The Sugarcubes in Record Mirror, then saw a snatch of video on the Chart Show. You had to take notice. In Oxford Street’s Virgin Megastore, I saw 18 year old gothic indie chicks carrying the 12” of the Icelandic version, and felt intimidated. The shop was very different in the ’80s, not the shiny identikit middle-aged-50-quid-man haven it is today. It was dirty and seedy, and you were sneered on like a fish-out-of-water dad in a small, independent record store. Jelly-legged, I’d take my Microdisney tapes up to the listening booths, knowing I’d feel compelled to buy them however they sounded.

‘Birthday’ was alien and exciting. My big sister – by now a national luminary of youth music theatre – said that Björk would ruin her vocal chords screaming like that. I thought that this was beside the point. Now I’m hoping that Junior didn’t pick up any ideas.