[6] Soul II Soul, ‘Keep On Movin”

Soul II Soul

I went to Junior’s parents’ evening last night at the nursery. Tried to recoup some of the mind-boggling fees by flinging down as much of their rosé as possible, and heard about the nipper’s progress from the one semi-articulate carer. Anyway, she told me that Junior loves music. Sits there, rapt, while they all sing, and bounces and cocks her head when particularly taken. You see? This isn’t just a selfish, inhumane experiment. She LOVES it.

And she’s learning to compare and quantify. She reassured me this morning that ‘Keep On Movin” is indeed streets ahead of ‘Back To Life’, and that anyone who said otherwise only did so because they were slow to catch on. Got quite strident opinions, this one.

Somehow lush in its sparse arrangement, this record still oozes warmth and class, which is a bugger to get out of the carpet. Luckily, we have bare floorboards in the new gaff, so there’s now a nice 80s soul varnish.

[12] Madonna, ‘Like A Prayer’


She’s snogging a BLACK CRIMINAL JESUS. Shocking, I’m sure, but Madge didn’t need to whip up a storm here. Her power pop peak sold itself. It came out of nowhere too: the Who’s That Girl film and soundtrack had underperformed, the singles were shoddy and sales had diminished; the You Can Dance remix album had met a public rapt with indifference. Blonde Ambition to Blonde Ambivalence.

So, she went brunette and found some songs. The Chameleoness of Pop.

Junior’s a brunette already, but she’ll never be a successful chameleon until she discovers colours that aren’t pink. The song was a hit – she smiled and bounced as she put her pink-sleeved arm into her pink anorak.

I remember buying the album along with Soul II Soul’s Club Classics Vol. One and The Stone Roses’ debut, a solid burst of purchasing in Virgin Milton Keynes. Then, of course, I took it home and sniffed Madonna’s patchouli-scented crotch.

I forgot to upload the mp3. Ah, you know how it goes.

[19] Soul II Soul, ‘Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)’

Caron Wheeler

Junior’s hair’s growing fast, but stops just short of Funky Dreads. OK, miles short. She and the iDog were content to shake metaphorical dreads, nodding their heads sagely as if they were teetering on the cutting edge in the Africa Centre in the late 80s. The Africa Centre. It was just a rubbish shop in Covent Garden, wasn’t it?

A seminal record, this, so we’re told. I always find it oddly unsatisfying. Where’s Jazzie B’s searing insight into being selective and objective and an asset to the collective? I mean, come on, we’re on this mission to achieve. But yes, Caron Wheeler does a lovely job – early Shara-Nelson-bad-solo-career prototype that she was – and the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra keep it swinging. They had plaits, incidentally, not Funky Dreads. They were no a to the c.

I had this single on 3” CD. Weren’t the 80s great?