[16] Livin’ Joy, ‘Dreamer’

Riffing on a theme, the Fender Plastic was out again despite me telling Junior I was pretty sure there’s no guitar on this record. But hey, she’s into fusion, man. She did take time out to ask me who was singing, and I admitted I didn’t know the nice lady’s name. “The band’s called Livin’ Joy, though.” She nodded sagely.

The “band”, as it were/was, were just a couple of Italian DJs in the fine tradition of Black Box, Starlight and all that. Italo House had moved on by this point from thumped piano hooks to something that sounded like disturbed windchimes – a motif in the fine tradition of Erasure’s peerless ‘Drama!’ – and was now ringing the death knell of dance music. ‘Dreamer’, however, is thrilling, ecstatic, beautifully structured.

As for the demise of mainstream dance, I blame Faithless. Or my age. One of the two.

[3] Ten City, ‘That’s The Way Love Is’

Ten City

I could juggle the Top Three all day and still be unsure. This is the best euphoric house record ever, No.2 is a beast and No.1 the defining record of the year. Whatever that means.

Byron Stingily (WHAT a name) and the other shoulder-padded chaps deliver a beautiful happy sad song, that tells us everything might get messed up but it’s no big deal, don’t get hung up, it happens to everyone, now let’s get lost in the sweeping strings and thumping piano and skyscraping vocals and floor-eating beat. Nothing more convincing.

The message probably doesn’t reach Junior, who thinks everything is pretty much spot-on anyway, but the jumping tune kickstarts her limbs. She grooves, Dad irons. See? Oblivious to life’s hardships.

Before we get to the big two, a shout out to a few records I was troubled to see miss out on the 20:

NWA, ‘Express Yourself’
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, ‘What I Am’
Digital Underground, ‘Doowutchyalike’
Roy Orbison, ‘She’s A Mystery To Me’
Black Box, Starlight, all that Italo House fun

Tough decisions for a 17-year-old.