[14] Lil’ Louis, ‘French Kiss’

French Kiss

You know the drill: just-missing-the-boat acid house with a load of moaning over the top. Yep, Dad was late with Junior’s Weetabix again.

Like taking a bite of acieeed-laced madeleine, this brings me back to a low-rent nightclub in Corfu in August ’89. Junior’s Uncle Neil and I are trying to dance with a bunch of German girls who’d been admiring our pale, skinny torsos on the beach a few hours earlier. Couldn’t really tell where their eyes were looking behind the sunglasses, I suppose, but we certainly gave off a glare.

Halfway through the record, of course, as the orgasmic groans creep in, everyone looks awkward and stares at their shoes (purple Converse here, I reckon; with jeans and paisley shirt, if I was a betting man). The moment passes, and Neil and I return to necking as much lager as our teenage frames will take.

Back in 2006, Junior just thinks the poor iDog’s crying.

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[17] Tears For Fears, ‘Woman In Chains’

Tears For Fears and Oleta Adams

Junior empathised with everywoman’s plight, wailing and batting the highchair tray with frustration and torment. Or maybe she was annoyed that I kept leaving the room to mix formula/mash Weetabix. Or perhaps she thought it was a rubbish song.

‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’ was the first, and most obvious single from the album. Its Beatles pastiche-y effects palled quickly, though. ‘Woman…’ was the genuinely strong track, right-on message and all, and it has the beef and production sheen to sound heavyweight today. Really, it fitted in well at the time, lifting TFF from pop conquerors to serious CD-era quality MOR purveyors. Debatable whether that constitutes “lifting”, of course – the songs were stronger on the previous album, but I don’t think the megalomaniacal Roland Orzabal was happy with the band’s residual teen appeal, nor the joint billing with pretty boy Curt Smith.

He found his preferred foil in Oleta Adams, discovered pumping gas/waiting tables/singing in seedy dives/selling the Big Issue – God, I dunno – somewhere in America. Lovely voice, fine song.

So, this record killed the band. Way to go, Ro-land.

[9] Naughty By Nature, ‘O.P.P.’

Naughty By Nature

I would’ve covered Junior’s ears against this immoral record, if she hadn’t been so hell-bent to the exclusion of everything else on putting away an entire Weetabix. Hard as nails, she is.

‘O.P.P.’, ‘Other People’s P—-‘. ‘Property’, shall we say, or male/female variants thereof. Anyway, it’s a paean to the joys of infidelity, but it’s a warning too. Understand what you’re getting into, O.P.P. fans.

What it is is a tighter, catchier take on your Fresh Prince will-this-do?-a-thons, chivvied along by a bit of ‘ABC’ while we’re on the three-letter tip, and a good-humoured shoutalong to boot. Quite high up this chart in retrospect, particularly in light of the solid gold stuff to come, yet great larks.

[All my vinyl rips seem to have corrupted; Top 11 mp3s to follow… later]