[18] Will Young, ‘Leave Right Now’

After the canny water-treading of the contractually obliged debut, Willis returned with a classic ballad, an Eg White composition to rank with any of White’s own work for Eg & Alice and the quiet storms of his solo records. Young’s delivery is perfect, every syllable brimming with pain and musicality, and the sparse arrangement yields new pleasures every time.

Junior says: “It’s a sad song, because he’s leaving before he goes into the sea.” I can’t add to that.

Best bit: The sheer beautiful torture of “I couldn’t bear to lose you again…”.

Advertisements

[14] Pointer Sisters, ‘Automatic’

I’d seen enough of Boy George and Marilyn by 1984 to recognise a man in drag. Imagine my surprise when this lot turned out to be genuine sisters, albeit with fierce looks and a vocal range to embarrass Rula Lenska.

The song has dated but it’s still a stirring mix of Chic, electro and Jam & Lewis, as if it passes the baton from disco to modern r’n’b. The delivery is robotic, the lyrics listing the mechanics of lust; if they’d kept the fourth member, they could’ve been the Barbies to Kraftwerk’s Kens.

There’d been a Valentine’s Day airing of Will Young’s ‘All Time Love’, but this was the first record today that had Junior beating the sides of the inflatable. She likes a faster tempo, and she can empathise with pushing “a stream of absurdities” from one’s lips. She’s definitely saying “Dada”, though.

Band Aid/Band Aid 20, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

As a globally conscious 12-year-old, I spent my hard-won cash on the single like millions of others. I was struck by how much one of the Ethiopian children on the cover looked like Bob Geldof. Yesterday morning, Junior was subjected to the original and the recent remake – she was lucky that I couldn’t find the awful Stock Aitken Waterman version, or I would’ve carried out my threat to play one a day ‘til Christmas.

I’m one of the few who admits to liking the 1984 song. I’m one of the even fewer who can see value in 2004’s edition. I like Thom Yorke’s piano. The Darkness guitars are dreadful, though, and it goes on way too long. Also, don’t we get proper heavyweight pop stars any more? There’s hardly anyone on the later record to compete in terms of fame, glamour, ego and interest with the likes of Simon Le Bon, George Michael, Boy George, even Sting. I bet Status Quo weren’t plying Will Young and Jamelia with Class A drugs.

Junior can’t see what any of the fuss is about. She manages to laugh near the Dizzee Rascal bit, and I can see her wondering who Glenn Gregory is. Or was.

[14] Will Young, ‘Switch It On’

Junior fixes Young with a Paddington Bear stare, “Whatchu talking about, Willis?”. I’m not sure he knows himself. It could be a bit rude, it could be a confessional about the rigours of fame, it could be an excuse to dress up like Maverick and make eyes at Goose. What we do know is it’s a cracking little blast of a record. Junior thinks it’s dangerously Bo Diddley, but Will’s such a pleasant young man that she’ll let it pass.