[2] Elton John, ‘Rocket Man’

Elton John

“This is for boys,” is the reaction from Junior. I think she’s speaking about astronauts being a young lad’s preoccupation, which means she’s forgetting the half-hour’s footage of space shuttles taking off she made me play her on YouTube a few months ago. And the increasingly complex questions she asked me, questions I then increasingly met with outlandish cod-science dressed up as wisdom – parenthood in a nutshell.

Space is mainly for boys. Actually, I’m trying to write a comic novel about space travel. Think Red Dwarf, with laughs. Kate Bush covered ‘Rocket Man’, of course, and she’s for boys. Come on, you know it’s true. Elton’s ‘Rocket Man’ is all about space, but not just space – it’s also about… space. The missing line after, “Burning out his fuse up here alone…” Listen, there’s a missing line. With or without it, it’s gorgeous, stately and lonely.

[8] Julian Cope, ‘World Shut Your Mouth’

Seeing as I’ve only got this on 12” (OK, I’ve got it on mp3 now, but for the purposes of the exercise let’s pretend it’s still this morning), we broke with tradition and watched it on YouTube. Consequently, Junior considers the song a mere soundtrack to Julian Cope’s hair and leather jacket. She liked both.

So that’s two Crucial Three-ers in a row, but we won’t complete the set because Echo and the Bunnymen didn’t release any singles in 1986. Jules was another eccentric with a bye into the charts in the 80s, and who can be surprised when he was chucking out taut, smart, pop triumphs like this?

Junior went off to school murmuring, “Shut your mouth, shut your mouth”. Great.

Flying in the face of fashion: