Thomas Dolby – Silk Pyjamas

You know when you really, really want to like a pop star but you can’t quite get your head around what they’re doing? This was the situation I found myself […]

Britney Spears – Perfume

I don’t know about you, but I always tend to flinch when I see a pop star on the publicity trail describe their new album as “my most personal record yet” […]

Go-Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed

From a certain point of view, Britain was a thoroughly miserable place to be in the early 1980s, and it’s tempting to think that we passed on the Go-Go’s because we […]

Deacon Blue – Loaded

Nothing – not even a cold macaroni pie from Greggs – makes this ex-pat Glaswegian well-up like the opening bars of Deacon Blue‘s 1987 debut Raintown. It probably helps that the record […]

Thomas Holm – Nitten

Pop music is a bit of an international form of communication isn’t it? A catchy tune is something that everyone can enjoy, regardless of language or cultural differences. Of course that […]

Randy Crawford – Can’t Stand the Pain

A lot of pop songs are sprints of one sort or another, racing to the finish line within three and half minutes –  but it’s good to have a marathon now and again isn’t […]

Marcella Detroit – Detroit

Many’s the time over the last twenty years that I’ve wished I was in charge at a record company. Heck, every record company. But even though I’m not, I still […]

Stéphanie – Irresistible

You might think that to be successful in pop you need to be able to carry a tune. But as any backing singer will tell you – probably through gritted teeth – […]

Marc Almond – Meet Me in My Dream

I don’t know whether it’s getting older that does this to a person, but the ten years between Soft Cell‘s Non Stop Erotic Cabaret and Marc Almond‘s Tenement Symphony seem to […]

The Associates – Breakfast

In Forest of the Dead, one of Steven Moffat‘s finest episodes of Doctor Who, there is a line that made me shiver when I heard it: “I have the two […]

Propaganda – p: Machinery

If you happened to be born in the early 1970s then you probably had the curious pleasure of hitting puberty just when it seemed most likely that you would be […]

Tracey Thorn – It’s All True

In 2007 I was living in Bristol and had recently left Virgin Megastores for the indie pleasures of Fopp Records – not a place that was especially receptive to my […]

Company B – Fascinated

If you thought Sia donning a platinum blonde fright wig to wrestle back a degree of anonymity was an exciting new pop concept, please think again – Latin freestyle trio Company B […]

Bucks Fizz – You and Your Heart So Blue

Sometimes a pop singer or a group comes along and speaks directly to your soul, and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. When I was eight the group that spoke to me, […]

Black – The Big One

Woe betide the sensitive male crooner in 1988. In a pop landscape where lyrical depth didn’t go much further than “Tay tay tay tay tay-tay tay-tay tay tay tay”, any man with a faintly hangdog […]

Sarah Cracknell – Coastal Town

When I moved to the seaside in 2008 one of the first thoughts I had, aside from “what the hell am I doing?” was “ooh, now I can listen to one of […]

Scott Walker – The Seventh Seal

Some pop stars play the game for their entire careers – having figured out their sound, they tend not to deviate too far from it for fear of alienating their […]

Dusty Springfield – Occupy Your Mind

Come 1990, Dusty Springfield was in the curious position of being popular again. She had basically ruled much of the 1960s, leading a female invasion of the charts that sometimes gets overlooked by the one […]

The Kids from Fame – Desdemona

  I can’t overstate the love I had for the Kids from Fame in 1982. As a ten year old pop fan, a weekly television series about young people attending the (fictional) […]

Kirsty MacColl – My Affair

I think a lot of people – if I’m honest I’m one of them – tend to judge pop careers on chart positions. I do realise that this logic is […]