Whitney Houston – You Give Good Love

Probably the two most common words in modern music are “yeah” and “baby,” and strangely these tiny four letter words can often be the thing that elevates a song to greatness. […]

Swing Out Sister – We Could Make It Happen

As we’ve discussed at length before, pop is brutal. Our test-case today is Swing Out Sister, one of Britain’s greatest ever groups, but one who were given incredibly short shrift in their […]

Janet Jackson – This Time

Has there ever been a greater pop star than Janet Jackson? I’m not certain there has. While others – though not many – have sold more records, few – if any – […]

Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love

If you’re a pop fan of a certain age, raised on the standard single-or-two-then-the-album release pattern, then the modern world is a very confusing place to be. Since the digital […]

Yello featuring Shirley Bassey – The Rhythm Divine

In the mid to late eighties there was a bizarre sort of supermarket trolley dash by male pop stars seemingly hell-bent on scooping up every past-their-sell-by-date-but-still-safe-to-consume female diva from the sixties […]

Josh Rouse – Winter in the Hamptons

I spent almost ten years of my life working in record shops – mostly the Virgin Megastore on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, and for much of that time I was based firmly […]

Banderas – She Sells

Banderas were about as close as we ever got to a female Pet Shop Boys – not that I recall anyone asking for such a thing – and they were potentially a […]

Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Starlight

Here’s a good example of how to cope when your record company loses absolutely all interest. I present to you the story of Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the Last Laugh. Sophie’s tale is a […]

Shakespears Sister – Run Silent

When the news broke in 1988 that Siobhan Fahey was leaving Bananarama I was positively aghast. The ‘rams were – and remain – my all time favourite girl group and it was […]

Annie – Heartbeat

Being known by a single name is a long-standing tradition in pop. Sometimes it’s there from the get-go, as with Cher and Madonna, and sometimes the star in question kind of earns it, as with Kylie. Some […]

Kate Bush – Suspended in Gaffa

A luxury most pop stars don’t enjoy these days is the freedom to do whatever the hell they like and hang the consequences. In 1982 and nearly five years into her career, […]

Rachel Sweet – Hairspray

One of the saddest things about a song not being a hit is that you almost never get to dance to it anywhere other than your own kitchen or living […]

The Indian Givers – Fake I.D.

One of the great forgotten pleasures is the ritual of going into a record shop on a Monday morning and flicking through the new releases. The late eighties were an especially great […]

Madonna – Spotlight

A few years ago I wrote a thing about the challenges Madonna faced as she entered the fourth decade of her career, and I ended it by asking the question: “if Madonna […]

Lea Michele – Cannonball

When I first heard Cannonball I rushed giddily onto Facebook, pronouncing how I loved witnessing the moment when a superstar was born, and then sat back waiting for it to […]

VV Brown – The Apple

In pop – as in life – there are always pioneers; those who blaze a trail through the wilds and make it safe for others to follow. VV Brown is […]

Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

It’s often the case that the best song on an album doesn’t get released as a single (see: Fever by Kylie Minogue) and I always used to tut when this happened […]