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Tag: Niall McMurray

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 […]

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 […]

Robyn – Hang With Me

Following up a massive hit is one of the more interesting challenges that faces the jobbing pop star. When you’ve had a huge no.1 record – especially an unexpected one […]

Michael Sembello – Maniac

Let’s play a game of doppelgänger intros – 80s edition. I always have a moment of exquisite confusion when this comes on in a club – which admittedly hasn’t happened in a long time […]

Jill Sobule – Supermodel

Sometimes I think I take pop a bit too seriously, because it irks me to this day that Jill Sobule isn’t a superstar. In the mid-nineties I was briefly part […]

New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle

The best pop should be exciting – it should make you run around the house or hurtle to the dance floor as soon as you hear the opening bars, and it should […]

Little Boots – Every Night I Say a Prayer

We’ve talked a little before about stealth marketing, and here’s another time where there’s a whole lot of stealth but very little marketing. I’m referring in this case to the concept […]

Prides – Messiah

As a card-carrying Scottish person (the card donates my organs to Greggs the Bakers) I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t actually heard of Prides until they popped up at the […]

Stevie Nicks – Stand Back

Here she comes again – and this time it’s a solo Stevie Nicks effort, and boy does she mean business. Yes, it’s the brilliant Stand Back – and the story of this song is […]

Prefab Sprout – Hey Manhattan!

Prefab Sprout – the perennial bridesmaids of the British music scene. Despite being eminently loveable, and with a sizeable dowry of ace tunes, they never quite made it to pop’s altar to […]

Aretha Franklin – Another Night

1985 saw the legendary Aretha Franklin well into the third distinct phase of her career. Starting out in 1961 as a gospel artist on Columbia Records, her move to Atlantic in 1967 saw […]

Kylie Minogue – Your Disco Needs You

Question: can you have a hit so gay it irrevocably changes your career? Even damages it? Answer: yes you can. Case in point: Go West by Pet Shop Boys. Back in 1993 Neil Tennant was yet […]