This has to be my favourite song ever about being happy and in love. No piece of music gets it across just how damn happy you can be with the right person, when everything just falls into place.
Salt 'N' Pepa have one of the most consistently great back catalogues of any pop group. They just, seemingly effortlessly, wheeled out killer tune on top of killer tune in an era when pop-rap (pop-hop?) was at its apex.
My man has all the attributes the seven ladies describe here, alongside a willingness to put up with my Claudja Barry and Dolly Dots records. But don't take him for a sucker, cos that's not what he's about...
from Very Necessary (London 828392), available on CD
Holly's always been prolific, but never more so than in the mid nineties when this fantastic tune was released. There were usually a couple of her own albums out every year, plus releases with her girl group Thee Headcoatees, and the quality never dropped.
This is a typically brilliant slice of Holly's sound - pop blues riffing with her who-cares vocals. It fixes me within such a groove whenever I hear it.
Random reminicense: One of the best live performances I have seen was Thee Headcoats and Thee Headcoatees on stage in North London at Hallowe'en, treating the crowd to the BEST EVER version of Monster Mash. At that gig I saw Holly milling around the crowd before Thee Headcoatees took to the stage and was struck by her luminescent beauty and remarkable poise. Truly she has everything. She's worthy of heroine status.
After her brief burst of mainstream recognition guesting with the White Stripes, Holly's back in the comfortable indie heartland these days. I really can't think of enough nice things to say about her.
This song explains why Slim loves to drink. "I love the great ascension of an evening spent drinking. Every other drug you go up and down like an arc, but with booze you just get drunker and drunker..." When people say he's a drunk, he says "why should I worry about something that makes me feel better?", which is one of the most touching lines I've ever heard.
The instrumental behind him is "People Are Strange". I'd like to think Slim picked it because it was in The Lost Boys.
from Won't You Dance With This Man? (Kill Rock Stars KRS 268), available on CD
Normally I'd steer well clear of anything on the Acid Jazz label - the early 90's bad music debts have a long way to go to be paid off - but the presence of one of my soul idols just tipped me into buying this natty little blue vinyl 45.
Everything that made me love Etta James' Fire (see recommendation elsewhere on site) is amplified through this brilliant, brilliant song. Bettye's vocals are super-harsh, matching the song's acid sentiment and grasping rock-funk.
It's a tribute to how well this single is done that I thought it was a new vocal performace from Bettye instead of a reworked version of an old song. Bravo!
from the single Laughter Ever After (Acid Jazz AJX159S)
One of the best 80's songs, and hard to think of anything that more neatly sums up the decade - named after a cocktail, plenty of synth effects, that slight tinniness endemic to all the greatest 80's pop. I'm sure a lot of you will remember this song, and hopefully with affection. Mai Tai had the un-popstar names Caroline, Mildred and Jetty, and they pissed on Five Star.