Catching up on forty years. 1998: Brimful of Asha – Cornershop
Many crimes were committed in the name of music in 1998. The guilty are led by Celine Dion’s Titanic dirge which rode along in the wake of the blockbuster movie. Back that up with Cher’s electronic warbling on Believe, Robbie Williams’ Angels and a summer of everyone singing “Horny” and you despair and desperately grasp for the keys to lock the memories away.
Fortunately, hiding away are two moments that are worthy as song of the year.
Firstly Madonna’s Ray of Light – it seems right to celebrate a lady who has already straddled a decade, given us Like a Prayer and yet again redefines herself with the cracking album Ray of Light. The title track is my favourite if only because it gives us something different and probably her best vocal virtuoso performance. You try and sing along! And it stands the test of time far better than some of her ’80s candypop.
But my song of the year goes to Cornershop’s Brimful of Asha – it is utterly utterly infectious and I defy anyone (who doesn’t get prudish at the mention of bosoms) not to break out in to a grin and start bopping and singing along. They are also quintessentially British and of that year – a bit of Britpop, some Norman Cook dance music and a scattering of Indian flavour thrown in on top. It’s a shame that commercially they’ve had little more success but they spun their moment and it has thrived well.
I don’t want to let go of my initial whinge though. To continue the catalogue of guilt that is a 1998 playlist – Sex on the Beach by T-Spoon, Vindaloo by Fat Les, Tragedy by Steps, Teletubbies say Eh-Oh, Barbie Girl by Aqua. I rest my case ya honour…1998 was a poor year generally for music.