Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Cheer Up are back this Saturday and we've asked the boys to compile their Top 20 from the Queen & Princess of Pop - 10 each. Any of your faves missed off?
1. Kylie – Better The Devil You Know
Mario: As singles go you cannot get more “hands in the air” anthem than Better The Devil You Know. I remember as a kid hearing this for the first time. Pete Waterman (Stock Aitken Waterman) used to present a Saturday morning radio show, he played this, the intro chord I remember being magical, a new sound (for 1990) yet the Hi-NRG ingredients which made Dead or Alive “You Spin Me Round” & Hazell Dean HUGE!! Nearly 30 years on it sounds just as fresh, just as magical, just as current.
2. Kylie – Your Disco Needs You (Almighty mix)
Mario: What is not to love about this mix? The track as a whole is a stand out from Kylie’s 2000 album “Light Years”. I first heard the Almighty mix in a bar in Mykonos when I was 22 and I remember standing on the step of the club doing my own dance routine - I felt like Kylie! I met my ex partner on those steps as I danced - a Kylie highlight indeed.
3. Madonna – Like A Prayer
Mario: I was a late arrival to the “Madonna” club only discovering her music in 1988 but I recall in 1989 Number One magazine a headline saying “Madonna To Steal Kylie’s Crown” and I instantly took a disliking to her! But with “Like a prayer” and the controversial video which accompanied it I started to get a little obsessed and recall as a kid videoing it about 20 times on every TV show it appeared on. To me it's Madonna’s greatest moment and one of music's “stand up and witness” moments.
Julian: One word PERFECTION
4. Kylie – What Do I Have To Do
Mario: When Kylie returned with “Rhythm Of Love” at the end of 1990 there was a new Miss Minogue in town and that showed not just in a more sophisticated pop sound from her & Stock Aitken Waterman but in her image. For me “What Do I Have To Do” is her greatest video, like Kylie once cutely said in an interview in 1991 about it: ”How many film stars can you appear as in one video clip?" I think she said seven - brilliant.
5. Madonna – Deeper & Deeper
Mario: Another stand out Madonna moment back in 1992. I remember my brother owning the 12” picture disc and I so wanted it. This is again Madonna at her pop best, maybe the more commercial side from her “Erotica” album but pop and commercial was my thing as a teenager. It's disco, it's pop, it's funk, it's MADONNA!!!
6. Kylie – Wouldn’t Change A Thing
Julian: Definitely a turning point in Kylie’s career. This always was, and still is a HUGE dancefloor filler and gets the crowd going. There was the famous ‘Kylie turns acid’ headline back in ‘88, Hardly acid but a more mature adult sound and a step away from ‘bubblegum’ pop Kylie.
7. Madonna – Open Your Heart
Julian: My all time favorite Madonna track. The vocals, video, live performances and remixes are just AMAZING. This was the first 12” I bought and getting home to hear the full 10 minute version. To this day this remains one of my favorite remixes and will definitely be played in all it’s glory on Saturday night.
8. Kylie – What Kind Of Fool
Mario: From a nostalgic point of view this is my favourite Kylie single. I remember being in Cyprus in the summer of '92 and having at that point not yet heard it and getting an imported copy of Smash Hits magazine with the lyrics. On my return the track had entered the charts at #16 and with my 12” single I rushed home and was delighted. It was Pop Kylie up there with her best and nearly 30 years on that “What Kind Of Fool” intro still brings me with excitement.
9. Kylie – Disco Down
Julian: How this was never released as a single is beyond me. This is by far the best album track on any Kylie album and quickly became my favorite Kylie track ever. A fabulous uplifting dancefloor banger that gets my juices flowing uncontrollably (I must pack some tenna ladies for Saturday).
10. Madonna – Express Yourself
Julian: This track always takes me back to what is probably the best concert I have ever seen. The opening of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour is as iconic as Madonna herself. The video to this track is just as amazing and her look is beyond!! There was no stopping Madge during this period and she was on top of her game, the world and the universe with this classic.
11. Kylie – Never Too Late
Julian: The video for this saw Kylie take her first steps into cowboy territory. This was also the track that broke Kylie’s run of No1 and No2’s (not those ones). This didn’t stop it becoming another firm fan fave and we are guaranteed to catch someone attempting the dance routine when its playing (generally me, if I’m not spinning it).
12. Kylie – All The Lovers
Mario: In 2010 Kylie returned with Aphrodite and this lead single, “All The Lovers”. I remember before its release hearing a clip of that sensational middle 8, when the music goes crazy, which has to be one of Kylie’s greatest musical moments. My love for the single has only grown since doing Cheer Up - to see the crowd’s reaction on really does give you goosebumps!!
13. Madonna – Take A Bow
Mario: I said to Julian that Madonna, like ABBA, has had some cracking ballads (much better than their faster stuff IMO). As ballads go this stunner from 1994 is up there. I recall at the time my shock at this only reaching #16 on the UK charts but its one of my Madonna favourites tracks 25 years on.
14. Madonna – Ray Of Light
Julian: WOW WOW WOW WOW. Everything about this title track is amazing. Perfect vocals and the perfect single choice to follow Frozen. The album this was born from is definitely in the running as my favorite Madonna album.
15. Madonna – Secret (Junior Vasquez Luscious mix)
Mario: I remember moving to London at 16 and staying with an aunt for a while catching this video on Box Video TV (for those who remember it!). The Junior Vasquez remix gave the single a brand new depth, a more clubby feel. The single in my top ten Madonna track and this remix one her top three best.
16. Kylie – Hand On Your Heart
Mario: I remember being 11 and Kylie returning with Hand On Your Heart, the first single from her second album Enjoy yourself. I remember thinking she was so grown up, watching her on Going Live with Jason Donovan as she showed the first look at that incredible video. To me another Kylie highlight, brilliant single, amazing video, great extended.
17. Madonna – Vogue
Mario: Well, what the theme of Saturday nights “Strike A Pose” Kylie & Madonna party is about - Vogue as showcased on the TV show Pose. Back in 1990 I wasn’t aware of the culture behind Vogue and the houses. This single is cool, cultured, sassy, sophisticated with that awesome black & white video from her In Bed With Madonna era. Thirty years on it's still up there as a seminal pop moment.
18. Kylie – Wow
Julian: This is the single that split Camp Kylie, with those who loved it and those who loathed it. Well, we are definitely in the ‘Loved it’ camp. This also came into its own when she performed it at her Hyde Park show to promote ‘The Abbey Road Sessions’.
19. Madonna – Beautiful Stranger
Julian: Yeah Baby. This really sold that awful film The Spy Who Shagged Me (YUK). A fun and alternative single release that follows in brilliance from the other stand alone tracks Madonna has released. This track screams fun, fun, fun and is rarely heard in clubs these days, but definitely get the Madonna bunnies jumping.
20. Madonna – La Isla Bonita
Julian: ICONIC!! Can that word be used too much when talking about Madonna?? There are so many stand out moments and tracks in Madonna’s career, but this one holds a special place in my heart. The True Blue album was the release that got me into Madonna and who doesn’t love a little ray of Spanish sunshine.
What are your favourites?
Cheer Up is Saturday 14th December at 9pm.