After five years of getting his gruff, hook-laden hits out for the lads, Paul Weller reveals a feminine side with a killer melody that disguises the fact he's actually singing about milk floats. If the opening bass riff rips off You Can't Hurry Love, the guitar and organ simply rip up the whole Holland-Dozier-Holland songbook. Throw in a sing-a-long verse and you've got such a smash it's a wonder it didn't enter the charts higher than number 1. The B-side finds Weller and wah-wah pedal getting funky. Played at 33rpm, Precious basically invents the Stone Roses.
Availability:The Gift Polydor CD
85. SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: Family Affair/ Luv N' Haight (1971)
On a spectacular comedown from the optimism of the '60s, but not yet in narcotic freefall, Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart and his glittering mosaic of a band charted new territory when they cut this. An improbable blend of pre-Colombian drum machines, Larry Graham's svelte bass, Sly's achingly resigned vocal and an ineffable morning-after-the-decade-before ambience, Family Affair remains a drowsy seduction. No matter that it also foregrounds Stewart's burgeoning cynicism, as frazzled funk goes, it gets no better.
Availability: There's A Riot Goin' On Epic/Sony CD