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The Jukebox returns after an extended period on the sidelines which kept it out of the Christmas run-in and a busy January schedule…

 

Lucky You – The Lightning Seeds

Released: 1994

The Lightning Seeds remain to this day the most criminally underrated band in Liverpool’s fine musical history. Fronted by the effortlessly cool Ian Broudie and unafraid of embracing the poppier side of life, the band will always be remembered for their efforts alongside David Baddiel and Frank Skinner in creating arguably the England football team’s greatest achievement post-1966: Three Lions. When the blissfully simple ‘Lucky You’ was released, however, England were watching the 1994 World Cup from home after failing to qualify, with the nation about to descend into Britpop mania…

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Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub

Released: 1995

…which made records like this the most revered tunes of the era. Teenage Fanclub – once lauded by Kurt Cobain as the best band in the world (and second only to Creation Records labelmates Oasis by Liam Gallagher) – swapped American radio-friendly alternative rock for all-out 1960s inspired melodies and harmonies on their 1995 opus ‘Grand Prix.’ Their formidable songwriting trio of co-frontmen Gerard Love, Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley churned out this stunning lead single for the Glaswegian band, with more than a little borrowing from ‘Pictures of Lily’ by The Who of course.

 

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Released: 1970

Motown darlings The Supremes should be heralded as a national treasure in the US purely for this song alone. The Detroit group, who achieved huge worldwide success both before and after Diana Ross, released some of the most instantly recognisable songs of the decade at the height of their popularity in the 1960s. ‘Stoned Love,’ essentially a plea for peace and love to reign free amongst all, was The Supremes’ biggest hit after the departure of Ross in 1970, and remains one of their prime cuts today.

 

Charlemagne – Blossoms

Released: 2015

It seems like it’s been a bit too long since the gods of Manchester – a city which has spawned some of the most important musicians of our time – offered up another act for us mere mortals to cherish. Blossoms could well be the latest in a long line, with their pysch-influenced brand of indie making a big splash already. ‘Charlemagne’ is equal parts sleek and brooding, with an infectious synth-line spiralling and swirling around the song’s choruses. With a support slot for The Libertines already under their belt and their biggest tour to date imminent, Tom Ogden and co. may well be ones to keep an eye on.

 

He’s The Greatest Dancer – Sister Sledge

Released: 1978

Put simply, this is six minutes of disco heaven. Penned for Sister Sledge by two legends of the genre, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, this sultry ode to a “champion of dance” who “had the kind of body that would shame Adonis” was a smash-hit for the group in 1978. Featuring Rodgers’ unmistakeable guitar playing, the disco pioneer has since speculated that his lyrics which included references to “Halston, Gucci and Fiorucci” sparked the trend of namechecking designer brands in songs in years to come.