Before Nirvana, Hole, Sonic Youth and Beck, and all the other musicians I obsessed over as a teen – even before my beloved ‘Hormonally Yours’ by Shakespears Sister – there was a tape called ‘Monster Hits’.
It was a double-cassette compilation that I got for my birthday from my mum when I was seven or eight. Most of it (Bros, Big Fun, Lisa Stansfield), I wasn’t too fussed over, but there were three songs in a row that I played again and again and again, in succession, continually rewinding the tape until it nearly wore out.
Those three favourite songs were, in order:
Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
Aerosmith – Love In An Elevator
Alice Cooper – Poison
I loved them all with a passion that was probably weird for an eight-year-old. I thought they were the three coolest songs ever written. My love for Cher in particular grew and grew, especially when the Mermaids soundtrack was released (I wouldn’t be allowed to watch the film for some years, as it was rated 15, but I had the soundtrack cassette and knew it all word-perfectly).
I think this definitely influenced my future musical tastes, along with my earliest musical memories of singing along in the car with each of my parents (The Bangles and Jenny Sings Lenny with my mum; Steely Dan and Dire Straits with my dad).
They certainly influenced my future Lucky Voice choices – those three have become known as my specialities.