9 Album Covers That Defined My Pre-Adolescence

Now I know I could have made this blog post a badge of coolness and filled it with Bjork, Radiohead, Nirvana and Patti Smith. Indeed, there were several cool LPs lying around the front room of my childhood like Grace Jones, The Human League and Annie Lennox that just didn't interest me. Both of my parents are very into their pop music, although my mum's passion for 1980s female artists definitely conquered over my Dad's enjoyment of Bob Dylan, Sweet, Wishbone Ash and the back end of the 70s. I'm an only child too so I never had older siblings to drip feed me chart music.

This list is the music that I played over and over, and the images that accompanied each, the records whose covers wetted, no, drowned, my young imagination whether I like to admit it or not! Of course around the corner lay adolescence and it was my interest in Basement Jaxx that became my ticket into my next phase - I soon moved onto the dizzyingly cool heights of Chemical Brothers, Armand Van Helden and Faithless (although Kate would be back in good stead!)

1) 2 Unlimited - Get Ready For This

Literally the fastest and most intense song I'd ever heard. It the Crystal Castles of the early 90s, and although I'm sure it was the incredibly mainstream surface of a much more interesting rave scene that I was unaware of, I loved this single and played it on repeat. I even had an alien dance for the slower break sections two thirds of the way through.

2) Basement Jaxx - Remedy

I'm not sure how I got into Basement Jaxx as an only child living in the countryside near Melton Mowbray. Presumably through Radio 1. I used to stare at the cover of Remedy trying to work out which way round the bodies were and whether they belonged to men or women. The cover image, which I suppose in hindsight is an orgy, excited me.

3) Billie Piper - Billie

Because We Want To was an instant classic, embarrassingly I think I genuinely thought it was rebellious! The softer than soft depiction of Billie's face on the cassette tape cover fascinated me, I remember staring at it for the near duration of a coach trip to France, sitting next to a boy called Edward Long. I remember him telling me that 'Oops I Did It Again' had been voted the best album of the last twenty years by music industry professionals. I wonder what happened to Edward Long? Wherever he is I bet he's mega straight and has forgotten his one-time magical pop touch.

4) Corona - Rhythm of The Night

Like I said, I lived in the countryside near Melton Mowbray where the most exciting the landscape within a mile of my house got was this meander that bubbled froth. So staring at the stock image of skyscrapers on Corona's single was like seeing the future in a crystal ball. I remember asking my friend to watch me sing this from the otherside of a fish tank. If you're reading Joshua - I hope the councilling isn't costing you too much. I still like this song, along with any other 90s dance track that includes Rhythm in the title.

5) Vengaboys - The Party Album

As a contemporary teenager would say or type - "OMFG!!!" I first heard Up & Down on a Now CD and wasn't too enthralled, but We Like To Party - that's a whole different story. The Vengaboys were the first band in my life who could seriously rival Aqua. I had an obession with Kim's animated tits and remember lying to my friend Matt Bishop that I had a poster of her topless holding a cowboy hat over her vajayjay. When you take away the lyrics The Vengaboys essentially made European house pop, which is perhaps why I can't really digest Guetta today. I stuck with The Vengboys all the way through despite hating their later work, if I ever meet them - they owe me lunch.

6) Kate Bush - Lionheart

Being INCREDIBLY honest here - I didn't like it when mum played Kate Bush. I used to find Kate's voice too shrill and her tunes seemed to drag on and bore me. Basically she was too challenging and I'd not experienced enough of the world in order to turn her records into pairs of arms and wrap them around me. But something must have clicked subconciously because later aged 15 I became a mega fan, strangely enough through The Red Shoes. Still, the front cover of Lionheart made a big impact on me as a child and I used to CRAVE having my own lion suit. Funnily enough animal suits have had a bit of a fashion renaissance of late.

7) Cher - Love Hurts

Another of my mum's CDs technically. Cher's voice was impossible to ignore and I think I could sense how much my mum connected with the passion and anger behind some of her songs. I was really into playing cards from a young age, not card games themselves, but the images of Kings, Queens and yes - Jacks. I loved the way in which the characters were depicted upside down immediately beneath themselves, a reverse mirror image and I used to draw my own versions. So when I saw Cher's playing card themed cover to Love Hurts I was, erm, stunned I guess!

8) I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred

Whoever now lives in my childhood home - if you were wondering why there are dents all over the front room floorboards - it was me in my mum's heels. CLASSIC

9) Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual

This is the back of the LP not the front. I used to pretend the ferris wheel here was a pylon in a field near my house, and I was fascinated by the oil paints (clearly now I see it's a Vangogh copy) on the reverse of these shoes. So Dorothy.

So - there you have it! 9 images, 9 childhood memories.

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