Certain cricket commentators will have you believe that bowling is all about line and length. They would be wrong of course, these particular gentlemen being of a brusque and Yorkshire bent, apparently keen on self promotion and wife beating. Whilst they may be wrong about the art of bowling, if they changed their tack to the humble pop single they would have a better point. Y’see the best singles will have some fantastic lines and will not be too long. Which brings us nicely to Laurie Anderson and her art-pop classic O Superman.

It is eight minutes five seconds long. The jukebox nary ten yards away from my office is currently playing slow, and their freshly minted copy of this dissection of the late seventies dislocation of the American family rocks in at well over ten minutes. Of course I use the phrase “rocks in” advisedly. Whilst songs need not rock to be any good, there is the nagging suspicion that using a loop of the human voice as your main percussive instrument really takes us out of the area marked pop, and in to the zone labelled arse. Or “ah – ah -ah -ah – arse”.

All that said, there is this asymptotic curve of line and length. The longer a single, the better its lyrics must be to redeem it. It O Superman had been one minute long its lyrics would not redeem it. Of course Ms Anderson would say that the track was never meant as a single in the first place – much like Werner Von Braun did not mean his intercontinental ballistic missiles to carry destructive payloads. You dealt it Laurie, we smelt it. So what if it was meant to be a piece of performance art? You did not give the royalties back when Mike Read decided to turn it into the “haunting original” single I know and hate.

How Laurie and Lou Reed laugh now about their respective forays into the world of pop. How Lou sits there giggling away at the BBC’s misappropriation of Perfect Day. How Laurie smirks when she thinks of all the deluded punters turning up to her re-invention of Moby Dick using a clapped out old Fairlight and her making raspberry noises down a length of cardboard tubing. Do you think they ever sit there in their New York loft, eating their Ricotta on Rye sarnies and get the urge to put on O Superman? Nope, they probably put on Magic And Loss instead. Which as a quality indicator goes, will show you that O Superman is just not cricket.