CHEAP TRICK – “I Want You To Want Me” (from the LP In Color)
ORANGE JUICE – “Consolation Prize” (from the LP You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever)
Cheap Trick’s crunchy, brainy stadium-powerpop and Orange Juice’s sensitively wordy adolescent tumblings have this in common: wimpiness. CT may have hit big with the riffalong, way-tuffer live version of “I Want You…”, but the original version beats it hollow, a puff-pastry masterpiece of boypop, all blue-eyed yearning and fluttering-heart sensitivity. “Didn’t I – didn’t I – didn’t I see you cryin’?” – the charmers!

“I don’t mean to pry but didn’t that guy crumple up your face a thousand times? / He made you cry”: the only difference between Orange Juice and Cheap Trick here (apart from that musicianship stuff, granted) is that you reckon Robin Zander might just get the girl, whereas you know Edwyn Collins is into a loser from the beginning. The beauty’s in the attempt, though, and “Consolation Prize”, with its untrained pop sense and convoluted rhymings and chantalong defeatism and post-Buzzcock guitar fanfare, is simply the most heartbreaking piece of heroic unrequitedness you’ll ever be unlucky enough to sympathise with. It does what it does so well that you’ll catch yourself thinking that it’s better to be beautiful loser Edwyn than the dude who’s stepping out with his crush. And then the song ends.

(The Roger McGuinn verse in “Consolation Prize” is one of the top lyrics of all time in the world ever. But you can discover that for yourself.)