O is for….”O Superman” by Laurie Anderson. Mike once took me through what this record was ‘about’ (to my shame I cannot remember….hostages?), though he didn’t mention why on earth so many people bought it. I was aware it had been a kind of avant-novelty hit, but somehow I’d got it confused with Black Lace’s “Superman”, a childhood favourite of Isabel’s, and had lodged in my mind the notion that Laurie had got to the toppermost of the poppermost singing “Brush your teeth….comb your hair….Superman!” and so on, while doing a funny dance.

Which is frankly more likely than the truth, that a seven-minute single in which the ‘rhythm track’ is Anderson going “Ah ah ah ah ah ah” forever somehow captured the public imagination. But there you are – for all the misunderstanding and dislike the 1980s attract, it was very possibly a more adventurous time than now, where ‘edgy’ tends to be synonymous with ‘adolescent dysfunction’. Like a lot of political art where the emphasis lands on the art and not the politics, “O Superman” is vague, but I suspect that’s what has kept it from dating. In any case, you get something out of Anderson’s low and loopy invocations of airplane etiquette and electronic arms. And the production is muted and lovely: Anderson shrewdly guessing, perhaps, how terrible her synths would sound in a few years were she to overdo them.