1. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams.
I’m giving the brides – let’s call them Maureen and Doreen – strict instructions to start playing these three CDs EXACTLY four hours before chucking-out time at the Polish Centre. Also, the CDs MUST be played in the correct order, and NOBODY is allowed to fiddle around with them once they’ve started playing.
(You know those annoying bossy people at parties who commandeer YOUR hi-fi, and start skipping tracks halfway through, in order to find some “proper music”? Well, we’ll have none of that here, thank you. I might be on the other side of the world when all this is going on, but I can still exert some control. After all, the BEST fun is ORGANISED FUN. Oh yes.)
So, providing that my instructions are followed TO THE LETTER, this should serve as Maureen and Doreen’s official First Dance. Everybody say Aah…
2. Love Is In The Air – John Paul Young.
…after which the floor will slowly fill with soft-shoe shufflers, surrounding the happy couple as they daintily step out to this middle-of-the-road “guilty pleasure”. How ever so romantic.
3. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Dame Elton of John, and not forgetting the little lady with the big voice, Miss Kiki Dee.
Keeping it smooth and sweet, and gently funky in a Port And Lemon At The Rotary Club Dinner Dance stylee.
4. I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield.
DYKEON ALERT! DYEKON ALERT! ALL LADY-LOVING LADIES TO THE DANCEFLOOR NOW!
5. Mamma Mia – Abba.
A wedding disco ain’t a wedding disco without Abba, so let’s get them out of the way nice and early. I rejected “Dancing Queen” for being, as Grandmaster Flash used to say a “used groove”, so have opted for something perky and bouncy and up-beat instead.
6. Sunday Girl – Blondie.
These are all light, breezy, tuneful selections, designed to entice people off their seats with the minimum of duress. Nothing too full-on as yet; it’s still early, and we fortysomethings have to deploy our energies sparingly.
7. Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison.
Some Real Music for the Dads, who have been nursing their first after-dinner pints for long enough. At do’s like this, you need good strong recognisable intros, to drag people up on their feet without having to weigh up the Pros and Cons.
8. Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry.
“And now the marriage vow is very sacred…” I’ve gone for Blindingly Obvious Lyrical Relevance in a major way with these mixes. Well, you can’t have any heartbreak songs on a day like this, can you?
9. I Believe In A Thing Called Love – The Darkness.
Hello, Young People! We haven’t forgotten you! The first song to be taken from the last 25 years brings us bang up to date with today’s modern chart sounds. Well, as far as autumn 2003, at any rate. For a wedding disco, that’s positively upfront.
10. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie.
OK Young People, you can sit yourselves down again. Thank you for your valued contribution.
11. Step On – Happy Mondays.
In which ex-raver uncles hunch their bodies forwards at disc-slipping angles, and throw interesting “shapes”, of the big-fish little-fish cardboard-box Ooh Missus Where’s Me Maracas variety. Ee, that Bez on Celebrity Big Brother, national treasure or what, yeah I went down the Hacienda in 1991 it were Top, etc etc.
12. Rock DJ – Robbie Williams.
Ah, Robbie Williams: one of those acts which only the general public seem to like. My partner’s parents’ best friends employed him in their shop as a Saturday Boy, you know. Yes, thought you’d be impressed. I’m doing a slow tempo-build here, leading nicely into…
13. Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake.
Back in the public consciousness, thanks to its performance by fresh-faced obedient twink Shayne out of X-Factor. (Prediction: he’ll come second, do exactly what he’s told for 18 months, and have four or five hits before slipping away into the twilight world of reality TV renta-celeb-ism.)
14. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate.
You have to have this one. It’s the law. This was considered quite cheeky at my 13th birthday party.
15. December ’63 (Oh What A Night) – The Four Seasons.
Another statutory must.
16. The Tide Is High – Blondie.
Momentary optimism from the Young People: “Oh wicked, Atomic Kitten.” Nuh-uh, fooled you. Index fingers ready for the “Number One” bit, boys and girls!
17. La Isla Bonita – Madonna.
“Last night I dreamt of some Dago… young girl with eyes like potatoes… tropical the island breeze… something something something Spanish lullaby.”
18. Killer – Adamski.
Sudden change of pace SHOCKAH. A special request from the brides, this one. “Racism amongst future kings can only lead to no good…” Oh, it’s that weird slow bit in the middle. Quickety-quick, mix straight into…
19. Groove Is In The Heart – Deee-Lite.
I’m seeing a packed dancefloor for this one. Ever seen it clear a room? No, thought not. It’s one of those “smash and grab in case of emergency” type tunes.
20. Manic Monday – The Bangles.
Actually, this could all too easily clear the floor. What on earth is this one doing here? Well, too late to change now: the CDs are burnt and wrapped – with strict DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THE DAY ITSELF instructions – and I’m handing them over to Maureen (or is it Doreen?) in ten minutes’ time.
21. When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean.
Hot Chocolate, Billy Ocean… why, it could be Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage. Disco will never die!
22. The Only Way Is Up – Yazz & The Plastic Population.
One for the “Stop Clause 28” crowd who used to come to my club nights in 1988 (and there will be several in attendance), where this ruled the floor for weeks. Don’t forget to punch the air in the right place, folks. “The only way is up… *PUNCH*…” Oh, we haven’t changed a bit actually actually I think you’ll find. Stand Up For Your Love Rights!
23. In The Middle Of Nowehere – Dusty Springfield.
Otherwise known as the theme tune from Smack The Pony, this brings Disc One to a close.
To be continued.