No.1: Kylie – All the Lovers
Well, this result should come as a surprise to precisely no-one, given how much I bleated on about it in May, but before you all go rolling your eyeballs into the back of your heads, it’s worth noting that Kylie has never ever topped my year end chart before. Not even with What Do I Have To Do in 1991 (which was pipped at the post by Saint Etienne’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart, fact fans).
In many ways, All The Lovers would have been the quintessential farewell single. In an incredibly efficient three minutes and twenty seconds, it manages to sum up Kylie’s entire career by being both gloriously poppy, joyously ecstatic and just a tiny bit sad (or elegiac, as I so eloquently put it a few months ago). It can be read as a straightforward “my word, aren’t you the best shag ever” song or as a big old thank you to “the fans”. Or even as a simple call to the dancefloor – and when Kylie tells you to dance, you don’t refuse – even if, like me, you tend to jerk arrhythmically like Tipper Gore at a White House ball.
Now, a word about Parlophone, who have managed to arse up the Aphrodite campaign in quite spectacular style. Notwithstanding their inability to get this single to no.1, they’ve subsequently managed to pick the wrong singles and make the whole thing look like an underwhelming minor flop. Yes, it’s harder to crack the top ten in the digital age, but when Kylie has gone away and made the best album of her career, you would at least try, wouldn’t you? Here’s Niall’s tip to put everything back on track: whack out the title track as a single when the tour kicks off, with an accompanying video where Kylie recreates scenes of godlike splendour on Mount Olympus, all while channelling Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia. Can’t fail.
To sum up then: All The Lovers is the best single of 2010, peaking at 2:32 when what I will always call the “music break” kicks in. It’s said that God can be seen in the little things – I like to think he’s squeezed in just there.