Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Wiki
Best posthumous track: ‘Between the Cheats’
The often-queasy practice of rush-releasing dead artists’ unfinished music was easily rationalised with Lioness: Hidden Treasures arriving four months after Amy’s untimely death and padding out an iconic, if sparse, discography. She made only two studio LPs in her lifetime; we can imagine this painfully perfect doo-wop ditty as a third-era single.
Best double A-Side: ‘Help Yourself’ (with ‘Fuck Me Pumps’)
Her debut ‘Stronger Than Me’ remains punchy decades later. (Even if its take on masculinity is — and we can’t stress this enough — unbearably toxic.) But Frank’s standout is the chilled, bluesy ‘Help Yourself’: a lyrical precursor to ‘Rehab’ (“I can’t help you if you won’t...”) But is Amy addressing her lover’s problems, or her own?
Best soundtrack contribution: ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow?’
It’s almost a shame that, given her killer lyricisms, Amy’s take on The Zutons’ ‘Valerie’ was her biggest song. But she loved a cover, and this interpretation of The Shirelles’ 1960 hit demonstrated her ability to make dusty classics sound achingly cool and ‘now’.
Best remix: ‘Rehab’ (Hot Chip Remix)
Amy’s signature is a snappy 3 minutes, 34 seconds; this reworking lovingly doubles its length. Many an intensely soulful song has been massacred by tinny dance remixing, but here, indie synth-poppers Hot Chip merely tweak it by layering vocals and peppering it with marching-band percussion.
Best guest spot: ‘B Boy Baby’ (with Mutya Buena)
Amy’s contribution to this forgotten solo Sugababe single is classy and minimal. The similarly husky-voiced Mutya ad-libs as a choir of Amys steer the chorus, trilling the same few lines (about that old Winehouse chestnut: devotion) from an echoey distance.
The Attitude September/October issue is out now.