1990

Nelson Mandela is finally freed...

Margaret on the guillotine! Undone by the poll tax farrago and party backstabbing, Thatcher finally goes. The John Major Grey Explosion takes up residence at No. 10, threatening to dampen any E-fuelled Madchester positivity which still pervades the country.

Gone: The Eighties and the Iron Lady. It’ll be another half-decade before coke-addled style-mag whores decide to resurrect this most hideous of eras, and even then most of us will still look back in anger.

Album of the year: Fear Of A Black Planet – Public Enemy

Single: Step On – Happy Mondays

Band / Artist of the year: Happy Mondays

1990 belonged to: Madchester, mate. Sorted.

Key event of the year: The Stone Roses at Spike Island. The last time they meant something. Nelson Mandela is finally freed, and the occasion is marked by a celeb-spangled Concert For A Free South Africa.

Meanwhile, baggy goes overground, as every chancer with a bowl haircut and a filched James Brown drum loop shimmies towards the charts (hello, Candy Flip). The La’s release one of the great singles of the decade, ‘There She Goes’, while Vanilla Ice releases one of the worst, ‘Ice Ice Baby’. Ride are dubiously championed, the Manics begin their situationist mutterings, and the Mondays give us the definitive caustic chemical missive, ‘Pills, Thrills ‘N’ Bellyaches’.