Kylie Minogue – “Kylie”
Reviewed by Christopher Smith
With the release of Kylie’s amazing new album “Golden“, I thought it would be appropriate to step back in time(!) thirty years to the very beginning and take a look at her eponymous debut album of 1988.
It was another year when Stock Aitken Waterman dominated the charts with the likes of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Hazell Dean and many others. But little did they know or even understand that their signing of late 1987 would turn out to be something very special indeed. Kylie had already topped the Australian charts with her version of “The Locomotion” and now global stardom beckoned.
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Kylie’s immense assault on the British charts and it all began with “Kylie”. So let’s revisit each track and take a trip down memory lane.
1. I Should Be So Lucky
Everything we know and love about Kylie can be traced back to this one song. The sacred cow. It was the day of my 11th birthday that this song entered the UK singles chart. My Mum took me shopping for the day and we came across ISBSL in a record store. I shouted “that’s the girl from the Australian TV show we watch!”. I’d never heard the song, but begged Mum to buy it for me (7″ singles cost £1.50 back then!). She did and it began my insatiable Kylie odyssey – thank you Mum X.
What is there to say about ISBSL that hasn’t already been said? For many years it was ignored and ridiculed but the song has had the last laugh. Over and above “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, this is Kylie’s signature tune and the one the most people best identify her with. Its 80’s pop perfection and whether you love it or loathe it, we are so lucky that it happened. Lucky, lucky, lucky…
2. The Locomotion
Kylie’s cover of Little Eva’s 1962 hit was released in Australia in 1987. It was given a PWL reproduction for the album, however, it would undergo further ‘surgery’ before release as a single in the UK in July 1988. The song would later bless Kylie with her highest charted single (#3) in the US. The UK single version is much stronger but nevertheless this track will have you doing train impressions across the room in a chugga chugga motion fashion!
3. Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi
This means “I Don’t Know Why” for anyone that didn’t bother with French at school, this was the fourth and final single lifted from “Kylie” and released in the UK in October 1988. It’s a down tempo pop number where Kylie muses about a fallen lover that she still feels strongly for. Not quite a ballad but not as uplifting as the first two tracks on the album.
4. It’s No Secret
I would have loved to of seen this released in the UK. It had number one written all over it. It was however released in the US and reached a very credible #37 there. “It’s No Secret” is the first song that gives Kylie the chance to stretch her voice and reach for those high notes in each chorus, while at the same time, being a jolly, bubbly pop anthem of the late 1980’s worthy of equalling anything Whitney was giving us at this time.
5. Got To Be Certain
The follow-up to “I Should be So Lucky” came in the spring of 1988 and it’s another great slice of PWL pop perfection. The iconic blue single cover with Kylie dressed in red wearing very large black boots leaning more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, showcases how much fun everyone was having with this song. And why not! Wistful and pleasing to the ear.
6. Turn It Into Love
Side two, track one for anyone like me who bought this album on cassette or vinyl. From the first drum beat, “Turn It Into Love” blasts its way in and never lets up. Kylie’s voice commands every verse and chorus as she persuades us to “turn it into love and open up your heart”. It was given to Hazell Dean as a single in the autumn of 1988 and she took it to #21 in the UK, but Kylie’s version was released in Japan and it went to the top. Another if only in the UK…
7. I Miss You
Candy floss at the ready, this song is so sticky and sweet, its “Dear Jessie” before it’s time but with much more pink elephant and lemonade! It sounds dated now and very much a product of its time, but if you’re ever down and lonely, “I Miss You” will gather you up and take you to a sparkly cloud and cover you with candy kisses.
8. I’ll Still Be Loving You
The nearest thing to a ballad on this album, ISBLY was used as the B side to The Locomotion. Kylie again reaches for those high notes on the slow chorus.
9. Look My Way
This is one of my favourite tracks of all on “Kylie”. Not as high energy as most of this album, but a great pop number from beginning to end. Kylie asks if you look her way, she will give everything she has to you, and she does and continues to do so. Great keyboards on the backing track.
10. Love At First Sight
The first LAFS closes this album and takes up the baton where “I Miss You” left off. It’s nowhere near as brilliant as it’s 2001 namesake, but a joyous slice of love and being in love. “Yes I believe in love at first sight, and I’m sure it could happen to me”…me and you both Kylie.
Lasting for just over half an hour, “Kylie” was the template for all that has followed and because of its enormous success, we are ultimately blessed with “Golden” today. Sometimes the simplest things in life are all you need and “Kylie” delivers this in bucket fulls of pure 80’s pop. The biggest selling album of 1988 was also the biggest selling debut album by a female artist until Dido’s “No Angel” 11 years later. Enough said.
#K30, I still love you…X
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