“In no time. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry” sang Kim Appleby in 1990. So what happened?
by Christopher Smith
In 1986 two sisters, Kimberley (born 1961) and Melanie (born 1966), began an exciting new career as pop stars. Signed to Supreme Records, their first single “Showing Out (Get Fresh For The Weekend)” was released in September and was written and produced by new hitmakers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman. It was the beginning of a hopeful career that was to end in desperately sad circumstances.
“Showing Out” reached No.3 in the UK as well making the top 10 in many countries across Europe. It also reach the top of the US Dance chart.
Their follow up would become their signature tune “Respectable”, released in early 1987, it topped the UK chart for two weeks as well as five other countries globally, and No.1 again on the US Dance chart! Their debut album “F.L.M.” (fun love money) was released that April and reached No.3 in the UK and was platinum certified.
The title track provided the next single and became their third consecutive top 10 hit across many parts of Europe.
In early 1988 the girls released a new track “That’s The Way It Is” which again reached the top 10 across Europe and No.9 on the US Dance chart.
Tragically, Mel was to be diagnosed with spinal cancer and would undergo treatment throughout this whole period, often struggling to film videos and undertake live performances. Work on a planned second album was postponed in 1988 and again in 1989. Mel sadly passed away on 18th January 1990. She was just 23 years old.
Kim began recording for herself in early 1990 with the help of her boyfriend, ex-Bros guitarist Craig Logan, and relaunched herself as a solo artist that Autumn with the song “Don’t Worry”. It was a massive hit across Europe and Australia, peaking at No.2 in the UK. She released her debut album “Kim Appleby” in November 1990, which was certified Gold in the UK.
Her follow up “G.L.A.D.” came in early 1991 and made No.10 in the UK and as well as being popular across Europe. Two further UK chart singles were released from the album during 1991.
Kim returned in 1993 with a new single “Light Of The World”, from her second studio album “Breakaway”. The song just missed the UK top 40, stalling at No.41. The title track of the album stopped at No.56.
Since then Kim has recorded sporadically. In 1994 she released “Free Spirit” which made No.51 in the UK. In 2007 she released the song “High”, reuniting with Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, which sadly failed to chart anywhere.
She has chaired the Best Contemporary Song category at the Ivor Novello Awards since 2003, but has been rarely been seen in public and even more so on stage until…
…Kim turned up in June 2018 at an 80’s music festival and is pictured with Hazell Dean and Peter Coyle of The Lotus Eaters.
Perhaps, Kim, you would be up for some ‘fun, love (and money!)’ one day soon…we would all be GLAD of that!
As a footnote to this, a recently unearthed demo track recorded by the girls in 1986, that actually won them their recording contract with Supreme, has come to light and has been made available to everyone to hear!