‘Greatest Hits’, ‘Hits+’, ‘Ultimate’ and more
by Christopher Smith
Following her first four albums, Kylie finished her PWL career with the “Greatest Hits” album, released in August 1992. It brought together all of her UK, US and Australian chart hits on one album as well as three brand new tracks. “What Kind Of Fool?” was the first of these and was released as the lead single to “Greatest Hits” at the beginning of August. The song is a cheesy pop number that harks back to the beginning of Kylie’s career and perhaps is a tongue-in-cheek nod to this period, pre-“Rhythm Of Love“. This is evident with lines like “whenever I hear your music, singing the same old tune”. “What Kind Of Fool?” was not a particularly successful reaching No.14 in the UK (at the time her second lowest chart placing) and No.17 in Australia.
The “Greatest Hits” album soon followed and went straight to the top of the UK album chart becoming her third number one out of five albums released there. It peaked at No.3 in Australia. A second track was lifted from the album in late November 1992, Kylie’s cover of Kool and The Gang’s 1980 hit “Celebration”, which had actually been recorded during the sessions for “Let’s Get To It“. This would ultimately become her final single for PWL and reached No.20 in the UK and No.21 in Australia.
The following year, PWL released a mega, mega, mega mix of all Kylie’s S.A.W. era songs, singles and album tracks on one non-stop record entitled “50+1 Non-stop History”. Starting with dance-pop, a middle section of ballads then all the poptastic songs from the first two albums at the end, it received a quiet release on tape and CD, but did reach No.57 in Australia and No.59 in Japan.
The next major compilation came in 2000 from BMG Records and was called “Hits +”, bringing together all of her hits from the deconstruction years as well as previously unreleased and rare tracks from this period that didn’t quite make the final album print. The most outstanding of which is the first publication of the 9:11 epic “Take Me With You”. The album reached No.63 in Australia and No.41 in the UK, where it has sold a staggering 62,000 copies and gained a Silver certification!
PWL re-released her 1992 “Greatest Hits” in 2002, perhaps cashing in on the success of “Fever“, with a 2-disc edition, replacing the original versions of “What Do I Have To Do?” and “Finer Feelings” with the 7″ single versions and adding a bonus CD on mixes on for good measure. The whole ensemble reached No.20 in the UK and has been certified Platinum for sales of over 300,000 copies there.
In 2004, Kylie and Parlophone released a new double CD greatest hits album of everything up to that point as well as two brand new tracks. “Ultimate Kylie” was released in November of that year and was well promoted. It seemed that twelve years after her first anthology, people were now ready for another career retrospective. Headline track from this collection was “I Believe In You” co-written by Kylie with Jake Shears of The Scissor Sisters. It became a huge hit across the world peaking at No.2 in the UK, No.6 in Australia and making the top 10 in a further thirteen countries. It also reached No.3 on the US dance hot play chart and earning a Grammy nomination the following year for Best Dance Recording.
“Ultimate Kylie” became and remains by far her most successful hits compilation. Reaching No.4 in the UK and selling over a million copies, No.5 in Australia selling 280,000 copies and No.139 in the US selling 50,000 copies. To date it has sold over three million copies globally. The second new track “Giving You Up” was released in March 2005 reaching No.6 in the UK and No.8 in Australia as well as charting across Europe. The album was supported by the ‘Showgirl’ world tour which ended abruptly in May 2005 with the announcement of Kylie’s cancer diagnosis.
2012 saw Kylie celebrate twenty five years in music with the release of “The Best Of”, a collection of all her biggest and best loved hits including her two big releases from the “Aphrodite” album. It made No.11 on the UK album chart and received a Silver certification for sales of over 60,000 copies. It also charted across Europe and the Far East, and made No.39 in Australia. Not included on this album was the new recording “Timebomb” which became a hugely popular single across the world, reaching No.31 in the UK, No.12 in Australia and No.1 on the US dance hot play chart, as well as charting in a further twenty three countries across the globe!
A second hits collection of sorts came at the end of the year with the release of “The Abbey Road Sessions“, an album of hits and classics re-recorded with the backing of a band and a full orchestra at London’s historic Abbey Road Studios (this is covered in a separate review).
Since then, with the exception of her album “Golden“, a number of tracks have been recorded and released that have yet to appear on a Kylie album or compilation. These include her collaboration with Giorgio Moroder on the smash hit “Right Here, Right Now”, her second EP of songs with Fernando Garibay including “Black And White” with Shaggy and her recording of Kim Carnes’ signature hit “Bette Davis Eyes” in 2015. Also released in 2015 was Kylie’s collaboration with Australian DJ duo Nervo, together with Jake Shears and the legendary Mr. Nile Rodgers on the song “The Other Boys”, which topped the US dance hot play chart.
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