2019: A ‘Definitive’ year for Kylie!
Flushed with the success of the “Golden” album and its associated European tour in 2018, Kylie Minogue kicked off 2019 with “Golden” performances in Australia, to sell-out audiences. Beginning in Sydney and concluding in Mount Cotton, Kylie added another 61,000 sold tickets to the 170,000 purchased across the European leg of the tour. “Golden” was now a year old and it was time for reflection. How well had the album done? Well, it was certainly a great start for the new BMG Rights Management era, becoming her best selling long player since “The Abbey Road Sessions” six years earlier and her best selling studio album since “Aphrodite” at the beginning of the decade.
“Golden” was declared a huge success, returning Kylie to the top of the charts and pleasing fans with a superb accompanying tour. Perhaps what many didn’t realise, as 2018 became 2019, that Kylie had come so far that there hadn’t been time for a look back at all the achievements of the past two decades. Her last proper best of was “Ultimate Kylie” back in 2004 and there had been five studio albums since then. So perhaps it was time to catch up and remind everyone of past glories and recent triumphs. With the announcement of a Summer schedule of live dates in some high-profile and historic places, Kylie and BMG gave notice of “Step Back In Time“, a collective best of to lend a set list to this new tour. And what’s more, Kylie was going to appear on the one stage that had so far eluded her. The legendary Glastonbury Music Festival, at which Kylie was to take centre stage in the Legend slot!
Tickets were sold out within minutes of going on sale, as were many of the other venues including Hampton Court Palace, Edinburgh Castle and culminating with a star performance at the biggest pride event in the UK in Brighton in August. “Step Back In Time” with its sub title of “The Definitive Collection” was released at the end of June and followed “Golden” to the top of the UK and Australian album chart, just a year on from taking her rightful place and becoming her seventh and sixth number one in her two most famous territories respectively. The album was preceded with the commercial release of “New York City”, a holdover track from the “Golden” recording sessions that been performed during the “Golden” tour to delighted fans everywhere. “New York City” harked back to Kylie’s disco era of “Light Years” so it was especially refreshing for many to hear disco-dance Kylie after so much CountryKylie.
The Summer tour kicked off in June at Hampton Court, before moving to Belgium, Poland, Spain before returning for her seaside performances at Scarborough and finally Brighton. Kylie had already performed to 50,000 in London’s Hyde Park the previous September, so how would she cope with 150,000 at Glastonbury? Five shows into the tour, we found out! It was a glorious sunny day to begin with. Hot and dry conditions had prevailed all weekend so the main event was destined to be a memorable one. Within seconds of being ‘revealed’, Kylie gave a nod to the crowd as she launched into “Love At First Sight”. Hit after hit, Kylie gave everything she could muster to the assembled masses, with confetti canons firing out multi coloured streams during “All The Lovers” and an extended and re-touched version of “Dancing”, this was how to put on a show and seal the tongues of those critics who thirty years earlier had already begun to write her off. An emotionally charged speech midway through only served to renew her bond with those who had been there through good times and bad. “This is about all of us” Kylie told everyone, as she launched into yet more hits in a red jumpsuit. She concluded with “Spinning Around” as the 150,000 strong crowd chanted “Kylie, Kylie…” and, as it would transpire, nearly four million viewers at home were doing the same – the highest viewing figures ever for a Glastonbury broadcast! No less of an ‘Eisteddfod’ was her performance a little over a month later in Brighton, which turned into an extended show with the inclusion of “Your Disco Needs You” for her South Coast fans and the many tens of thousands that had piled into the seaside resort that weekend to see and hear her at the country’s premier Pride event in Preston Park.
The Autumn saw Kylie embark on television appearances and performances that echoed her Summer glories, not least her outstanding performance of “Slow” on BBC1’s Graham Norton show on Friday evening in the run up to the long awaited release of the “Golden” tour on DVD. This coupled with an expanded “Step Back In Time” (making it even more definitive!) and the prospect of Kylie on TV practically all of Christmas Day in the UK, meant that her name and her artistry was never more present. “Step Back In Time” finished the year with a Gold certification in the UK, having sold its 100,000th copy in the final week of 2019, becoming her third consecutive album to do so and her fourteenth overall in that country. Kylie has already begun writing and recording for her next album and although no firm release date has been set, we have been given a clue that it will be “grown up disco”! Perhaps Kylie will go “Confessions On A Dance Floor” or maybe just merge the already successful albums “Light Years” and “Aphrodite” to create a distinguished sound befitting a lady of her age? Let’s hope we get some more clues very soon…!
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