With a surname like Minogue, you would think that would bring automatic “Success”. It did, but how long would it last?
“Put The Needle On it”, it’s Dannii!
Danielle Jane Minogue (b.1971) was born into stardom. In fact she was the first of the family to make the big time, aged seven in 1978, she began appearing in Australian soap operas prior to joining Young Talent Time in 1982. Her mentor on that series was another former child star, singer Tina Arena. In 1985, she performed “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves”, a hit by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, with her older sister Kylie, who was also working her way up through the daytime soaps to star in the teen drama The Henderson Kids.
Dannii left Young Talent Time in 1988 and joined the cast of the then new soap, Home And Away, rival to the already established Neighbours, which happened to feature her sister! Dannii played Emma Jackson and would remain in the role for two years, before leaving an embarking upon a music career. By now, ‘big sis‘ had not only left Neighbours, but had released two studio albums and gained number one’s across the world, becoming the biggest Australian music act of the 1980’s. You may of thought Dannii would of struggled with constant comparisons to her elder sibling, but when her debut single, “Love And Kisses”, made No.4 in her home country in early 1990, any fears that she would underperform soon disappeared.
Dannii followed that success with, well, “Success”! Although this was less successful, reaching No.28 while her third release, “I Don’t Wanna Take This Pain”, failed to chart. Her debut album was simply titled “Dannii” and released in October 1990, reaching No.24, although the rest of the world had to wait until the following year before it got to hear from her. Perhaps because Kylie was at that time releasing “Rhythm Of Love” at the end of 1990. “Love And Kisses” debuted in the UK in March 1991 and peaked at No.8, while “Success” made No.11. Her album was retitled elsewhere “Love And Kisses” and got to No.8 in the UK, receiving a Gold certification for sales of 100,000 copies. Two further singles were lifted from the album, Dannii’s version of Stacy Lattisaw’s 1980 hit “Jump To The Beat” (UK No.8, Aus No.48) and “Baby Love” (UK No.14, Aus No.26), while “I Don’t Wanna Take This Pain” reached No.40 in the UK, completing a straight run of five top 40 hits from five releases.
In 1992, Dannii covered The Jacksons’ 1977 single “Show You The Way To Go”, which she took to No.30 in the UK and released a brand new recording, “Love’s On Every Corner”, which just stopped short of the UK singles chart. She released her second album, “Get Into You”, the following year, which featured the singles “This Is The Way” (UK No.27, Aus No.45), the title track (UK No.36, Aus No.79) and another cover version, this time Melba Moore’s 1976 disco classic “This Is It”, which proved to be by far the biggest hit of this period, returning her to the top ten in the UK and peaking at No.13 in Australia, the highest chart position attained since her debut single four years earlier. “Get Into You” was not perhaps the ‘success’ as was hoped for, missing the higher realms of both the UK and Australian album charts.
Dannii left her record label, Mushroom, in 1994 and spent the next two years hosting on television in both her best known countries. She would return to the charts in 1997 with the single “All I Wanna Do”, with its racy video and associated artwork, the single reignited Dannii’s music career like never before. The song became, at the time, her most successful in the UK, reaching No.4 and making No.11 ‘down under’, out performing “This Is It”, four years previously. It was the lead single from a new album, her third, titled “Girl”, which despite two further chart hits, “Everything I Wanted” (UK No.15, Aus No.44) and “Disrememberance” (UK No.21, Aus No.53), was not a great success, matching the chart low of its predecessor in the UK and faring even worse in her home country. A hastily released “Singles” collection in Australia also featured the Oz only released single “Coconut”, a cover of Harry Nilsson’s 1971 song, while Dannii round off the decade with “Everlasting Night”, which again was only released in Australia, peaking at No.42.
With Kylie ruling the world in 2001 with “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and her global smash album “Fever“, Dannii, who had gained recognition in the clubs with “All I Wanna Do”, went deeper on the dancefloor, teaming up with producer Riva for the song “Who Do You Love Now?”. Whether it was big sis’ status or the fact that it was just a damn awesome song, Dannii soared back into the charts that Autumn (2001) entering the UK singles chart at No.3, now her highest charted position there, while becoming a huge hit all over Europe and peaking at No.15 in Australia, her fourth top twenty hit there. Dannii seized upon this moment and released “Put The Needle On It” in 2002, now clearly going for the dance floor scene and clubs, it was the first new track to come from her fourth studio album and gave an indication of what to expect. The song reached No.7 in the UK and No.11 in Australia.
Recording for the album, “Neon Nights”, was by now advanced and in early 2003, she followed this with “I Begin To Wonder”, charting at No.2 in the UK (her highest chart position to date) and No.14 in her home country. The song preceded the album by a matter of weeks, while further chart success was gained with “Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling” (UK No.5, Aus No.22). “Neon Nights” would give Dannii a hit album for the first time in more than ten years, matching her previous UK chart high and again receiving a Gold certificate, as well as peaking at No.25 in Australia, just one place lower that “Dannii” had achieved in 1990. In 2004, Dannii sampled popular club anthem “Flower Power” for her new single “You Won’t Forget About Me”, winning her an eighth UK top ten hit and her seventh Australian top twenty hit.
Over the next two years, Dannii would release a number of one-off singles, “Perfection” (2005, UK No.11, Aus No.13), “So Under Pressure” (2006, UK No.20, Aus No.16) and “I Can’t Sleep At Night”, all of which would eventually be released together on a 2007 album called “Club Disco”, along with her version of “He’s The Greatest Dancer”, which would be the only track not to be included on her 2006 “Hits And Beyond” anthology, officially the first to be released in the UK, where it peaked at No.17 and was certified Silver. At the same time, Dannii teamed up with Jason Nevins (“It’s Like That”) for the club chart smash “Touch Me Like That”, which sampled Sylvester’s 1977 classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, previously covered by former Communard Jimmy Somerville and taken into the UK top ten in early 1990.
Dannii returned to television in the ensuing years, becoming a judge on the UK’s X Factor for three series (2007-2010) and later for two years on the Australian version from 2013-15. Dannii returned to the studio that year to perform vocals on elder sibling Kylie’s “Christmas” album on the track “100 Degrees” and appeared with her at the Royal Albert Hall that December to perform the song in front of a sell out audience. Dannii has released the odd single in recent years including “Holding On” with Australian X Factor contestant Jason Heerah and “Galaxy”, co-written by Sia (Furler), who had also contributed to Kylie’s 2014 album “Kiss Me Once” and produced by Ian Masterson (Bananarama), later in 2017. As yet, Dannii has yet to grace us with new music and is currently a judge on the Australian version of the latest TV craze, The Masked Singer.