Thirty Years of ‘The Devil’. Twenty years of ‘Spinning’. Ten years of ‘Lovers’.
You know you’ve really made in the music business when some of your biggest and best known and best loved hits celebrate milestone anniversaries. 2020 is no exception and is another year in which three of Kylie (Minogue)‘s most iconic songs mark their own place in history and in the affections of her legions of fans globally. And all within the space of four weeks, three lead singles from respective albums were released and entered pop music history. Even the most hardened of anti-Kylie fans were won over by the style, sound, look and approach to each era defining release. So what made these three tracks standout and why do we demand these at every Kylie live show? Let’s take a step back in time…
1990 – “Better The Devil You Know“
We’ve already extensively covered Kylie’s first new music of 1990 in a previous article, released at the time of its 30th anniversary release, but “Better The Devil You Know” really did break the mould when it arrived at the very end of April that year. The song charted No.2 in the UK, No.4 in Australia and was a huge hit across Europe, the Far East and made a small impression on the US market too. “Better’s” attitude and approach was fresh and something not yet seen with Kylie and much of that came down to a certain Mr. Hutchence, with whom Kylie had recently stepped out with at the premiere of her film ‘The Delinquents’. Nobody was prepared for what was to come and when “Better” was launched in the late Spring of 1990, everyone stood up. They still do stand up to celebrate and revere this icon of iconic songs in Kylie’s back catalogue and still today, thirty years on, it hasn’t lost its flavour or taste. Personally speaking, it is still the best and has yet to be topped.
2000 – “Spinning Around“
The dawn of a new decade and a new century was a testing time for Kylie. Perhaps the most testing of her career to date. General praise and commercial interest in her 1997/98 album “Impossible Princess” was not forthcoming although die hard Kylie fans lauded it as “her greatest work to date”. IndieKylie was not for everyone and the experimenting Kylie of the mid-late 90’s turned out to offer a mixed and varied bag of highs and lows. Kylie went back to the dancefloor and what the fans wanted as she signed with Parlophone Records in 1999.
The tag line was ‘There is old pop. There is new pop. And there is Kylie Minogue. Let the “Light Years” begin”. DiscoKylie breezed in on 19th June 2000 with the launch of her first single, “Spinning Around”. The song was co-written by none other than Paula Abdul, who had experienced success at the end of the 1980’s with “Straight Up” and in the early 90’s with “Rush Rush”. Paula had intended to release the song herself but was eventually ‘given’ to Kylie to see what she could ‘do with it’. What she did was unbelievable. And also very thrifty! It wasn’t so much the song, but like “Better The Devil You Know”, it was the video and the surrounding campaign that caught everyone’s attention.
Kylie in gold hotpants! 50p gold hotpants!! Kylie writhing around at the club on the bar, on the dancefloor and generally having a good time being back in the pop world. Simple and I imagine cost-effective for a tentative first release and a relaunch after an unsuspecting period in her career. It worked as “Spinning Around” went to the top of the charts, Kylie’s first number one for a decade in many parts of the world. This was a confirmation of her standing in the business and a cool finger up at those who only a year earlier had attempted to push the knife in deep and hard at the supposed ‘death of Kylie’s music career’. Kylie’s coronation would come just a year later when the world just kept singing “la la la“, but in the Summer of 2000, everyone “moved out” of Kylie’s way and agreed, we definitely like it like this.
2010 – “All The Lovers“
Fast forward another ten years and we enter the 2010’s with a different feel and a pulsing, growing number with yet another iconic video and approach. The 00’s had turned out a time of world domination and personal tragedy that could of ended very differently and suddenly. Kylie was back, however, in 2007 with her tenth studio album “X” and lay the ground for climbing ever higher with her next project, “Aphrodite“. June 2010 saw the release of the lead single from this new project, which would see Kylie hook up with Stuart “Confessions” Price for a cooler, dance orientated album with any number of anthems vying for the coveted lead single slot.
In the end it was “All The Lovers”, written by Jim Eliot and Mima Stilwell, the same pair that had written the wrongly released lead single from “X”, “2 Hearts”. “All The Lovers” became, as Kylie later branded it, ‘your song’. #Lovers as she now addresses her fans. A song for everyone, all and a song to bring everyone and all together. In music. In love. In thanks. Once again, a very different and in many ways, simplistic video was crafted, featuring a growing mountain of ‘lovers’ gathering and multiplying with, as always, Aphrodite herself at the top of the mountain. By this time, Kylie’s hair had grown back and she looked both radiant and glowing as she smiles at the camera, assuring us all that she was not only back, but well and recovered.
“All The Lovers” was another global triumph with top ten placings in over twenty countries and a number one on the US dance chart, her first since “Slow” in 2003. Once again, “All The Lovers” has become a necessity at live shows and is usually the song that Kylie now closes each performance with, quite often with an explosion of shredded paper in many colours. The “Aphrodite” era got off to a glorious start and would end with a world tour, the most expensive ever mounted by Kylie, in which the song was presented on stage with a three tier revolving stage, harnessed dancers from the ceiling and fountains of water, enough to soak anyone in the splash pit!
As we look to the future and another Kylie album on the horizon, these past few weeks have seen ‘celebration’ after celebration of some of Kylie’s, if not Kylie’s finest moments of the past. Three songs that have stood the test of time and in many ways, only improve with age. So pour a glass of Kylie Rose and join with me in a journey across three decades of album debuts and times of pure Kylie joy. Cheers!
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