❉ Not confined to Kim’s ‘80s heyday, this 2-disc set is a masterclass in commercially produced pop music.
Say the words “Kim Wilde” to anyone who grew up in the 1980s and you’ll most likely get Kids in America as a response. This CD collection proves that she was so much more memorable than just that one hit, and in fact was one of the most enduring singers throughout the decade, and beyond. She co-wrote a number of songs that will be instantly recognisable on re-hearing and are the absolute epitome of the decade; Never Trust a Stranger, You Came, Cambodia, Four Letter Word, View from a Bridge, Water on Glass and more. Much, much more. In fact, she’s the most charted British female solo act of the 1980s, with ten Top 20 hits and six Top 10 hits. She’s never hit the number one slot in the UK, narrowly missing on a couple of occasions with Kids in America and Chequered Love reaching the number 2 slot. However, she did manage that accolade ‘over the pond’ when she hit the US Billboard Top 100 at Number 1 with a reworked cover version of The Supremes’ You Keep Me Hangin’ On in 1987.
The whole 2-disc set is a masterclass in commercially produced pop music. In the 1980s Kim Wilde was the sexiest woman in the charts; women wanted to be her, and men wanted to be with her. She was the subject of many a teenage boy’s unattainable fantasies, and the ultimate pop pin up with her shaggy blonde hair and sultry heavily made-up glimpses to the camera; red lips, dark eyes, job done. She of course comes from pop royalty; her father is Marty Wilde, a popular singer of the ’50s and ’60s with hits such as Bad Boy and Endless Sleep and her brother Ricky is a record producer, co-songwriter and confidante. They’re extremely close both professionally and as siblings, having just twelve months between them (Kim is the older sister).
The 2CD set is the best compilation of all the single and radio edits of her songs and is also available in digital format. The 2CD set also includes an informative glossy 20-page booklet with a full track listing, personal message from Kim, and an essay by Marcel Rijs and Alan Connor. Furthermore, there’s a 5CD/2DVD collector’s edition featuring all of the above plus stacks of B-sides, never released before remixes, and all her videos presented in one place in a ‘never seen before’ collection.
Released by Cherry Pop, the album opens with The Second Time from the album Teases and Dares, a half-forgotten pop song that reached number 29 in 1984 in the UK pop charts and was released in USA as Go For It, but not achieving its UK success by only reaching number 65 in North America. In fact, most of the tracks are instantly recognisable and transport you back to an era where pop music for teenagers, was everything.
There are also a number of collaborations on the album. The most memorable of which is Another Step (Closer to You) with Junior Giscombe. It was a huge hit in 1986 reaching the number 6 Top 10 slot, and was also the title track of her fifth album, Another Step. The song was originally co- written and duetted with Steve Byrd but the decision was made that that ‘a more soulful voice’ was needed, which is when they approached Junior who gladly accepted the role.
Disc Two and the hits keep on coming with Cambodia, View From a Bridge and Water on Glass where Wilde delivers her pop perfect personality with aplomb! There are also a couple of cover versions thrown in for good measure, in the form of Erasure’s A Little Respect, and the Bee Gees’ If I Can’t Have You. Both of which lend themselves extremely affably to the Wilde rework pop treatment.
In between the sea of hits, there are two brand new songs on the collection; Shine On with Boy George, and You’re My Karma with Tom Aspaul of Black Country Disco. Boy George and Kim have a long-standing connection, having met on Top of the Pops in 1982. The pop veterans also both turned sixty recently and in Classic Pop Magazine she said of the collaboration “In an unprecedented year of lockdowns, together we made something beautiful and life affirming” (SIC).
These pairings also saw Kim invited to sing on George’s song Name and Number for his new album, and also on Tom Aspaul’s album with the track WM.
Another collaboration of note is Les Nuits Sans Kim Wilde was a song which Laurent Velouzy sang about Kim Wilde in 1985. It was released in France as a single after Kim agreed to sing backing vocals on it. In Germany the song was used as the B-side to Belle-Ile-en-Mer Marie-Galante. On this CD release, Wilde duets with Velouzy on the song Amoureux des Reves returning the favour in 2018 with Velouzy’s appearance on her pop record.
Kim Wilde has left her legacy well and truly on the music business in the 1980s and beyond, and after a hiatus in the decade of the new millennium when she was having her family and being a professional TV gardener, she came back into the pop fold, and is still making music after all these years. This collection shows she’s here to stay.
❉ Kim Wilde: ‘Pop Don´t Stop (Greatest Hits)’ 2CD Edition (PCRPOPD222) is released August 6, 2021 via Cherry Pop, a division of Cherry Red Records, RRP £11.99. CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER. Also available from August 6 as a 5CD/2DVD Deluxe Expanded Box Set, RRP £47.99.
❉ Ange Chan is a Freelance Writer, having produced two novels and six volumes of poetry. A prominent contributor to Me and the Starman (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon) and lifelong lover of music, Ange is also We Are Cult’s Social Media Administrator.