As Kylie Minogue celebrates 25 years in the music industry, 25 things we love about the pop pioneer
For two years (1986-1988) Kylie played Charlene, the cutesy car mechanic. As real-life Kylie’s pop career took off at the same time, the line between character and real life person became disturbingly blurred.
Could Kylie actually weld a car chassis together? Is that what ‘The Locomotion’ was about? Did Charlene or Kylie get married to Jason Donovan in swathes of soft focus lace to Angry Anderson’s ‘Suddenly’? Here, CharKylie goes on the pill. Oh innocence lost!
…She made it back to the Aussie small-screen almost 20 years later for a hil-a-rious appearance on Kath & Kim.
The fact that it was one of her favourite TV shows made us love her more. Also, made us think of the amazing/cringey scene of Julia Davis’ character Jill pole dancing to ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ *hides behind sofa*
That song was the first sonic earworm I can remember. In it Kylie shamelessly repeated the word “lucky” approximately 9987 (well, around 78) times during the song’s two and a half minute span. In 1996 she recited the lyrics at the Poetry Olympics, – poetry lol hashtag!
We all remember the cover of her debut album ‘Kylie’. The ‘innocent pop star’ gaze, the toothy grin and that hat. Well, was it a hat? Or was it a strange hair band? Or a dead bird? We’ll never know…
6‘Je Ne Said Pas Pourquoi’
The first words of French we learnt. Fact! Well, that and ‘Joe Le Taxi’. Surely, she this earns her some sort of ambassadorial teaching award? No? Ok then…
That Pete Waterman wrote ‘Better The Devil You Know’ about the fact she had left clean cut Jason Donovan for good time Michael Hutchence is pretty amazing. Bet you he wouldn’t have done that for The Reynolds Girls…
8Her ‘Sex Kylie’ persona
The nickname some imaginative types came up with when she hooked up with the INXS frontman and ditched her ChaKylie image around the time of 1990’s ‘Rhythm Of Life’. A nation was shocked/intrigued (see also: Number 1).
This image change went hand in hand with her incorporation of house music, which worked brilliantly on 1991’s ravey single ‘What Do I Have To Do’ and the DNA remix of ‘Shocked’. The latter featured an actual rap.
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10The duets/ collaborations
Kylie’s done her fair share of duets and collabos (most obviously ‘Especially For You’). Our favourites are the lesser known ones however. ‘In Denial’ with the Pet Shop Boys and Towa Tei’s ‘GBI (German Bold Italic)’.
Like an eerie, swooping monolith.
The b-side to ‘Confide In Me’ wasn’t bad either – a delightful cover of Saint Etienne’s track.
Sort of like the weird sister of ‘Confide In Me’. ‘Slow’ was a masterclass in the subtle nocturnal disco creep. One the strangest Number Ones ever, surely.
For someone known primarily as a ‘singles artists’, her 2003 work is possibly her most cohesive album. With it’s Bardot stylings and nods to 80s one hit wonders, it’s great.
The juxtaposition of Kylie’s voice and a big R’n’B ballad is something to behold. Our favourites are ‘If You Were With Me Now’ (duet with Keith ‘who?’ Washington) and ‘Put Yourself In My Place’.
That point in the mid-90s when she dyed her hair strawberry blonde, didn’t wear make up and started writing her own songs. It was fascinating to watch. Which brings us nicely onto…
17‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’
The duet with Nick Cave from 1995 cast Kylie as the pale cheeked murder victim Elisa Day. It also helped re-cast the public’s perception of her as “pop moppet”.
The duet of ‘Little Baby Nothing’ didn’t happen, but years later the Manic Street Preachers did have time to pen ‘Some Kind Of Bliss’, a brassy 60’s influenced number which has a totally ‘Everything Must Go’ vibe to it.
19 The ‘Did It Again’ video
A vaguely harsh self-parody of her many reinventions and the press’ reaction to them is one her greatest videos. See ‘Cute Kylie’ bashing up ‘Sex Kylie’! Watch as ‘Indie Kylie’ gets rowdy with ‘Dance Kylie’ ! Grizzly.
Her major label, 2000 pop comeback was shockingly co-written by Paula Abdul, but it was a ridiculously joyful and carefree thing. And of course, the video made a certain pair of gold hot pants more famous than their owner.
‘Spinning Around’ and its accompanying album ‘Light Years’ re-positioned her firmly near the top of the pop tree but no one was prepared for her next move, 2001’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. A pop single of such sparse grandeur that it gave us goosebumps, it became her late-in-the-game, signature tune. And is, generally, a tuuuuuune.
22The Madonna love-in
Following a history of Madonna and Kylie being influenced by each other, Madge famously wore a ‘Kylie Minogue’ t-shirt in 2000. The two have recently been rumoured to be planning a duet. Can I suggest ‘I Know Him So Well’?
Kylie’s relationship to her very own ‘Solange’ has gone from tense to touching in the last 25 years, to the point that they can parody their relationship Dynasty style.
The whole dance routine/costume change thing has consistently been taken to the next level on Kylie’s tours and from the musicals homage of ‘On A Night Like This’ to the OTT kitsch spectacle of ‘Aphrodite’, she’s re-written the rulebook. For that we salute her (with glitter cannons, probs).
To celebrate 25 years of Kylie, there’s a lot being planned including some orchestral re-workings of her hits, like this snippet of ‘Finer Feelings’ (it’s those ‘Confide In Me’ string again!)
It’s going to be a good year for Kylie fans.