Soundtrack Of My Life: Kim Wilde

‘80s pop icon, with a penchant for ABBA and Tom Aspaul

The first song I remember hearing

The Beatles – ‘Penny Lane’

“I was born in 1960 so I grew up on The Beatles. I can remember hearing ‘Penny Lane’ in the car when we drove up to Liverpool to visit my nan. We’d listen to the radio for hours on end, but ‘Penny Lane’ is the one that stands out, it’s just such a classic song.”

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The first song I fell in love with

Cilla Black – ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’

“By the time I was eight years old, I was very aware of music having an emotional impact on me. There were a few songs that made me realise this: ‘MacArthur Park’ by Richard Harris, ’24 Hours From Tulsa’ by Gene Pitney and ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ by Cilla Black. I don’t think anyone’s ever sung that song as well as Cilla, though I did give it a good try on my ‘Snapshots’ [covers] album.”

 

The first album I bought

Elton John – ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’

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“My father [rock and roll legend Marty Wilde] had an awesome record collection, so I remember listening to his copy of the ‘Elton John’ album with ‘Your Song’ on it. I just became an instant fan, so I went out and bought several of Elton’s albums, probably from Our Price in Welwyn Garden City. I remember playing ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and loving all the different styles on the album as well as the beautiful melodies and great storytelling from [lyricist] Bernie Taupin. As a young teenager, what they were doing really fired my imagination.”

 

The song I do at karaoke

ABBA – ‘The Name Of The Game’

“I tear into this song with my heart and soul. I haven’t been to ‘ABBA Voyage’ yet, but I went to the ABBA museum in Stockholm when I was doing some songwriting there, and it was a very emotional experience. They had the same awards from Germany that I had, and when I saw the recreation of the recording studio and the girls’ makeup table, it was all just very evocative of my own life. I ended up bursting into tears, and I imagine ‘ABBA Voyage’ will have the same impact on me.”

 

The song I wish I’d written

Eighth Wonder – ‘I’m Not Scared’

“Ever since I saw their Glastonbury performance, I’ve been totally mainlining on Pet Shop Boys. I love ‘Left To My Own Devices’, but there’s just something about ‘I’m Not Scared’, which Patsy Kensit and her band Eighth Wonder did a version of. I think I might have had a chance of writing a song like that. Actually, I’m thinking of doing a version of ‘I’m Not Scared’ in my live set and maybe amalgamating it with a song like ‘Cambodia’.”

 

The song that reminds me of home

Paul and Linda McCartney – ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’

“My dad had all the Beatles albums, but he also loved the albums John Lennon and Paul McCartney put out after the Beatles. I remember dad thought ‘Jealous Guy’ from the ‘Imagine’ album was the best song John had ever written. I can also remember listening to Paul and Linda McCartney’s ‘Ram’ album loads on his state-of-the-art record player. It’s an album that I still go back to now because it’s about a lot of the things I love: dogs, the countryside, this idea of a simple life.”

 

The song that makes me want to dance

Tom Aspaul – ‘Let Them (It’s All Love)’

“I think the last time I properly danced somewhere that wasn’t my own gig was at Tom Aspaul’s ‘Life In Plastic’ album launch party in May, which was just awesome. He’s the real deal: frantically talented and just the most gorgeous man, I really love him. I actually sang on a remix of ‘W.M.’ from his previous album, ‘Black Country Disco’, and got to put a little ’80s flavour on the track.”

 

The song that changed my life

Kim Wilde – ‘Kids In America’

“My father and brother Ricky wrote and produced this song and played nearly everything on it. When they got me in the studio in Hertford, I knew I was singing a classic song, but it took a year for it to be released! What a gift, though, for a 20-year-old girl who wanted to be on Top of the Pops. It didn’t surprise me when the song started doing well, but if you’d told me it would be getting the same reaction 40 years later, I might not have believed you. Here I am, nearly 62 years old and about to go out on a greatest hits tour, and everyone in the crowd still goes crazy when I sing ‘Kids In America’.”

Kim Wilde’s greatest hits tour kicks off in Gateshead on September 10. Find more details and tickets on her official website

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