Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Music Box: Kim Wilde

When it comes to my ladies of the '80s, few rank higher than Kim Wilde. From the second I heard that swallowing a Hershey's Kiss vocal styling on her single "Water on Glass" I was completely hooked.
I still remember my 10th grade French teacher returning from a summer in Paris with a stack of 45s and Kim's eerie "Cambodia" -- which was a huge hit in France but never even released in the States -- being one of them. Although my pal Brad Zupp pleaded with me not to, I couldn't resist sticking it in my backpack -- le scandaleux! -- when Madame Kaesler got distracted, which wasn't uncommon.

The following year, when Kim's album "Catch as Catch Can" wasn't released in America, I remember getting my brother Terence to stop by Roads to Moscow -- the punk record store near Arizona State University, where he had just begun college -- to see if they had the import.

He came home with a 12-inch of "Love Blonde" -- the LP's cruelly overlooked debut single -- complete with a pull-out poster of Kim in a sexy leather dress. The Nile Rogers-produced follow-up, "Dancing in the Dark," seemed like a sure-fire hit, yet it too bombed on the charts, sending Kim to look for a new record deal.

If "Teases & Dares" got Kim to a bigger label -- and saw Kim try her hand at songwriting with the haunting "Shangri-La," one of the album's high points -- it was its follow-up, "Another Step" that finally delivered on the promise that "Kids in America" made back in '81. Her cover of the Supremes' "You Just Keep Me Hanging On" topped the charts around world -- including the fickle U.S. -- and "Schoolgirl," "I've Got So Much Love" and "Another Step (Closer to You)" were some of her best songs in years, not to mention the ridiculously erotic video for "Say You Really Want Me," which all but outed me in '86 by my just watching it (over and over and over).

I'm happy to see Kim is back in fine form with "Lights Down Low," the first single from her forthcoming album ,"Come Out and Play." God bless the Germans for worshiping her so (a label there approached her about recording again, her first album of all new material in 15 years), and who wouldn't want more after hearing last year's "Run to You," the track she recorded with the Sweden pop-tarts Fibes, Oh Fibes!?

Click HERE to sample the whole new album -- or watch the video for "Lights Down Low" below. Now how about a quick tour of the U.S., Kim?


Unknown said...

Kim Wilde rules !
Km's 2nd. album SELECT wasn't release n the States either, what a shame it was a great album !
About 10 years ago I got a 3cd box with the 1st album,Select and Catch
As Catch Can, each was in a paper sleeve replica o the original album sleeve. So cool !
Thanks for the Kim Music Box Ken

nojarama said...

Right withya Kenneth!

wbrente said...

Thank you a WHOLE BUNCH for posting this! 'Close' remains one of my all-time favorite albums from the late 80s (Geez, how many times will Never Trust A Stranger console me after a bad breakup?) LOL. Can't wait to get the new album. Thank god for Itunes!

Anonymous said...

I am very excited about new Kim Wilde album too, Lights down low sounds simply delicioius.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great article. Kim has been my favorite ever since "Kids In America", I joined her fanclub in '82 and when i came out in '87, my mother's response was "are you sure, you have all those kim wilde posters in your room" (which in itself kind of outed me). I knew of the new song, but hadn't seen the video - thanks so much for posting.

JP.M said...

Hi all, Thanks for this article, We love Kim France.
Do not miss "Come out and play soon.
If you like Kim Wilde, more info here:

See you soon, jpaul

Kato said...

I love Kim!
My favorite singles were You Came (which I later learned that was a song written to her newborn nephew) and Never Trust a Stranger, which has lyrics I should've paid more attention to while growing up hehehehe

Flop said...

Check out her duet with Nena from a few years ago. Twas amazing.

Anonymous said...

Finally it happen Kim Wilde entered Top 10 in EU :) Yeh!
Kim's last top 10 album was in 1988 when she was on Tour with Michael Jackson!

Anonymous said...

i fell in love with Kim Wilde new single "Lights down low" i love the message of that song....seem like she wants to have sex, but then she crys and wants his love "Dry my tears that drowns me stay with me and save my soul"
this song should ve been # 1 smash.

Anonymous said...

Lights down low -was the best song of 2010 I M O, Kim should reieve the award for best single.
love that song.