May 10

KYLIE MINOGUE – “I Should Be So Lucky”

Popular87 comments • 6,905 views

#604, 20th February 1988, video

They did their best work before her, and she ended up doing her best after them, but nonetheless Kylie Minogue was Stock Aitken and Waterman’s muse: the Dionne Warwick to their Bacharach and David, the Girls Aloud to their Xenomania, the point where their particular vision of pop and its place in the world found definitive expression. They’d worked out the basics – ordinary stars who embodied optimism and hard work, songs that were a distillation of everyday feelings, a pop that arrived quickly and left quickly, that courted its market shamelessly and gave a finger to the rest. But establishing the likes of Big Fun, or even Mel and Kim, with the public still took work. Ordinary wasn’t quite enough – people needed stories in their pop. That’s what Kylie brought.

Not her own story really – not yet at any rate – but a public profile based around her role as Charlene in Neighbours. The core PWL audience knew Kylie Minogue already, liked her and believed in her. The British audience for her on-screen wedding would outnumber Australia’s entire population. There was no real need to match the songs to the character – Kylie was on her way out of the soap anyway – but the alignment of PWL and the cross-generation pop culture sensation of Neighbours was exactly what Waterman and company needed. SAW’s singles would be like the daytime soaps – immediate but familiar, unmissable but regular, full of sunlight, lively and breezy and cheap.

Kylie Minogue was their perfect vehicle. Maybe it’s because “I Should Be So Lucky” comes after two bubblegum records whose singers strained for affect but her chirpy, thin voice, which I normally find irritating, cuts through “Lucky” with conviction and clarity. She sounds as unschooled and likeable now as she did back in 1988 – considerably more likeable if you’re me, who was exactly the wrong gender, age and taste for her and reacted to PWL with real venom.

Misplaced venom, though? I’m honestly torn. PWL worked to slash the mystery and theatre away from pop, and to reaffirm its connection with the (often much wider) audience light entertainment offered. They scorched British pop’s landscape, and the kind of fantastic, futuristic, preposterous groups I’d fallen in love with in the early 80s grew still thinner on the ground. 1988 was the nadir of my engagement with pop music, and while I never cut the cord entirely it was another decade before I got really enthused with it again.

Ideas like “mystery and theatre” are easy to invoke, though, and far harder to actually manifest: they begin to act as a wagged finger as much as an inspiration. By the late 80s there was a conceited laziness around much of pop and rock – we’ve seen plenty of examples of it in Popular and there’s more to come. PWL’s cheerfully functional records worked against that. The rot had set in on early 80s creativity long ago, no thanks to Stock Aitken and Waterman. So looking back on the start of their own “imperial phase” these records provoke mixed feelings. On the one hand they anticipate the clarity and craft of a lot of 00s teenpop – much of it also performed by actor-singers who knew how to sell a situation. On the other hand they’re a direct link to the gross cynicism of Simon Cowell, beside whom Waterman looks like Joe Meek.

“I Should Be So Lucky” has something of each. The first minute or so is an uncomplicated delight – thanks mostly to Kylie and how she pushes the song forward, but also thanks to the song itself. It’s first playful, then dreamy, then suddenly sad, and then it tumbles into the chorus and everything else in your brain is brutally erased. Then it does it all again – but the payoffs are smaller, the chorus more grating, and more grating still, and the chorus seems to become the whole world… and then there’s a deft instrumental break, another chorus, and the song ends. Every time I play it there’s that same progress from freshness to ruthlessness. But the freshness entices even though I know the ruthlessness is coming, so for now Kylie and SAW are just – just! – still on the side of good.



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  1. 1
    wichita lineman on 19 May 2010 #

    Nicely put, but for me PWL’s best work was still to come, specifically Brother Beyond’s brace of top 10’ers, the Donna Summer singles and Big Fun’s Can’t Shake The Feeling. The PWL roadshows hadn’t yet started either, which cheerfully brought back the package tour/matinee performance aspect back to pop, and an opportunity for kids to wave banners that read “Jase is ace”. Could be seen as cynical, but no more than (continuing the Meek comparison) the Live It Up movie or adding then excising Heinz from the Tornados.

    As for this, I think I preferred all Kylie’s other major SAW-penned hits. Smash Hits’ first mention of it in Bitz said it was “not Every Loser Wins” which shows how no one was really expecting Kylie to have a pop career at all.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 19 May 2010 #

    I can’t ever imagine wanting to choose to listen to this but I wouldn’t turn it off if it came on the radio so it’s a 5 at most for me.
    What’s interesting for me about the video (and very little else about it is) is how Kylie is not yet KYLIE. It’s just another acting job, a bit of fun, no commitment. Her blank grin reminded me of Betty Page at several points.

  3. 3
    Tom on 19 May 2010 #

    Nah, I’m not saying PWL were especially ruthless – though this single goes in particularly hard on the chorus – the “direct link” is as much a reference to Cowell and Waterman sharing a judging panel later in life, and certainly the production-line model PWL revived puts us further on the road to reality TV pop. They were cynical but not wholly gross, I’m trying to say.

  4. 4
    wichita lineman on 19 May 2010 #

    Yes, sorry, I twigged that and amended my comment : ) The chorus couldn’t be more ruthless.

  5. 5
    Billy Smart on 19 May 2010 #

    This single is – above and beyond else – a strikingly accurate description of unrequited love, especially as felt by a teenager. For once a relatively cheap and functional SAW production actually serves the song, placing the feelings in a context that feels ordinary and everyday, creating a sense of realism and verisimilitude – the unhappy would-be-lover is keeping going through what sounds like a life of homework and Saturday jobs. The charm lies in the gaucheness of the performance and arrangement. Put like that, it sounds like it should have been on Sarah Records – Pete Waterman was nothing if not indie!

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 19 May 2010 #

    The reaction of my 16 year-old peers to this was aggrieved derision, tempered by sexually frustrated misogyny. Only simple-minded girls liked this pap, not like the omnipresent U2 gods. And that blankly-grinning Kylie girl wasn’t even sexy, it was agreed.

    Myself, I quite enjoyed it whenever it came on the radio and could empathise with it a lot more than most peer-approved rock (Morrissey excepted), the verses quickly becoming as memorable as the chorus. But I never thought of buying a copy – the song just seemed to be around all the time, anyway. And the ubiquity of Neighbours in 1988 UK teen life was a continual source of irritation to me.

  7. 7
    Billy Smart on 19 May 2010 #

    Number 2 Watch: Aha! Two weeks of Bomb The Bass’ ‘Beat ‘Dis’ a single that divided reaction absolutely, only loved or hated by my peers – ‘that’s just noise, he’s taking the piss, listen he’s just recorded an alarm clock’, etc. I thought that was fantastic and wished it could have got to the top.

    Then two weeks of Rick Astley’s ‘Together Forever’ which was rather less exciting. It’s no ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ that’s for sure.

  8. 8
    MikeMCSG on 19 May 2010 #

    22 years on and I’m still utterly indifferent to Kylie. I don’t fancy her – too small, no boobs – and her music, apart from the Nick Cave duet, just washes over me probably because her voice is so blank. I appreciate that she’s got that Aussie no-nonsense niceness about her but that’s as far as it goes

    The song itself has become so ubiquitous it seems pointless to comment any further.

    One for Rory here. Did Oz actor Daniel Abineri actually commit his parody “I Can See Her Nipples ” to vinyl or was it just a TV joke like Bernard Manning’s Smiths covers album ? I’ve never been able to find it on youtube.

  9. 9
    MBI on 19 May 2010 #

    As an American, this is my first exposure to this song. I’ve never been much of a SAW fan, but I’ve got some admiration for songs like “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “You Spin Me Round,” and I pretty much love everything they ever did with Bananarama.

    But “I Should Be So Lucky” is fucking abominable. The worst thing we’ve had on here since “Star Trekkin'”, and possibly worse than “Every Loser Wins” — Tom mentioned that he sometimes finds the SAW sound lazy, well, it doesn’t get much lazier than this. “I should be so lucky, lucky lucky lucky” is not a hook, and the SAW sound couldn’t possibly seem more tired than it does here. I would have to stretch to give this more than a 2.

  10. 10
    wichita lineman on 19 May 2010 #

    Re 7: As punishment for denying Bomb The Bass, Kylie’s next three singles stalled at no.2, including the odd chords and affecting melancholy of Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi (smashing video, too).

  11. 11
    Billy Smart on 19 May 2010 #

    Re 10; Those Kylie runners-up in full;

    Got To Be Certain – An underrated gem – Very much a sequel to this song – the unlucky girl’s next move, discovering a little self confidence. I find this record very touching.

    The Locomotion – however, really is quite toxically bad.

    Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi – carries the narrative of the Kylie character forward with a lost love, trying for a grown-up sophistication that she almost but doesn’t doesn’t quite pull off. But don’t be too sad, kids – It will all come gloriously right for her in episode five when Popular rejoins the story!

  12. 12
    abaffledrepublic on 19 May 2010 #

    Coming after MARRS and before a forthcoming act who I can’t mention, Bomb the Bass’s Tim Simenon can consider himself unlucky to have been competing against Kylie. A fine effort for his debut single, but he bettered it a few months later with the fantastic double A side Megablast/Don’t Make Me Wait.

  13. 13
    JLucas on 19 May 2010 #

    Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi was ruined for me when somebody pointed out that Kylie’s voice blatantly cuts out on the “I’m wondering why” line before the chorus, to be replaced by a session vocalist (Presumably Miriam Stockley, the unsung heroine of SAW).

    Anyway SAW undeniably churned out a LOT of crap around this time, but this record has a very very strong melody. If anything the production is what kills it. When she performs it now with more organic backing it really stands up.

    It’s a shame none of her quartet of incredible Rhythm Of Love singles hit the top spot. ‘What Do I Have To Do’ ‘Better The Devil You Know’ ‘Shocked’ and to a lesser extent Step Back In Time are all among the best work SAW ever did.

  14. 14
    Kat but logged out innit on 19 May 2010 #

    I adored Neighbours from the Scott and Charlene era onwards – my friend K had a Neighbours BOARD GAME where you had cards with different characters and plot lines and locations and had to make up a convincing storyline, a bit like Cluedo: [Mrs Mangle] sees [Daphne] snog [Shane] at [Lassiters] and [accidentally treads on Bouncer] etc. We all swapped Neighbours collecting cards too! I had loads of swapsies for Mrs Mangle’s rubbish boring niece Jane ([Jane] goes to [the prom] and [sits in the corner being emo while her best mate snogs Mike]).

    But despite my infatuation with early doors Neighbours it’s still hard for me to remember that Kylie’s main occupation was once ‘actress’, 22 years of pop vs 22 months of acting takes some dislodging. ISBSL is ok, very entertaining in terms of playground substitution of ‘rubber ducky’ and ‘mucky’ (she’s in the bloody BATH as well!). But at the time I have to say I preferred ‘Locomotion’ which had a DANCE. You’ve got to swing your PANTS now!

  15. 15
    thefatgit on 19 May 2010 #

    The last Thatcherite upswing before that dramatic fall from grace. If you were lucky, lucky, lucky enough to live in the South, have a job, get yourself on the housing ladder with one of those Right To Buy deals, then life was sweet. If you didn’t fit the Tory mould, then you were forgotten. A scared and lonely shadow in an underpass near Waterloo station where an IMAX cinema now stands. A jobless statistic trapped in benefits purgatory FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. A freezing pensioner unable to eat because you turned on an extra bar on the electric fire that day. Or you lived in the North.

    I’m just as conflicted as Tom, when it comes to this. In purely pop terms, this is an IMPORTANT RECORD. So much of what has followed on from this can tip their titfers in deference to Kylie and SAW and “I Should Be So Lucky”. Why? Well I can’t think of another late ’80s record that could engage so much of the after-shool crowd. Kylie was the “girl next-door”. Tomboy mechanic with the cute smile and the blonde bubble-perm from Neighbours. 5:30 pm time slot. Perfect. Pete Waterman could see it. The raw, malleable Kylie with an army of teenage fans, family friendly, Thatcher friendly, non-threatening persona…and she can sing. Perfect. Pete Waterman’s one size fits all brand of pop. Perfect. A combination that could not fail.

    So ISBL can be seen 2 ways: Perfect 80’s pop or the focal point for all that it stands for. Manufactured? Yes. Aspirational? The video sees Kylie in yuppie apartment setting, so…yes. The chorus seemed to attract the ire of every rockist with a pair of ears, but the kids. Oh, the kids loved it didn’t they? The song then, becomes this divider of opinion. Your judged on your appreciation of Kylie as if you’re down with The Evil Empire if you like her, or part of the Rebel Alliance if you hate her. No inbetween…black or white, Tory or Labour. Miss Minogue was the litmus test. In hindsight, that’s a little unfair on the poor girl. Hearing ISBL then, it’s placed somewhere in my memory as the backdrop to intense arguments and debates over Strongbows and Hedgehog crisps in a smoky pub. Hearing it now, it’s that far removed from those earnest conversations, all that remains is what PWL originally intended…a perfectly crafted pop song, from a production team at the top of their game. It’s an 8 from me.

  16. 16
    LondonLee on 19 May 2010 #

    I was going to say what JLucas did at #13. Her early singles with SAW were shrill, tinny crap to my ears (though catchy obviously) and it took that little layer of sophistication I heard on ‘Better The Devil..’ and ‘What Do I Have To Do’ for me to warm to her, the latter is easily my favourite SAW record. Perhaps not coincidentally that was also the first time I found her mildly fanciable.

  17. 17
    Hofmeister Bear on 19 May 2010 #

    It would be another 10 months before Scott and Charlene’s wedding went out in the UK as well. It’s already been said but the fundamental elements of ISBSL are textbook pure pop, it’s the production which lets it down. Nearly everything from SAW suffered the same problem – the production was either JUST the right side of cheap and cheerful, or just plain naff.

    Combined with the fact that the enduring popularity of Kylie has always baffled me means this is sub 5, No better than 4.

  18. 18
    Billy Smart on 19 May 2010 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Oh what a career! Kylie’s UK TV appearances include;

    ANT AND DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY: with James Pallister (Little Ant), Dylan McKenna Redshaw (Little Dec), Mark Evans (Voice Over), Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Liberty X, Kylie Minogue, Lorraine Kelly (2003)

    AN AUDIENCE WITH…: Kylie Minogue (2001)

    CHRISTMAS MORNING WITH NOEL: with Gorden Kaye, Kuan Lee, Margaret Thatcher, Danny La Rue, David Steel, Kylie Minogue, Neil Kinnock, Harry Gration, John Leslie, Elton John (1987)

    THE CLIVE JAMES SHOW: with Kylie Minogue, Alexei Sayle (1995)

    DES O’CONNOR TONIGHT: with Tony Curtis, Jason Donovan, Vince Hill, Kylie Minogue (1988)

    DES O’CONNOR TONIGHT: with Michael Aspel, Kylie Minogue, Spike Milligan, Jim Bailey (1989)

    DES O’CONNOR TONIGHT: with Neil Sedaka, Kylie Minogue (1990)

    FRIDAY NIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS: with Kylie Minogue, Rob Brydon, Tenacious D (2002)

    FRIDAY NIGHT WITH WOGAN: with Gloria Steinem, Kylie Minogue (1992)

    THE HIPPODROME SHOW: with Eartha Kitt, Kylie Minogue, Brother Beyond, Gloria Estefan (1989)

    HORNE & CORDEN: with Mathew Baynton, Kellie Bright, Seroca Davis, Vilma Hollingbery, Kwame Kwei Armah, Nick Mohammed, Brendan Patricks, Tony Rohr, Kylie Minogue (2009)

    THE KYLIE SHOW (2007)

    LIVE FROM THE PALLADIUM: with Shirley Bassey, Robert Palmer, Kylie Minogue, Anita Dobson, Mike Reid, Tim Flavin (1988)

    THE NATIONAL LOTTERY LIVE: with Bob Monkhouse, Alan Dedicoat (The Voice of the Balls), Kylie Minogue, Paul O’Grady (1997)

    THE O ZONE: with Kylie Minogue, Luther Vandross (1994)

    THE O ZONE: with Kylie Minogue, Puff Daddy, Louise (1997)

    PARKINSON: with Bob Monkhouse, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue (2002)

    PARKINSON: with Kylie Minogue, Paul O’Grady, Robson Green, Peter Cincotti (2004)

    SATURDAY ZOO: with Kylie Minogue, Lenny Kravitz (1993)

    THE SMASH HITS POLL WINNERS PARTY: with Bros, Pat Sharp, Jason Donovan, Phillip Schofield, Kylie Minogue, Neneh Cherry, Big Fun, Soul II Soul, The London Boys, Sonia (1989)

    THE SMASH HITS POLL WINNERS PARTY: with Phillip Schofield, Bros, Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue, Neneh Cherry, Big Fun, Soul II Soul, The London Boys, Sonia, Transvision Vamp (1990)

    THE SMASH HITS POLL WINNERS PARTY: with Louise, Marky Mark, Simon Mayo, Jordan Knight, Take That, Gloria Estefan, Kriss Kross, The Farm, Kylie Minogue, Right Said Fred (1992)

    STEVE WRIGHT’S PEOPLE SHOW: with Ivana Trump, Lulu, Kylie Minogue, Paul O’Grady (1994)

    STEVE WRIGHT’S PEOPLE SHOW: with Kylie & Dannii Minogue, Kermit, Rory Underwood (1995)

    SUNDAY, SUNDAY: with Bill Wyman, Alan Alda, Patrick Moore, Kylie Minogue, Michael Ball, Sue Carpenter, Craig Ferguson (1990)

    T•F•I• FRIDAY: with Cher, Ronald Fraser, Damon Albarn, Blur, Mick Hucknall, Kylie Minogue, Happy Mondays, Shaun Ryder, Simply Red (1996)

    T•F•I• FRIDAY: with Will Macdonald, Andrew the Barman, Echo & the Bunnymen, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Griff Rhys Jones, Melinda Messenger, Kylie Minogue, Ocean Colour Scene (1997)

    WOGAN: with Jason Donovan, Helen Lederer, Kylie Minogue, Mickey Rooney (1988)

    WOGAN: with Stuart Bell MP, Cleveland Family, Valerie Howarth, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John (1988)

    WOGAN: with Gareth Davies, Mark Duncan, Basil Farrer, Frank Finlay, Michaela King, Donna McGrath, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Roachford, Frank Sumpter (1989)

    WOGAN: with P. J. O’Rourke, Kylie Minogue, Laurie Pike, Richard Ingrams, Gloria Hunniford (1991)

    THE WORD: with Keith Deans, Lindy Layton, Ellie Lane, Jesus Jones, Kylie Minogue, Alexander O’Neal (1991)

  19. 19
    flahr on 19 May 2010 #

    The backing track here is a constant pulse, much like “Don’t You Want Me”. In that song, everything was cold enough that it probably benefited; here it’s enough of a contrast with Kylie’s voice that it’s actually quite grating after a while. It is an insanely catchy song, though; a 6 is probably about right.

  20. 20
    Rory on 19 May 2010 #

    So here we are!

    I turned twenty in 1988, an uncomfortable age for a pop or rock music fan: an age when you can no longer ignore the fact that half of your musical heroes were recording their first big singles and albums when they had as many birthdays behind them as you. And what are you doing at 20? Buying their records (or CDs for the shiny new player you bought this very year) and reviewing them for the student magazine at uni, words to be read by a handful of your peers and then forgotten, when you should be writing scholarship-winning essays and award-winning first novels. If you have even the slightest ambition to do something creative with your life, but haven’t yet figured out how to pull it off, it can be hard to contemplate those who had it all figured out and were on their way at your age – let alone those who seemingly stumbled into their success.

    In 1988, Kylie was the most glaring example in the charts of My Age Group Made Good. She was only six months younger than me, yet by her 20th birthday had already had two massive hits in Australia, the second of which (i.e. this) was also massive in the UK. Yet she really did seem to be – to an Australian listener, particularly – the Girl Next Door. She sounded like our girls next door, looked like them, and seemed as unlikely a success as any of them would have been. The mythology surrounding her first hit, “Locomotion”, only underscored it: her impromptu performance of Little Eva’s song at an Aussie Rules charity event led to a signing by local label Mushroom Records, seven weeks at number one, and Australia’s biggest-selling single of the decade. Her Neighbours profile must have helped convince PWL to sign her, but they already knew they had potential chart gold on their hands; the SAW re-recording “The Loco-Motion” (with restored hyphen and definite article) duly reached the top five in the UK, US and Canada (rather contradicting the popular notion that Kylie was never able to crack the American market).

    Neighbours didn’t mean much to me – I was spending so much time on that student mag in 1987-88 that my TV-watching plummeted, not that I ever watched much soap – and a starring role in it, no matter how significant to its fans, didn’t seem like much basis for Pop Hugeness. The success of “Locomotion” (the non-SAW original) seemed instead to be a female counterpoint to another 1987 Australian number one, “He’s Gonna Step on You Again” by The Party Boys. The latter were a pub-rock supergroup, the musical equivalent of the footy players who cheered Kylie and her fellow cast-members on at that charity event. Both songs were covers, both seemed like one-offs, and both gave little indication of what was to come. (“He’s Gonna Step On You Again” will be better known to many as the version recorded by the Happy Mondays a few years later, under the snappier title “Step On”.)

    So when Kylie became properly huge, which in 1980s Australia meant internationally huge, it was hard not to feel a tinge of envy – a tinge which would have been so much worse for an aspiring musician instead of writer/cartoonist like myself, but still a tinge. I’m sure I never thought it at the time, but there had to be some reason Kylie’s success seemed so objectionable compared to all the other naff pop of the day – some reason over and beyond this annoyingly catchy, very average song. (How much worse it must be today for Stefani Germanotta’s peers to contemplate her equally meteoric rise, with songs that are so much better – but I definitely sense something similar in some people’s reactions to the Gaga phenomenon. Forty-somethings like me, on the other hand, seem to warm to her easily, even having their dormant love of pop rekindled, perhaps because we’re no longer thinking “huh, what makes her so special?”.)

    If that unfocussed envy was ever there, it didn’t last; after “I Should Be So Lucky”, Kylie’s SAW hits seemed to blend one into another, and if duetting with Jason Donovan was success I figured she was welcome to it. It wasn’t until her post-SAW Australian number one “Confide in Me” that I started paying attention again, and looked beyond the bubbly image… but there’ll be another chance for Later-Kylie discussions.

    Meanwhile, I did have a brief flirtation with Neighbours a few years after Kylie’s tenure. In 1991 I spent a couple of months sharing a flat in Canberra with a friend who was a serious Ramsay Street addict, and caught several episodes despite myself. Later in the year, living in England as an international student, those episodes were just starting to screen on BBC1, and for a fleeting moment my advance knowledge of their plot points was small-talk gold. But did it translate into lasting social capital? Did Neighbours Knowledge score with the chicks? I should be so lucky.


    P.S.: Sorry, Mike, never heard of that one.

  21. 21
    lockedintheattic on 19 May 2010 #

    While this is obviously a significant record for various reasons, it’s also possibly my least favourite Kylie singles, I never really liked it at the time (and that’s as a big pop fan). Kylie has obviously never been truly happy with it either, presumably seeing it as an embarrassing start to her career – whenever I’ve seen her play live, this is always the one she does in a dramatically different arrangement (often as a ballad) as if she can’t quite acknowledge that this tinny little number was the one which launched her

    #13 – yes, I feel the same – Shocked, Step Back in Time, Better the Devil you Know & especially What Do I Have to Do are the highpoint of both SAW & Kylie’s careers, such an awesome run of singles.

    Also re. those number 2s – Kylie has been incredibly unlucky in her career, she’s managed to have more songs peaking at number 2 than any other artist, if she’d sold just a few more of each of her 10 number 2s we’d be seeing an awful lot more of her here over the next few years

  22. 22
    lockedintheattic on 19 May 2010 #

    #12 – I think ‘Beat Dis’ did make it to number one on the Chart Show chart, which was richly deserved, it was very much the next stage in the evolution of British dance music post MARRS.

    Another song that sadly just missed the top spot while Kylie was at number one was Vanessa Paradis’s Joe Le Taxi (although she may also have topped the chart show chart I think). That would have been quite an achievement – she’d have been one of the youngest ever number one singers, and in French too (have we had a foreign language number one yet? I know we have one coming up soonish….)

  23. 23
    swanstep on 19 May 2010 #

    Despite some good efforts at #8 and #9, clearly nobody’s hating on this record enough. Does The Sound of A Bright Young Britain (say in Rick from The Young Ones voice) mean nothing to you?

    In related news, the Wall Street Journal call you a ‘lucky ducky’ if you’re too poor to pay much if any income tax. Discuss!

    A 4 or 5 from me (but I really don’t want to talk about it either. if only we could just jump ahead to Ride on time/Vogue/The Power etc. – watching SAW lay pipe is too gruesome).

    Enjoyed Rory’s comment at #20.

  24. 24
    Garry on 20 May 2010 #

    I’m with Tom as this was around the time I started turning off pop – it would take a couple of years to fully make a break, but Kylie and Jason were both the start. I was only 11 but I remembered the radio on the fridge being tuned to pop for as long as I remember.

    I couldn’t stand Kylie, with the exception of the later Confide With Me. I especially couldn’t stand her duet with Cave. It may have been easy for me to dislike her as, being in a regional Australian area, we didn’t get Neighbours on the box. For me she was a whiny Aussie girl who didn’t deserve to stand next to the likes of Paul Kelly, Gangajang, The Church and other pop/rock on Austrlaian radio at the time.

  25. 25
    anto on 20 May 2010 #

    This review accurately sums up the mixed feelings this particular record induces.
    I marvel at the tracks sharp, glistening hit-single-ness, but it also makes me retrospectively sympathetic towards those who didn’t care for S/A/W and their ubiquity in 1987/88. You can hear them getting really cocky here. High on the success of their previous number one I Should Be So Lucky playfully treads that line between the immediacy of an undeniable hook and outright repetetive innanity.
    It stays in the right groove and it says a lot for the personality with which Kylie infuses it that by the end of its lengthy stay at the top we already thought of her as a pop star rather than a soap star who sings a bit. A privelege we correctly, and understandably did not grant Nick Berry.
    Just as an aside – a case can surely be made for Neighbours as being the non-musical tv programme that has had the most effect on the UK pop charts.

  26. 26
    anto on 20 May 2010 #

    Re 14: My sister had that board game as well. Teriffic fun.

  27. 27
    weej on 20 May 2010 #

    I was 8 years old, and this period unfortunately coincides with my following the charts, watching TOTP etc. At the time I knew this song was bad – everyone I knew from extended family to classmates to TV comedy was telling me so – but I couldn’t seem to get myself worked up about it in either direction, and the feeling hasn’t shifted in the following 22 years. I did have the parody record (Morris Minor & The Majors’ “This Is The Chorus”), which was hilarious at the time, grave doubts about how well it will have aged though.
    As for Kylie, there are only two of her singles (both post SAW) that I would give more than a 6 or 7 to – both of them unfortunately unbunnied – “Put Yourself In My Place” and “I Believe In You”.

  28. 28
    swanstep on 20 May 2010 #

    Kylie’s (unbunnyable)’Come into my world’ is niftily metronomic and precise, almost Kraftwerk-like (or perhaps DAF/Robert Gorl/Chris and Cosey-ish – anyhow *that* minimalist wave) in its control. Then Gondry’s video kicks things up to pop art of a v. high order indeed. This one thing was *so* great IMHO (and perhaps others feel the same way about the overall packages of Spinning around or Can’t get you outta (or its fusion with Blue monday)) that there is a sense in which Kylie has to get a (surprising to me) ‘lifetime pass’ as pop royalty. I used to think that the Beasties were the biggest surprise for a v. nice, long career coming out of the ’80s, but I now think maybe Kylie is.

  29. 29
    Snif on 20 May 2010 #

    “this is always the one she does in a dramatically different arrangement (often as a ballad) as if she can’t quite acknowledge that this tinny little number was the one which launched her”

    IIRC she used to be hugely embarrassed by this number, until Nick Cave (a self-confessed Kylie fan) convinced her to embrace her past and proudly throw it in back into the face of any pop doubters.

  30. 30
    TomLane on 20 May 2010 #

    Frothy Teen Pop, which sadly is not very memorable, even by SAW standards. But I wonder if it’s possible to separate this Kylie with the one who started making good stuff a decade later? This peaked at #28 in the States.

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