Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kim Wilde - Best of the 80's (2000)


Note: despite the title, this is NOT a best-of compilation. This CD contains two complete albums: Wilde's 1981 self-titled debut (which peaked at #86 on the US Billboard Top 200 chart) and 1982's Select. I'm unsure if the second album was even released in the US.

I had these two releases on vinyl. The first release was more pop-oriented while Select is moodier and darker. Both have a New Wave edge to them, but I much prefer the first album to the second. Still, for many years, this 'Best of the 80s' CD was the only release that contained the first album, so it had to be purchased. Complaints: the track order has been inexplicably re-sequenced and there's no liner notes to speak of. While Kim is the singer, the all the songs here were written by her younger brother Ricky and her father Marty, a minor UK pop star in the '50s.

Tracks: I think the songs from the debut are solid; perhaps that's just because I listened to it quite a bit back in '82. The only skippable song was on side 2 of that album: You'll Never Be So Wrong. Top picks for me are Chequered Love, Water On Glass, Tuning In Tuning On, and, of course, Kids In America. From the first time I heard Kids In America, I was a Kim Wilde fan, although I never understood why the lyric was written as "New York to East California." Why leave out the people in the western part of California? There's two reggae/ska-influenced tracks (Everything We Know and 2-6-5-8-0) that sound like they could be filler from a No Doubt release. A little strange, but fun nonetheless. From the Select album, I like Ego, Chaos At The Airport (which sounds like an ELO song and is strangely out of place here), and Can You Come Over (which sounds like a Josie Cotton number), but other than that nothing really appeals to me. Overall, the writing just isn't as good on the second album (e.g.,"There's trouble down in action city. It's a brave new world" <eyeroll>). The dreaded 'sophomore slump'.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: The debut LP reminds me of the fall of 1982. I had recently gotten my driver's license and thought a lot of myself as I listened to a tape I made of Wilde's debut LP in my car as I drove to early morning marching practice. I didn't give the Select LP much of a chance so I don't have many memories regarding that one.

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