Kylie Minogue – B-Sides & Rarities Part I

Right, last orders now as I tackle the EXTENSIVE selection of lost Kylie tracks. These are in no particular order, these are just the ones I already had around. Thinking about it, the Ultimate Kylie ones should go on here too, but I’ll do them later. I’m aiming to do these in about 4 batches, about 17 tonight, the same tomorrow. Then I’ll start listening to the other bunch, so don’t wet your LoveKylie knickers if I haven’t done the one you want yet.

I’m limiting myself to only studio-recorded material, i.e. no demos, live stuff, remixes, but I reserve the right to WAIVE some of those rules where necessary.

Anyway first bunch tonight, and by FUCK was this all hard work. You’ve seen how tough parts of some of her albums have been for me, so what about the offcuts? If I’m totally honest they have grown on me over the last few weeks, some more than others. Let’s just get this out of the way.

08 Almost a lover
– Is this from the Body Language era? OK I won’t do this guesswork for every track, but certainly it has the beeping and squelching that distinguished her later career from everything up to Fever. The verses seem to carry on regardless of the backing track but somehow that rather works. On first listen it was rather plain and directionless but it has since unfolded, and the chorus is rather GOOD.

08 City Games – Now this was a pre-BL track I remember because this was the rumoured album title. I must say I’m not too hot on the verses, she gets a bit shrill, but this has got BL written all over it. BUT I LOVE THIS CHORUS. That rather cheeky piano bit really just sends it over the edge, I’m not entirely sure why. The tempo doesn’t really change but somehow the track switches up. I could imagine the video already!

07 Gotta move on – Hello 90s. A pretty standard dancey track that reminds me of the sort of production as Bjork’s Violently Happy for some reason, not that the song in particularly sounds like that… oh I don’t know. It’s alright but sort of plods along like stuff from Let’s Get To It tended to. It wasn’t really the most exciting album in the world but inoffensive and semi-listenable in the right conditions.

05 You make me feel – Zzzz… sounds like BL again, I hate the tone of voice she’s got on here, just a slightly lower pitch than the pitch needed to melt my brain out through my nose. I really just can’t get interested in this at all, generic sexytime borefest.

09 Cruise Control – Wow, a lot of BL stuff, I remember this as a BL-period B-side and I loved it! Really slutty naff mosquito tune at the start, making way for PLOP PLOP PLOP. Kinda reminds me of All Saints. I’m not really paying a lot of attention to another of her sexytime trax, but the tune is at least rather fun and the chorus really stuck in my head. APPROVED, except maybe the budget Sean Paul cameo, though this is recovered by the rather unhinged middle-8!

08 Made of Glass – I seem to remember there was a Scissor Sisters link to this song, I can at least believe that if it’s true. Does feel like one of those tracks that popped up quite a lot a few years ago, that made it sound like the new album (whichever one that was) would be amazing, but this sound never really followed through was it? In fact her work with the Scissor Sisters seemed to be largely squandered didn’t it? I love the beat, feels like Impossible Princess 2.0. Rather nonsensical lyrics but I don’t really mind.

07 Rendezvous at Sunset – The title just SOUNDS like a Kylie song intended to draw the queer eye doesn’t it? It’s not bad, just not a lot to it. I thought her French accent was supposed to be alright? She rather blurts out RON DAY VOO doesn’t she? Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be like. I don’t mind it, but 3:40 pass and I don’t feel much different to how I did when it started.

07 Tears – Sounds like 90s again, presumably one of the “Hits+” gang. I approve of the relentless tempo, but I’m not really living for the rather pissy chorus, even if it’s a bit more offbeat than the usual “sexy but not inappropriate” lyrics that came by the spade-full during the last 10 years. Alright but not really my thing.

09 Slo Motion – I saw someone raving about this, and to be honest didn’t really feel it, but this is one of the growers for me. There are a few beeps that are the same as my fire alarm at work, so I didn’t like the PANIC every time I heard it, but that’s not really the track’s fault. Rather sparse and electronic for the most part, but the chorus is ACTUALLY sexy, not trying to be. I just love the rather weird mix of instrumentation used here, rather addictive.

08 Love is waiting – BLAAHHH. I mean it’s very peppy, but not having a lot of effect on me. I WILL for once commend her on some STRONG VOX, it feels like a massive improvement on the rather just-about-adequate vocals of her early years that couldn’t really handle big notes. This sounds like a Dina Carroll song or something, which is NOT A BAD THING in this case. Actually I change my mind, this isn’t really that bad at all! *u-turn*

07 What kind of fool (heard it all before) – REWIND now, right back into the SAW days. Well we all know what I thought about THAT, but happily it’s not that bad. I’m still not keen on this period or the sound though, so that can’t really be helped. The lyrics are a fraction more ballsy than some of her nicey-nicey stuff from this era, so well done for that. Not a classic for me though, but not out of place in her early canon.

08 If you don’t love me – GOD I hate jazzy numbers. But this is SORT OF an exception, if anything for the rather CHIRRUPY but quite lovely vocals. She doesn’t even sound as nasal as she often does, and the high notes are very pretty. The song generally I’m not 100% into but the vocals really do save it, gorgeous!

09 Nothing can stop us – Goodness knows where this was from, but how LOVELY this is. A bit of a 50s/60s throwback somehow, but I find this really charming. Those little flute (?) bits really are gorgeous, I can imagine walking down some LEAFY PARIS BOULEVARD and taking arty photos of women with thick mascara on. OR SOMETHING, I don’t know, I might have nicked all that from a Marks & Spencers advert. I like the rather annoying backing vocals trying to upstage main Kylie by singing everything she says, I don’t know, it’s all just quite lovely!

05 Take me with you – OH DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP. The 9-minute epic era was NOT appreciated and it certainly still isn’t with this song. There’s just nothing to do, I imagine we have Impossible Princess to ‘thank’ for this? God knows that album got bogged down with too many indulgent atmosphere pieces like this, it didn’t need this too. It perks up a BIT after the first chorus with a bit more depth to the production, but aside from the Enigma-esque chanting this is a dead duck.

06 Soul on fire – Not sure about this, the tempo is alright and I like the F-R-U-S-TERATION bit when I hear it. But that’s about it, rather uneventful acoustic boredom.

09 White Diamond – OK so this sneaked in to the pack, but it really is fabulous isn’t it? Why the hell didn’t they do anything with this? Chapter 78 in the “mismanagement of Kylie” handbook. I have a live version here but it really is rather amazing quality. I’m not quite sure what the chorus is about, “Just like a burning radio I’ll run to you”??”. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s a LAVISHLY disco effort. Her voice seems to struggle a little with the high register throughout but still a great track.

07 Where in the world – This totally starts off like an Anime theme tune or something. Another new track for the first GH collection, so again I’m not too hot on the sound, it feels a bit Grease-pastiche in places, rather OTT melodrama heartbreak. It just feels a bit by-numbers really, which makes me appreciate What Kind Of Fool a bit more. Alright but… heh *shrug*

Remember there are still three more rounds of these tracks to come, Kylie fans!

Keepers for the iPod: Cruise Control, Slo Motion, Nothing can stop us, White Diamond.


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