And so enters a pop icon…
I Should Be So Lucky, by Kylie Minogue (her 1st of seven #1s)
5 weeks, from 14th February – 20th March 1988
I could try and be clever about this, but no. I love Kylie. I know very few people who don’t like Kylie (apart from Americans, who just don’t know who she is) and those that do dislike her are idiots, plain and simple. She’s uncontroversially, undemandingly, unaggressively lovely – the perfect pop puppet.
And this is where it all started (almost), with Kylie at her most puppety – bopping and smiling her way through a Stock-Aitken-Waterman-by-numbers pop tune. (I genuinely think this is ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, just rejigged in a higher key and sped up a little.) There’s very little to write home about on the music front – it’s catchy and frothy, a disposable stick of bubblegum. She has much better to come.
The main thing I do notice is that Kylie sounds a little uncomfortable. The song is pitched a little too high for her, and the lyrics come so thick and fast… In my imagination there is no complication etc… that they always sound on the verge of getting away from her. In the video too, she grins and wrinkles her nose, but seems very aware of how tacky this tune is. Tacky, and trashy but, like all the best SAW, kind of irresistible.
‘I Should Be So Lucky’ caps off our run of four chart-topping pop bangers. And it’s been a case of diminishing returns, moving from the peerless Pet Shop Boys, past Belinda Carlisle and Tiffany to, God love her, Kylie. The full gamut of late-eighties pop, in fourteen weeks of chart-topping singles. And when was the last time, if ever, that we had three solo female #1s in a row…? (And not one of them British!)
I don’t really need to go into the Kylie backstory. ‘Neighbours’, Scott and Charlene, yadda yadda yadda. Plus it’s probably best saved for her next number one, in which a storyline from the show plays out on top of the charts. I was much too young to experience all this first hand, but I will say that meeting Kylie in writing this blog feels like a big step towards my childhood. She was still churning out huge hits when I was a teenager, and even older. And she didn’t feel like a well-regarded legacy act but a genuinely still-popular star. Back then, when she was taking over the world with sophisticated pop classics like ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’, the early SAW hits from a decade previous looked and sounded impossibly naff. They deserve their moment in the sun, though, and there’s plenty more to come before the decade’s out.
This is my final post of 2022, and so I’ll wish all my visitors, readers, likers and commenters a very Happy New Year, and a healthy and wealthy 2023. See you in a few days!
12 thoughts on “604. ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, by Kylie Minogue”
I feel a bit guilty about saying this. Kylie is one of those people who has never really put a foot wrong, you can’t NOT like her, and we have adequate testimony from people who have met her in real life and said she is every bit as lovely as she comes across. But I have to admit that, as in the case of Rick Astley, I’m not a great fan of her records. It’s a strange world. We can all name music stars who come across in the media, and who according to the word of others who have worked with them, are individuals you would cheerfully cross Oxford Street in the rush hour during a thunderstorm to avoid, yet make incredible, timeless singles that you can’t live without. But yes, Kylie’s proved she has staying power, she is a delightful lady and deserves her hard-earned success as much as anyone.
There’s quite a lot of evidence to show that the ‘better’ the artist the bigger the arsehole… Not literally, eww, but you know what I mean… Kylie is lovely but she’s a pop star – perhaps the ultimate pop star – who has had an extended career by just being likeable (Ok, there must be some steel in there, because she couldn’t have had a 30+ year career without it, but she keeps it hidden). Some of her records are all time classics: ‘Better the Devil You Know’, ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’, even her most recent ‘Disco’ album was great. This one is fine for what it is.
Yea man…I don’t know her at all…but I’ve heard of her name here and there but this is the first time that I have listened to her I think. Glad she is cool and doesn’t start stuff.
I’ve mentioned this before maybe…but Stewart…have you noticed something about the 80s… in videos and movies they LOVED window blinds and shadows from those same blinds and windows.
Yes a bedroom, all white, with window blinds and someone with big hair, shot in soft focus… Peak 80s!
Kylie is huge, like Madonna level (though nowhere near as controversial), in the UK. Strange that so few of her hits made it to the US.
Well…if it makes you feel better….I would trade Madonna for her! In a heartbeat.
Where is she from?
Haha I’m sure! She’s Australian. Made it big in a soap opera called ‘Neighbours’, and then launched a singing career.
I can’t believe I never heard her music but I’ve heard of her.
Kylie. Icon. I enjoyed this but saw her as disposable SAW fluff to be honest and i was subjected to the entire album over and over in the house around 88/89 😆 Thst all changed with Michael Hutchence turning her to the naughtier more adult side starting with Better The Devil You Know in 1990 and ive been a fan ever since. Her shows are an event and shes remained on top of her pop game for 30 odd years by knowing a good song when she hears one and having access to top talents. She knows her strengths and plays to them. Top pop star still!
Yes she is. ‘Better the Devil You Know’ being one of the best-ever pop songs is a hill I’m willing to die on…
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