Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Wilde Gardener

Kim Wilde burst on to the pop scene in 1981 with a string of international hits. The daughter of legendary UK rocker Marty Wilde, 20 year old Kim's first hit was 'Kids In America' (UK#2, OZ#5, US#25). Three more hits featured on her debut self-titled album, 'Water On Glass' (UK#11), Cambodia (UK#12, OZ#7) and my favourite Kim Wilde track 'Chequered Love' (UK#4, OZ#6). It didn't hurt that Wilde had just the right image of a sultry pop siren (think Pat Benatar or Sharon O'Neill), but that took nothing away from the fact that her music (produced and written by father Marty and brother Ricky) was just right for the early 80s new wave scene.

Her second album 'Select' yielded the hit 'View From A Bridge' (I'll forever associate that song with my cassette copy of '1982 Out Of The Blue'), but things slowed for Wilde from that point. 'Love Blonde' reached the OZ top 40 in 1983 but Wilde had to wait until late in 1986 to have the biggest hit of her career to date. Her cover of the old Supremes classic 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' rocketed to #1 in Australia in early 1987 and matched the effort of the Supremes original version (1966) by sitting atop the U.S. Billboard chart for one week in June '87. However the song stalled at #2 in Britain, kept from top spot late in '86 by Berlin's 'Take Me Breath Away'.

The hits continued in Britain with three more top 10 hits in 1988 including 'You Came' (#3), but aside from another cover 'If I Can't Have You' (UK#12, OZ#2) in 1993 - originally a hit for Yvonne Elliman - Wilde's success on the pop charts wained. While her pop profile may not be at the heights of the early 80s, Kim Wilde still records and tours, in between raising a family and embarking on a very successful career as a landscape gardener/designer. To learn more about the many talents of Kim Wilde visit her website here:

My favourite Kim Wilde promo vid 'Cambodia' - it matches the haunting atmosphere of the song perfectly:

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