Editor’s Note: By our name alone, one can easily deduce what we’re all about here at Albumism. Indeed, we celebrate albums of all stripes, all genres, all time periods, and all formats. With one exception, that is.
If there’s one type of album that we’re not particularly fond of, it’s those massively popular “Greatest Hits” and “Best Of” compilations. In our experience, most of them are dubious propositions, necessary evils to some extent. But we get it. Not everyone has the appetite or the financial wherewithal to seek out and stock up on the multiple entries that span an artist’s studio discography. It’s a helluva lot easier—and we suppose less risky for many—to simply skip the time-consuming exploratory work, in favor of embracing one consolidated sequence of an artist’s most successful or important songs.
The problem with this, however, is that these so-called perfect encapsulations of an artist’s recorded repertoire are invariably imperfect and incomplete, with plenty of gaps to be found in their track listings. Hence why we’ve decided to identify five worthy songs that were conspicuously left off the final running order of familiar hits packages. Our hope in shining a light on this quintet of songs through our ‘Mind The Gaps’ series is that it may prompt at least a few hits collection junkies to dig just a bit deeper and discover even more to love about the artists in question.
So without further ado, check out Quentin Harrison’s picks for five deserving songs missing from Kylie Minogue’s recently released, double-disc compilation ‘Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection’ below, and let us know which songs you would have added to the final track list via the comments section at bottom.
Given the sheer magnificence of Kylie Minogue’s performance at this year’s Glastonbury festival this past Sunday, many of us are still in awe of her continued staying power as a recording artist whose career stretches over 30 years. Subsequently, the release of Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection—issued just two days prior to her now record-breaking show on The Pyramid Stage—couldn’t be more appropriate.
Coming after previous Minogue sanctioned singles sets in 1992, 2004 and 2012 respectively, this collection—in cassette, vinyl and compact disc configurations—attempts to corral her charters from the singer’s label tenures with Mushroom, PWL, deConstruction, Parlophone, Warner Bros. Australia and BMG. There’s even an incentive track, the coruscating dance-pop jam “New York City,” that’s sure to entice her most ardent followers.
However, those same devotees have respectfully posited this query—how can Minogue embark on anything less than an exhaustive approach in relation to anthologizing her discography at this point in her career? After all, Step Back In Time (at two-disc, 42-track capacity) only skims the surface of a complex body of work that finds the singer traveling from pre-fab treats to art-pop experiments and arriving at her current mature, radio friendly incarnation. Perhaps it’s time for Minogue to employ the boxset method to house all of her singles, big and small?
Amid the writing and editing tasks for my fifth book ‘Record Redux: Kylie Minogue’—a comprehensive study of Minogue’s canon—I was approached by my editor here at Albumism to select five singles that should have made the cut for Step Back In Time. This was done in the spirit of going hard for underrated sides and imagining Minogue’s present-day best-of as a (possible) three-or-four-disc batching for these lesser known treasures to call home.
A dedicated Minogue enthusiast such as myself can dream, can’t I?
Kylie Minogue | Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection
Official Track Listing:
Disc 1: Can't Get You out of My Head | Spinning Around | Love at First Sight | Dancing | In Your Eyes | Slow | All the Lovers | I Believe in You | In My Arms | On a Night like This | Your Disco Needs You | Please Stay | 2 Hearts | Breathe (Radio Edit) | Red Blooded Woman | The One | Come into My World | Wow | Get Outta My Way | Timebomb | Kids (with Robbie Williams) | Stop Me from Falling
Disc 2: Step Back in Time | Better the Devil You Know | Hand on Your Heart | Wouldn't Change a Thing | Shocked (DNA 7" Mix) | Especially For You (with Jason Donovan) | I Should Be So Lucky | Celebration | The Loco-Motion (7" Mix) | Give Me Just a Little More Time | Never Too Late | Got to Be Certain | Tears On My Pillow | Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi | What Kind of Fool? (Heard All That Before) | What Do I Have to Do | Confide in Me (Radio Mix) | Put Yourself in My Place (Radio Mix) | Where the Wild Roses Grow (2011 Remastered Version, with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) | New York City
Five Great Songs Missing from Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection:
Let’s Get To It (1991)
Historically, “Finer Feelings” is a necessity on any Kylie Minogue retrospective as it marks her first collaboration with Dave Seaman and Steve Anderson—Brothers in Rhythm—who oversaw the production of the single edit for “Finer Feelings.” Pulling the latent pop-soul element forward that sat at the surface of the Stock-Aitken-Watermen LP version, the single took on a whole new form. More importantly, Seaman and Anderson went on to be major players in Minogue’s seminal deConstruction Records period that she used to assist in her departure from Stock-Aitken-Waterman’s ubiquitous bubblegum style. Anderson continues to work with Minogue today as the music director for her concert tours; he has also kept writing and producing on other projects with her. That being said, their friendship and longtime creative courtship began here.
“Where Is The Feeling?”
Kylie Minogue (1994)
On Kylie Minogue, “Where Is The Feeling?”—a cover of minor club charter for Within a Dream—was reimagined as an acid jazz stomper worthy of The Brand New Heavies. However, when it was sent forward as her fifth album’s third and final single, it was recast as a gorgeously thalassic, alternative pop piece that, on its maxi-single pressing, audaciously sprawled into a thirteen-minute Donna Summer-esque epic. Sadly forgotten despite its engrossing esoteric air, “Where Is The Feeling?” has only appeared on one compilation, the non-Minogue officiated Hits+ (2000) that rounded up all but one of her deConstruction singles. More than any other song on this list, “Where Is The Feeling?” deserves to have its story told on the next singles package Minogue drafts going forward.
“Some Kind Of Bliss”
Impossible Princess (1998)
A collision of Britpop muscle and symphonic pop grace featured on her sixth studio LP Impossible Princess, “Some Kind Of Bliss” has never quite gotten its rightful due as one of Minogue’s braver single options, though its stock among discerning Minogue aficionados continues to grow. A polarizing choice to lead from what was to be an equally polarizing parent record, “Some Kind Of Bliss” saw Minogue team with the Manic Street Preachers for a bright, bursting rock-pop paean to the challenges and triumphs of life. It doesn’t hurt that Minogue gives a duly passionate vocal take, “Some Kind Of Bliss” needs to be dusted off and celebrated for the kinetic piece of high art that it is.
The Abbey Road Sessions (2012)
Written with her most sympathetic creative partner (Steve Anderson) during the X (2007) sessions, “Flower” was left off that album and curiously reprised on the partnering tour for X (KylieX2008). It wouldn’t find its way onto a studio project until The Abbey Road Sessions five years later. A stripped-down acoustic piece with demure orchestral touches, “Flower” candidly details Mingoue’s post-cancer concerns about mortality and her future, the latter aspect resting on the topic of childbirth. Given the personal effects of the track, that she led The Abbey Road Sessions with this as the introductory single was a striking move. Of course, the commercial returns were limited, but it garnered close to uniform critical praise. Like Impossible Princess and specific sides of X that had Minogue drop her guard and expose her vulnerability, “Flower” makes for a gripping and ultimately moving listening experience.
“Into The Blue”
Kiss Me Once (2014)
Kiss Me Once is the only album to have no representation on Step Back In Time, indicative of the brief flux in Minogue’s creative quality and confidence. With that said, “Into The Blue” is something of a diamond in the rough. As anthemic as “All The Lovers” or “Better The Devil You Know,” this adult contemporary chestnut was the sole single that managed any chart headway at all from Kiss Me Once (UK #12). In what should have been another “out of the park” smash, Minogue instead found herself contending with ageist radio outlets as early as 2007 which impeded “Into The Blue” from going any farther than it did.
Editor’s Note: Read more about Harrison’s perspective on Kylie Minogue in his forthcoming book ‘Record Redux: Kylie Minogue,’ available November 2019. Other entries currently available in his ‘Record Redux’ series include the Spice Girls, Carly Simon, Donna Summer and Madonna.