Today is Kylie Minogue’s 40th birthday! Kylie is one of Australia’s biggest icon, and also quite big in the UK and in wider Europe. She recently tried once again to crack America, but it looks like it ain’t going to happen. The abysmal single they chose to lead with for America can’t have helped at all (one of the two dullest tracks on X? What a novel idea!)
Anyway, I have come to praise Kylie, not to bury her. Still going strong after both having beaten up cancer and featuring in the first live action Street Fighter movie, I continue to wish Kylie all the best. She dang near changed my life at the end of 2006 when I went and saw her with Liz, so my salutations cannot be warm enough.
Kylie is indeed an Australian icon, although she’s also the subject of much derision. If you’re a man and you say you like Kylie, that means you’re gay. I resent the insinuation, although we all know how that worked out for my best friend in high school and myself. I would say that I don’t know any girls who like Kylie, although that would be a blatant lie because so many from my office went and saw her last time she was out. The thing is, “everyone” loves Kylie but it’s hard exactly to see who this “everyone” is because, apart from some gay dudes it’s mostly a guerilla love. Her songs are catchy, her videos are entertaining (Rutger Hauer!), and she is insanely personable. It’s not hard to understand how someone could fall for a woman as simultaneously chameleonic and familiar as Our Kylie. Let the celebrations commence!
We’ll start with some vintage Kylie, in the form of “Better the Devil You Know”:
Then we’ll continue with a tribute from the Japanese duo WINK, with their cover of Kylie’s SAW classic “Turn It Into Love”. The narrative of this video has been the subject of debate amongst academics for all of several months!
Now a detour to her duet with Nick Cave, “Where the Wild Roses Grow”. Cave was attracted to Kylie thanks to “Better the Devil You Know”, which he claimed to have some of the saddest lyrics he’d ever heard. One of these days I’ll find the proper quote: the point is that pop music can sugar coat totally depressing messages, and can lead poppettes into performing songs about their murders at the hands of moustachioed lotharios.
Now we move on to modern Kylie, with one of several singles from her latest album X, “In My Arms”:
Oop, what’s this? Why, it’s Kylie with David Tennant in the Doctor Who 2007 Christmas special, “Voyage of the Damned”!
Here’s to 40 more years singing, Kylie! You can have a little break after that.