Kim Wilde is back on top form again with her fiery rock'n'roll hit Rage to Love, though she's been far from idle during the last few months, as we discovered when we chatted to her recently...
When Kim Wilde bounces across the stage in the video for Rage to Love, she looks very different to the way she looked for the previous single, which in itself was a complete change of style from the one before that... and the one before that! We wondered was it that she simply liked dressing up, or was it part of a plot to keep her fans guessing? "People keep asking about the image change!", she began with a laugh. "I find it really funny because it's not anything to worry about, none of the styles that I've presented on previous singles were ever meant to be anything lasting.
"With The Second Time I went to XL (the top pop image makers, who have designed styling packages for Wham!, Nik Kershaw and Frankie, among others), because I hadn't had a record out for a long while and i was with a new record company, so we thought it would be good if I tried something that I'd never done before. It was always meant just for that record.
"There was none of that in The Touch video. It was up to me, so I just put on what I had. With Rage To Love, the release coincided with me finding some old drape jackets, one of which I wore when we did the song on ORS. It fitted in with the music so well that I decided to wear one on the video. I don't wear them every time I do the song, because I don't want to be stuck with having to keep wearing them.
"With The Second Time thing (the sci-fi costume) I got really bored with it because after promoting it here I had to go to Europe with it, so I was wearing the same suit for months! By the end of that time I just felt that it said nothing about what kind of person I really am.
"Images are too restricting! I really enjoyed doing the performance video for Rage, because it was just music, none of those concepts like teapots burning up or whatever!"
When we spoke, Kim had just returned from a month-long tour of Europe and was still excited about the response she got while she was there.
"It was great! The Second Time did really well in Europe, so the time was just right for a tour there. Just like it took off here after a gap with Rage, it took off again there a few months earlier. It was so nice that they hadn't forgotten me, and I was picking up all these awards from different European pop magazine that I haven't even seen for a couple of years.
"Everybody was so pleased with things that we're trying to organise a tour over here towards the end of the year. That was the first tour I've really enjoyed, so now I'm looking forward to doing a lot more. I'm not nervous any more, because I've found out what great fun it all can be!"
Now that the tour is over, and most of the promotional work for Rage is out of the way, Kim is getting down to writing songs for her next album.
"We'll be starting to record it soon, because we want to put it out some time in September. There should be quite a lot of my own compositions on this one, so at the moment I'm working hard getting ideas together and turning them into songs.
"I've got a set-up in my flat at the moment where I've got a four-track home recording machine in one room so that I can take ideas a lot further. Also, when I go home to my parents' place, I do some writing with Rick and that's coming along really well. We're at the stage when I'm writing loads and loads of material before we sort out what we're going to use. I really enjoy writing lyrics, and then I try to write the music for them. Much of the time the words inspire the music."
Because this work was at such an early stage, Kim was unable to describe what the finished album would be like. She did, however, promise that it would be varied and not stuck into any sort of rut: she's also getting involved in the production side of album making.
"Until now, I've always been around at all stages of the recording process: the mix, the production, everything, and if I feel I've got a contribution to make then I make it. So, especially with the songs that I've written, I've had quite a hand in producing and arranging, although Rick is really the producer.
"It's something I'd like to do more of, maybe even record with another act, because there aren't many female producers in this country. At the moment, though, I'm happy just to work with Marty and Rick."