Hit records haven't been easy to find for Kim Wilde recently, but the blonde Brit seems almost pleased to have struggled through the past few years. "I first had success without fully realising it and now I've had to work hard to try and hold my ground," she said by phone from Melbourne during a recent promotional tour. "The quiet period forced me to learn a lot more. I feel more confident now that I have come through a period of transition."
Kim said success came almost too easily for her, with her debut single Kids In America becoming a major international hit when she was only 19. "I floated along on a roller-coaster ride for the first two albums and it didn't even occur to me that I could fall off," she said. "Looking back on that time, I am unhappy about how some things were done for me, but perhaps that's the way it should be. You tend to forget that you are so young when you start off and you are bound to make mistakes. No matter how high your personal standards are, you should allow yourself to make those mistakes and learn from them it's the only way you are going to improve."
Kim believes she has improved over the past three years, as she has learnt to take greater control of her music and business affairs. "When my third album didn't do so well, I finally had time to sit down and assess what was going on for the first time. I also had time to start concentrating on my writing, which I think has been the crucial area of improvement for me in the last year. Up until now, all my hit records have been written by my brother, Ricky, and my father, Marty, and I felt it was important to be saying something myself, to have an input in the material I was performing."
She also opted for a different approach to record her new songs. On the suggestion of her record company, Kim flew to Los Angeles to record outside of England for the first time, using American native Richard Burgess as producer.
"I was really eager to work with new people, so it was a good idea to go to LA, but once I was there I realised that there was definitely something important not happening with my music because my brother wasn't around," she said. "I went home to finish the rest of the record with him, not because I always need a family member around but more because Ricky understands my music better than anyone and his input is crucial to how I want a record to sound."
Now that the record has been completed and released, Kim is eager to take her new touring band around the world. She has been working constantly through Europe in recent years - her strongest record market - and has already toured there to support this album. Next on the schedule are Japanese dates next month and Australia in March.
"I want to do as much as I can to support this album because I'm really confident about it," Kim said. "Everything and everyone is so positive about it I think it is the album to place me back in the limelight."