Review – The Singles Collection 1981-1993

Kim Wilde has enjoyed worldwide sales of more than 6 million albums, and her previous 8 albums have yielded sales of more than 11 million singles. Her 9th and most recent album, The Singles Collection 1981-1993, gives a look back at her career and provides an answer to her lack of American success.

“Kids in America”, the first song on the compilation, still remains as one of the keystone songs from the early 80’s. It has already appeared on the Living in Oblivion collection and is a staple on many alternative stations throughout the country.

Many of Wilde’s songs have a slight tug to them, but only because they appear to be culled from other people’s influences. This offers a sound that isn’t substantially original, but yet it is well refined.

One exception to this is “Chequered Love”, which like “Kids in America” truly captures the spunk and glamour of the early 80’s. Unfortunately, Wilde’s sound is much more predictable after these two songs.

Her duet with Junior, “Another Step (Closer To You)”, is pure pop joy. A cover of the Supremes “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, her only U.S. #1, is also included, as is the new cover, “If I Can’t Have You”.

Wilde’s voice, especially on her most recent songs, remind one of former Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle. Carlisle has achieved greater solo success in the United Kingdom than the States, so this may provide a slight answer for the lack of penetration in the U.S. market.

Wilde’s music has gotten lost in the States during the backlash to the early 80’s British invasion, and the R&B explosion of the late 80’s. The Singles Collection compilation gives the pop listener a good opportunity to catch up on music which still sounds fresh today.