Wilde comeback

Never say never – that’s what Kim Wilde (45) sings now. In the wild eighties of pop she became world famous with “Kids in America”. Will it be a hit again with the remake?

What prompted you to record a comeback cd?
For a long time a comeback wasn’t even in my thoughts. The eighties revival tours with Heaven 17, ABC and Belinda Carlisle made me think about it for the first time in 2001. I enjoyed every minute of the time I spent with those crazy musicians! Then the 2003 duet “Anyplace, anywhere, anytime” followed with Nena, through whom I got to know my current producer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen.

Did you have any doubt, if you could sing well enough at 45?
No, I knew that I could do it because the concerts showed me that my voice was never better than it is now. I only worried if I could stand it physically these days.

Was it obvious from the start that the album would contain new songs are remakes of your old hits?
When Uwe told me, he wanted to do the same thing he did with Nena, I was extremely sceptical. I thought my record would sound tired and a little bit tragic. The following talk made me have more conviction. I trust him blindly and let him choose the songs to be re-recorded.

Did you discover any song between the ones you re-recorded that you didn’t like as much back then?
I was very surprised by my first hit “Kids in America”. I had the feeling for a long time that it was a bit like a ball and chain, because many people believe I only recorded this one song. When I saw the positive reactions to it during the eighties tours, I recorded the track for the cd with ex-Ash singer Charlotte Hatherley, who covered the song live already, and the hate turned into love again.

Do you experience concerts differently when compared to the old days?
Yes, the men and women in the audience, who are roughly my age, seem like old friends to me. When I sing “Cambodia” or “You came” and put them back into their childhood days, they look so sweet that I get the feeling I really conquered a place in their hearts.

May we conclude from a track like ‘Forgive me’, that you also like modern music styles like trance?
Of course, during the last few years I was always surrounded by music of different styles. I don’t just like pop, but also heavy metal, R ‘n’ B and dance music. The album reflects this. “Forgive me”, on which my sister Roxanne is also singing, would fit very well in a club.

Is it true, that you recorded a whole album in 1998, that wasn’t released because of litigation problems with the authors of the songs?
No, it had to do with my record company at the time. They lost their faith in me and I lost mine in them, I preferred it to withdraw myself from he music business with my self esteem intact, before I would be dismissed.

Good timing, because you became a mother then…
Right. When I was 36 I met my husband Hal Fowler with whom I worked in the musical Tommy for a year. When we got married and wanted to have children as quickly as possible, I felt very liberated. I loved to have a new name and a new future outside of the music business.

And by mistake became the TV gardener of the nation?
In any case somewhat prematurely! (laughs). I had just become pregnant when I thought I wanted to make a garden outside of my house, which I’d bought on my 30th birthday. When I followed horticultural college I got the proposal to make television shows about the subject. I accepted because I was interested in the subject. And that turned into the hardest five years of my life…

Why was that?
My son and my daughter were born. I made the designs and made the gardens for strangers. It wasn’t just creative work, but also physically exerting. Digging holes! Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute. After I had said goodbye to the screen and had won a gold medal award at the Chelsea-Flower-show, things have become a little more quiet now. I write gardening books and maintain my beloved garden, in which flowers, fruit and vegetables and our playing children can prosper.

Does your husband look after the children, while you are on the way with the new cd?
No, momentarily he plays in Singapore theatre and at the end of the year in Denmark. It’s a hard time for us all, but my mother loves her grandchildren and takes care of them outstandingly.