Date: 21 February 2007
Originally published in: Peoplestars (Belgium)
After ten years of silence in her discography – in which she devoted herself to family and horticulture – the ex-popstar of the eighties returns to the scene. Kim is back to wow some people. Yes, Kim Wilde, it’s true. On stage. Tonight. At the Ancienne Belgique. And yes, she will play some of her mythic hits from the eighties. Among them there are the hits ‘Kids in America’, ‘Cambodia’, ‘View from a bridge’ and ‘You came’. Some of them have been given a new life, in new versions on her album ‘Never say never’ which was released in September 2006. To go through the golden hits again is at least pleasant. But the disc also contains new pieces, such as ‘Perfect girl’ and ‘Forgive me’, in a robe of (electro-)pop that will make you grin. The success has been good, at least in Belgium: 4500 copies sold, Kim has known better (than 130.000 in Europe, all the same). At 46 years, does she do well to return to pop, after ten years of radio silence? It will be necessary to discourage certain fans of the first hour…
Because, failing to produce musical masterpieces, she made some – and always makes – tremble with dance tracks, with its vitaminized “bombs” with synths, drums and electric guitars. And she made some vibrate, mostly the boys, pretty Kim, with her small plaintive voice, her pulpy mouth, her hairstyle of a lioness and her black gloves. Didn’t Laurent Voulzy dedicate his feverish “Nights without Kim Wilde” to her? Ah, this sulfurous conclusion where she reassures him beautifully in French: “Laurent, it is the hour to sleep now. Remove your glasses. Play the game… “! More recently, it is Charlotte Hatherley, the guitarist of the Irish group Ash, who revived the myth by devoting a title to her, “Kim Wilde”, on her solo album. She also had to make some people from the record company dream, with her ten album million albums and twenty million singles sold. This makes her, if one believes the biography diffused by her current label, the British singer having sold the greatest number of discs. Kimberley Smith of its true name, born in 1960 in Chiswick close to London, is only twenty years old when she takes off, propelled by her brother Ricky, who has (co-)produced her nine albums, and by her father Marty, rock’ roller of its time – who still tours, in 2007 -, joint author of the first hits. Single “the Kids in America”, a single from her first album “Kim Wilde”, in 1981, is a planetary hit – and remains rather irresistible nowadays, it should well be said. In 1983, she is elected better British female singer in the Brit Awards. At the end of the Eighties, at the beginning of 90, she will tour as special guest of Michael Jackson and David Bowie (with whom she shared also a legendary haircut…). But its success is then declining. “Now and forever” (sic) in 1995 is her last album… before “Never say never”. In this long interval, Kim Wilde founded a family and cultivated one of her passions, which was worth some beautiful rewards besides to her: the horticulture. It appears that she appears in Guiness Book to have made a success of… the transplantation of the largest tree. The ex-popstar of the eighties even became a reference of the gardening in Great Britain: she presents television programmes and published books on the subject, of which “Gardening with children”. “Gardening is as dense, creative and exciting as the music, if not more”, entrusts Kim Wilde. Who known as to have stored, in this activity with the large air, “a new energy for the pop music”. It is in Germany, where it accompanied the pop star Nena main road (also born in 1960) time by a duet in 2003, which her musical career took again root. She is signed by the German division of EMI.