Review – Close, remastered expanded edition

By the time Kim Wilde released her sixth album, Close, in June 1988, she’d firmly established herself as one of Britain’s biggest pop divas. Having arrived on the scene eight years earlier, the beautiful singer was soon seen on the covers of magazines and responsible for a series of electro-pop smashes such as Kids in America, Cambodia, Chequered Love and View From A Bridge, culminating in her being named Best British Female at the 1983 BPI Awards.

A dip in popularity followed, until she returned ni 1986 with her biggest success to date: a cover of The Supremes’ You Keep Me Hangin’ On, which went to number two here and also gave her a US number one. Buoyed by her success, Wilde headed into the studio with her brother, Ricky, and co-wrote eight of Close’s 10 tracks.

It became by far Wilde’s strongest album and also her biggest commercial hit, with over two million copies sold – no doubt helped by the singer landing the support slot on the European leg of Michael Jackson’s Bad tour, playing to crowds of 100,000 each night. Spawning five UK Top 40 hits, Close contained You Came and Never Trust A Stranger – both of which remain two of her strongest songs – alongside Four Letter Word, Love In A Natural Way, Hey Mr Heartache (the latter a reunion with Junior Giscombe following their Top 10 hit Another Step (Closer To You) the previous year), and strong album cuts such as European Soul, Love’s A No, Stone and a cover of Todd Rundgren’s gorgeous Lucky Guy.

This Remastered Expanded Edition of the album has been lovingly compiled and is everything a deluxe edition should be. Boasting an impressive 31 tracks, the 2CD set includes the original 10-track album, the singles’ B-sides and countless remixes – many of which were only previously available on the original vinyl releases.

None of Kim Wilde’s subsequent singles would make the UK Top 10, but in Close she left us with one of the finest pop albums of the late Eighties. A career highlight.