Date: 22 July 2015
Originally published in: Algemeen Dagblad (Netherlands)
Written by: Jean-Paul Heck
With a long string of hits, Kim Wilde wrote pop history. The songs she sings still. Soon also back in the Netherlands.
There she is, in the doorway of her farm near the village of Welwyn in the English Hertfordshire area. Kim Wilde (54) has gained a little weight. But this assertive head, the pouting lips and blonde hair unmistakably belong to one of the biggest pop stars of the eighties.
Wilde, who was born in London feels at home in the countryside. “My parents moved to this area when I was 10 years old. I had a great childhood, grew up with the glampop of the Bay City Rollers and Donny Osmond. My father Marty (he scored many hits in the fifties and sixties, ed.) made the musical transition to glam rock in the Seventies. At home we heard Gary Glitter, Marc Bolan and T-Rex all day. But also Elvis Presley, Kraftwerk and Tchaikovsky.
Kim wanted to be a beautiful girl with a wild character. That message went well with dad and brother Wilde. “When they first let me hear the song Kids in America, I was so surprised. It fitted the spirit of the time exactly. Of course it was surreal that I had to sing the lyrics written by my father.”
Together with the savvy record executive Micky Most of the label RAK Records Wilde conquered Europe rapidly in 1981. “Micky always said to me, ‘Kim, you do not have to worry about your success. Your records have legs. They walk right into the charts…” Most was right. But it was not a continuous glory trip. Her third album flopped completely. “I made my comeback with the album Another step. In 1986 my career exploded for the second time. We’d recorded the Supremes song You keep me hangin ‘on off the cuff and suddenly I was number one in America.” After that, the hits continued to follow. “It was a turning point. Within a year I scored with You came, Four letter word and Never trust a stranger. For dessert, I could do the opening act for Michael Jackson during his BAD tour.” Wilde then made a number of fine albums, but the success was over.
Together with her husband and actor Hal Fowler Wilde had two children: son Tristan was born in 1998. Daughter Rose in 2000. Family life gave the pop goddess a new turn in her life. “During my pregnancy I started studying again. The design of gardens and applying the right techniques is the most beautiful thing there is. For ITV she made the programme Better gardens. “The response was so good that I got my own garden program on the BBC: Garden Invaders. In England there are now more people who see me as that famous gardener then that singer from the eighties.”
A rare appearance of Kim in Germany, made in 2003 for the final comeback on stage. “I would do something with the German singer Nena. She came up with the idea to record a duet. I had actually forgotten, until Claire called me from the Netherlands where Anyplace, anywhere, anytime had reached No. 1. I could not believe it. That moment was crucial for me to return. “
In recent years they released four albums that gave her a superstar again in Germany in particular. “I’m working on a new CD. In addition, late this year a greatest hits album will be released. But first I’m going to do this autumn concerts in the Netherlands. Whether I find it silly to still sing all the old hits? Are you crazy? I ‘m very proud of what I’ve done. “
Concerts Kim Wilde: 1 October in Bergen op Zoom, 2 October in Den Bosch, 3 October in Heerlen and 4 October in Zoetermeer. Ticket sales have already started.