Review – Pop Don’t Stop: Greatest Hits

Considering Kim Wilde is such a reliable, welcoming presence, a decent Best Of compilation is long overdue. Wilde’s last 7″ compilation was 15 years ago and the only one to chart, The Singles Collection, was way back in 1993. After Cherry Pop’s laudable recent reissue series of Kim’s early albums showed there’s far more to her career than just the singles, Pop Don’t Stop is a reminder that any excuse to revisit those records will always be worth taking.

The compilation is available either as a 41-song 2CD set, or a fantastic 5CD+2DVD box adding another 16 singles, plus B-sides and remixes discs, the videos for 47 singles as well as a 40-minute interview with Kim. That’s a very comprehensive selection indeed – the only problem is the running order.

Most politely described as “unusual”, the big hits are mostly left to CD2. CD1 starts with 1984’s No. 29 non-smash The Second Time and features 1992 shuffle Million Miles Away, which didn’t chart at all, as the third song. If ever there was an argument for keeping Best Ofs to a chronological running order, it’s Pop Don’t Stop.

If the 2CD version may well confuse its intended casual audience, the boxset highlights what a maverick Wilde is on the sly. Who else has made a Christmas song with Lawnmower Deth, recorded a global catastrophe single that was given a slamming remix by Paul Oakenfold via Cambodia, and quietly built up an arsenal of classic B-sides like the rocking assault of Party on the Brink?

As a bonus, glamorous Boy George duet Shine On is better than most compilations’ new songs. Wilde is back to her best so Pop Don’t Stop deserves to fling her back into the charts, iffy sequencing and all.