This song was written by Epic/Sony guitarist Masami Tsuchiya and lyricist Bill Crunchfield. It was recorded in RAK studios in London in 1981.
There are two versions of 'Bitter is better': the original version and the instrumental version. The latter was released by Cherry Pop in 2020.
In Japan, the single was released in March 1982, in support of a commercial for the B&L Bitter Lemon brand, filmed in London on the same day as the recording of the track. There was also a promotional 12" single release in Japan, however this record is now very rare and hard to find. The song was also included in the Japanese LP of Select. It was released on cd for the first time in 1989, on the Japanese edition of The Very Best of Kim Wilde.
In France, the track was released as a single in support of the release of The Very Best of Kim Wilde.
The first Europe-wide release of 'Bitter is better' was in 2006, when EMI Gold released The Hits Collection.
Kim about 'Bitter is better'
It's like this. (Masami Tschuivya from the Japanese group Ippu Do) produced an advert for the Japanese market. It's for Bitter Lemon. The advertising company there was interested in Ippu Do's music and my image. They wanted to bring the two together. The good thing was that I didn't have to do anything strange. I didn't have to rise out of the water with a bottle of Bitter Lemon in my mouth or whatever. I just had to drink and record a few songs in the studio. It's like - this is Kim Wilde, she's an artist, she makes this music and sometimes she drinks Bitter Lemon. I sing on the sound track behind the advert. It's cross between 'Kids in America', 'Chequered love', and something else, made by Masami. It's not a real pop song, but it's a good advertising song. It has a very very catchy hook, and it isn't far removed from the music I make now. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. (1)
(1) Kim Wilde: Paul Evers's bubblegum picture, Muziekkrant Oor (Netherlands), April 7, 1982