So I finally caved and bought the reissues of Kim Wilde's first three albums she recorded for RAK/EMI, each complete with the relevant single b-sides, remixes etc. The release of these is A Big Deal for KW fans as these albums have only had a limited release on CD - they came out in a three CD box set in the mid-90s but that's been long deleted and they were changing hands for crazy sums up to three figures on ebay and the like. Through the myriad of EMI-era "Best Ofs" that have been released over the years, fans have been able to make their own versions of the three albums - particularly thanks to a CD released in Australia in 1998 called Kim Wilde Collection which, within it's 32 tracks, had all the three albums but the tracks in a random order - however, we now get "proper" versions complete with informative sleeves notes etc.
So the albums are as follows :-
Kim Wilde - first album, released in the summer of 1981, was her highest chart performing album, reaching number 3. Not surprising considering it came off the back of monster hit Kids In America but Kim was criticised at the time for appearing to "rip-off" Blondie as the cover of the album also features her "band" (mainly used for TV appearances as the music on the album was mainly played by The Enid) and echoes the cover of Blondies Plastic Letters.
Select - second album came out in 1982 off the back of hits Cambodia and View From A Bridge. However, reflecting the lower chart positions of those singles (12 and 16) compared to the Kim Wilde album singles, this album could only scrape into the top 20 at number 19. This album has more of a synthesiser sound and, as per the previous album, some interesting choices of song material from songwriters Marty and Ricki (Kim's father and brother) covering subjects like suicide, police brutality and air crashes alongside more "typical" love song topics. This reissue also includes Child Come Away, a non-album single that flopped, only reaching number 43.
Catch As Catch Can - this third album was a dismal failure at the time, continuing the downward spiral of Select but sending it into a nosedive ! The album only reached a disastrous number 90 in the chart for a single week and then was gone forever. The singles also fared badly with Love Blonde only reaching number 23 but Dancing In The Dark performed even worse, limping to a feeble 67. With these figures in mind, you may think the album must be an absolute horror but it's actually very good and a natural progression on from Select with some more interesting and unusual song themes for a pop album.
After the flop of Catch As Catch Can Kim moved to the MCA record label where she stayed for a further 6 albums.
Kim fans are now anxiously hoping that Cherry Pop - the label behind these reissues - will move onto her MCA albums for reissue, particularly the next two, Teases & Dares and Another Step, as they have been deleted for a number of years and the singles from these albums were not available on CD so the b-sides and remixes are particularly rare. Teases & Dares is particularly sought after and changes hands for anything between £50 and £150 depending on how lucky you are !! My brother is the bigger Kim fan than me and I got him a copy of Teases & Dares about 3 years ago for, IIRC, about £20 - which means I also have my own copy but I'd love to hear the single b-sides so fingers crossed for some more Kim reissues.