Sunday, May 30, 2021

"I Should Be So Lucky" by Kylie Minogue

Song#:  3509
Date:  05/07/1988
Debut:  86
Peak:  28
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Although she took singing and dancing lessons as a kid, Australian Kylie Minogue's first brush with stardom came via acting. She appeared in several TV series and shows, a couple of them before she was even a teenager. Her big break came when she was cast on the Aussie soap Neighbours in 1986. It would be widely successful in Australia and the UK with Minogue and her on-screen (and off-screen as well) boyfriend Jason Donovan becoming breakout stars. When the characters got married on the show, a huge audience tuned in, much in the way that a US audience watched General Hospital's Luke and Laura's wedding. While riding high from the show, Minogue appeared at a benefit concert and sang a couple of songs. One of them was a cover of the 1962 #1 Little Eva hit "The Loco-Motion." The performance led to her getting signed to Mushroom Records and her version of "The Loco-Motion," re-titled "Locomotion," was released in Australia in 1987. It became a massive #1 hit. The track's arrangement was meant to mimic Bananarama's "Venus," which had been produced by the Stock Aitken Waterman team. So to keep her career going, Minogue was sent to the UK to work with SAW. Their first session yielded the song "I Should Be So Lucky." It would become a hit in several countries including Australia and the UK where it reached #1. An album was then called for and Minogue along with SAW finished off her debut album Kylie. By the time it was finished, a deal was struck with Geffen Records for US distribution. "I Should Be So Lucky" got a US release ahead of the album and it would do well on the Dance chart getting to #10. It crossed over to Pop and was able to crack the Top 30. It wasn't a major hit, but it got Minogue noticed and helped to make her next single a hit.

ReduxReview:  For a quick, on-the-fly written song (see below), this turned out quite good. I think it demonstrated how tuned-in the SAW team was at the time on their trademark sound and production. It was a solid vehicle for Minogue. While she could sing, she didn't necessarily have a big, powerful voice. It was a bit slight and one-dimensional at the time. However, it was vocalists like Minogue that the SAW team had a knack at producing and making them sound good. This tune was catchy and fun and it was a nice compliment to another SAW act that was riding high on the Pop chart, Rick Astley. I'm surprised it didn't do a bit better and at least go Top 20, but she was truly unknown in the States whereas at home and in the UK she was already a well-know star, which helped to kick off her music career. At least this song got her name out there and people interested.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song nearly didn't happen. It seems that arrangements were made between Pete Waterman and Minogue's camp for her to come to London and record with the SAW team. However, Waterman got tied up with another project and neglected to tell Stock or Aitken that Minogue was in town. Minogue and her manager waited for ten days expecting to get a call from the producers to come into the studio. With their trip coming to an end, the pair finally just showed up at the studio to see what was going on. Realizing the mistake, Stock and Aitken wrote "I Should Be So Lucky" in about 40 minutes and got it recorded. Apparently, the SAW team didn't really take Minogue seriously as they thought her just a TV star making a record. They also didn't think the song was hit-worthy. That all changed when the tune got released and it shot to #1 in Australia and the UK. Realizing that they nearly missed an opportunity, Mike Stock went to Australia and apologized to Minogue for everything that happened during her UK visit. With fences mended, they went on to record tracks for her debut album. Minogue would then work with the SAW team on her next three albums.


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