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Kylie Minogue - Ultimate Kylie

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Kylie Minogue - Ultimate Kylie

Kylie Minogue - Ultimate Kylie

Capitol Records

Here we are in the early months of 2005. And that means another Kylie Minogue Greatest Hits record. The Aussie disco diva has been scoring hits all over the world for just under eighteen years (including two really big ones in the U.S. eleven years apart), spanning from her breakout status as star of a soap opera to her years as pop royalty, and this two-disc set aims to cover it all.

Disc One is devoted to Kylie’s PWL hits with production juggernauts Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman. Time has only burnished the shine on these (mostly) pop classics, and “Better The Devil You Know,” “What Do I Have To Do” (with its Sam Kinison samples), and “Wouldn’t Change A Thing” are nothing if not pop masterpieces. Even the weaker material (which is to say, the ballads) is endearing. Disc Two comprises her material from her time at the Deconstruction (1994-1998) and Parlophone (1999-present) labels, as well as some other miscellaneous tracks.

What does this double-disc Kylie collection have that isn’t present on 2003’s double-disc Kylie collection Greatest Hits ’87-‘97? Well, there’s ten tracks from Minogue’s Parlophone albums (Light Years, Fever, and Body Language), duets with Robbie Williams and Nick Cave, and the two new tracks. Those who know their Kylie will have all of this already, excepting the two new songs. That said, the two new tracks are among the finest tracks that Kylie has recorded in years; “I Believe in You,” the Scissor Sisters collaboration, is one of the finest eurodisco confections to come down the pike since the glory days of Bellotte/Moroder/Summer or Stock/Aitken/Waterman (ha!), and “Giving You Up,” made with some of the Metro associates, is a sultry little throbber (that for some reason echoes USURA’s “Open Your Mind” (which, truthfully, is Simple Minds’ “New Gold Dream”)) that again gives us Minogue at her best.

The tracks from Light Years (On A Night Like This, Please Stay, Spinning Around) are a blessing for domestic music consumers, since that disc has never found its way onto official U.S. release, though with any collection of Minogue hits, one simply has to look at what they have in their collection versus what they don’t. It seems that Capitol, when putting together the U.S. incarnation of this compilation, could have made a few alterations to make the set a little more appealing to Minogue’s fanbase (as well as being more accurate to her U.S. career, as “It’s No Secret,” which was a minor hit in the U.S. and nowhere else, and “Butterfly,” which was a U.S.-only club single, are continually left off these retrospectives) rather than just serving up the exact same selection as the European edition.

As I always do (because I am a music critic with an overwhelming sense of egomania and curatorship), here’s the tracks I would have added onto these discs: (Stock/Aitken/Waterman years) Turn It Into Love, It’s No Secret, What Kind of Fool; (later years) Time Will Pass You By, Did It Again (Trouser Enthusiasts Mix), Fever, GBI, In Your Eyes (Roger Sanchez Mix), Butterfly, Your Disco Needs You (Almighty Mix). But that’s just me.

Regardless, if you don’t have any of the PWL stuff or if you only own one or two of Kylie’s records, then you couldn’t go wrong with this compilation. Hardcore fans are advised to track down the Greatest Hits 87-97, just for all the rare and unreleased mixes it compiles onto its second disc, but as far as providing the comprehensive Kylie, the folks at EMI have done a pretty good job.

For mastering and comprehensiveness: ****
If you already have most of this: ** ½ (the new tracks are THAT good)

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