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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Kylie Minogue - Expanded Edition CDs
Artist - Kylie Minogue

I grew up with Kylie Minogue during UK daytime TV! The Australian singer, songwriter, and actress first achieved glorious recognition by starring in the Australia TV soap opera 'Neighbours,' playing tomboy mechanic Charlene Robinson. Sure it was Australian, and sure you couldn't miss an episode or you'd be screwed for the next one, and sure there were a multitude of British soaps also on around that time - and yet another Australian one later that day called 'Home & Away' - but watching 'Neighbours' was like watching friends every lunchtime.

Appearing in the series for two years, Minogue's character married Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan in an episode viewed by nearly 20 million people in the United Kingdom and subsequently become one of the most watched Australian TV episodes ever worldwide. I remember it well, and funnily enough not only did Jason Donovan go on to have a decent 15 minutes of pop music fame, but a fair few of the 'Neighbours' cast followed suit too! That said, the only real one to have any continuing worldwide success was Kylie Minogue.

Now with the release of her first four (4) albums on Expanded Editions via Cherry Red Records, we were lucky enough to be sent them all for review here today. Minogue's debut album, Kylie was released in July of 1988. The album was a collection of dance-oriented pop tunes and it spent more than a year on the UK Albums Chart, including several weeks at #1. Furthermore, the album went Gold in the United States and cemented her first foot hold into the country.

The album kicks off with her second UK Singles Chart release, 'I Should Be So Lucky,' a song that shouldn't even have existed, as song mythology has since told us. In case you are not aware, Minogue was traveling to England with Mushroom Records executive Gary Ashley to work with producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. They knew little of Minogue and had actually forgotten that she was arriving, but whilst she waited outside their studio, the trio of hit song writers wrote 'Should Be So Lucky' on the spot for her! It went to #1 on the Singles Charts around the world, and is followed up by her actual debut single, 'The Loco-Motion,' a cover of the Little Eva single which also had reached #1 on said same Singles Charts for Kylie [#3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart].

The fourth single released from the debut album, 'Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi' is next, and pop fluff at its sickly sweet finest, and is backed by the mid-tempo sing-along of her fifth single, 'It's No Secret.' Her third consecutive #1 single on the Australian music charts, and therefore the third single released off the album was the powerhaus duet with her co-star, Jason Donovan on 'Got To Be Certain.' My goodness, listening to it today it's still a foot-tappin' delight to hear. Kylie had a total of six (6) singles released from the album worldwide and the sixth one was 'Turn It into Love,' which in itself isn't really as memorable as the releases before it.

The remainder of the non-single tracks are all next and as much as they weren't released on their own, most all are fillers that remain "unknown" to this day. 'I Miss You,' 'I'll Still Be Loving You,' and both the Debbie Gibsonesque 'Look My Way' and the first time she used the song title, 'Love At First Sight.' [It was subsequently used again, with completely different lyrics, on her 2009 album, Fever].

This brand new expanded edition now brings to the mix eight (8) more Kylie bonus tracks, and I have to say that they are totally worth the admission fee! First up is 'Made In Heaven,' a cut that is made even better if you listen to it whilst recalling the glorious one shot video that accompanied it back in the day! Next up is an alternative version of 'Locomotion,' which is followed by 'I Should Be So Luck (Extended Version),' 'Got To Be Certain (Extended Version),' 'The Loco-Motion (The Kohaku Mix),' 'Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi (Moi Non Plus Mix),' and the both 'It's No Secret (Extended Version),' and finally 'Made In Heaven (Maid In England Mix).'

The Special Edition features unique picture CD artwork and a 24-page booklet containing full lyrics, new sleeve notes and classic images from the original album shoot.

The teen pop and dance-pop style continues ever onwards with her sophomore album, the highly successful Enjoy Yourself. Released by PWL in October of 1989, the album was again produced and written by Stock Aitken Waterman - with the exception of 'Tears on My Pillow,' which was a Little Anthony & The Imperials track. Amazingly, given that her debut had been such an enormous hit, Enjoy Yourself only managed to provide Kylie two (2) #1 hit singles on the UK charts - the album opener 'Hand on Your Heart' and the aforementioned cover, 'Tears on My Pillow.'

As for the album, in general, after that first track we next get the excellent pop bounce of her second single release from the album, 'Wouldn't Change A Thing,' before that is backed by both the excellent, truly excellent dance floor sway of her third single, 'Never Too Late' and the mid-tempo lackluster of 'Nothing To Lose.' The ballad 'Tell Tale Signs' is a flashback to days of old, whereas the synth pop of 'My Secret Heart' gets us back on track thereafter. 'I'm Over Dreaming (Over You)' is next, and is followed by yet another solid golden days-feel track, the aforementioned 'Tears On My Pillow.' Indeed, that last track was actually recorded for Minogue's film 'The Delinquents,' which in itself was another cultural departure for her. The original album is then wrapped up by a frenetic 'Heaven And Earth' and then finally the title track, 'Enjoy Yourself.'

Here on this delightful expanded edition, we get another album, basically, of Kylie tracks, that begins with her collaboration, once again, with Jason Donovan on the #1 UK Hit Single, 'Especially For You.' The duet is still recognized today as being a song that showcased the pair as behind-the-scenes lovers, whilst at the same time providing enough gushing puppy love that just listening to it meant you were most likely in a relationship yourself!

'All I Wanna Do Is Make You Mine' is next, and is backed by 'Just Wanna Love You,' 'We Know The Meaning of Love,' 'Hand On Your Heart (The Great Aorta Mix),' and then 'Wouldn't Change A Thing (Your Thang Mix).' A quite brilliant 'Never Too Late (Extended Version)' is next up, and then the newly expanded album comes to a close with both 'Tears On My Pillow (Extended Mix)' and then, finally, 'Especially For You (Extended Mix).'

The Special Edition features unique picture CD artwork and a 24-page booklet containing full lyrics, new sleeve notes and classic images.

FYI - As much as it was a great album, and as much as her fans still love its dance floor pop today, the album failed to sell well throughout North America, and Minogue was dropped by her American record label Geffen Records thereafter.

On her third album, Rhythm of Love, it was obvious a Kylie evolution was beginning to take effect. Released in November of 1990 (again by PWL, and again with mega pop producers Stock Aitken & Waterman at the helm), this time Kylie had become more hands on. Indeed, the album even featured, for the first time ever, some new additional producers and collaborations, including that of, most notably, Keith Cohen, Stephen Bray and Michael Jay.

The result was, as all Kylie fans know, a completely upgraded, maturer version of the pop Princess. Rhythm of Love was leaps and bounds more grown up than her first two releases, the songwriting stronger, the production dynamic, and even Kylie's vocals seemed way more confident. The album enabled her to release four (4) singles, these days sometimes referred to as the "Golden Quartet," the first of which was the lead track on the album 'Better the Devil You Know.' The single became one of Kylie's biggest successes, and is backed by another of those hit singles, the highly infectious bounce of 'Step Back In Time.'

The album's third single, 'What Do I Have to Do' was then released just after the turn of the year and was yet another massive hit single for the diminutive pop star from Australia. The sway-along of 'Secrets' is then followed by album fillers 'Always Find the Time' and 'The World Still Turns,' before the album's last single, 'Shocked' is brought forth. Released in May of 1991, it was her parting shot from the album, and showcased a slight techno/synth styling that hadn't really been heard from her before.

The storytelling of youth in 'One Boy Girl' is next, and is backed by both the synth keys of 'Things Can Only Get Better,' and then the Stephen Bray / Kylie co-written pair, 'Count the Days' and the title track, 'Rhythm of Love.' The five (5) bonus tracks on this expanded edition include 'Better The Devil You Know (The Mad March Hare Mix),' a gloriously delicious 'Step Back In Time (Walkin' Rhythm Mix),' 'What Do I Have To Do (Pumpin' Mix), and then both 'Shocked (DNA 12" Mix),' and then finally, the original March 1990 mix of the fan favorite, 'Things Can Only Get Better (Original Mix).'

The Special Edition features unique picture CD artwork and a 24-page booklet containing full lyrics, new sleeve notes and classic images.

Come later that very same year, and building early momentum for the Christmas market, Kylie's fourth album was released in October of 1991. Entitled Let's Get to It, much like the majority of her previous recordings, production credits and creations were handled by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, but also featured other writers and producers. This was something that had worked for them on her third album, so SA&W shuffled the pack once again, this time with R&B star Keith Washington coming on board.

Notably with less of a dance-pop sound to it, overall, it only reached #15 on the UK Albums Chart, thus making this the first Kylie album to fail to reach the top ten. Having now, seemingly taken control of her own image, the albums music wasn't the only thing that had changed for this fourth release. Indeed, just one look at the cover art instantly tells you that Kylie had transformed herself from her innocent dance-pop image to what can only be described as a "sex kitten"!

Lead single, and first up on the album, is 'Word Is Out,' a cut that seems to hold no real Kylie emotive passion, that fire from her belly that once was, it also became her first single to miss the top ten of the UK Singles Chart. That said, her cover of The Chairmen of the Board's 'Give Me Just a Little More Time' was definitely turning heads, and was backed by 'Too Much of a Good Thing,' 'Finer Feelings' and then 'If You Were With Me Now,' her sensual, and slick duet with Keith Washington.

The mid-tempo dance floor slide of the title track, 'Let's Get to It' is next, with the R&B disco pomp of 'Right Here, Right Now' following it. Sadly, the album flickers out with a trio of fillers in 'Live and Learn,' the acoustic guitar ballad 'No World Without You,' and then finally the flush speed techno pop of 'I Guess I Like It Like That.'

This newly expanded edition contains eight (8) more bonus tracks for the fans though, the first being 'Say The World - I'll Be There,' with both 'Don't You Dare? (NRG Edit)' and 'Closer (Edit)' backing it. The more rare of the extended and remixes first comes in the shape of 'Keep On Pumpin' It (Angelic Remix Edit with Visionmasters & Tony King),' and keeps that flow going with 'Word Is Out (Extended Version)' and 'If You Were With Me Now (Extended Version of the Duet with Keith Washington). The album then wraps with both 'Give Me Just A Little More Time (Extended Version), and finally 'Finer Feelings (Brothers In Rhythm 12" Mix).

The Special Edition features unique picture CD artwork and a 24-page booklet containing full lyrics, new sleeve notes and classic images.

FYI - Kylie's fourth album, Let's Get To It still today remains her least successful studio album to date, missing the top ten in both her native Australia and United Kingdom.

However, since her fourth album, Kylie Minogue has taken the world by storm, and has released another eight (8) albums, toured all around the world 13 times, appeared in seven (7) movies - including the new Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's big Hollywood blockbuster 'San Andreas' - and still to this day is beloved by anyone connected to the music business.

'Kylie - Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link

'Enjoy Yourself - Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link

'Rhythm Of Love - Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link

'Let's Get To It - Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link