2015 has seen the rerelease of Kylie Minogue’s first four albums being reissued in various formats & collections by the PWL label. ‘Kylie'(1988), ‘Enjoy yourself'(1989),’ Rhythm of Love'(1990) and ‘Lets get to it'(1991) have each been digitally remastered and expanded, alongside the enhancement of the original albums, each reissue comprises new material of remixes and alternative versions of the originals, presented in a befitting and beautiful style that for any Kylie fan is a must have. Rhythm of Love, her third album has always held a special place in my music collection. The new déluxe edition consists of two CDs and a DVD. The CDs includes the original, plus a wealth of remixes and rare tracks all digitally remastered from the original studio tapes. The DVD features the promotional videos for the singles featured on the album and rare footage from such BBC shows as “Going Live” and “Top of the Pops” Each déluxe edition comes in a clamshell box with each disc presented in a beautiful card sleeve with a 32 page booklet containing new liner notes and photos from this era.
“Rhythm of Love” was Kylie’s third album released in November 1990. The album featured 4 British top ten singles “Better the Devil You Know”, “What Do I Have to Do?”, “Step Back In Time” and “Shocked” The majority of this album was written and produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman but unlike previous albums, it also included collaborations with various producers and songwriters. The album charted in the ‘Top 10‘ in both Britain and Australia.
For me, the first 2 albums suffered from the somewhat factory line production and song writing style of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. This album saw Kylie move away from the ‘girl next door’ into a more mature sexualised image. Encouraged by her then boyfriend INXS front man Michael Hutchence, Kylie began to extend a more creative control on her sound and identity. The music on this album would reflect Kylie’s increasing interest in dance music whilst her new image would favour a more mature yet playful sexuality.
Unlike her previous albums, “Rhythm of Love” presents to her audience a wonderfully individualistic pop album that is brimming both in character and enthusiasm. This was her first album where she contributed to the song writing duties and also included four of the tracks being produced by other collaborators. It could be argued that by not having the burden of writing and producing all the songs on the album allowed Stock, Aitken and Waterman more time to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. It seems that all of these factors led to the creation of a much more sophisticated and confident piece of work both visually and musically.
The most important thing about this reissue is that after 26 years in the business , the songs are still a joy to listen to. It is packed with life affirming pop music including the four classic singles mentioned above. These songs presented in their original album versions, various edits and 12” remixes still sound as dynamic as they did when they were first released. There are also some forgotten gems that are worth a listen to such as “One Boy Girl” and “Secrets” that will transport you back to era where pop was that little bit more fun and playful.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear to see that here was an artist beginning to assert her independence. The next album “Let’s Get to It” would see Kylie drift further away from the Stock, Aitken and Waterman sound and consolidate her own identity. Musical risks would be taken that no other mainstream pop star would have dared. Over the years, Kylie has collaborated with other well known musicians such as Nick Cave, The Manic Street Preachers and Brothers In Rhythm. For me, Rhythm of Love was just the beginning of a flourishing pop career which still retains its magic first captured back in the late 80’s-early 90’s, and still remains to the present day, continuing to dazzle with singles such as ‘Confide in me’.
This beautiful reissue is a worthy addition to any Pop Music fan collection. It works simply as a collection of fine pop songs or as the foundation album of one of the world’s greatest pop stars musical career.