Kylie Minogue

he/him
Slow literally hasn't aged a day, her finest single (and she would agree!). I really hate that pop artists are regularly penalized when they decide to take any sort of risk after a hugely successful album or era because god forbid they try something fresh and new instead of releasing the same thing over and over again...
 
Slow is a masterpiece. Would most likely be my 11/10 in a Kylie Singles Rate.

Today I learned that the Slow video was choreographed by Mickey Rooney's son. I love those little tidbits.

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As a pop purist I was disappointed with Slow when it first came out, but some of my friends who preferred more edgy
dance music loved it. It was more cool than pop. But I loved Red Blooded Woman (still do) and they were pretty indifferent to it. Body Language is a solid album, maybe a bit too edgy for Kylie at the time perhaps?
 
I've always loved Slow, when I first heard Body Language I was actually on a cruise ship going to France and I remember the music video playing constantly on the TV's around the ship. I saw the album in a shop on the boat and I nagged my parents relentlessly for it (I was only 9).

They eventually bought it for me from the (according to my dad, ridiculously overpriced) shop and I spent most of the trip listening to the entire album on repeat.

I think that's a big part of why I've always loved Body Language, I associate it with loads of fond memories.
 
I think the short marketing period and the basic press write-ups for Body Language didn't help - the idea that the album was Kylie's concession to the contemporary American marketplace, filled with Neptunes cuts and tracks Blu Cantrell rejected and we'd all just have to suffer it, when in fact the album is closer to 1980's funk and pop than really anything else that the UK charts were then importing. Maybe she was aware of this perception that was building and perhaps that's why the visuals for the album leant heavy into mid-Century European imagery and aesthetics.
 
It would have been so easy for Kylie to do a direct sequel to Fever. I adore that album, but glad she didn't. One of the many reasons I love Kylie, is when she comes out and surprises us with something so unexpected. Padam Padam being the latest of so many excellent examples of this.
 
It's so weird to read that the album was branded as Kylie's "US" album when nothing on it other than Red Blooded Woman feels particularly geared to the US market and even that has a decidedly Kylie spin that I don't think would fly on US radio. Slow is like the most US radio repellent song I've ever heard and it was the first single! (I still adore it, it just wasn't going to get played along Ja Rule and 50 Cent). I think people just resent it for not being high BPM club pop like In Your Eyes and Love At First Sight, fans can get so weirdly territorial and possessive.
 
It's so weird to read that the album was branded as Kylie's "US" album when nothing on it other than Red Blooded Woman feels particularly geared to the US market and even that has a decidedly Kylie spin that I don't think would even fly on US radio. Slow is like the most US radio repellent song I've ever heard and it was the first single (I still adore it, it just wasnt going to get played along Ja Rule and 50 Cent). I think people just resent it for not being high BPM club pop like In Your Eyes and Love At First Sight, fans can get so weirdly territorial and possessive.

I think the perception/reality disconnect was a particularly UK-thing.

The UK music industry gatekeepers and music press only cares if you are massive in the UK and if you can translate that to USA. More often than not, UK-grown music didn't translate well to America, for various reasons, so if someone started working with US producers and writers, the presumption was that they were changing the sound for the US market and The Sun's Bizarre column and all the rest of them would write it up as so.
 
I think the perception/reality disconnect was a particularly UK-thing.

The UK music industry gatekeepers and music press only cares if you are massive in the UK and if you can translate that to USA. More often than not, UK-grown music didn't translate well to America, for various reasons, so if someone started working with US producers and writers, the presumption was that they were changing the sound for the US market and The Sun's Bizarre column and all the rest of them would write it up as so.
Interesting, so it was more a press thing than a fan thing? Because I think fans also harbor some unreasonable (in my personal opinion) animosity towards the album so I always assumed it was some sort of "oh she's doing this for them and not us" resentment.
 
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It's so funny to read it all back. The fact that everybody assumed Body Language was an album targeted at the US audience when in reality all songs she did for it were recorded in London and Europe with the help of British or UK-oriented producers and songwriters. I guess some people's hatred of funk/soul and r&b music really was a deciding factor in why they boycotted the album, sad.
 
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Interesting, so it was more a press thing than a fan thing? Because I think fans also harbor some unreasonable (in my personal opinion) animosity towards the album so I always assumed it was some sort of "oh she's doing this for them and not us" resentment.

It's so funny to read it all back. The fact that everybody assumed Body Language was an album targeted at the US audience when in reality all songs she did for it were recorded in London and Europe with the help of British or UK-oriented producers and songwriters. I guess some people's hatred of funk/soul and r&b music really was a deciding factor in why they boycotted the album, sad.

Remember that article that circulated in late summer 2003 with all the mostly fake song titles like "How Can U Say No?" and "Ez-St". That probably is where the damage was done. If you put the idea into people early enough they start to hear and experience what comes afterwards with those filters.

Here's a good example - how many times has Music by Madonna been referred to as her country album? Aside from the album photoshoot and the video for "Don't Tell Me" there's very little on the actual record that is country. It's her Turn of the Millenium French nu-disco album if anything, but perception is 99% of it all.
 
That fake City Games 'press' release definitely made the fans assume she's abandoning the UK market for US, which kinda made sense to do from a label's perspective after how well Fever and its singles were received there. Some critics obviously did run with it too, because I remember The Neptunes' name being dropped often in early web articles. In the beginning stages of recording Body Language, she demoed quite a few of R&B-tinged tracks with Biff so maybe insiders from that time who have had access to those songs also got a little worried, when in reality, they even weren't considered for inclusion. Ultimately, other than Red Blooded Woman, there's nothing on the record that screams North American market from 2003, to me at least. I'd describe it as this 80s funk and electronic music blend that I don't think would have worked for the US masses back then.
 
Slow is a masterpiece. Would most likely be my 11/10 in a Kylie Singles Rate.

Today I learned that the Slow video was choreographed by Mickey Rooney's son. I love those little tidbits.

4H3o.gif

Honestly, the pairings of Dawn Shadforth and Michael Rooney and Baillie Walsh and Rooney were the Kylie music video dream teams with their work on Head, Slow and Chocolate. Would be so cool to have one of those pairings back for one more video.





 
Yes, Red Blooded Woman is the only "obvious" attempt at trying to make a record for US audiences and even then I don't really think that was the reason behind it.
I think Johnny Douglas was clearly inspired by that sound which was inescapable back then, including Europe. But I think it's the label who saw the potential and after lower sales and chart performance of Slow, decided to release it as a second single, possibly thinking a more current sounding song is gonna make bigger of a noise (I know Slow was a semi-hit in certain territories, but it's longevity and chart positions weren't living up to some previous singles off Fever, which clearly caused panic within the label and management). Fans didn't like that and the rest is history...

But he also contributed On the Up which was more of a disco revival song and wrote Secret Garden to get used for that album, this one had more icy electronic elements to it (went to Rachel Stevens in 2005), so not all of his work for Body Language was borrowing from the US radio. He once told me that unfortunately Parlophone didn't like them and made him finish just 2 songs in addition to the stuff he was co-producing...
 
Remember that article that circulated in late summer 2003 with all the mostly fake song titles like "How Can U Say No?" and "Ez-St". That probably is where the damage was done. If you put the idea into people early enough they start to hear and experience what comes afterwards with those filters.

yes - there were a lot of rumours during 2003 about the record being produced by the Neptunes and being very RnB with an eye on the US.

As a result I was really (and pleasantly) surprised when Slow emerged as the first single, though it was also quickly clear that it was not going to be a massive hit like the Fever singles.
 
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