Tapes had two sides, both 45 minutes long. You had that long to say what you needed to say and then it was time to move on. We’re bringing that challenge back. 45 minutes to convince someone why they should like a certain band, artist, genre, or era.
Alright, before anyone asks, no I didn’t warn the rest of the Picky Bastards team that I’d be writing about a whole article about Kylie Minogue. Back with her 15th studio album with a Studio 54 inspired record apty named Disco Kylie is still delivering 10/10 pop music over three decades into her career. I’ve not been able to select music from all 15 of those albums here (the 45 minute mark was near impossible to keep given her huge discography) but this should hopefully showcase exactly why Kylie Minogue is the most beloved Australian to ever grace our radios and TV sets.
Love At First Sight (3:58)
Kicking things off with a bang and what a bang it is. ‘Love At First Sight’ is pop music at it’s most joyous, euphoric and and effortlessly infectious. If this series was to deliver a 7” single instead of a 45 minute mixtape, this is the song I would pick. This is peak Kylie.
Get Outta My Way (3:38)
Don’t expect things to slow down any time soon (if you came here for ballads I’m sorry to disappoint) and ‘Get Outta My Way’ is here to make you keep dancing. I’ve become weirdly obsessed with listening to the algorithm curated play-lists on Apple Music over the last few months and without fail, every single week it includes ‘Get Outta My Way’ in my ‘Favourites Mix’. It’s hard to disagree.
Better The Devil You Know (3:53)
If you aren’t a Pop fan, this might be the first song you recognise. In which case, welcome to the Kylie party, showgirl headdresses can be found by the entrance and any talk of ‘real 90s music’ is banned. Better The Devil You Know so perfectly navigates two decades, the bright and catchy pop of the 80s and the thudding dance of the 90s. It’s also going to be stuck in your head for the next few weeks so be happy with that.
Never Too Late (3:22)
This spot was originally taken up by another track from Kylie’s second album Enjoy Yourself, the bubbly ‘Hand on Your Heart’, but I’ve instead opted for Never Too Late based entirely on the hook at the end of the chorus ‘ It’s neeeeevver too late – pause for effect- to change your mind’. Pure Stock Aiken Waterman magic.
On a Night Like This (3:32)
When I think of Kylie, I think of the times that I’ve seen her live. There’s literally no one else who has consistently put on the spectacular arena shows that Kylie Minogue is now renowned for; huge sets and technology, stages full of dancers and outfits bigger than the singer herself. No song sends me to those moments as much as ‘On A Night Like This’, maybe there’s lights beaming into the audience, there’s probably some confetti, most likely a bit where the song explodes into a remixed version. It’s joyous and sends me back every time.
In My Arms (3:30)
‘How do you describe this feeling?’ I absolutely love ‘talky bits’ on Kylie songs and the opening of In My Arms is surely the best. A Calvin Harris produced banger, it still sounds so current over a decade later. The album it comes from X is one of Minogue’s most diverse and scaterred full lengths, but as a pop fan it was probably the moment when I went from being just a casual fan to ‘I need to go and see these songs on an arena stage now please’.
Red Blooded Woman (4:20)
Probably the most left-field choice here (Anyone who was hoping for obscure B-Sides will be disappointed) ‘Red Blooded Woman’ marks a turn away from out and out dance pop hits here. It’s slinky and sexy in a way that Kylie managed to become in the early 2000s, flirting with RnB like much of its parent album Body Language did. The ad libs and backing vocals blend so seamlessly into the production here that it truly stands out in her discography. A forgotten hit that works well to show off some of her more unexpected moments.
Confide In Me (5:51)
The biggest hit of the ‘Indie Kylie’ era, ‘Confide in Me’ stands out massively in this mixtape, not only because it dives into Eastern sounds and a more ‘alternative’ production style, but also because it’s so good. I love the light and shade you get from Kylie’s vocals on this song, this was one of the first times people would have felt like they were getting a truly honest performance from the once teen popstar. The years have only made ‘Confide In Me’ shine even more, full of drama and intense musicianship it has to feauture here.
I Should Be So Lucky (3:24)
And from her second self titled album we go back to the first and the single that made Kylie Minogue a household name across the world. ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ is not a good song. It’s objectively badly written, was recorded in less than 30 minutes and in some ways you can hear that. But this makeshift aspect of the song is sort of iconic now. It’s knowingly shit, which makes the fact it became a multi platinum #1 hit that bit more hilarious.
I mainly wanted to include ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ so that we could transition on this mixtape from her earliest hit to a song from her newest album. It’s striking that Kylie is one of those artists, like Bruce Springsteen, or U2, or even Beyoncé to some extent, that have a discography that lends itself to merging the old and the new in concert. You could easily hear early hits like ‘What Do I Have To Do blending into this track from Disco. It’s part of what makes her longevity great as a fan, the songs always sound fresh but have a familiarity to them.
Spinning Around (3:26)
And if we are going to close this out at the disco, then what better song to end with than the song that transformed Kylie’s career from sort of forgotten 80s popstar into the sound of the next decade. ‘Spinning Around’ is over 20 years old at this point, but bloody hell does it still sound effortlessly exuberant and so full energy. If you haven’t put on your gold hot pants and started dancing around your kitchen by now, then you truly must be a lost cause.
Check out the full playlist below:
Words by Sam Atkins