It’s twenty past three in the morning, and Kylie Minogue is crying. She is tired. And all she wants to do is go to bed and sleep. She tried earlier, about an hour or so before but her mind was racing. Now she’s up, out of bed and in the kitchen of the pad she once shared with a girlfriend, not far from Parlophone, the record label she is currently signed to. The same one the Beatles made so famous. She flicks through the newspaper that’s on the table until she calms down and can go back to bed.
She has every reason to want a good night’s sleep, rather than the exhaustion she now faces tying to get to the end of another day. From tomorrow, though, after one more interview with another magazine, another journalist, and another photo shoot, she has five days off from the most successful year of her career.
That undoubted year of Kylie, as journalist Simon Gage correctly tagged it, had kicked off as early as January when she went back into several studios with numerous producers and engineers to start work on recording a follow-up album to Light Years that would build on the success of that album from the previous year. This time there would be more songs to choose from simply because publishers no longer had her pegged as an indie singer.
Not that it would matter. As with Light Years the choices would feature a number of her own writing and production collaborations anyway. Although not planned as such, there would be twelve songs but now with a more contemporary production than she had previously known. It would not, however, prove an easy task by any mean feat as all the material would have to be written and recorded before she got into rehearsals for her then upcoming tour of the UK and Australia in just two months time. Otherwise it would simply be a case of using any free days she had on the tour to spend either co-writing or recording. And if that wasn’t possible, then she would just have to wait until later in the year to complete the tracks. And to all intents and purposes that’s what she did.
But the hectic schedule of touring and everything else going on in her life would leave her completely worn out by the time she returned to the studios later that summer. ‘I’m totally shattered,’ she said at the time. ‘Everything has been so crazy. I’ve been trying to get my act together, but I am so exhausted I can barely string a sentence together. Making this album has really taken its toll.’
She didn’t let it show though. Even if she did find a break in her schedule, she seemed to have filled with work, work, work. She launched her own range of lingerie in Australia, at Melbourne’s Fashion Week. ‘They were gonna be called Lucky Knickers,’ she explained. ‘But it turns out the name Lucky is owned for everything, so we’re not actually allowed to call them that anymore. So now they’re called LoveKylie knickers. But we still call them Lucky Knickers.’
And if that wasn’t enough, she even found time to appear in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. ‘I play the green fairy in it,’ she said thrilled. ‘I have boundless amounts of respect for Baz Luhrmann.’ Even though she admits to having made some odd choices in her previous films, ‘I firmly believe that I need the right person to help me reach my potential. With acting, I’m not an overly confident person, although I have to act most days with what I do. There’s performance on different levels, but they’re all versions of me.’
She had even cut a version in Sydney of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical written by Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick, for the soundtrack. Much the same as the slow bluesy treatment she would later perform on the tour. Not that it would end up in the movie or for that matter elsewhere aside from the Australian Light Years: Limited Edition Tour Pack. Perhaps like the original it was considered too raunchy for its sexual innuendo.
After all, Newton-John’s version had twenty years earlier been banned by most radio stations for that very reason, even if it did, at the time, become the equal second longest chart-topper in pop history behind Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog. Like Kylie’s Spinning Around, it was Physical that took Olivia’s image from wholesome girl-next-door to her 1980s raunchy persona.
And if nothing else, it demonstrates Kylie’s impeccable taste for good song material, whether original or cover. And although rumours still persist that both Kylie and Olivia are to record a duet together, it is something that they both still have to do.
Even when she did resume recording after the tour, and thinking that she had indeed finished the album, with then thirteen tracks in the can, she received another, Come Into My World, from Rob Davis and Cathy Dennis, the writing team of Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
The song made such an impression that she immediately booked more studio time that evening, recorded the song that night and added it the following day to the album that was now to be called Fever. At the same time though, she removed two other tracks. Whenever You Feel Like It was originally intended for Light Years but held over for use elsewhere, but still to this day, has not been issued, and likewise, Good Like That, remains unreleased other than in Japan…