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  • Writer's pictureBarney Townsend

Kylie 2023 Year In Review

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

With no signs of taking things ‘Slow’, the Kylie Minogue ‘Locomotion’ continued to roll on at full speed in 2023, with our queen continuing to captivate audiences and present a slew of releases that had our hearts going 'Padam Padam'. On the brink of 2024, we look back on what's been a remarkable year for Kylie, even by her own record-breaking standards!

 

PADAM PADAM


Kylie's unforgettable 2023 began in earnest on May 18 with the release of her heartstopping single 'Padam Padam', later to be confirmed as the first single from the forthcoming album Tension. The song's onomatopoeic earworm chorus and the striking video proved a surprise viral success, a phenomenon defined by The Independent as "one of those unexpected, rare instances in the music milieu - meming and looping its way around to become the sound of summer 2023."


The song's initial absence from the BBC Radio 1 playlist, despite its online success, erupted accusations of ageism toward the station and Kylie found herself "queering the female pop ideal as a rare middle-aged woman" (The Guardian). Eventually, the station capitulated and confirmed 'Padam Padam' would be added to its C-list by the end of June – Kylie’s first song to make it into rotation since 'Get Outta My Way' in 2010. If the intention for this stomping synthpop anthem was to get Kylie back into the international discussion, the ubiquitous hashtag #Padam was evidence it achieved that - the calls for Padam to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary were something else entirely!

For the physical format fans, Padam The Mixtape was available exclusively from the Kylie Official Store on Limited Edition Cassette, featuring 'Padam Padam' and all three official remixes from Jax Jones, ABSOLUTE. and HAAi.

“Since its release last month, the word "Padam" has been adopted by Kylie fans, especially during Pride month, to represent all sorts of things - from hello and goodbye, to a vocal seal of approval" - BBC.co.uk

TENSION


Promising a record of `"euphoric, empowered dance floor bangers and sultry pop cuts" the Kylie Official Store pre-order for Tension commenced on May 18, offering formats including Transparent Orange Vinyl and Limited Edition Gatefold Silver Vinyl, along with signed art prints for the earliest orders!



Preceded by its electropop title track single, released in an appropriately red-hot August, the full-length album release was set for September 22. Tension promised a wide range of electronic dance genres, ranging from 1980s synthpop, disco, and funk, to contemporary dance-pop, techno and house.


On release, numerous publications declared that Tension was one of the best Kylie albums ever. Summing up the record's appeal perfectly, DIY Magazine stated: "There’s no pretension to its greatness, just our Kylie, once again, humbly proving how easily she can forge gold and transform into pop culture phenomenon." Allmusic assessed the album as "a master class in pop wizardry and escapist bliss" with Popmatters reckoning: "It’s powerful, empowering, and, most importantly, fun."


The record peaked at number one in Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and component charts in Ireland and the United States. Before release, a set of exclusive limited edition cassettes in four different colours were added to the Kylie Official Store; pre-ordering gave customers access to ITV's An Audience With Kylie pre-sale.


KYLIE REISSUE


As well as releasing the zeitgeist-defining Tension, in August, Kylie's record label BMG looked back to 1988 for the announcement of the 35th Anniversary editions of her classic pop debut Kylie. Originally released on July 4 1988, the first of four albums she recorded with the production powerhouse Stock Aitken & Waterman, Kylie was a huge commercial success, peaking at Number 1 in the UK for six weeks and becoming the fifth highest-selling album of the 80s. To celebrate, the Kylie Album Official Store exclusively offered newly remastered Aquamarine Clear Vinyl and Limited Neon Pink Vinyl versions of the pop classic.



EXTENSION

Underlining the influence of dance music and remix culture on Kylie's "most irresistible release in decades", Kylie announced Extension (The Extended Mixes) featuring extended versions of all 11 tracks from Tension, in November.



Available on Limited Edition Neon Pink & Green Double Splatter Vinyl, the physical release dropped on 8th December, the same weekend that ITV aired An Audience With Kylie. This major British TV event saw Kylie round out an incredible year and take centre stage in her very own musical extravaganza, joined by the likes of Ollie Alexander and Alison Hammond.



BODY LANGUAGE AND BEYOND

For vinyl junkies, late November held one final surprise, as it was announced that to celebrate 20 years of Kylie's ninth studio album Body Language, the album will be pressed on vinyl for the first time, on a Special Limited Edition Red Blooded Vinyl. An iconic album in Kylie's discography, the record includes the number one hit single 'Slow' plus massive hits 'Chocolate' and 'Red Blooded Woman'.


As well as claiming the song of the summer and continuing to reframe the definition of a pop star in the 21st century, in 2023 Kylie burnished her ongoing Guinness World Record of Most consecutive decades with a No.1 on the UK albums chart (female). Kylie has scored UK No.1s on the Official Albums Chart in five consecutive decades: 1980s (Kylie; Enjoy Yourself), 1990s (Greatest Hits), 2000s (Fever), 2010s (Aphrodite; Golden; Step Back in Time – The Definitive Collection) and 2020s (Disco), and now... Tension. Looking forward to 2030 and beyond, could Kylie continue her run into six decades of UK number ones? If 2023 is anything to go by, I wouldn't bet against her.

 

Townsend Music would like to extend special thanks to Instagram profiles @say.k_group and @kylie_world_page for their infectious Kylie fandom and IG Collaborations over the year.

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