Number Ones: #138


  • KIM WILDE You Came (MCA)
  • Week Ending 30th July 1988
  • 2 Weeks At #1

My charts began too late to catch the start of Dame Kimberly Smith’s career in 1981, so the likes of Kids In America, Cambodia, View From A Bridge and Love Blonde never got the chance to appear (a fact she is still bothered by, I’m sure!). It was left to 1984’s The Second Time to make the first move on my Top 40, followed by Rage To Love early in 1985. Both went Top 10 (#7 and #8 respectively, to be precise).

After that, my allegiance wobbled a fair bit. Commercially, the 1986 album Another Step itself was a flop but it spawned back-to-back UK Top 10 hits, and almost gave her that elusive UK chart-topper courtesy of a kitchen-sink Hi-NRG cover of You Keep Me Hanging On. (It did of course go all the way in the USA).

Late 1986, early 1987 female pop wasn’t really where my tastes were at anyway (I’d discovered Suzanne Vega and Anita Baker) so I was out of step (if you’ll excuse the pun) with Kim’s style, and not just musically. This was her “Kim Basinger” phase and while I can look back now and wonder what the heck I must have been on to miss the appeal, it wasn’t pushing any of my buttons; that’s how far down the Molly Ringwald, Bratpack-inspired rabbit hole I’d tumbled.

So none of the Another Step singles did much damage on my Top 40, and the appearance of a brand new 45 in May 1988 had much the same impact. Hey Mister Heartache struck me as a little too similar to the title song from Another Step (even down to the Junior Giscombe guest vocals). The accompanying album, Close, was not on my list of CDs to buy that June, it’s fair to say.

Then suddenly…..You Came.

It was instant. That feeling you get when you hear an obvious pop classic. A perfect record. Something which, back in the day at least, would almost certainly go on to be a major hit single. My first exposure to You Came was on the evening of Friday, July 1st. By the 4th of July, I had Close on CD.

To my amazement, Dame Kim had turned the clock back to 1981, ditching the watery funk aspirations of recent fare to come on like a one woman Human League at their Dare peak. Huge parping synths, a wonderfully burbling, incessant bassline and this propulsive, almost bouncing rhythm. Less lo-tech than ver League, perhaps; some cite SAW as a more accurate reference point but overall I don’t pick up on that as much as the Dare-isms.

Okay, so it just had to be a smash, surely….come on, the Great British Public – they who consigned so many of my 80s faves to the dumper during 1986 and 1987 – get your act together now and make this huge. Thankfully, the surprising taste of said Public in 1988 (which had already sent Danny Wilson, Climie Fisher, Prefab Sprout and Aztec Camera into the top 10) didn’t let me down. You Came stormed to #3 within a month of release.


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