Another Step

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Another Step
Studio album by Kim Wilde
Released 3 November 1986 (UK)
Recorded 1986
Genre Pop
Label MCA Records
Producer Ricky Wilde, Rod Temperton, Bruce Swedien
Kim Wilde chronology
Teases & Dares
(1984)
Another Step
(1986)
Close
(1988)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Another Step is the fifth studio album by British pop singer Kim Wilde, released in November 1986. The album contained her comeback worldwide hit "You Keep Me Hangin' On", which reached No.1 in the US, as well as the UK top 10 hit "Another Step (Closer to You)" and "Say You Really Want Me". It was to be her biggest-selling album in the US. In Canada the album peaked at No. 11, earning a gold disc there.

Overview[edit]

The album contained 12 tracks (13 on the CD and cassette) and a varied team of songwriters, as well as Wilde herself co-writing more than half of the tracks herself. The first half was uptempo, whereas the second consisted of ballads. Most of the tracks were produced by Ricky Wilde, but there were also production duties fulfilled by Rod Temperton and Bruce Swedien known for working with Michael Jackson and there were also Reinhold Heil, Richard James Burgess and Dick Rudolph.

The album's first single was "Schoolgirl", which was released only in Australia and several European countries (although not the UK). This single was the first Kim Wilde had co-written herself. The first single released globally was a cover of the Supremes hit "You Keep Me Hangin' On". In the United States it became Wilde's first number one on Billboard Hot 100 chart, in the summer of 1987. It also reached No. 1 in Canada and Australia, and was almost equally successful in the UK, where it peaked at no. 2.

The next single was "Another Step (Closer to You)", a duet with British soul singer Junior, which went to top 10 in the UK. The third globally and final single off the album was "Say You Really Want Me", which caused a minor controversy when the video was banned from children's programming because it showed Kim writhing on a bed having fun with a pearl necklace. Despite the raunchy image and publicity which accompanied the specially-remixed song, it didn't set the charts alight and the album saw no further single releases. The album reached US No. 40, her only album to do better in America than in the UK, where it only hit No. 88 on the first release. Elsewhere, the album was a massive success in Norway, where it hit No. 2, and in Canada, where it hit No. 11, and selling Gold. The album sold one million copies worldwide, becoming Wilde's best selling album since Select in 1982.

All of the tracks on Another Step were a departure from the synth sound of the previous albums. There were more guitars than before: "The Thrill of It" and "I've Got So Much Love" had a distinctive 'rock' feel. The final five songs were ballads, the most noteworthy being Kim's self-penned and produced "Don't Say Nothing's Changed" which closed the album.

A re-package of this album was released a few months after the initial launch, with a new sleeve design and the addition of bonus tracks, and this time the album made it to #73 on the UK album chart. Although this failed to reignite interest, it has since become a collectors item for fans.

Kim Wilde cemented her reputation as a singles artist with this album, as again overall sales were disappointing despite the huge success of the songs released from it. She has since voiced her regret that she did not put more effort into cracking the US market after she had scored her first number one hit there.

Critical response[edit]

Writing for Melody Maker, Caroline Sullivan called Another Step "her best LP ever" and praised Wilde for embracing her camp appeal. Comparing "Missing" to the work of Kathy Kirby, Sullivan elaborated; "side two in its entirity [sic] could have been airlifted directly from 1962, when a song was a song and, as such, afforded properly melodramatic treatment." More praise was reserved for the "tenderness and poignancy" in her voice, a quality the reviewer compared to that of Marie Osmond.[2] A second review for Melody Maker (this time by Mick Mercer) was less positive, describing her "small voice and very limited range" as "hopelessly unconvincing when approaching anything remotely resembling balladeering territory".[3] The Age praised "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and "Hit Him" but found the rest of the first half of the album to be "quite undistinguishable." Side 2 was described as "much more appealing", with the self-written and jazz-influenced "Don't Say Nothing's Changed" singled out for praise along with the preceding "How Do You Want My Love".[4] Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph found Wilde's vocals "attractive rather than arresting" and singled out "I've Got So Much Love" as a Sheena Easton-style soaring ballad.[5] A reviewer for the Manchester Evening News unfavorably compared "I've Got So Much Love" to the work of Pat Benatar but found the "sugary soul" of tracks like "She Hasn't Got Time For You" and "Brothers" slightly more pleasing.[6] Despite comparing Wilde's bared midriff on the front cover to Madonna and noting the influence of Michael Jackson in "The Thrill of It", Smash Hits found the sound on the album to be "firmly entrenched in her old "Kids in America" style" and described "You Keep Me Hangin' On" as a "brutal massacre of the old Supremes classic".[7] A short review in Just Seventeen described the singer as "The girl who was Madonna before Madonna ever thought about making records".[8] Q described the first track as "a remarkably drab version" and said of the sound of the record – "if you've followed her career to date you've practically heard this album already -bassy synths, crunching guitars and the rebel-by-numbers yell you'd expect to hear emanating from a leather clad blonde." [9]

Track listing[edit]

Side One

  1. "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
  2. "Hit Him"
  3. "Another Step (Closer to You)"
  4. "The Thrill of It"
  5. "I've Got So Much Love"
  6. "Victim"
  7. "Schoolgirl"

Side Two

  1. "Say You Really Want Me"
  2. "She Hasn't Got Time for You"
  3. "Brothers"
  4. "Missing"
  5. "How Do You Want My Love"
  6. "Don't Say Nothing's Changed"
  • Cassette and Compact disc version of the album included "Victim" as the sixth song

Bonus Tracks (2010 Remastered CD Edition)

  1. "Songs About Love" ("Schoolgirl" B-side)
  2. "Loving You" ("You Keep Me Hangin' On" B-side)
  3. "Hold Back" ("Another Step (Closer to You)" B-side)
  4. "Another Step (Closer to You)" (7" Version)
  5. "Say You Really Want Me" (7" Version)

Bonus CD (2010 Remastered CD Edition)

  1. "Schoolgirl" (Head Master Mix)
  2. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (W.C.H Club Mix)
  3. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (W.C.H Mix)
  4. "Another Step (Closer To You)" (Extended Mix)
  5. "Say You Really Want Me" (Extended Version)
  6. "Say You Really Want Me" (The Video Remix)
  7. "Say You Really Want Me" (David Todd Remix)
  8. "Say You Really Want Me" (Radio Edit)
  9. "Say You Really Want Me" (Instrumental)
  10. "Say You Really Want Me" (7" US Version)
  11. "Say You Really Want Me" (Urban Version)
  12. "Megamix" (You Keep Me Hagin' On/Another Step (Closer to You)/Say You Really Want Me)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. "Review – Another Step". Melody Maker. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Mercer, Mick. "Review – Another Step". Melody Maker. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Review – Another Step". The Age. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Review – Another Step". Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Review – Another Step". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Review – Another Step". Smash Hits. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Review – Another Step". Just Seventeen. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Review – Another Step". Q. Retrieved 21 October 2012.