Cowboy Style

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"Cowboy Style"
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Impossible Princess
B-side "Love Takes Over Me"
Released 18 August 1998
Recorded London, England
Genre Country, folk pop
Length 4:44
Label Mushroom
Producer(s) Brothers in Rhythm
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Cowboy Style"
"GBI: German Bold Italic"

"Cowboy Style" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue from her sixth studio album, Impossible Princess (1997). The song was released on 18 August 1998, as the fourth and final single from the album. "Cowboy Style" was co-written by Minogue with Dave Seaman and Steve Anderson. Brothers in Rhythm produced the track. Backed by strings, synthesizers, guitars, and drums, it is an country pop song. The lyrics revolve around Minogue's relationship with French photographer Stéphane Sednaoui.

"Cowboy Style" received favorable reviews from music critics, many whom commended the production and lyrical delivery. Released in Australia and New Zealand after parting from British label Deconstruction, "Cowboy Style" reached number twenty-five on the Australian Singles Chart. This was her lowest charting solo single until her 2011 digital single "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)", which reached number fifty.

Minogue promoted "Cowboy Style" by performing it on her Intimate and Live Tour in June–August 1998. She later performed it on her Fever Tour and Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour. The music video for "Cowboy Style" was taped during a sound check at one of the "Intimate and Live" shows.


"[I]ts basically about meeting my boyfriend. [...] He made me think about a lot of different things, kind like the cowboy coming into town, a bit like a monk, a bit like this cyber-creature. So, this is basically about him coming into my life."

—Minogue talking about "Cowboy Style".[1]

Kylie Minogue's track "Breathe" appeared on her sixth album, Impossible Princess (November 1997). She had signed a three-album deal with British dance label, Deconstruction Records in 1992.[2][3] Minogue released her first self-titled album through Deconstruction in September 1994 and received mixed reception from music critics.[4] That album peaked at number three in Australia and number four in the United Kingdom.[5]

Minogue started work on Impossible Princess in October 1995 and had greater freedom in composing it. To promote the album, she released the lead single "Some Kind of Bliss" in September 1997.[6] "Some Kind of Bliss" received negative reviews from most music critics.[7][8]:(138, 139) It peaked inside the top fifty in Australia, UK and New Zealand, her first to miss the top twenty in the first two countries.[9][10][11] British tabloids reported in September and October that year that Minogue wanted to establish herself as an indie artist for Impossible Princess. However, she denied this, telling Mixmag: "I have to keep telling people that this isn't an indie-guitar album. I'm not about to pick up a guitar and rock."[12] The following single "Did It Again" (November 1997) was positively received from most music critics. It peaked inside the top twenty in Australia and the UK, and was certified gold by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for exceeding shipments off 35,000 units.[13][11][14] The third single "Breathe" (March 1998) received positive reviews from music critics. It peaked at twenty-three and fourteen in Australia and the UK, respectively.[15][16]


Dave Seaman (pictured) had co-written and co-produced the song, alongside Minogue and Steve Anderson.

Written by Minogue, Steve Anderson and Dave Seaman,[17] "Cowboy Style" uses multiple metaphors to compare Minogue's relationship with then-boyfriend Stéphane Sednaoui. According to Minogue's long-term friend and collaborator William Baker, he wrote; "In her songs she often described him using the metaphors of Eastern mysticism," referencing the lyrics "From the temple, won't you stay a while..."[18] He compared it to the lyrical content of "Sometime Samurai", a song she collaborated with Towa Tei and wrote; "The song ['Sometime Samurai'] [...] has never been released but included the lines 'Man of the moment, possibly all time, sing to me a lullaby.' 'Cowboy Style' echoed and expanded her sentiments: 'Shed my skin when you came in, Where do you end and I begin [...]"[18]

"Cowboy Style" was one of the first songs to be recorded with Anderson at the Box Sessions.[7]:(135) It was recorded at Real World Studios, Sarm West and DMC Studios in London, England and was mixed by Alan Bremner at Real World.[17] Instruments include bass guitars by Greg Bones and Anderson, a fiddle played by Johnnie Hardie and drums were played by Anderson.[17] "Cowboy Style"

Produced by Brothers in Rhythm, "Cowboy Style" is influenced by country music and folk pop. Nick Levine from Digital Spy examined the musical composition for the song and wrote that "Oh, and in ['Cowboy Style'], it has a track that manages to sound a little bit Celtic and a little bit Middle Eastern. Petey W must have wept!"[19] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine commented that ["Cowboy Style,"] features a tribal percussion break and a string quartet that sounds more Celtic than country."[20] Online music critic Adrian Denning compared the song to the work of Icelandic recording artist and songwriter Bjork.[21]


Minogue released "Breathe" as the final single with Deconstruction.[7]:(141, 142) Further singles that were supposed to promote Impossible Princess had been ceased indefinitely. After performing in Australia on her Intimate and Live show, fans of Minogue's had praised heavily of the "Cowboy Style" performance.[18] This prompt Minogue to release "Cowboy Style" as the final single in Australia and New Zealand by Mushroom Records.[18] "Cowboy Style" was released as a CD single which featured the single version of her unreleased track "Love Takes Over Me" and the music video for "Cowboy Style".[17]

The single cover was shot during the Intimate and Live tour by Simon Emmert.[22] The cover shot featured Minogue with a leather bra on with a cowboy hat.[22] Another shot was used as a flyer for her tour that same era. Idolator had listed the artwork as one of "Kylie's Best Single Covers", saying "Leather bra and a cowboy hat. Enough said."[23] An unedited shot of the single cover was then featured in her Kylie photo album book, released in August 1999.[22]

Critical reception[edit]

"Cowboy Style" had received favorable reviews from music critics. Chris True from Allmusic highlighted the song as an album standout.[24] Cinquemani described the track as having "a tribal percussion break and a string quartet that sounds more Celtic than Country (but is effective nonetheless)."[25] Michael R. Smith from Daily Vault compared the song in retrospect to American singer Madonna's song "Don't Tell Me", writing; "“Cowboy Style” is everything a country-tinged song like Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” should have been. It’s the one track that left me wanting more of the same - extended remixes, at the very least."[26]

John Mangan from The Age was positive in his review, saying that the song is a "funky hoe-down sound."[27] A reviewer from the publication The Backlot listed the song at number 11 on their "Kylie Minogue's Best Songs, In Honor of Her Birthday" and said "This stylistic mishmash (featuring a deep Celtic sound that, maybe, Alison Krauss could fiddle along with) is a hard-driving, adrenalized, sexualized quest for freedom. How do you deal with the fact that Kylie sings, “I am frightened / I’m aroused / I’m enlightened to the now” and totally sells it?"[28] Online critic Adrian Denning from his website said "["Too Far"] flows well into the impressive, eastern flavored 'Cowboy Style'. Either one of these two songs would have made better singles than the ones eventually chosen, by the way."[21]

Commercial response[edit]

"Cowboy Style" entered at number thirty-nine for only a sole week on the week end date 18 October 1998, the lowest debut single that week.[29][30] It remains the lowest charting single off Impossible Princess, surpassing the album's lead single "Some Kind of Bliss" which peaked at number twenty-seven.[31]

"Cowboy Style" was Minogue's lowest charting single until her Towa Tei collaboration "GBI: German Bold Italic", which was released two months after the song.[32] It was also her lowest charting single in Australia until it was surpassed by her digital single "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" (May 2011), and her physical single "Into the Blue" (January 2014) which peaked at number forty-six, her worst performing lead single in Australia.[33]


The music video for "Cowboy Style" was taped during a sound check at one of the "Intimate and Live" shows. While the original performance on the tour was performed live, the music video was dubbed to include the studio version audio instead of the live vocals. The video wasn't released worldwide, and was only shown in Australia and New Zealand.[34] Minogue performed "Cowboy Style" on the Australian morning TV series Hey Hey It's Saturday. This was her fourth consecutive performance that had aired on the TV series that featured performances of all her Impossible Princess singles.[35][A]

Minogue performed the song on her Intimate and Live.[36] Minogue appears in a pink and black strapless dress with a cowboy hat on with a pink "K" behind her. Like the rest off the costumes on the tour including the performance off "Cowboy Style", it features Minogue with a lot of "princess"-inspired outfits.[37] The performance was recorded on 30 June and 1 July at Capitol Theatre in Sydney, Australia, and featured on the related CD and DVD.[38][39] "Cowboy Style" featured on her 2002 Australian and European tour Fever Tour.[40] The performance featured Minogue standing on a level of staircases and has Minogue in a bright-pink sleeveless jacket with white cargo pants. The song was featured on the DVD release off the tour.[41] The songs most recent performance was on the Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour in 2006.[42][43]

Other usage[edit]

"Cowboy Style" has been featured on many of Minogue's compilation albums. The songs first appearance was on her 2002 BMG greatest hits compilation album Confide in Me, a compilation consisting majority off her singles and tracks from her Deconstruction period, and Heather Phares from the publication praised the Impossible Princess tracks including "Cowboy Style".[44] It then appeared on her 2004 compilation album Artist Collection, that consisted majority off her Impossible Princess era.[45] It's most recent appearance was on her second disc off Confide in Me: The Irresistible Kylie released in July 2007 by UK independent label Music Club.[46]


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[17]

Song credits[edit]

Cover credits[edit]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Cowboy Style".

  • Australian CD single
  1. "Cowboy Style" (Radio Edit) – 3:51
  2. "Love Takes Over Me" (Single version) – 4:09
  3. "Cowboy Style" music video
  • Australian CD promo
  1. "Cowboy Style" (Radio Edit) – 3:51
  2. "Love Takes Over Me" (Single version) – 4:09


Chart (1998) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[48] 39


  1. ^ Minogue had previously performed "Did It Again" on the show twice.[49]


  1. ^ Liner notes from An Interview with Kylie Minogue, provided by Deconstruction Records. November 1997.
  2. ^ Murphy, Ben (28 July 2007). "Second Coming". DJ Mag. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ St. Clarke, Jenny (2002). Kylie: Naked. London, United Kingdom: Edury Press. ISBN 978-0091880965. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Confide in Me: The Irresistible Kylie (Album liner notes, provided by Paul Lester). Kylie Minogue. Music Club. July 2007. MCDLX043. 
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External links[edit]