Some Kind of Bliss

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"Some Kind of Bliss"
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Impossible Princess
B-side
  • "Limbo"
  • "Love Takes Over Me"
Released 8 September 1997
Format
Recorded Mayfair Studios
Genre Indie rock
Length 3:50 (radio edit)
4:13 (album version)
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Where the Wild Roses Grow"
(1995)
"Some Kind of Bliss"
(1997)
"Did It Again"
(1997)

"Some Kind of Bliss" is a song recorded by Australian singer Kylie Minogue for her sixth studio album Impossible Princess (1997). It was later included on her major greatest hits compilation Hits+ (2002). It was written by Minogue, James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore Originally, Minogue wanted the first single to be "Limbo", while producer Steve Anderson wanted "Jump" or "Too Far" as the lead single. "Some Kind of Bliss" was eventually released as the lead single from the album 8 September 1997 by Deconstruction Records.

"Some Kind of Bliss" is an indie rock song that shows a different musical edge to Minogue's discography. It became Minogue's first single to have co-written credits by her. The lyrical content was actually written totally different. Minogue had presented a new set of lyrics, as did producer Jeams Dean Bradfield. After creating the composition of the song, they both mixed their own lyrics and create a whole new set. "Some Kind of Bliss" received negative reviews from music commentators after its release, criticizing its poor production and feeling it was not "up to standards". Commercially, the song was a failure, peaking at twenty-one on the UK Singles Chart, her first to miss the top twenty. It peaked inside the top forty in both her native Australia and New Zealand.

An accompanying music video was shot by David Mould and starred Dexter Fletcher and was shot in the Desert of Tabernas in Spain. The videos main influence was the series of Bonnie & Clyde. Critically, the video received favorable reviews who felt the chic style and nature was good and praised Minogue's look. "Some Kind of Bliss" has only been performed on her Intimate and Live tour. The song has left a legacy in the media that portrayed Minogue at the time. With enormous backlash towards Minogue, it caused both the album to suffer commercially and DeConstruction's A&R had made a press statement about the single, apologizing for not managing to promote the single.[1]

Background[edit]

In 1995, Minogue recorded the song "Where the Wild Roses Grow", a duet with Australian rock musician Nick Cave. The song's lyrics narrated a murder from the points of view of both the murderer (Cave), and his victim (Minogue). Cave had been interested in working with Minogue since hearing "Better the Devil You Know", saying it contained "one of pop music's most violent and distressing lyrics".[2] The single became Cave's most successful single to date peaking inside the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and managed to enter the top twenty in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.[3][4] The song also managed to achieve critical acclaim from many of Minogue's fiercest critics, who praised her transition from being the once-dubbed "singing budgie" to a mature woman.[5] That year, she recited the lyrics to "I Should Be So Lucky" as poetry in London's Royal Albert Hall "Poetry Jam" at Cave's suggestion. She later credited him with giving her the confidence to express herself through her music, saying, "he taught me to never veer too far from who I am, but to go further, try different things, and never lose sight of myself at the core. For me, the hard part was unleashing the core of myself and being totally truthful in my music".[6]

While in production with the then-unnamed Impossible Princess, Deconstruction Records' A&R Pete Hadfield fell terribly ill that lasted for a year, which meant all creative production was handled by Minogue and producers Brothers in Rhythm. When he managed to come to some sessions, he was intentionally concerned with the lack of single choices, where he felt the songs written by Minogue were not up to commercial standards.[1] Because of this, a potential January 1997 single release was postponed so producers can make to the album "too perfect".[1] It has been reported that Minogue herself wanted the album track "Limbo" to be released as the lead single from Impossible Princess. Steve Anderson, however felt that the first single should have been either "Too Far" or "Jump" as he believed it was more representative to the album. However, Deconstruction Records did not think it would be a suitable single release, so instead issued it as a B-side to the newly decided lead single "Some Kind of Bliss".[7]

Composition[edit]

James Dean Bradfield (pictured) produced "Some Kind of Bliss".

"Some Kind of Bliss" is a huge departure from Minogue's trademark disco music.[8] She claimed that due to the diversity of the sounds and lyrics, any single release wouldn't be indicative of the whole album, but that "Some Kind of Bliss" was a good start.[9] Manic Street Preachers had once wanted to work with Minogue on their track "Little Baby Nothing" from the album Generation Terrorists. However, Minogue was busy, so they used Traci Lords instead. Minogue later performed the song live with the group. Nick Levine from Digital Spy compared it with another album track "I Don't Need Anyone" by describing it as Motowny indie.[10] Minogue revealed in the Impossible Princess: Kylie A Ten Year History, she said "And the way this track [Some Kind of Bliss starts, I said to myself 'This is a stone song. This is not a Kylie song'. I could never imagine sounding that way."[11] A reviewer from the magazine FasterLouder.com, who listed the parent album on their Most Underrated Albums of All Time, said that "Some Kind of Bliss" was "pure pop."[12]

"Some Kind of Bliss" was recorded in 1997.[8] The song was recorded in Mayfair Studios, London, England with the Manic Street Preachers and their long-time producers Dave Eringa. The song was originally written by Minogue until collaborated James Deam Bradfield combined elements from two different sets of Minogue's lyrical content, only to make them more coherent.[8] It provided Minogue with an edgier sound, with guitars taking the place of the drum machine beats heavily featured on her earlier efforts.[13] Whiling reviewing her 2002 DeConstruction compilation Confide in Me, Chris True stated "Impossible Princess, both of which found her stretching and growing beyond the pop princess image she had previously. Dark, noisy tracks like "Limbo," the trip-hoppy "Jump," and the more rock-oriented "I Don't Need Anyone" and "Some Kind of Bliss"—both of which were co-written by the Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield—found her trying on different styles to replace the bubblegum pop of the past."[14]

In An Interview with Kylie Minogue, released promotional as an interview CD to talk about the album, Minogue talked about "Some Kind of Bliss";[15]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Initially after the song's release, "Some Kind of Bliss" received negative reviews from most music critics.[1] NME was negative in their parent review for Impossible Princess, and reviewed "Some Kind of Bliss" negatively, stating it was "supremely irritating" and "Kylie belt's out the lyrics like she's reading from an autocue. Any soul is lost in a slurry of bought-in brass and a ropey guitar solo that's be more at home on a Shakin' Stevens record."[16] Conversely, Chris True from Allmusic had selected the song as an album standout.[17] While reviewing the albums 2002 re-release, Michael R. Smith noted that "Some Kind of Bliss 'is a surprisingly strong and straightforward rock song that was much maligned by the British press when it was first released, which called it irritating."[18] BSX from Sputnikmusic gave it a favorable review while reviewing the parent album in retrospect, saying "[Some Kind of Bliss] is one of the more pop-rock songs that could have been part of her earlier work. This gem breaks up the dominance of the sleepy trance vibe to a more upbeat feel."[19] Online music critic Adrian Denning said that while Impossible Princess was taken as a misconception of "Indie Kylie", "Only the Manic Street Preachers tunes resemble indie, 'Some Kind Of Bliss' chosen to lead the album, stalling outside the top twenty upon release as a single."[20]

Commercial response[edit]

The song was released as the first single in September 1997. The song entered at number twenty-seven on the Australian Singles Chart, the highest debut single of that week end and where it ultimately peaked.[21] The song then dropped out the top thirty at number thirty-five the following week and eventually descended at number forty-six in its fourth week.[22] It rose to number thirty-five in its fifth week following the radio-release of the second single "Did It Again" but fell to number forty-seven in its last week.[23] This became Minogue's lowest charting single at the point and survived only six weeks in the chart, becoming her lowest charting lead single until it was surpassed by "Into the Blue" in 2014, which peaked at number forty-six.[24] The song entered and peaked at number forty-six on the New Zealand Singles Chart for a sole week, becoming the lowest charting debut of that week. This became Minogue's lowest charting single in New Zealand after her 1987 US single "It's No Secret".[25]

In the United Kingdom, the song was a contender in a heavy competition in the singles week as Elton John's single "Candle in the Wind" was re-released for the tribute off the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. According to the Official Chart Company that weekend, "Candle in The Wind" claimed more than 75% of the single sales that week, which immediately defeated Minogue's single in achieving a high position or the number one spot.[26] "Candle in the Wind" became the fastest-selling single in the UK, selling 658,000 copies in its first day of release, and over 1.5 million copies in its first week.[27] The single remained at number one for 5 weeks, and it eventually sold 4.9 million copies in the UK,[28] overtaking the 13-year-old record held by Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?". "Some Kind of Bliss" entered at number twenty-two on 20 September 1997.[29] This ultimately broke Minogue's consecutive top twenty hits and became her lowest solo single until "Better than Today", which charted at number thirty-two on 20 November 2011.

Music video[edit]

The music video features Dexter Fletcher and was shot in the Desert of Tabernas in Spain. Fletcher plays Minogue's lover, who she picks up being released from jail. They formulate a plan to steal from various businesses, firstly by pulling into a filling station and Kylie filling up the car wearing a very revealing outfit. When Dexter goes to pay she smiles suggestively to distract the cashier while Fletcher's character gets the money. The exploits culminate in a plan to rob a bank - Fletcher goes into the bank with Minogue waiting outside as the decoy. However, she sees the police arriving to catch Dexter and jumps in the car and speeds away. In certain versions of the video, flashbacks to happier times are seen when she was with Fletcher, before we see her crying after his initial arrest. The video is included in Australian budget release Greatest Hits 87-98 DVD.

Idolator website created a list for Minogue's eight sexiest videos, and listed the video for "Some Kind of Bliss" as one of those eight. Robbie Daw said "There's something so casually sexy about this Bonnie and Clyde-themed video. Kylie spends a lot of time wearing skimpy denim dresses while dealing with the fallout from her criminal love interest."[30] The public had voted in which Minogue's video was the sexiest. Conversely, "Some Kind of Bliss" was put in last place with 1% of the votes (15 votes).[30]

Legacy[edit]

The song has been recognized by critics as Minogue's most "indie"-influenced song to date.[26] Many of the media press and magazine publications had branded the song a "commercial flop" due to poor production and promotion. The record label's A&R Pete Bradfield released a statement of the song, blaming himself for not being in control of the promotion: "I loved her voice, got on with her and I am embarrassed that I failed her."[1] Tom Parker had observed that many critics had slated the song due to Minogue's approach to obtain lyrical and production credibility, which was overshadowed in whole.[8]

During the era, Minogue denounced her release of "Some Kind of Bliss" in the same week release as Elton John's "Candle in the Wind", which claimed up to 75% percent of the sales in that month. She commented "I think the static was that Elton had 75 percent of the sales that week, so mine didn't get off at a good start."[26] She then related the bad release date to the album's release, stating "I've told not to be frustrated, but I was frustrated because the album should be out [...] The point of it is to get it out and maybe people will like it, they may love it or they might hate it, but it was in my hands."[26] She also felt guilt for parting with Stock Aitken Waterman after her production team with deConstruction was not in good terms.[26] A press insider for deConstruction Records revealed that if sales did not increase, they would have immediately dropped her, but Minogue trying all ranges of musical genres and images lead to deConstructions decision to allow her to go.[31] Deconstruction Records had lost a strong profit from income sales of the album and Minogue said she did not enjoy this. Because of the lack of sales and income, Minogue contemplated retirement due to the overwhelming failure of the campaign, saying "I have no qualifications, what else am I suppose to do?"[26]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Some Kind of Bliss".

Official versions[edit]

  • Regular Album Version (4:13)
  • Radio Edit (3:50)
  • Original Australian Album Version (4:08)
  • Quivver Mix (8:39)

Live performances[edit]

Minogue performed the song on the Intimate and Live Tour.

Credits and personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to "Some Kind of Bliss:[32]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[33] 27
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles[34] 24
Estonian Singles Chart[34] 15
Greek International Singles Chart[34] 7
Hungarian Singles Chart[34] 3
Italian Singles Chart[34] 17
New Zealand Singles Chart[35] 46
Russian Singles Chart[34] 20
Slovenian Singles Chart[34] 36
UK Singles Chart[36] 22

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Kylie by Sean Smith. Pg. 138-139.
  2. ^ Baker and Minogue, p. 99
  3. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds + Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  5. ^ Kylie, La La La. 'Deconstrcting Kylie', 2002.
  6. ^ Larry Flick. "Review of Impossible Princess". Billboard.com. March 1998.
  7. ^ "::: Sweet Music ::: Music for Music Lovers - Music news :". Freewebs.com. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  8. ^ a b c d Impossible Princess Special Edition: Liner Notes.
  9. ^ "Kylie Minogue - Impossible Princess Interview Sound Bites (2/3)‏". YouTube. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  10. ^ Digital Spy review.
  11. ^ [1].
  12. ^ http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/features/34198/The-Most-Underrated-Albums-Of-All-Time?page=5
  13. ^ Review of "Some Kind of Bliss". Music Week. 30 August 1997.
  14. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/confide-in-me-mw0000121200
  15. ^ An Interview with Kylie Minogue. Promo CD. #30 'Some Kind of Bliss'.
  16. ^ Willmott, Ben. "Improbable Princess". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  17. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/impossible-princess-mw0000458731
  18. ^ Daily Vault Review.
  19. ^ Kylie Minogue - Impossible Princess (album review). Sputnikmusic.com.
  20. ^ Kylie Minogue | album reviews.
  21. ^ Australian Singles Chart | 12 October 1997.
  22. ^ Australian Singles CHart | 09 November 1997.
  23. ^ Australian Charts | 16 November 1997.
  24. ^ Into the BLue | Australian Singles Chart.
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Kylie - Julie Aspinall." Google Books. August 2014.
  27. ^ Doyle, Jack (26 April 2008 (updated 2008-05-12)). "Candle in the Wind, 1973 & 1997". PopHistoryDig.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  28. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  29. ^ Kylie Minogue | Artist | Official Charts.
  30. ^ a b http://www.idolator.com/7510640/kylie-minogue-sexiest-videos/2
  31. ^ deConstruction Records Press Statement. June 1998. Retrieved on August 15, 2014.
  32. ^ Impossible Princess (CD liner notes). Deconstruction Records. March 1998.
  33. ^ Steffen Hung. "Kylie Minogue - Some Kind of Bliss". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g "Slovenian Kylie Site - Some Kind of Bliss". SloKylie.com. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  35. ^ Steffen Hung. "Kylie Minogue - Some Kind of Bliss". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  36. ^ "Kylie Minogue - Some Kind of Bliss". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 

External links[edit]