Breathe (Kylie Minogue song)
|Single by Kylie Minogue|
|from the album Impossible Princess|
|Released||16 March 1998|
|Recorded||Mayfair Studios, London, England. 1997|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
"Breathe" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue from her sixth studio album, Impossible Princess (1997). The song was released on 16 March 1998, as the third single from the album, and her final one for the label, Deconstruction Records. "Breathe" was co-written and co-produced by Minogue with Dave Ball and Ingo Vauk. Backed by synthesisers and keyboards, it is an electronica track. The lyrics revolve around contemplation and calmness. "Breathe" received mostly positive reviews from music critics, some who highlighted the track as an album stand-out and commended the lyrical and vocal delivery. However, some critics were unimpressed by the composition.
Released in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, it peaked at number twenty-three and fourteen on the Australian Singles Chart and the UK Singles Chart, respectively. This was her last charting single in the UK until her 2000 single "Spinning Around". To promote "Breathe", Minogue performed the song on Top of the Pops and her Intimate and Live Tour. Kieran Evans directed the song's music video, which features Minogue floating in an open airspace with spiral effects that were generated by CGI. The video was positively received for the production and the visual effects.
Background and composition
"Breathe" is about contemplation and holding back emotions. The lyrics were written by Minogue in Tokyo during her trips with her boyfriend, Stéphane Sednaoui, in late 1995. She explained the idea came to mind when her friends were worried about her being silent: "My girlfriend told me 'You don't realize how loud you are when you are quiet'." She felt that it was "typical" of her to be thinking and "deciding what was wrong" because she felt that things in her head "were not clear."
"Breathe" is an electronica song that lasts a duration of four minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Minogue composed the bridge section using a synthesiser and keyboards.[A] Livingston Brown played the bass guitar, and Steve Sidelnyk played the drums on the track; other additional instruments were handled by Ball and Vauk. "Breathe" was recorded in London, England at Ball and Vauk's home studio's while additional recording was handled at Mayfair Studios. Minogue flew to Chicago, USA to re-record her vocals for the remix by American producer and disc jockey, Todd Terry.
Release and commercial response
"Breathe" was released on 16 March 1998 as the third single from Impossible Princess.:(138–9) It was her final single for the labels, Deconstruction and BMG.:(141–2) Like "Did It Again", "Breathe" appeared as a double-set of CD singles. The CD set features remixes and the album version, where the first set includes an interactive music video of "Did It Again". The artwork for the singles was shot by Sednaoui, who had photographed the album cover and photo shoot for Impossible Princess. Both CD sets feature close-up shots of Minogue's face, individually taken from different directions. The song was released as a promotional CD and cassette single in the UK and in vinyl format in Spain, Australia and the UK.
"Breathe" debuted at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart on the week end of 21 March 1998. The song lasted four weeks in the chart. The song was the fourth highest debut single from that week, the highest being Spice Girls' single "Stop" at number 2. This became Minogue's twenty-eighth consecutive top forty single. "Breathe" and "Did It Again" were equally Minogue's highest charting singles from Impossible Princess. "Breathe" debuted and peaked at number twenty-three on the Australian Singles Chart on the week end of 26 April 1998. The song lasted thirteen weeks in the top fifty, one of her longest spanning singles in the chart.
"Breathe" received mostly positive commentary from music critics. Michael R. Smith from Daily Vault said "Breathe" and album track "Did It Again" are "most notable for the videos that went along with them and are fair representations of the album at large (which should be the purpose of singles), though there are many more undiscovered gems here." Nick Levine from Digital Spy selected the song as the album's best track by writing "Truth be told, this album lacks an absolute classic to match 'Confide in Me', but 'Breathe' – subtle but sneakily catchy with it – could be one of [Minogue]'s most underrated singles." While reviewing Minogue's 2004 compilation, Ultimate Kylie, Jaime Gill from Yahoo! Music gave it a mixed review by writing "Beginning in 1994 with the gorgeously glacial, slinkily synthetic 'Confide In Me', Kylie enjoyed brief success before fans fled in droves from awkward faux-rock like 'Some Kind of Bliss' (not included) and flimsy house like 'Breathe'." Reviewing her 2002 compilation, Hits+, Mackenzie Wilson from Allmusic commended Minogue's "seductive vocals" on "Breathe", "Automatic Love" and "Confide in Me".
Chris True, also from Allmusic, selected the song as a standout track on her Greatest Hits 87-97 album. Jason Lipshutz from Billboard listed "Breathe" at four on their "Kylie Minogue Primer: The Top 10 Past Hits You Need to Know" stating "'Breathe’ is the obvious stand out, sounding almost like a Nine Inch Nails throwaway in its opening seconds and morphing into a silky, sexy defence of Minogue's experimental side." Louis Virtel from The Backlot listed "Breathe" at number 14 on their "Kylie Minogue’s 50 Best Songs, in Honor of Her Birthday" and said "'Breathe' would be a meditative masterpiece if it weren't so confrontational, deadpan, and sexually domineering. Impossible Princess unassuming heart stopper trips into unexpected carnality in its choruses, assuring you 'It won’t be long now' as you try to time your hyperventilation." According to Tom Parker, who provided the special edition album notes for Impossible Princess, "['Breathe'] is a seductive electronic groove, with a hypnotic subtlety and timelessness befitting the theme inward contemplating and resolve." Larry Flick from Billboard said that "Breathe" is a "user-friendly jam" which is "largely due to its big-beat electronic groove and ear-tickling pop chorus."
An accompanying music video was directed by Welsh film director Kieran Evans. "Breathe" was Evan's directional debut and he went on to work for Heavenly Films, a sister project of British record label Heavenly Recordings. It opens with close-up shots of Minogue's body parts. Throughout the video, a giant glass orb is seen on the screen and a mysterious light is shown. From there onwards, it shows Minogue in an airspace of spiral effects, all produced by green screen and CGI effects. In the second verse, it has three shots of Minogue layering over top, with one of the scenes having her singing the track. The video then finishes with Minogue floating away, being an in-set of her own eye, which was seen at the start of the video. For the radio-video version, the song is sped up at a faster tempo.
One of the shots of the video was used as the album cover for her 2002 greatest hits compilation, Confide in Me. The music video is featured on other of Minogue's releases including The Kylie Tapes 94–98, Greatest Hits 1987–1999, Kylie Minogue: Artist Collection and the most recent was on her 2004 DVD, Ultimate Kylie.
Minogue performed "Breathe" in April 1998 on The Ben Elton Show, and on the Australian evening TV series, Hey Hey It's Saturday. The song was included on several live shows including the Top of the Pops, The National Lottery Live and Live & Kicking music show. "Breathe" was included on the Intimate and Live Tour; it was part of second segment for which Minogue wore a black, long-collared shirt and three-quarter pants, similar to the "Indie Kylie" costume from her music video 'Did It Again'. Like the rest of the costumes on the tour, including the performance of "Breathe", it featured Minogue with a lot of "princess"-inspired outfits. The performance was recorded on 30 June and 1 July at Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and appeared on the related CD and DVD. "Breathe" was performed by Minogue on Money Can't Buy, a one-off concert show held on 15 November 2003 at Hammersmith Apollo, London, to promote her ninth studio album Body Language. The "Bardello" act of the concert commenced with a mashup of "Breathe" and "Je t'aime... moi non plus", a 1969 French duet between Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Craig McLean from the Daily Telegraph described the backup dancers during this segment as "Tour de France cyclists moonlighting as Moulin Rouge hostesses." The performance was later added to Minogue's Body Language Live DVD from the concert. In 2011, Minogue sang an acoustic version while on her 2011 Aphrodite World Tour. In 2012, the orchestral version of the song didn't make the track list of The Abbey Road Sessions but was uploaded on Minogue's official YouTube account. In 2014 and 2015, Minogue sampled the song as an introduction for her Kiss Me Once Tour and Kylie Summer 2015 Tour respectly.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Breathe".
- Kylie Minogue – vocals, song writing, production, synthesiser, keyboards
- Dave Ball – songwriting, production, other instruments
- Ingo Vauk – songwriting, production, other instruments
- Livingstone Brown – bass guitar
- Steve Sidelnyk – drums, percussion
- Richard Lowe – engineer, mixing
- Sunny Lizic – engineer, mixing
- Kylie Minogue – model
- Stephane Sednaoui – photographer, designer
- Farrow Design – cover sleeve programmer
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||14|
- Minogue said on An Interview with Kylie Minogue that she co-produced and co-composed "Breathe", "Say Hey" and "Too Far", but omitted her name from the liner notes' production credits from the studio album.
- An Interview with Kylie Minogue. Deconstruction Records (Liner notes for Question 32: "Breathe"). Kylie Minogue. 1997. KM002.
- Levine, Nick (20 March 2015). "Kylie Revisited: Album 6 - Impossible Princess". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- Impossible Princess (2xCD). Deconstruction Records (Liner notes of Special Edition). Kylie Minogue. 2003. 82876511152.
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- Breathe. Deconstruction, BMG, Mushroom (CD 2, single notes). Kylie Minogue. March 1998. MUSH01739.5.
- Breathe. Deconstruction (Promotional CD). Kylie Minogue. February 1998. Breathe 02.
- Breathe. Deconstruction, BMG, Mushroom (Cassette). Kylie Minogue. February 1998. 74321 570134.
- Breathe. Deconstruction, BMG, Mushroom (Promotional Vinyl). Kylie Minogue. February 1998. 74321 57834 1.
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- Wilson, MacKenzie. "Hits+ - Kylie Minogue". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
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- Lipshutz, Jason (20 March 2015). "Kylie Minogue primer: The top 10 past hits You need to know". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
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- Confide in Me. BMG (Compilation album). Kylie. 2002.
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- "Kylie Minogue - 'Breathe' & Interview - Hey Hey It's Saturday 1998". Nine Network. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "The Ben Elton Show, Episode 3". BBC One. April 1998. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Kylie Minogue - 'Breathe' (Live The Ben Elton Show 1998)". BBC One. April 1998. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Kylie Minogue - 'Breathe' (TOTP 1998) [Live]". BBC One. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Kylie Minogue - 'Breathe' (National Lottery Show 1998) [Live]". BBC. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kylie Minogue - 'Breathe' (Live & Kicking 1998) [Live]". BBC. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
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- Intimate and Live. Parlophone (Live album liner notes). Kylie Minogue. 30 November 1998. MUSH33183.2.
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- "Body Language Live". Kylie.com. Parlophone. 7243 599676 9 1. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
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