I Should Be So Lucky
|"I Should Be So Lucky"|
International single cover
|Single by Kylie Minogue|
|from the album Kylie|
|Released||29 December 1987|
|Producer(s)||Stock Aitken Waterman|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
"I Should Be So Lucky" is a 1987 song performed by Australian recording artist and songwriter Kylie Minogue from her debut studio album Kylie (1988). Released on 29 December 1987 by Mushroom Records and PWL Records, the song became a worldwide breakthrough hit; its image of Minogue on the front cover was shot by David Levine. The song was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman for Minogue, and they went on to produce Minogue's first four studio albums.
"I Should Be So Lucky" received positive to mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, who thought that the song was an instant highlight and good song within the 80's, while some dismissed the lyrical content. Despite this, the song received commercial attention around the world where the song topped the charts in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany and peaked in the top ten in many countries including New Zealand, Japan and the Dance charts in the U.S.
- 1 Background and composition
- 2 Recording and development
- 3 Composition
- 4 Critical reception
- 5 Commercial performance
- 6 Music video
- 7 As satire
- 8 Cover versions and usage in media
- 9 Formats and track listings
- 10 Live performances
- 11 Credits and personnel
- 12 Charts and certifications
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Background and composition
In April 1986, Minogue played Charlene Mitchell, a schoolgirl turned garage mechanic, in the soap opera Neighbours. Jason Donovan, whom Minogue began dating at the time, played her onscreen love interest as Scott Robinson. Their romantic relationship culminated with a wedding in an episode that attracted an audience of 20 million British viewers in 1987. During her time in Neighbours, Minogue joined a band along with cast members Guy Pearce, Peter O'Brien and Alan Dale, which was arranged by Petherick. He later suggested Minogue cover the song "The Loco-Motion" with the band during a Fitzroy Football Club benefit concert at the Festival Hall in 1986, where she also sang a duet of "I Got You Babe".
Impressed by the performance, Petherick arranged for Minogue to record the former song, re-titled as "Locomotion", with producer Kaj Dahlstrom, who invested $10,000 to record it. Petherick submitted the demo track to many record labels, before reaching to Michael Gudinski, head of Mushroom Records. Gudinski was reluctant at first, calling the demo "a bit of a one-hit wonder". She signed to the label in early 1987—during a trip to London several months after receiving the demo track, Gudinski decided to sign Minogue up due to her popularity with Neighbours. In June 1987, Mushroom Records had Mike Duffy, an audio engineer for Stock Aitken Waterman producers, over for a three-month residency at Platinum Studios in South Yarra. He was asked to remix the "Locomotion" demo track to make it sounds more like Bananarama's cover of "Venus" (1986) with the help of synthesizer. It was the first time he produced a record by himself. The song was released as Minogue's debut single on 27 July 1987, three weeks after the wedding episode of Neighbours premiered. A week after release, it topped the Australian charts, staying there for seven weeks and becoming the best-selling single of the decade. Around that time, Minogue was set up with Terry Blamey, who would be her longtime manager for 25 years.
Recording and development
After the success of her debut single "Locomotion" in Australia, Minogue traveled to London to work with Stock Aitken Waterman, a successful British writing and production team. They knew little of Minogue and had forgotten that she was arriving; as a result, they wrote "I Should Be So Lucky" in forty minutes while she waited outside the recording studio. Mike Stock wrote the lyrics for the song in response to what he had learned about Minogue prior to her arrival. He believed that although she was a successful soap star in Australia and very talented, there must be something wrong with her and figured that she must be unlucky in love. Minogue recorded the song in less than an hour, which Stock attributes to her good ear for music and her quick memorization skills. After Minogue finished the recording session she returned home to Australia to continue work on the soap opera, Neighbours. Stock later told The Guardian: "We had to get the song together in about 40 minutes and she left not having had a happy experience. We didn’t know we had a hit on our hands and so when it went to No 1 for five weeks, someone said: “What’s the follow-up?” We didn't have one. So I went out to Australia at the start of 1988 and met her in a bar with Jason and her manager. I basically crawled 100 yards on my knees and apologised profusely."
"I Should Be So Lucky" is a pop and Hi-NRG song which features elements of bubblegum pop and new wave music. According to the music sheet on MusicNotes.com, which was published by Universal Music Publishing Group, the song is set in the key of C major. Minogue's vocals span from D4 to C5. The song is set in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 116 beats per minute. Instrumentation of the song features synthesizers, keyboards and guitars. According to PopMatters, the song features "numerous orchestra hits to the uncomfortably thin sounding drum machine." Waterman has said the tune was inspired by Pachelbel's Canon. Stock told The Guardian: "Anyone who thinks I Should Be So Lucky is easy should try to play it. It's in four keys, all of them really awkward, and you can't even strum it unless you're a really good musician."
"I Should Be So Lucky" garnered positive reviews from some music critics. Nick Levine, from Digital Spy, called it "standout track". Chris True from AllMusic had reviewed the album, and highlighted the song as an album standout. But as a separate rating, they gave the single three stars out of five. In the review of The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012), Tim Sendra highlighted it as an album standout. Hunter Felt from PopMatters gave it a positive review, stating "something about Kylie’s innocent yet forceful vocals and the sheer catchiness of the song itself [...] So the song became a beloved secret, and I never bothered to try to tune my friends in on "I Could Be So Lucky", or, crazier yet, proclaim that this "has-been" would be a critical and commercial darling in a few years time." However, he did say the song was cliché. However, Mark Edwards from Stylus Magazine gave it a scathing remark by saying "Listening to the first tracks on Ultimate Kylie, you want to skip straight through, because early songs like "I Should Be So Lucky" and "Locomotion" are unlistenable—horribly naff, squeaky songs" and criticized Stock, Aitken and Waterman songs they produced in the 80's by stating "[the songs] transport the listener back to a time when every single in the UK charts was either written by Stock, Aitken and Waterman or sung by an Aussie soap star, or both." OK! called the song a "classic".
The song was also known to many in the late 1980s and early 1990s as one of Minogue's signature songs, which many critics entering the song on their best track or worst track list. And additionally, in 2011, "I Should Be So Lucky" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Sounds of Australia registry. "I Should Be So Lucky" later appeared on seven of Kylie's hit compilations including Greatest Hits (1992), Ultimate Kylie (2004) and Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection (2019). The song won the Highest Selling Single award at the 3rd annual ARIA Awards.
"I Should Be So Lucky" was released in the UK on 29 December 1987, and in Australia on 1 February 1988. It was a commercial success, reaching atop the Australian Kent Music Report chart for six consecutives weeks, and became her second number-one single, following Locomotion. The single was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and ranked at number five on the Year-end chart for 1988. In New Zealand, the song entered at No. 15 on New Zealand Top 40 and peaked at No. 3 on 27 March 1988, spending twelve weeks on the chart. In United Kingdom, "I Should Be So Lucky" was released on 29 December 1987. The song entered at No. 90 on the UK Singles Chart, climbing to No. 54 the following week and three weeks later, it was No. 1 and remained at the top position for five weeks. It spent seventeen weeks on the chart. It was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for the shipment of 600,000 copies. The song was one of the best-selling singles of 1988, with estimated sales of over 675,000.
Elsewhere, "I Should Be So Lucky" peaked on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Dance Club Play. The song reached No. 10 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart on 4 June 1988 and no. 28 on the Hot 100 on 16 July 1988. Across Europe, "I Should Be So Lucky" also topped the singles charts in Germany, Ireland and Switzerland. It became a top-five hit in Austria, France and Norway, as well as a top-thirty hit in Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden. It peaked at No. 1 in Finland, Israel and Hong Kong. The song was certified silver by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP) and gold in Germany.
The music video for "I Should Be So Lucky" was directed by Chris Langman and filmed in November 1987 at Channel 7 Studios in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The video features Minogue walking through her home, with scenes of her dancing in front of a colourful chalkboard background intercut throughout. It presented a cute, wholesome, young "girl-next-door" image of Minogue to the public, with scenes of her giggling and making funny faces to the camera.
Another version of the video was made for live television promotion. This version of the video shows Kylie riding in a car with several friends through Sydney. In other parts of the video, she's in the park and passersby are waving to her as she walks by them. This video premiered in the UK on Christmas Day 1987 in a live broadcast from the British Telecom Tower (Christmas Morning With Noel Edmonds, BBC1).
The complete version of "I Should Be So Lucky" featured in the music video has been released commercially through multiple VHS and DVD collections. Its most recent inclusion is on the companion DVD to her 2012 greatest hits album, The Best of Kylie Minogue. Outtakes from the music video were used in Kylie: The Videos.
The British satirical programme Spitting Image made a send-up of "I Should Be So Lucky" entitled "Kylie Minogue", in which Minogue is depicted as being brought to life in a way similar to Frankenstein's monster in an old 1930s movie. The action shifts between the laboratory to an apartment similar to that of the original video. The song also pokes fun at her performance in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, in which as Charlene Mitchell, later Robinson she was best known at the time, and implies that she was lucky to have been chosen over other soap stars, namely Paul Henry who was Benny Hawkins in the British drama Crossroads. Stock, Aitken and Waterman are combined together as a large tape player providing creature-Minogue's voice which at one point is distorted to sound like Rick Astley.
"Kylie Minogue" is track 4 on the 1990 Spitting Image CD 20 Great Golden Gobs.
British comedians French and Saunders included a send-up of the song during the third season of their show (broadcast 26 April 1990). The sketch features the recording of the song with an orchestra and vocals by three opera divas, played by French, Saunders, and British mezzo-soprano Sarah Walker.
Cover versions and usage in media
In 1988, Hong Kong singer Sarah Wong covered this song in Cantonese. The sketch comedy television show French & Saunders made a parody of "I Should Be So Lucky" featuring mezzo-soprano Sarah Walker. Right after the release of the original song. Brazilian pop artist Simony recorded a version in Brazilian Portuguese entitled "Acho Que Sou Louca" (translation: I Think I'm Crazy). Japanese singer Kanako Wada covered this song in Japanese named "Lucky Love". In 1992, the Egyptian pop singer Simon recorded a cover of the song with new lyrics in Arabic titled "Bahibak Aawy". French guitarist Noel Akchote's 2007 album So Lucky includes an instrumental cover. In September 2007, a cover version of "I Should Be So Lucky" appeared on the album Dolce Vita by Spanish singer Soraya Arnelas. Also that year, Japanese duo Mihimaru GT released a hip hop cover version of the song. It was released as a double A-side single, along with the song "Ai Kotoba", in Japan in November 2007. In 2008, Northern Kings recorded a rock version of this song included on their second album Rethroned. In 2016, Korean girlgroup CLC covered it as a B-side for their Japanese single "High Heels".
The Kylie Minogue recording is featured in the 1989 film Cookie.
The cover version of this song had been featured in 1989's Miss USA Pageant.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "I Should Be So Lucky".
Minogue performed the song on the following concert tours:
- Disco in Dream/The Hitman Roadshow
- Enjoy Yourself Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Rhythm of Love Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Let's Get to It Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Intimate and Live Tour (Torch Version)
- On A Night Like This Tour
- KylieFever2002 (as a medley with "Dreams")
- Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour
- Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour
- KylieX2008 (added as an encore from 17 May performance in Bucharest)
- Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour (only in the Japanese performances)
- For You, for Me (Torch version)
- Kiss Me Once Tour (part of a medley)
- Kylie Summer 2015 Tour (shortened a cappella version)
- Summer 2019
The song was also performed on:
- An Audience with Kylie Minogue a 2001 TV special
- BBC Proms in the Park 2012 (The Abbey Road Sessions version)
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from the Kylie liner notes.
- Kylie Minogue - lead vocals
- Dee Lewis, Mae McKenna - backing vocals
- Mike Stock - backing vocals, keyboards
- Matt Aitken - guitars, keyboards
- Mark McGuire - engineering
- Pete Hammond - mixing
- Burni Adams - engineering
Charts and certifications
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