Mel and Kim

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Mel and Kim
OriginLondon, United Kingdom
GenresDance-pop
Years active1986–1990
Labels
WebsiteMelandKim.com
Past members

Mel and Kim were a British pop duo, consisting of sisters Melanie and Kim Appleby. Originally managed by Alan Whitehead, they achieved success between 1986 and 1988, before Melanie, who had been diagnosed with cancer, died in January 1990 at the age of 23.

The duo reached number one in the UK Singles Chart with their 1987 single "Respectable",[1] which also topped the US dance chart.[2] They had three other UK Top 10 hits with "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)" (1986), "F.L.M." (1987) and "That's the Way It Is" (1988).[1] In 1988, they were nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act. After Mel's death, Kim embarked on a solo career and had two UK Top 10 hits with "Don't Worry" (1990) and "G.L.A.D." (1991).

Biography[edit]

Mel & Kim were born to British and Jamaican parents. In 1985, Mel recorded two demos solo, under Alan Whitehead's management. Soon after, her sister Kim joined her and they performed as a duo, recording some demos. The demos got them signed with Supreme Records, and Nick East - president of Supreme - put them in touch with producers Stock Aitken Waterman.

"System" was intended as their first single, but they and the producers were unhappy with it, and it became the "B-side" of their first release "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)", which reached number three on the British charts in 1986. It was a minor hit in America peaking at #78, but did peak at #1 on the Dance Chart there. Their next single "Respectable" reached number one in Britain. They became well-known celebrities in Europe, particularly in Britain, and were known for their visual style which combined urban street wear with high fashion (prior to their music career Mel had worked as a glamour model). Their third single "F.L.M." reached number seven in the UK, while their final single "That's the Way It Is" reached number ten, giving them an unbroken run of top ten hits in the UK.[1] In February 1988, they were nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards, losing out to Wet Wet Wet.[3]

In 1985, prior to the duo's recording career, Mel was treated for malignant paraganglioma,[4] a form of cancer, on her liver.[5] By January 1987,[6] Mel was experiencing back problems, delaying the filming of the "Respectable" music video.[7] During a promotional visit to Japan in June 1987, Mel's back pain worsened, rendering her unable to perform,[5] and she returned to the UK in a wheelchair.[8] A recurrence of the cancer was detected in Mel's spine after undergoing tests at Barts.[5] The sisters withdrew from publicity while Mel underwent treatment, and footage from their Montreux Festival performance was used to compile the "F.L.M." music video. While the media speculated that Mel was being treated for cancer, both sisters categorically denied this, stating that Mel had suffered a debilitating back injury.

Mel and Kim released a new single in February 1988, "That's the Way It Is", becoming their fourth consecutive UK top 10 hit.[1] Mel discharged herself from hospital to record the vocals for the track.[9] Work on a second album produced by Stock Aitken Waterman was not continued, due to Mel's illness. Both sisters appeared on the Wogan show in April 1988 while Mel was still undergoing treatment, as part of European Cancer Week.[10] Later in 1988, after Mel had finished chemotherapy, the duo appeared on Good Morning Britain to promote the need for teenage cancer wards in British hospitals.[11]

The sisters then again withdrew from publicity while writing songs for a second album; several of these songs later appeared on Kim's debut solo album. In a TV interview with Trisha Goddard in 2005, Kim revealed that she knew Mel's illness was terminal in mid-1989.[5] On 18 January 1990, Mel died suddenly of pneumonia after contracting a cold; her immune system weakened by chemotherapy.

In January 2018, the release of a previously unreleased unfinished demo track, "Where Is Love", was announced on the official Mel & Kim website. It was released in February 2018. [12]

After Mel and Kim[edit]

With the aid of her then boyfriend, ex-Bros bassist Craig Logan, Kim launched a solo career with much of her debut solo album composed of songs co-written with Mel, for what was intended to be the next "Mel and Kim" album. The album, Kim Appleby, contained her debut solo single "Don't Worry", which reached number two on the British charts in November 1990. A follow-up single "G.L.A.D" was also a UK Top 10 hit. Subsequent singles from her debut album were "Mama" [#19] and "If You Cared" [#44]. Kim's second album Breakaway was not a commercial success and had a limited release. She released three further singles, "Light of the World" [#41, 1993], "Breakaway" [#56, 1993], and "Free Spirit" [#51, 1994]. A download-only single called "High" was released in 2007.

In 2010 a 2 CD Deluxe Edition of F.L.M. was released which included extended bonus tracks as well as the single That's The Way It Is and various remixes of the original hits.

In October 2019, Cherry Red Records released a seven-disc Mel & Kim CD singles box set.[13]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Release Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
[1]
AUS
[14]
GER
[15]
NED
[16]
NOR
[17]
NZ
[18]
SWE
[19]
SWI
[20]
F.L.M. 1987
3
2
16
12
7
2
20
4

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Mel & Kim (1996)
  • That's the Way It Is – The Best of Mel & Kim/Kim Appleby (2001)
  • F.L.M. – The Best of Mel & Kim/Kim Appleby (2002)

Remix albums[edit]

  • Something Special (1989)

Box sets[edit]

  • The Singles Box Set (2019)

Singles[edit]

Release Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[1]
AUS
[14]
BEL
(FLA)

[22]
FRA
[23]
GER
[15]
IRE
[24]
NED
[16]
NZ
[18]
SWI
[25]
US
[26]
US Dance
[2]
1986 "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)"
3
12
1
18
1
1
8
1
78
1
F.L.M.
1987 "Respectable"
1
1
1
14
1
2
1
1
1
1
"F.L.M."
7
19
7
17
4
11
7
16
1988 "I'm the One Who Really Loves You"
(US only)
11
"That's the Way It Is"
10
28
4
36
18
11
5
10
9
9
non-album single
1989 "More Than Words Can Say"
(Scandinavia only)
Something Special
1990 "Megamix Ninety!"
(Continental Europe only)
non-album single
2018 "Where Is Love"
non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Official Charts > Mel and Kim". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Mel & Kim Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ "1988 Brit Awards". Awards & Winners. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Daily Express 25th Mar 1988 > I Vow to Beat Cancer". Imgur.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Kim Appleby from Mel & Kim interview on Trisha Goddard 26/8/2005". YouTube. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Daily Express 7th Jan 1987 > A Slip of a Girl". Imgur.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Daily Express 6th Feb 1987 > Mel Pops Back for a New Video". Imgur.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Get Smart! > Will Mel from Mel & Kim Ever Dance Again?". Smash Hits. 15–28 July 1987. Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Imgur.com.
  9. ^ www.pwl-empire.com. "Pete Waterman Entertainment Ltd - Q & A about PWE artists (archived copy)". www.pwl-empire.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  10. ^ Mel & Kim interview on the Wogan show, April 1988
  11. ^ "Mel & Kim Interview on TV-am". YouTube. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  12. ^ "'Where Is Love' – The Fifth Official Mel & Kim Single. (from melandkim.com)". Imgur.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Mel & Kim: The Singles Box Set, 7CD Deluxe Box Set". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b Australian chart peaks:
  15. ^ a b German chart peaks:
  16. ^ a b "dutchcharts.nl > Mel & Kim in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  17. ^ "norwegiancharts.com > Mel & Kim in Norwegian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b "charts.nz > Mel & Kim in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  19. ^ "swedishcharts.com > Mel & Kim in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  20. ^ "hitparade.ch > Mel & Kim – F.L.M." (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  21. ^ a b c "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Mel & Kim (from bpi.co.uk)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Ultratop > Mel & Kim in Ultratop Vlaanderen" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  23. ^ "lescharts.com > Mel & Kim dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Screen shot of search results for 'Mel and Kim' from irishcharts.ie". Imgur.com (original source published by Fireball Media). Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  25. ^ "hitparade.ch > Suche nach: Mel & Kim (songs)" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Mel & Kim Chart History > Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External links[edit]