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Kim Wilde

Kim Wilde (born Kim Smith, November 18, 1960 in Chiswick, West London) is an English pop singer, professional gardener, and pop cultural figure. She debuted in 1981 with the hit "Kids in America", which was number two in the UK Singles Chart.

Biography

Wilde was the first child of 1950s rock 'n' roller Marty Wilde (real name Reginald Smith) and Joyce Baker, formerly of the British singing and dancing group, The Vernons Girls.

She moved with her family to Hertfordshire at the age of nine, where she was educated at Presdales School, Ware, before completing a foundation course at St Albans College of Art & Design in 1980.

Wilde was signed to Mickie Most's RAK Records in 1980 and released her debut single, "Kids in America", in January 1981. It was an instant success, reaching number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and ending up in the Top 5 all over Europe. In the U.S., the single peaked at no. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and in their year-end Hot 100 chart for 1982, it ranked at no. 85.

The debut album Kim Wilde followed later that year, and spawned a further two hits, "Chequered Love" and "Water On Glass". Wilde recorded a total of three albums for RAK Records before signing to MCA Records in the summer of 1984. Most of the songs, including all her major hits, were written by her father, Marty and brother, Ricki Wilde.

Six subsequent albums for MCA Records have included international hits such as "Another Step (Closer To You)" (recorded with Junior), "You Came", "Never Trust A Stranger", "Four Letter Word", "If I Can't Have You" (a cover of the Yvonne Elliman (Bee Gees written) song from the movie Saturday Night Fever) and a remake of the Supremes classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On" — which gave Wilde her first U.S. #1 single in 1987 — all of which have contributed to total worldwide album and single sales in excess of 7 million and 12 million respectively. Her highest charting singles to date in the UK are "Kids in America" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On", both of which reached number 2; and her most successful album in the UK and worldwide is 1988's "Close" which spawned 3 huge Top 10 singles and spent almost eight months on the UK album chart.

This same period corresponded with Wilde's development as a songwriter, having written or co-written the majority of the songs on the MCA albums, including many of the above hit singles.

Wilde received the Best Female Vocalist Award from the British Phonographic Industry (now known as the Brits) in the United Kingdom in 1983, and has subsequently received two further nominations in this category. Also, she has received numerous silver, gold and platinum records from all over the world.

Wilde has undertaken five solo tours and has performed as opening act for Michael Jackson in 1988, and for David Bowie in 1990.

Adding a new dimension to this highly successful career, Wilde appeared in London's West End production of the musical, Tommy, from February 1996 to February 1997.

During the 1980s, Wilde was romatically linked with saxophonist Gary Barnacle, keyboardist Calvin Hayes of Johnny Hates Jazz, and later her band's keyboard player Jeff Hammer, previously of Teardrop Explodes and Stray Cats. In 1993 Wilde was also seeing TV presenter Chris Evans. On September 1, 1996, Kim got married to her co-star in Tommy, Hal Fowler, and wanted to have children as soon as possible. On January 3, 1998 she gave birth to Harry Tristan. Two years later, on January 13, 2000, Rose Elisabeth was born.

During her first pregnancy an old interest in gardening resurfaced, and she attended the famous Capel Manor college to learn about horticulture, so as to create a garden for her children. She was spotted by talent scouts of the UK television station, Channel 4, who asked her to act as a designer for their programme "Better Gardens". A year later she started a two year commitment with the BBC, recording two seasons of "Garden Invaders". In 2005 she won a Gold award for her courtyard garden at the Royal Horticultural Society's, Chelsea Flower Show.

Her first book about gardening was published in 2005, entitled "Gardening With Children". The second book followed in April 2006, entitled "The First-time Gardener". Translations of the first book were released at the same time in Spain, France, Denmark and The Netherlands.

On January 13, 2001 she performed live for the first time in years, as a guest star in a show by ABBA tribute band, Fabba, for a local charity. This sparked her interest in performing live again. Since November 2001, she has toured the UK three times in the "Here & Now Tour", an Eighties revival concert series, together with recording artists such as Paul Young, Human League, Belinda Carlisle and Howard Jones.

New music also followed: in 2001 she recorded a new track, "Loved", for a compilation album which became a surprise hit in Belgium, and in 2003 she had pan-European success with "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime", a duet with another 1980s pop star German singer, Nena.

Wilde has signed a new record deal with EMI and has released the first single from her 10th studio album in many countries across Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. "You Came 2006" has charted well in most of these countries, becomming her biggest solo hit in Germany since 1988. The second single from the album, which was voted for by fans on her official webiste were "Perfect Girl", released in November 2006, and spending 9 weeks in the German single Top 100. The album "Never Say Never" includes eight brand new tracks plus five completely re-worked previous hits of hers and has charted well in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany (where her profile has remained high since the duet with Nena). There are no plans at the moment to release the album in her home country.

The studio albums

Kim Wilde (1981)

Kim Wilde's debut album was released when she was 20 years old, and turned her into Europe´s most popular female popstar within a few months time. Most of the music on this album was played by the symphonic rock band The Enid, and the songs were all written by Marty Wilde and Ricky Wilde. Production duties were fulfilled by Ricky Wilde. Musically, the album was mainly rock-oriented, which wasn't surprising because of the appearance of The Enid, but it also featured a reggae track ("Everything We Know") and a brass section appeared on "2 6 5 8 0". Lyrically, Marty Wilde provided a few surprises: besides the obligatory love songs there was also a song about a rare minority of people who continually hear sound in their head ("Water On Glass"), the deterioration of inner cities ("Our Town") and a song about a theory that sound is alive ("Tuning In Tuning On"). The singles "Kids In America" and "Chequered Love" were big hits all over Europe, the former would later become a classic pop song.

The album entered the British album charts at no. 10, moving into the top three the next week. During promotion, Kim's band consisted of Ricky Wilde, James Stevenson and later boyfriend Calvin Hayes, who also appeared on the sleeve of the album. Kim later commented that, at that time in the industry, it was passe for a female to attempt to launch a serious career in pop music on her own, and that the backing band had been shown on the sleeve to give credibility to the album. Still she was attacked for trying to copy the allure of then famous U.S. band "Blondie".

Select (1982)

The first single from this album, Cambodia, was released in December 1981 and signalled a different sound from the Wilde camp. The Enid was out, synths and electronic music was in. Again, the songs were written by Marty and Ricky Wilde, production by Ricky Wilde. This was a cause for concern for the "serious" music press at the time: was Kim just a puppet being manipulated by her family? In reality, Kim simply profited from the craftsmanship of her father and brother. The lyrics of the songs were as imaginative as they were on the first album: the second single View From A Bridge and the album track "Wendy Sadd" seemed to be about suicide, "Chaos At The Airport" described a nightmare about flying and "Ego" was quite the opposite of a lovesong. Musically, the 1980's had really begun: lots of synthesizers and drum computers seemed to dominate the soundscape. One old-fashioned rocksong appeared near the end of the album: "Can You Come Over" was recorded at the Wilde's home. The striking cover image was a photograph from Gered Mankowitz.

This long-awaited sequel to the debut album Kim Wilde stormed the charts in a host of mostly European countries, although it did not surpass the success of its predecessor.

Catch as Catch Can (1983)

Having toured the UK and Europe in November and December 1982, there was a silence of six months. Kim Wilde returned with the single Love Blonde, a jazz/swing inspired track that lyrically mocked the blonde bombshell image that some media had dealt Kim in the previous years. The album 'Catch As Catch Can' didn't contain any track similar to this single, it rather continued the electronic music theme that was introduced on 'Select'. Most of the songs were again written by Marty and Ricky Wilde, except the second single Dancing In The Dark which was written by Nicky Chinn and Paul Gurvitz. Ricky Wilde produced the album. Some of the songs seemed to be telling a story ("House Of Salome" , "Sing It Out For Love") whereas "Dream Sequence" was one of Marty's more imaginative lyrics, describing what seems to be a random sequence of images. The cool blue cover image was provided by photographer Sheila Rock.

The album suffered from mixed reviews in the press and the lack of successful singles. Even a second European tour couldn't help the decline in sales, although with hindsight it is easy to recognise how well the album has aged. Quirky electronic noises and beautifully layered soundscapes make this one of the more appealing albums in Kim's repertoire.

Teases & Dares (1984)

Kim Wilde left RAK Records, who released her first three albums, and signed to MCA Records. This was her first album for them. Ricky and Marty Wilde produced this album together, wrote most of the songs. However, it also featured for the first time two songs written and composed by Kim: "Fit In" and "Shangri-la". One obvious thing leapt out: both songs were remarkable for their personal lyrics. "Fit In" was inspired by Kim's neighbours banging on the ceiling when she was playing a 12" single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, "Shangri-la" seemed to describe a longing for a place without a care. At first, the singles taken from this album seemed to continue the trend of receding sales figures, as both The Second Time and The Touch were relatively unsuccessful. Still "The second time" reached the top ten in Germany and was welcomed as her big comeback single over there. By the end of 1984 Kim was voted for the third time since 1981 "Most popular female popstar" by Germany´s biggest teen magazine "Bravo", putting Madonna on hold in the lesser regions of that poll. The third single, Rage To Love (remixed by Dave Edmunds), was Kim's first in three years to break the singles top 20. By then, Kim had started her third live tour to sold out halls all over Europe.

Kim's image was changed from a girl wearing second hand clothes and self-dyed hair to a Barbarella-inspired sci-fi goddess (by XL Design) for The Second Time, which confused some fans who still regarded her as the girl next-door. The album sleeve was cited as one of the reasons for misleading record buyers resulting in weak sales and Kim quickly switched back to an image she felt more comfortable in for the next two single releases: For Rage To Love promotion she wore one of her father's Teddy Boy jackets, in keeping with the rockabilly retro theme of the song. Kim taking control of her own image seemed to be a wise choice, as the success of the next album would prove.

Another Step (1986)

Boasting 12 tracks (13 on the CD and cassette) and a varied team of songwriters, Another Step was an artistic but not necessarily a commercial triumph for Kim. She'd co-written more than half of the tracks herself. The first half of the tracks ('Side A' in the days of vinyl) was uptempo, whereas the other half ('Side B') contained ballads. Most of the tracks were produced by Ricky Wilde, but there were also production duties fulfilled by Reinhold Heil, Richard James Burgess, Rod Temperton, Dick Rudolph and Bruce Swedien. The album's first track was a cover of the Supremes hit You Keep Me Hangin' On. Released as a single in the United States, it became number one in the summer of 1987. The track reached No. 1 in Canada and Australia, and was almost equally successful in the UK, where it peaked at no. 2. The next single was Another Step (Closer To You), a duet with British soul singer Junior Giscombe. This UK top 10 hit single was the first one Kim had co-written herself. The third and final uptempo single off the album was Say You Really Want Me, causing a minor controversy when the video was banned from children's programming because it showed Kim writhing on a bed having fun with a pearl necklace. Despite the raunchy image and publicity which accompanied the specially-remixed song, it didn't set the charts alight and the album saw no further single releases. All of the tracks on Another Step were a departure from the synth sound of the previous albums. There was more guitars on most of the tracks: "The Thrill Of It" and "I've Got So Much Love" had a dinstinctive 'rock' feel. The ballads were touching and well produced, the most noteworthy being Kim's self-penned and produced "Don't Say Nothing's Changed" which closed the album. The sound of Kim Wilde had obviously matured. A re-package of this album was released a few months after the initial launch, with a new sleeve design and the addition of bonus tracks, but this failed to reignite interest and has since become a collectors item for fans.

Kim cemented her reputation as a singles artist with this album, as again overall sales were disappointing despite the huge success of the songs released from it. Kim Wilde mentioned a few times that it was probably her mistake not to put more effort into cracking the U.S. market by not touring America after she had scored her first number one hit.

Close (1988)

Produced by Ricky Wilde and Tony Swain, Close was the final album on which Marty Wilde had co-writer credits, and the first where Kim had many, co-writing eight out of the ten tracks included. The sixth Wilde outing is widely perceived by fans and critics (and Kim herself) as Kim's most well-balanced album. Every track has its own feel, and many genres of pop are represented; dance, ballad, rock and midtempo. Indeed any one of the tracks contained could have been a commercially viable single release.

It comes as no surprise upon listening that no less than five singles were taken from this album. Hey Mister Heartache, the debut, featured again backing vocals from Junior Giscombe, You Came, a tribute to Kim's nephew Marty, Ricky's first child, was the biggest hit of the five singles and combined touching lyrics with a very catchy pop melody, and it remains one of Kim's strongest compositions. "You Came" just missed the U.S. Top 40 peaking at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Never Trust A Stranger was a throwback to early Kim Wilde songs, a largely guitar-driven, melodramatic affair. Four Letter Word, the last song to be written by Marty and Ricky Wilde for Kim, was a moving, demulcent, ballad lamenting lost love, and Love In The Natural Way was a poppy ballad. Album tracks included "Stone", a dynamic song accusing the world leaders of doing nothing about environmental problems that the world was facing, "Lucky Guy", a cover of the song by Todd Rundgren, and "European Soul", a song about the painter Marc Chagall. Released in the summer of 1988, it stalled at first in the UK charts, but became a slow burner and ended up the first album since her debut to reach the top 10, staying in the chart for 38 weeks. Attention for the album was further helped by Kim's live opening shows with Michael Jackson across Europe. Reaching the top ten in almost all Scandianvian countries, Austria and Germany the album went on to sell more than 2 Million copies.

Love Moves (1990)

Love Moves contained six tracks written by Ricky and Kim Wilde and four tracks written by Kim Wilde and Tony Swain. Production was done by Ricky Wilde.

Promotion of the first Wilde album of the new decade began with the release of the single "It´s Here" in the spring of 1990, a lighweight-upbeat melodic track with summer sounding Spanish guitars where Kim describes her search for a place of her own in a competitive world. Obviously this album was an attempt to follow on from the success of Close, but unfortunately it didn't. There were no clear indications why not: the lyrics were as heartfelt as any lyric written by Kim, and the music was melodic as ever, particularly the singles released (which were as strong as any of the singles from the previous album). Some critics lamented the MOR feel of the album and the use of similar production sounds used throughout. Perhaps this was the point, as unlike the varied styles of sounds of Close, Love Moves seemed to nudge towards concept album territory in the fact the tracks were musically succinct and cohesive. As usual, every effort had been made to create an impressive album. It included guests like Jaki Graham who contributed backing vocals and Deon Estus playing bass guitar. "World In Perfect Harmony" and "Who's To Blame" showed two faces of a similar problem: hope for a better world and despair at how mankind is treating the environment respectively. "In Hollywood" is about a world of glamour where love seems to lose out in between famous people. Kim wasn't especially "Wilde" on this album, except for the track "Can't get enough (of your love)" where the guitar rips one more time. This was the first Wilde project to yield no top 40 releases in the UK (Time, the second release is the lowest charting single in her discography). Nevertheless, astonishingly, five singles in total were released across Europe, with only Can't Get Enough making any impact, notching up a long run on the French singles chart. Kim stated in many interviews in recent years, that the album marks a rather depressing time in her life, but remains a personal favourite of hers.

Love Is (1992)

Kim Wilde found herself working with Rick Nowels on this album, the same songwriter who had written for Belinda Carlisle amongst others. Three of the eleven tracks were produced by him while the remaining eight were produced by Ricky Wilde. The majority of the tracks on this album were co-written by Kim. She'd taken a long hard look at herself, resulting in the song "Who Do You Think You Are?", in which she reflects on how she had behaved through the years in her career. There were more love songs than ever before on this album, titles such as "Touched by your magic" and "Heart Over Mind" are an indication of the themes of the lyrics. Nowels provided "Love Is Holy", a song that immediately struck a chord with Kim when she heard it in his studio in America, and became the first single release, giving Kim her first UK top 20 hit in nearly four years, and although the following two singles fell short of equalling it's success, the project as a whole was well-received by critics, who noted the Carlisle connection in some tracks. The rest of the album, however, was more consistent with the Wilde sound: guitar riffs over synths. Overall, the sound is more introspective and organic than the commercial pop of Love Moves, and especially haunting of all was the closing track, "Too Late", in which the loss of love is described in mournful tones.

Now & Forever (1995)

With the previous three albums somewhat more alike one another than the first five, Kim decided it was time for another change, and she chose to make an album with a decided soul/R&B feel to it. Ricky Wilde still produced the album, but joined forces with CJ Mackintosh for four of them and the Serious Rope team for seven others. Opening with "Breakin' Away", an obvious dance track, and including R&B tracks like "C'mon Love Me", "You're All I Wanna Do" and "Where Do You Go From Here", the album was a departure from the familiar Wilde sound and didn't please the fans and audience like other albums had. It was the first album not to break the albums chart in the UK, whilst Radio One refused to add the lead single Breakin Away to its airplay lists. The album was a daring move for Kim, who wanted to make something to please herself first and foremost. Her interest in music by artists such as Chaka Khan and Pebbles influenced this album heavily. Lyrically, the songs were either very happy ("Sweet Inspiration", "Heaven", "High on you") or bordering on depression ("Now & Forever" (...Time will never mend this broken heart), "Hold On" (...In the day I can smile though I want to die). Two singles were released in the UK, the second being 'This I Swear', a dubious choice given the array of more radio-friendly songs on the album. The flipside, Heaven, was remixed twice (once mix by Matt Darey) and helped sales along, but despite this song's strong performance in the club chart, the top 40 once again became at odds with Kim, as This I Swear stalled at No. 46 in early '96. It was Kim's last album before she started working in the musical Tommy when her pop career started to wind down. During the 12 month run on the play, Kim remixed and released a version of the disco track Shame, which had been recorded in the Now and Forever sessions, but not included on the album. Disastrously, the record shops failed to stock the single on the publicised release date in the UK. Kim, who was ill at the time, could not promote the song and it subsequently became the only single she released not to chart in the top 75, despite a prediction by the ITV Chart Show programme of a No.25 entry in that week's chart.

Never Say Never (2006)

After a comparatively long period of negotiations, Kim Wilde finally signed a new record deal with the German division of EMI records in late 2005. In July 2006, it was confirmed that a new album, entitled 'Never Say Never', would be released in Germany on 8th September 2006. A single, a re-working of Kim's 1988 hit 'You Came' preceded the album and was released in Germany on 18th August 2006 where it reached no. 20 - her biggest hit there since 1988 (Never trust a stranger). In Austria it reached no. 24, in Belgium no. 33, Finland no. 24, Sweden no. 25, Italy no. 36, Netherlands no. 26, Poland no. 25 and Switzerland no. 19. Kim had announced that the sound of the album would be strongly reminiscent of her earlier work. It is a 14 track album, with eight new songs and six new versions of some earlier hits. The track listing contained a reworking of her biggest hits 'You keep me hangin' on', this time as a duet with Nena, and 'Kids in America', as a duet with Charlotte Hatherley. Cambodia appears as a bonus track in a remix by Paul Oakenfold. The album was a succes and reached the top 20 in several European contries. The second single from the album was 'Perfect Girl', released in November 2006 and voted for by her fans through a poll on Kim's official website. 'Perfect girl' was only commercially released in Germany where it spent 9 weeks in the top 100 reaching no. 52. Fans are now hoping for a third single. Discussions amongst fans suggest the outstanding dancetrack 'Forgive me', which with the right set of remixes, would boost Kim in the clubs around Europe.

The album was since released in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, South Africa and Japan.

I February Kim starts her 'Perfect girl' Tour in France Paris.

Feb 20 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ La Cigale, Paris, France Sold out.

Feb 21 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

Feb 22 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Sold out.

Feb 24 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

Feb 25 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mar 4 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Georg-Elser-Halle, Munich, Germany

Mar 5 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Live Music Hall, Koeln, Germany

Mar 6 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany

Mar 7 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ KulturBrauerei, Berlin, Germany

Mar 9 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ BZ Sport Gala, Stadthalle Braunschweig, Germany

Mar 11 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ den Atelier, Luxembourg

Mar 23 2007 // Kim Wilde Live @ Steel Arena, Kosice, Slovakia

Discography

Notes: US top data: for singles from The Billboard Hot 100, for albums from The Billboard 200; UK top data for singles and albums from UK Singles Chart.

Main albums

YearAlbum NameLabelUS TopUK TopGerWW sales mil.
1981Kim WildeRAK Records86311.3
1982SelectRAK Records 1941.1
1983Catch As Catch CanRAK Records 9023 
1984Teases & DaresMCA Records846622 
1986Another StepMCA Records4073421.2
1988CloseMCA Records1148102.0
1990Love MovesMCA Records 3724 
1992Love IsMCA Records 21 
1995Now & Forever / Breaking AwayMCA Records 11468 
2006Never Say NeverEMI Records  17

Compilations

YearAlbum NameLabelUS TopUK TopGerWW sales mil.
1984The Very Best of Kim WildeEMI Records 7861 
1993The Singles Collection 1981-1993MCA Records 11211.4
1996The Best OfEMI Records   
1996The Gold Collection - Greatest HitsEMI Records   
2001The Very Best of Kim WildeEMI Records  different track listing to 1984 release
2001The CollectionEMI Records   
2006The Hits CollectionEMI Records  including rare RAK b-sides

Singles

YearSingle NameLabelUSUKGERWW
(mill.)
1981Kids in AmericaRAK Records25252
1981Chequered LoveRAK Records-42 
1981Water On GlassRAK Records53
Mainstream Rock
11- 
1981CambodiaRAK Records-122 
1982View From A BridgeRAK Records-166 
1982Child Come AwayRAK Records-4336 
1983Love BlondeRAK Records-2326 
1983Dancing In The DarkRAK Records 6726 
1984The Second Time (US title: "Go For It")MCA Records65299 
1984The TouchMCA Records-5629 
1985Rage To LoveMCA Records-1945 
1986SchoolgirlMCA Records--38 
1986You Keep Me Hangin' OnMCA Records128 
1987Another StepMCA Records-6 
1987Say You Really Want MeMCA Records4429 
1987Rockin' around the Christmas Tree (with Mel Smith)10 Records-3- 
1988Hey Mr. HeartacheMCA Records-3113 
1988You cameMCA Records4135 
1988Never Trust a StrangerMCA Records-711 
1988Four Letter WordMCA Records-627 
1989Love In The Natural WayMCA Records-32- 
1990It's HereMCA Records-4221 
1990TimeMCA Records-71- 
1990Can't Get EnoughMCA Records--58 
1990World in Perfect HarmonyMCA Records--- 
1990I Can't Say GoodbyeMCA Records-51- 
1992Love is holyMCA Records-1642 
1992Heart Over MindMCA Records-34- 
1992Who Do You Think You Are?MCA Records-4958 
1992Million Miles Away (Germany, France)MCA Records--- 
1993If I Can't Have YouMCA Records12
Hot Dance
12- 
1993In My LifeMCA Records-5478 
1994Kids In America 1994MCA Records--- 
1995Breakin' AwayMCA Records-4379 
1996This I SwearMCA Records-4691 
1996ShameMCA Records-86- 
2001Loved-#7 (Belgium)EMI Records--- 
2002Born To Be WildEdel Records--84 
2003Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (with Nena)Warner--3 
2006You Came 2006EMI--20 
2006Perfect GirlEMI--52 

Impact

Kim Wilde is one of the UK's best-selling solo female pop singers of all time, and holds the record for being the most-charted British solo female act of the 1980's. She was even more successful in France where she was known as the "Brigitte Bardot of Rock". Cambodia sold over a million copies there and four of her early singles reached number one. Germany and Switzerland were also big fans, and she sold very well in Australia right up until If I Can't Have You which peaked at #3 on the ARIA Charts and went platinum in 1994, and the compilation album, The Singles Collection 1981-1993 reached the Top 10 in Australia. The Americans took an interest in 1987, making You Keep me Hangin' On became a number one hit. Indeed most of her achievements were made in the 1980's and some of her songs from this period became international standards. Her second career as a gardener has been equally successful, having received many accolades within only five years as a serious gardener, including a Gold at the 2005 Chelsea Flower Show. She also held an entry in the Guinness Book of records for successfully moving and replanting the world's largest tree with fellow horticulturist Dave Fountain. Unfortunately the tree was blown away by a storm in january 2007.

Other facts

Kim completed a whole album in 1998 which never saw the light of day. Very little is known about the project other than it was rumoured to be a return her rock-pop musical beginnings and was shelved after difficulties over ownership rights between the Wilde camp and one of the album's collaborators. Rumour has it that recordings from this album cannot be released without the permission of this person and therefore may never be heard by the public. Kim mentioned the un-named project was 'close to completion' in a light-hearted interview with columnist Nina Myskow earlier in '98 and that it would be released at a later date, preferably after she had lost some weight (after having had her first child that January). A year later she was asked on a live online chat with fans if the album would be released soon, but the response was vague. No mention of it was heard again until Kim recalled it during an interview for Record Collector in 2005.

She is also mentioned as a contact on Brian's phone on the UK TV Series Teachers.

She appeared on The Day Today condemning the clamping of homeless people asleep on the streets.

Kim's most little known, commercially released song is a track called 'Turn it On' Recorded in 1984, which can only be found on the soundtrack to the film "Weird Science". It was not releases as a single and has not been transferred onto CD as yet.

Kim Wilde has been featured for a number of years on adverts for the highstreet health food shop Holland & Barrett.

Collaborations

  • Wilde provided backing vocals for Johnny Hates Jazz on their 1987 hit "Turn Back the Clock" and on two songs of their second album Tall Stories (1991).
  • In 1987 she recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", a bit of seasonal trumpery, together with comedian Mel Smith for Comic Relief.
  • She appeared in various songs that were recorded for charity: "Something Better" for the Anti-Heroin Project (1986), "Let It Be" by Ferry Aid (1987) and "Spirit of the Forest" for the project of the same name (1989).
  • She duetted with the French living legend Johnny Halliday and with famous composer and singer Michel Berger, both on French TV.
  • In 2002 she contributed vocals to the song "You and me" by German band Readymade.
  • Her duet with Nena, "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime" was a major hit in various European countries, hitting the No.1 spot in the Netherlands and Austria, and No.3 in Germany respectively in 2003.
  • In 2005 a white label remix of the classic song You Came was made by Groovenut, to be released as "Love You More" by Groovenut vs. Kim Wilde. However, this track never made it to a commercial release. In 2006 Groovenut were approached to remix the new release of "You Came", the resulting track was included on the single as "You Came (Groovenut Remix)".

Kim Wilde as an inspiration for other artists

  • In 1985, French singer Laurent Voulzy released successfully the song "Les nuits sans Kim Wilde" ("Nights without Kim Wilde") in France. He apparently wrote the song after seeing Wilde on television and finding himself totally fascinated by her image. Wilde heard the recording, and finally agreed to sing a few lines on the song herself.
  • Ash guitarist, Charlotte Hatherley, wrote a song about her, entitled "Kim Wilde", in 2004 and included it on her debut album Grey will Fade.
  • Sandra Caldarone, a Belgium singer named herself Sandra Kim, after Kim Wilde. Sandra Kim won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 with "J'aime la Vie".
  • East German Punkrock band Feeling B made a song called 'Kim Wilde', which can be found on their debut album. The band features Paul Landers (guitar) & Christan 'Flake' Lorenz, who are now both part of the German Industrial Metal band Rammstein.

Kim Wilde covering other artists

Kim has recorded seven cover versions, four of them being released as singles (see discography)

  • "Putty in Your Hands" (1984) - previously sung by The Shirelles and later The Yardbirds.
  • "You Keep me Hangin' On" (1986) - previously sung by The Supremes.
  • "Lucky Guy" (1988) - previously sung by Todd Rundgren.
  • "If I Can't Have You" (1993) - previously sung by Yvonne Elliman.
  • "Shame" (1996) - previously sung by Evelyn 'Champagne' King.
  • "Because The Night" (1998) - previously sung by Patti Smith and later 10,000 Maniacs.
  • "Born to be Wild" (2002) - previously sung by Steppenwolf.

Kim Wilde covered by other artists

Main article: List of cover versions of Kim Wilde songs

Many artists around the world have done cover versions of Kim Wilde songs, ranging from pop and rock to dance and death metal versions. The most famous bands to cover Kim Wilde songs are Atomic Kitten, Bloodhound Gang, James Last and Lasgo - to name but a few.

Books

Gardening with children

Kim Wilde's first book was written in 2004 and released on April 4, 2005 by Collins publishers. The book contains many projects for getting - and keeping - kids interested in the outdoors. Along with guidelines for safety in the garden are there are ideas for maintaining a child's attention span throughout the gardening process, which can be slow. Illustrated step-by-step projects range from creative ways to plant, such as rainbow and sensory gardens, to making scarecrows, wormeries and tile mosaics.

The First-time Gardener

Written in 2005 and released on April 3, 2006 by Collins publishers. The First-Time Gardener is Kim Wilde's beginner's guide to gardening. The book tells all about the basics of gardening. The book assumes no prior knowledge and takes the reader through the basics of planning a garden, choosing plants and turning your ideas into reality - including how to make the most of climbers, containers, and hanging baskets. Not all gardens should be created from scratch, as per the TV makeovers. In fact, if you can wait a while to see what happens in your new garden, then you may find you've inherited some weird and wonderful plants. Kim explains how to make the most of your garden - any garden, even if your basic knowledge is limited or non-existent.

Gardens

Kim Wilde has designed and created numerous gardens during her involvement in the Better Gardens and Garden Invaders TV programmes and commissioned by individuals and organizations. She has also created gardens for Flower Shows across the UK, a few of them are described here.

All about Alice (2001)

Kim Wilde and David Fountain designed and created 'All about Alice' for the 2001 Tatton Flower Show, 18 to 22 July 2001. The garden represented the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The garden was built on two levels, with a large gnarled oak tree as its centrepiece displaying a carving of Cheshire Cat. The lower level of the garden contained a grotto, with tapered walls to give the impression of the room becoming smaller, like the rabbit hole down which Alice tumbled to her adventures. A maze of tall, clipped hornbeam enclosed contorted mirrors to add to the sense of distortion. Throughout the garden, scale was increased or decreased and the planting was wild and unkempt, in keeping with Alice's confusion during her strange experiences. The upper level of the garden represented four stories taken from Alice's adventures. The Mad Hatter's tea party amongst wild woodland planting was littered with crockery and a top hat carved from tree trunks. The Queen's croquet lawn was set in a wild flower meadow. The figures of the Queen, King and a pawn stood on a chessboard of grass and water, which was surrounded by playing cards from the four suits, created from clipped box trees. This garden was awarded the 'Best Show Garden' award.

The Cumbrian Fellside Garden (2005)

Kim Wilde and Richard Lucas designed and created 'The Cumbrian Fellside Garden' for the 2005 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. This romantic Cumbrian Garden was inspired by the gently sloping landscapes of the Lake District. A constant trickle of water is guided gently through the garden by a rill, providing a simple and relaxing feature. The rear of the garden is still mostly wild, with nature being held back in its attempt to reclaim its former territory. Wild flowers grow in the long grass and in crevices within the dry stone walls. The front of the garden is romantically planted with Aquilegia, Geranium, Linaria and Astrantia. Natural Cumbrian slates are put to use, both as flagstones and to retain the wildflower bank while a narrow pathway leads out of the garden over a stile and on to the fell side. The garden won a Gold medal and 'Best in show' in the Courtyard Gardens category, as well as the BBC RHS People's Award for small gardens.

  • The Cumbrian Fellside Garden - Interactive digital version of the garden