Every Kylie Minogue album, definitively ranked from worst to best
Just in time for her to release her 16th!
Kylie Minogue is a national treasure – which is quite the feat considering she’s famously not British. In the UK, we have always wisely taken Australia’s finest export into our hearts and atop the charts in a devoted way Americans never managed to. Why? We simply have taste. When we aren’t stanning white men with guitars above all else, of course. With similar career trajectories, it’s interesting that Madonna has aged alongside a resentment from the general public, yet Kylie has only solidified her beloved status. With her 16th studio album Tension looming and Padam Padam showing no signs of slowing down its vice grip on Twitter, I ranked all of the other albums by Kylie THEE Minogue from worst to best.
Not included is Kylie Christmas, because I think we can all accept it’s difficult to compare a Christmas album to a regular studio album. But as far as holiday records go, it’s pretty good!
14. Enjoy Yourself
Wearing a hat that you wouldn’t even chuck 50p at from a charity shop and with a tired tracklist full of mechanical songs Stock Aitken Waterman have slathered shite all over, Kylie’s second album is an absolute skip. I can only assume the title is tongue in cheek, because they knew full well this one would be impossible to have a good time with. That being said Hand On Your Heart slaps – I’m not a total monster.
With an album cover that makes poor Kylie look like she’s mutating via the cordyceps virus from The Last of Us, the rest of the record doesn’t do much better. Not one album track is worth anybody’s time, but the first three single punch of Kylie’s debut is sugary 80s pop magic if that’s your vibe. Turn It Into Love is a banger, but deserves to rot at the bottom end of Kylie Minogue albums ranked for having the logistical difficulty of also containing a track called Love At First Sight.
Truly have no clue who this snoozefest was made for beyond Radio 2 listeners. Maybe it was just made for them. If there’s one thing I never want music to be described as, it’s “easy listening”. Golden is a vapid, empty easy listening ‘country’ album that dips its toe lightly in genres but never once does anything memorable. Not much to be offended by, even less to be enthusiastic about. Lead single Dancing does its job, and Raining Glitter is a fun bop that should have had proper single release as the follow up to Dancing, but everything else is more beige than gold.
11. Kiss Me Once
A certain demographic of gay men who like filling their ears with vacuous EDM din akin to the sort found here are going to have me hung, drawn and quartered for slagging this mess off – but a mess it is. This is filled with ugly, UGLY songs – ironically none more so than Beautiful featuring Enrique Iglesias. A phoned in, boring, soulless record of pop that you’d find blaring through a speaker in River Island. I Was Gonna Cancel, ignore me, I do not mean you – a gorgeous diamond in the rough. And boy is it rough.
10. Let’s Get To It
A confused record, and for sure a flop – one of her least commercially successful ever. Kylie hates it, and it was her last record with Pete Waterman and his cronies who also hate it. However, I feel strangely defensive of it over the ones lower in the Kylie Minogue albums ranking, mostly because Waterman said” The public saw [Minogue] dressed as a prostitute, and they wouldn’t accept it,” about why this record flopped. It’s got a limbo feel to it – an evolution from the younger era into a more mature sound she’ll do on her next.
9. Rhythm of Love
By a country mile the greatest record from the Kylie x Stock Aitken Waterman era, an album of jubilant early 1990 pop that keeps the euphoria of the late 80s bouncing through its mom jeans. Is there a more ear-to-ear grin track in the world than Better The Devil You Know? From there, we Step Back in Time and get Shocked by the power – it’s all golden. What Do I Have To Do is dance floor perfection. A great time to be had here.
8. Kylie Minogue
Firstly, some (lo)commotion for the album cover – a revelation. All you need really, a superstar, a black and white filter and a blunt, self-titled typeface. Kylie Minogue signals a new era for Kylie Minogue, one free of the evil evil Pete Waterman and co and one that houses the best song ever made: Confide In Me. Minogue has never been more Madonna, releasing a song better than the latter’s Frozen four years before Madge would manage to. An impossibly chic, effortlessly cool record that changed her fortune and the trajectory of her future forever. Wow.
2020’s DISCO is cold, hard proof that The Minogue still has great music up her sleeve after Kiss Me Once and Golden hit my ears like a wet slap of shit. It’s a bit Steps gays, this one – kind of like if your mum liked the sound of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia and wanted to have a go at it herself – but its hard to deny it’s a consistently fun record that’s always immaculately produced. What’s even nicer about DISCO is how much Kylie sounds to be having a blast, and that’s what pop music is all about.
It doesn’t get better than the effortlessly cool lead single Say Something, which saw Kylie work with the god that is Biff Stannard again – but Real Groove comes close to matching it, especially when she roped Dua Lipa in for the remix further down the line. Shoutout to the maximalist Supernova too, which pops off on the treadmill.
6. Body Language
Not to lower the tone, but if I had to put a Kylie Minogue album on when getting railed, I’d pick Body Language. If this was Kylie Minogue albums ranked by how good they are to get your back blown out to, catch Body Language at number one. Sexy as hell, Slow is one of the coolest songs she’s ever done or ever will do, Chocolate is beyond underrated, Red Blooded Woman is ferocious, Secret (Take You Home) did it first Black Eyed Peas!
Stuart Price, the executive producer of Aphrodite and in my opinion in the conversation for greatest producer of all time, is here – how could this record ever fail? It couldn’t and it doesn’t. From the opening majesty of All The Lovers and to every track that follows, Aphrodite feels like a self-love masterpiece of euphoria that makes every little gay boy pressing play feel untouchable.
The Scissor Sisters-esque Better Than Today is almost too delicious in its melody. If you haven’t pushed someone over on the street in a moment of madness thanks to the siren call of Get Outta My Way, you haven’t lived. The most immaculate way to kick off the top five ranked Kylie Minogue albums.
I feel like every artist has their jumble sale album – a record where cohesiveness isn’t at the forefront, but there’s so much individual wonder to the tracks. I’d say this about records like Circus by Britney Spears, or the recent The Loneliest Time by Carly Rae Jepsen. X is one with much pop magic to be found, even if it doesn’t always go together. How 2 Hearts is on here and why it was chosen for lead single over the likes of Wow is beyond me, but X is home to banger singles and boppy album tracks. Speakerphone is arguably the greatest Kylie deep cut of all time. Quote me.
3. Light Years
From the high camp to the sleek and chic, Light Years is an odyssey that feels like flying into the sun. Spinning Around is one of her best singles ever – a signature song impossible to not dance to. The rest of the singles are of equal wonder, with On A Night Like This being a gay club favourite and Your Disco Needs You being one of the most ridiculously fascinating, irresistibly gay songs in her very gay discography. Hidden track Password is a blast, the title track still sounds like the future and I even am fond of Kids, featuring Robbie Williams. Straight culture at its finest, but they made points when they put it in GTA V.
2. Impossible Princess
The definition of misunderstood and ahead of its time, Impossible Princess is a bizarre masterpiece. Kylie got dragged at the time for switching up her sound and image – but retrospectively Impossible Princess has found its audience and its acclaim. Kylie does so much interesting stuff across its tracks – from the cinematic opening of Too Far, you just know your in for something so special. I love the indie vibes of Cowboy Style, Some Kind of Bliss and Did It Again – they just hit my ear perfectly. My favourite Impossible Princess song is Breathe, a Ray Of Light-lite wonder that feels like you’ve just submerged yourself into an ice bath.
Would also like to say I truly think this is the best album cover of all time. No notes. Perfection. Get it me on a t-shirt, put it in a gallery.
Sitting proudly atop ranked Kylie Minogue albums, Fever is simply one of the greatest pop albums ever. Fresh, weird, funky, sweaty, dirty, unbeatably danceable. It houses four of her greatest singles, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Love At First Sight, In Your Eyes and Come Into My World all shine out of Fever like diamonds. The album tracks like More More More and the title track maintain the groove, the sophistication, the main pop girl energy. It’s just a wondrous record, and her magnum opus. By the time you get to Burning Up, she’s made a superfan of you. Impossible to resist.
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• The 50 greatest Kylie Minogue singles of all time, ranked
• All 39 Katy Perry singles, ranked meticulously from worst to best
Featured image credit via @kylieminogue on Instagram.