From I Should Be So Lucky to Padam Padam, here’s all 15 Kylie lead singles ranked
I tell everyone I ever meet that Can’t Get You Out of My Head was choreographed in a hotel room
Not many pop icons have a discography as hefty or as high quality as Australia’s finest export Kylie Minogue. With her 16th studio album Tension looming on the horizon to release in September, and with her latest lead single Padam Padam making tidal waves on gay Twitter thanks to its memeability – is there a better time to look back on over all the bops we’ve loved before and decide definitively what the greatest Kylie lead single is? No, there’s no better time. Here are all of Kylie Minogue’s lead singles, ranked from worst to best.
Tension is her 16th album, meaning Padam Padam is her 16th lead single. Only 15 will be ranked here, because one of the lead singles was taken from Kylie Christmas and it was an Only You cover featuring James Cordon. Such a handicap would be unfair when getting Kylie lead singles ranked, so I’ve ignored it. You’re welcome.
15. Into the Blue
I have no clue why people pretend this is good, but many do. Don’t do it folks, don’t listen to them. It sounds like it was produced in a scratchy tin can, the chorus is horrible. Critics when it was released compared it favourably to All the Lovers – a travesty. At best, it’s the shit on All the Lovers’ shoe.
14. I Should Be So Lucky
I do think it’s a great story that Stock Aitken Waterman wrote this in 40 minutes whilst Kylie sat waiting in the foyer because they’d forgot she was coming. They thought nothing of it and it ended up being a global number one hit. Funny old world isn’t it! One for your annoying auntie, this one – but serviceable 80s pop of SAW’s bog standard ilk. Best thing I’ll say about it is it doesn’t SOUND like it was written in 40 minutes, or that Kylie cut her vocals in under an hour. So job well done, guys, I guess.
A nice idea rather than a fully fledged great song, Dancing is built around the clever double meaning of “When I go out, I wanna go out dancing”. A positive morbid statement that hits, but it’s just a shame the rest of the song is built around mediocre country-pop hybrid that just feels empty to me.
12. 2 Hearts
This one’s quite loathed amongst fans I believe, and whilst I get it I still also think it’s a bit unjust. It’s a bad lead single choice and a poor album opener – sounds nothing like the rest of X and don’t really know what anyone was thinking going with this over a little song called Wow. But that aside, I think 2 Hearts is more or less solid. It’s got a good strut to it, decent chorus. It’s no enemy of mine.
11. Hand On Your Heart
A moment for the gorgeous, radiant cover photo if you please! Another big 80s lead, bigger and badder than I Should Be So Lucky in every way. Nice to see Stock Aitken Waterman giving it a bash for longer than 40 minutes here, full of euphoria and joy and all that good stuff.
10. Word Is Out
UNDERRATED. SLEPT ON. ROBBED BLIND.
9. Some Kind of Bliss
Kylie Minogue’s dalliance with britpop led to this being one of her most misunderstood lead singles of all the bunch ranked here, but thankfully through time and healing the world has come to its senses. Some Kind of Bliss sounds nothing like any of her other tunes, but that’s what makes it special – and why Impossible Princess is such a great album. It’s been outwowed by the tracks above it in this ranking, but I adore this song and its unique sound. Princess of pop, queen of indie music.
8. Say Something
Picture the scene: Lockdown 2020, I’m in an office job I hate working from home trying to pretend I know what I’m even an account manager of, sat in my rented houseshare in the living room. Kylie’s releasing Say Something in the height of summer and I’m ignoring my job and seated for the first radio debut. Halcyon days.
I still love Say Something as much as I did that day. Biff Stannard’s production effortlessly cool, Kylie glides over it. A magical listen, the best song on DISCO.
7. Padam Padam
Deserves every crumb of its minor viral fame. Padam Padam is new, it’s fresh, it’s weird – but unmistakably Kylie Minogue. It padam padams its way into your blood stream and leaves no toe untapped. It’s got a replay factor that’s hard to nail unless you’re a seasoned pro. Ina Wroldsen’s pen rarely misses, and with its onomatopoeia title the double p anthem quickly solidified itself in the padam padaming hearts of fans. It’s exactly the kind of cool tune you could only hope a singer on their 16th album could produce. A rammer of the highest order.
6. All the Lovers
From here on out, every song is 10/10. I’m splitting hairs between perfect pop, and up next is All the Lovers. Kylie’s relationship with her gay fans has always been a special one, and All the Lovers succeeds on every level as an anthem for them that never feels like pandering, never feels too sickly. She is so good at this. Stuart Price on production is the perfect icing on the cake.
5. Better the Devil You Know
Of all Kylie Minogue’s lead singles ranked here, it’s Better the Devil You Know that’s screaming out about how much it was destined to be a lead. It’s pop of the highest order, euphoria the brews, bubbles and overflows. How can you listen to this and not feel like you can do everything, be anything. And at the end of the day, what it the point of pop music if not to feel like that?
4. Can’t Get You Out of My Head
Despite one of my closest mates shrugging this off as ‘music to go mad to’, Kylie’s la la la masterpiece is her only major brush with stateside success and it deserved every bit of it. Such a seminal song of both the 00s and my own personal childhood, it’s weird to think a song so famously and correctly Kylie was originally offered to Sophie Ellis-Bextor and S Club 7. It’s so perfectly detached, so menacingly femmebot. If it’s music to go mad to, lock me up baby.
Truly the sexiest song ever made. I love the fact that it’s the least selling tune to ever got to number one in the UK. Should have been number one for 1000 years because it’s only sounded more sultry, more atmospheric and more interesting as the years have passed.
2. Spinning Around
A pop rebirth of sorts, a huge tune that signalled a new era for Kylie’s career and redefined her legacy for the future. Spinning Around is disco escapism of the highest order, and has become somewhat her signature song. There’s something really irresistible about its groove – she takes you right on that ride with her. I haven’t met anyone in my life who wouldn’t be utterly thrilled if this came on on a night out, and I intend to keep my life like that.
1. Confide in Me
Erm… wow. I mean what can you say? Of all Kylie Minogue’s lead singles ranked here, Confide in Me is just that elevated cut above. It’s the kind of song that defines a decade – a pop single that feels left field but completely still in the Kylie wheelhouse. I can’t think of a better fuck you to the Stock Aitken Waterman era than Confide in Me, a menacing and futuristic throbber that still sounds like the future to this day as the SAW tracks feel like a cheesy time capsule of yesteryear. It’s the kind of tune only a superstar could make, one that I bet Madonna punched walls she never recorded, and one that sets a mood like no other. 10/10.
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