Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kim Wilde - Catch As Catch Can

Today (October 24th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Catch as Catch Can, the third studio album from Kim Wilde. The record charted at number 97 in Australia, number 90 in the UK, number 35 in the Netherlands, number 23 in Germany, number 17 in Sweden, and number 6 in France and Switzerland.

Side one opens with the up-tempo, synth and electronic drum heavy "House of Salome". As the album's third single from early 1984, this exotic tale of seduction charted only in Belgium at number 25. Gary Barnacle lays down the saxophone on this one.

"Back Street Joe" features a stomp-clap kind of beat that is very infectious. Before you know it, you find your head bouncing and feet tapping along.

Things slow down with the emotionally starved ballad "Stay Awhile". It allows then twenty-three year old Wilde to show a more mature aspect to her vocals.

The first single was "Love Blonde". It reached number 35 in France, number 32 in Australia, number 29 in Ireland, number 26 in Germany, number 23 in the UK, number 11 in Switzerland, number 10 in the Netherlands, and number 7 in Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. I like its slinky, sexy jazz vibe; I picture Wilde skulking through shadow-filled alleyways late at night as she slips away from a romantic tryst.

"Dream Sequence", the longest track on the record at over six minutes, has a very sweeping, dramatic and slightly cosmic opening. When Wilde’s vocals come in, they are distant as if calling from across a swirling void. It all pulls together for an interesting mood.

Side two begins with "Dancing in the Dark". This second single went to number 67 in the UK, number 26 in Germany, number 11 in Belgium, number 9 in Switzerland and number 3 in Denmark. The dance remix for it was done by super-producer extraordinaire Nile Rodgers. In 1985, Stacey Q recorded a version for her self-titled debut album which was only released on cassette.

"Shoot to Disable" features a slow and deadly rhythm as a woman wronged faces her departing boyfriend one last time.

"Can You Hear It" was the B-side to the first single.

The beating drums of "Sparks" mirror the heart as it experiences that raw chemistry with a new love.

"Sing It Out for Love", the closing track, was also the B-side to the third single.

The first word that comes to mind after listening to Catch As Catch Can for the first time for this review is “variety”. The ten songs here are a nice mix of sound and style, and that keeps the listener from getting bored with repetition. I was certainly entertained by it and would definitely add it to my to-get list.

For her self-titled 1981 debut Kim Wilde, click here.


JP.M said...

Hi Martin, thanks for this article !
I love this album, I wa 20 years in 83, and I love Kim since 1981, if you want, see more on my fan blog, soon.

mls said...

Although I had her previous two albums, I have absolutely no recollection of this one. Was it even released in the US?

Martin Maenza said...

Mark, from what I could find on the Internet, apparently it never did have a US vinyl release. That may explain why you don't recall it. On CDs, I only see imports listed on though they do have digital downloads for it too.