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Music The Sound

Kylie: Revisited #7: 'Light Years'

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Can you believe Light Years was ten years ago? After the relative failure of 1998's Impossible Princess, Kylie Minogue parts ways with trendy dance label Deconstruction and signs to a big old major, assembles a cast of collaborators who've crafted hits for the likes of Robbie Williams, Cher and the Spice Girls, and transforms herself into the greatest disco diva this side of 1978. Translation: she's back. Back. BACK!

Release date: September 25, 2000

Songwriting/production cast: Guy Chambers & Steve Powers (four tracks), Richard Stannard & Julian Gallagher (three tracks), Johnny Douglas (three tracks), Mark Taylor & Graham Stack (one track), Mike Spencer (one track), Steve Anderson (one track), Mark Picchiotti (one track).

Chart performance: Backed by that bum in those hotpants in that video, album trailer 'Spinning Around' became Kylie's first UK No.1 in a decade. Follow-ups 'On A Night Like This' and 'Kids' - hiya Robbie! - both peaked at number two, and final single 'Please Stay' crept into the top ten too, ushering Light Years towards platinum status in the UK.

The sound: If you'll allow us to coin a new word, camptastic! Light Years is a shiny, sparkly early noughties disco record complete with a Village People pastiche ('Your Disco Needs You'), a Donna Summer homage ('Light Years') and even a Barry White cover ('Under The Influence Of Love'). Along the way there's plenty of catchy dance-pop ('Spinning Around', 'On A Night Like This', 'Butterfly'), a couple of groovy '60s tunes ('Koocachoo', 'I'm So High') and just the one ballad, but it's a lovely one ('Bittersweet Goodbye').

Standout track: Hmm... how shall we put it? Baby baby baby, you know we like it like this...

Hidden gem: The title track's a shimmering electro-disco delight, and if 'Your Disco Needs You' doesn't put a smile on your face you need a new shrink, but they're both pipped by 'Butterfly', the album's most bangin' track and the very definition of a Shoulda Been Single.

Lyrical nugget: This sexy 'n' decadent little couplet from 'Loveboat' always makes us smirk: “Have an Havana / Pass me a peach / Rub on some lotion / The places I can't reach.” Needless to say, we'll take the booze, the fruit and the chance of a cheeky feel.

Fascinating fact: Ever noticed the 'Abdul, P.' songwriting credit on 'Spinning Around'? That's because the song was originally intended for the former AmIdol judge's comeback-album-that-never-was... how different things could have been!

Our verdict: It's not the album to pop on if you're feeling introspective, or indeed if you're hosting a climate change discussion group attended by Al Gore, the Environment Secretary and sundry Nobel Prize winners, but as far as fruity little party records go, Light Years is an absolute peach. Honestly, there's not a dud on it.

Star rating:

Next week: La la la la la la la la... it's the Brit Award-winning, eight million-selling, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'-spawning Fever!

Selections and commentary by Robert Copsey and Nick Levine

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