June 1981: Kim Wilde Releases 'Kim Wilde'

Album artwork
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Album artwork

Kim Wilde was born with music in her blood. Having grown up under the guiding eye of British rock singer-songwriter Marty Wilde, Kim and her brother Ricky became dead set on swinging their own musical aspirations into full-time careers.

As it turns out, the Wilde children were not just born with the inspiration to pursue music, but also the drive to jumpstart their careers firsthand. When Marty realized he had double booked himself and could not make it to the studio, he offered up the studio time to Ricky instead - and a determined Kim followed him through the doors. 

“I asked Ricky to ask if it was okay if I went and did some backing vocals on these tracks that Ricky had done,” she recounted to Louder Sound. “I was trying to row myself in as a backing singer really, which is where my head was at the time. I had a lot of experience with my father in studios and live and I knew how to work with harmonies; it came as second nature to me. So I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to get myself in as a session singer, and then I’m going to get on the circuit’.”

The young Kim arrived, donning "black red striped pants and an old dinner jacket of [her] dad's," "looking as natty as [she] could," or as foresight would have it, looking like Kim Wilde. She caught the attention of Mickie Most of RAK Records, who offered to team her up with producers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman (the production duo behind Suzi Quatro's "Stumblin' In") but Ricky deflected the offer to craft some tunes that would showcase his own multidimensional abilities. 

Ricky would craft the album's biggest single "Kids in America" from his bedroom, toying with his new Wasp keyboard to create the perfect propelling intro. 

 “I remember that happening, because his bedroom was next to mine ... I was really annoyed by all the noises coming out of his room. It had a sort of pulsing beat which ended up being the intro to 'Kids In America.' That was particularly annoying coming through into my room while I was trying to listen to Joni Mitchell,” Kim laughed. 

While most of the album rocked to the beat of new wave, including the spunky "Water on Glass" and the insistent "Falling Out," the album - cowritten by Ricky and Marty - also featured the reggae tune "Everything We Know" and the brass-pop track "2-6-5-8-0." Prog-rock band The Enid would provide backing support.

Her debut single from the album, "Kids in America" would launch to No. 2, selling up to 60,000 singles in one day alone. Kim Wilde would debut on the UK Albums Chart at No. 10, quickly climbing  to Top 3 the next week, heralding the start of Wilde's pop career. 


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(Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
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