Kylie Minogue's Singles, Ranked

We reviewed the back catalogue of pop royalty to bring you all of Kylie Minogue's best songs, ranked; from "Spinning Around" to "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" and literally everything in between.

We reviewed the back catalogue of pop royalty to bring you all of Kylie Minogue's best songs, ranked; from "Spinning Around" to "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" and literally everything in between.

Great pop stars are worthy of study. Like the great painters of history, they have “periods”. But where painters have gallery retrospectives, musicians will still have to make do with the somewhat less revered internet listicle. Kylie Minogue is perhaps the Australian pop star most worthy of a serious retrospective, with a divergent career now straddling nearly five decades, and her 15th studio album, Disco, arriving later this year.

Minogue took the once-obligatory path to local stardom – a role on Neighbours – and fell into the role of the manufactured singer, under the wing of songwriting trio Stock Aitken Waterman. Her first four records were pushed out by the songwriting factory, and were saccharine bubblegum pop that Minogue later compared to line reading on a soap opera. Her desire to forge a role as a pop auteur broke her away from the pack and produced 1994’s Kylie Minogue and Impossible Princess in 1997, dabbling in trip-hop, indie rock and Middle-Eastern scales.

Minogue’s new unbridled and personal music was appreciated beyond the usual bounds of the mainstream. But after their collaboration "Where The Wild Roses Grow", Nick Cave encouraged Minogue to drop any self-consciousness about what music she wished to make, reportedly telling her he preferred to hear her sing pop music. The new millennium calcified Kylie’s claim to pop royalty and knighted her a gay icon. Poor stylistic decisions became triumphs of camp, and made her an icon embedded into the fabric of pop music itself. 

What remains impressive about Kylie Minogue’s music into the 21st century is a tireless work ethic; she’s about as prolific as a bedroom producer, while maintaining the sheen of blockbuster production. MTV Australia takes stock of the singer’s knotted career through 69 Kylie songs, ranked from worst (her Christmas album features prominently on this front) to best.

69. "Only You" featuring James Corden

Taken from 2015’s ‘Kylie’s Christmas’

I’m not sure how this cover of Yazoo’s "Only You" with TV host James Corden has anything to do with Christmas. Putting a xylophone and a meek jingle bell over a tune, a Christmas song does not make. Corden should stick to song parodies.

68. "If You Were With Me Now"

Taken from 1991’s ‘Let’s Get To It’

This duet with American R&B singer Keith Washington is cataclysmically lame; a woeful ballad that set back the impression that Kylie had her finger on the musical pulse of the ‘90s. The harmonies are drab, the rhythm feels dead and so do you after listening to the full three minutes. 

67. "Golden"

Taken from 2018’s ‘Golden’

Kylie doesn’t sound like she’s entirely committed to her foray into country pop on the title track for Golden. A yodel at the front of the track meaninglessly interpolates Ennio Morricone’s theme to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, and the rest of the song is a hodgepodge of rock and pop texture building incongruously into a Kylie dance chorus. 

66. "Every Day is Like Christmas" featuring Chris Martin

Taken from 2015’s ‘Kylie’s Christmas’

Kylie’s Christmas is a seasonal nightmare. Perhaps if it was made in her Stock Aitken Waterman days, it could have been an amusing bubblegum diversion. In 2015, it was a syrupy, late-career nothing burger. This pairing with Coldplay’s Chris Martin is even blander than you’d imagine.

65. "Stop Me Falling"

Taken from 2018’s ‘Golden’

This Golden Kylie Minogue cowboy-ism sounds like "Cotton-Eye Joe". That’s it.

64. "Put Your Hand Up If You Feel Love"

Taken from 2010’s ‘Aphrodite’

A drawn-out and crummy crowd pump-up that you would normally attribute to a fake-tanned DJ that doesn’t understand the objection to playing a show in Ibiza during the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch Kylie Minogue's video for "Love At First Sight" below...

63. "100 Degrees" featuring Danii Minogue

Taken from 2015’s ‘Kylie’s Christmas’

This is a fun sibling attempt at a camp-disco Christmas tune, although the fact that this was effectively channelled immediately into a promotional campaign for Target Australia renders it a meta-ode to consumerism.

62. "Lifetime to Repair"

Taken from 2018’s ‘Golden’

Both the banjo and the vapid Americana-imitation lyrics on this song feel truly pointless, particularly since it is structurally glued to a bombastic pop chorus.

61. "Crystallize"

2014 standalone single

A star-studded songwriting team up of Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Scissor Sisters’ Babydaddy somehow produced this: an archetypal middling Kylie Minogue mid-tempo. It’s so devoid of personality that I’d like to cast on the record doubt about Hynes and Babydaddy’s involvement.

60. "Music’s Too Sad Without You" featuring Jack Savoretti

Taken from 2018’s ‘Golden’

One of the stronger tracks on the failed Golden experiment, leaning toward a folksier sound. The lyrics aren’t remarkable, but it’s always striking to hear Kylie sing with pathos.

59. "At Christmas"

Taken from 2015’s ‘Kylie’s Christmas’

The vocals on this song appear to have been pitched up by half, inexplicably. It’s one of the more tolerable tracks from Kylie’s Christmas at least, carrying a modicum of self awareness.

58. "Wonderful Christmastime" featuring MIKA

Taken from 2015’s ‘Kylie’s Christmas’

This take on Paul McCartney’s Christmas classic isn’t terrible, though its oozy synths and breathy harmonies with MIKA certainly are bizarre. Not top 10 material, obviously, but worth a curiosity listen.

57. "Especially For You (duet with Jason Donovan)"

Taken from 1989’s ‘Enjoy Yourself’

The last major musical nod to Kylie Minogue's Neighbours past is this sleepy duet with fellow TV star Jason Donavan. The release was pegged around their on screen marriage between characters Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson, and was reportedly further suggested by the supermarket Woolworths who said they would order 250,000 copies of the record if it was made. This might tell you everything you need to know about the song, despite its success.

56. "Dancing"

Taken from 2018’s ‘Golden’

How much you enjoy Golden hinges almost entirely on where you stand in relation to the genre of “folktronica”. I stand far away from it. "Dancing" less predates "Old Town Road" than it does recycle Avicii. High marks however for the giddy-morbid double entendre of “When I go out, I wanna go out dancing”.

55. "All I See"

Taken from 2007’s ‘X’

A plodding, half-vocoder-ed dirge about going to the club that sounds so unenthusiastic it almost reads as sarcastic. It grates like the other tired riffs on the typical subjects of seduction, desire and dancing on X, with an agonising lack of tempo.

Watch the video for "On A Night Like This" below...

54. "On a Night Like This"

Taken from 2000’s ‘Light Years’

A forgettable drive through Europop, carried by Kylie-charisma and not much else. It’s closest musical relative is Haddaway’s "What Is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)".

53. "In My Arms"

Taken from 2007’s ‘X’

If only this song continued the contemporary robo-talk-delivery of its opening lines. An unmemorable and emotionally detached repeat of seduction-tunes past.

52. "Timebomb"

Taken from 2012’s ‘K25 Time Capsule’

The growling synth to this standalone single released to coincide with a quarter century of Kylie’s career would make for a good Bloody Beetroots instrumental. It makes slightly less sense for latter day Kylie.

51. "Into The Blue"

Taken from 2014’s ‘Kiss Me Once’

The lead single from Kiss Me Once was more of a reaffirmation that Kylie Minogue could continue to peddle her trademarked brand of optimism-drenched electro pop nearly 30 years into her career. It was however too safe to make the mark that ‘All The Lovers’ did, and sounds far too much like her successor Katy Perry.

50. "Give Me Just a Little More Time"

Taken from 1991’s ‘Let’s Get To It’

The mirthful cover of the 1970 Motown classic would have fit snugly on Kylie’s first two records, but by 1991 its recording illustrated the growing period gulf in taste between Minogue and Stock Aitken Waterman. Fine, but decidedly inessential. 

49. "What Kind of Fool (Heard It All Before)"

Taken from 1992’s ‘Greatest Hits’

The last original Kylie Minogue song from her work with Stock Aitken Waterman is a cheesy send-off, although it features strikingly modern chopped vocals in the beat. Kylie herself dislikes the song, and has mostly shied away from playing it live – in many respects it represents the stagnation she inured under the songwriting machine of her early career.

48. "Finer Feelings"

Taken from 1991’s ‘Let’s Get To It’

Despite the early career *shock horror* explicit mention of sex and the creeping beat, this song is deceptively traditional – “But what is love/Without the finer feelings”. It has shades of the darkness that would appear on Kylie Minogue in 1994, without the conviction.

47. ‘Red Blooded Woman’

Taken from 2003’s ‘Body Language’

It’s not deliberate but the boom bap of this song almost sounds like 50 Cent’s "In da Club", released the same year. Enjoyable as an accidental artefact of camp, but the misfired and contrived contemporary R&B that haunts Body Language are on show.

46. "Celebration"

Taken from 1992’s ‘Greatest Hits’

Covering this iconic Kool & the Gang song must have seemed like a stroke of easy commercial genius in the record executive office – an unblemished capsule of sunny optimism that nobody could profess to dislike. It didn’t perform in the charts, and it’s likely because Minogue plays it a little too straight.

45. "New York City"

Taken from 2019’s ‘Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection’

It’s a hilarious thought that this was recorded as part of the country-pop sessions for Golden, because it exists in another Kylie genre dimension. "New York City" is a stuttering disco fare typical of Minogue, made worthy by the curious rap sequence.

44. "Chocolate"

Taken from 2003’s ‘Body Language’

If this song was just its bassline and the breathy vocals, it’d sit in the company of "Slow". Unfortunately, this thin G-Funk instrumental transposes tropes from male R&B stars of the time like Timbaland with unconvincing repackaging.

43. "Got to Be Certain"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

The lyrics of this tune are almost puritan in their ‘50s-style meditation on commitment, but the melody is somewhat less irritating than some of the jingles on Kylie’s first album. The song’s music video is worth revisiting for its surrealistic view of Hawke-era Melbourne high life – creative lighting manages to make the city’s grey skyline look like New York.

42. "Better Than Today"

Taken from 2010’s ‘Aphrodite’

Minogue imitates the Scissor Sisters’ acousto-bounce on this middling Aphrodite single. A bawdy analogue-sounding synth adds some necessary colour to a very Kylie Minogue celebration of dance itself.

41. "Come Into My World"

Taken from 2001’s ‘Fever’

By its release of "Come Into My World", critics were starting to grow frustrated with the apparent producerial similarity between Fever’s singles. It’s a fair, if ironic point considering Kylie faced criticism in the ‘90s for being too scattershot with her musical stylings. Best enjoyed as part of a Fever dance mix.

40. "Giving You Up"

Taken from 2004’s ‘Ultimate Kylie’

A by-the-numbers return to the dance-pound of Fever without the vocal filters, recorded to flesh out yet another Kylie greatest hits collection. She never returned to this song live, after her 2005 Show Girls tour was cut short by her breast cancer diagnosis.

39. "Get Outta My Way"

Taken from 2010’s ‘Aphrodite’

When in doubt, Kylie leans on the disco thump. This song gets out of the way of itself, taunting an ex-lover and running away into a knotty, overly-dense club beat. 

Watch the "I Should Be So Lucky" music video here...

38. "I Should Be So Lucky"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

It’s a frustrating experience revisiting some of Kylie Minogue’s early material and hearing the paper-thin bubblegum instrumentals served up by Stock Aitken Waterman. The narrative of this tune was awkwardly thrust upon her after songwriter Pete Waterman remarked to Mike Stock that Kylie “should be so lucky” to work with them. At least, Kylie’s vocal performance here quietly displays her range, despite the plodding 120BPM drum machine and bleary synth brass. Although it was a smash success, it’s rightfully not seen in a positive critical light decades later.

37. "Wouldn’t Change a Thing"

Taken from 1989’s ‘Enjoy Yourself’

This is a slick, quixotic ode to a love that embodies the fantasy of early bubblegum pop. It’s remained in Kylie’s live setlists as recently in 2018, fleshed out by a more brooding guitar-led arrangement. It’s more pleasant than great.

36. "Flower"

Taken from 2012’s ‘Abbey Road Sessions’

Musically, Kylie marched past her brush with mortality in 2007 without public introspection - her persona at the time wasn’t going to accommodate songwriting about death. Kylie managed to make it work on Abbey Road Sessions by recovering live favourite ‘Flower’ written during her cancer diagnosis about a hypothetical child. A generic instrumental is overcome by one of the few sets of lyrics devoid of artifice she has ever written.

35. "I Still Love You (Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi)"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

The age-old trick of exotifying any music? Inject a French turn of phrase. The song was explicitly marketed to teens, and its music video appears to wink to a rare degree of early self-awareness in its faux-Parisian setting – Minogue is the only spark of colour in the monochrome world, dressed like a Hollywood starlet. 

34. "Please Stay"

Taken from 2000’s ‘Light Years’

Adjacent to Light Years’ dips into Europop was this skim of Latin guitar, interlaced with a thumping dance beat. The flamenco claps are a bit on the nose, but it functions as a decent pop escapism.

33. "I Believe In You"

Taken from 2004’s ‘Ultimate Kylie’

Some of the joy of Kylie’s engagement with camp is that for most of her career, it was accidental. Her collaborators on "I Believe In You" – Jake Shears and Babydaddy of Scissor Sister – were the exaggerated opposite. It’s disappointing then how tame this track is, though the chorus’ liquid female falsetto is a hidden gem.

32. "Never Too Late"

Taken from 1989’s ‘Enjoy Yourself’

In a career as lengthy as Kylie’s, some songs have a surprising half life. Despite never achieving the omnipresence of some of her greatest hits, ‘Never Too Late’ was the favourite song of her late boyfriend, Michael Hutchence, and continues to turn up in odd pockets of popular culture – it’s supposedly the favourite of the fictional titular star of Doctor Who.

31. "Hand on Your Heart"

Taken from 1989’s ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Continuing Stock Aitken Waterman’s obsession with commitment and purity, the song is bolstered by an explosive Kylie vocal performance. There’s a real despondency hidden under the song’s mindlessly giddy instrumental however, expressed in the finger-picked rendition that appeared on its 2012 redux on The Abbey Road Sessions.

30. "Turn It Into Love"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

Devotees of Stock Aitken Waterman prize this song, and they’re right to do so; it’s an exemplar of mass-production pop songwriting, with a hook so undeniable you take it as a command. In retrospect, the track is too strong as a piece of workshop pop – Kylie really does sound like she’s reading lines.

29. "Breathe"

Taken from 1997’s ‘Impossible Princess’

Kylie’s self-conscious dabble in Big Beat electronica showed the limits of her sprawling Impossible Princess experiment. The synthetic tremolo soundtracks a surprising meditation on self-expression, though it’s a perplexing choice as a big budget single.

28. "Put Yourself In My Place"

Taken from 1994’s ‘Kylie Minogue’

A slinky, string-laden ballad that exists in the same trip-hop atmosphere as its album-mate "Confide In Me". The song debuted with an intergalactic music video inspired by cult 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella.

27. "Wow"

Taken from 2007’s ‘X’

The Nile Rogers’ bubblegum song that never was, "Wow" is a kitsch gem content to be catchy and nothing more. 

Watch Minogue's video for her single, "Locomotion", here...

26. "Locomotion"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

It’s hard to imagine now that "Locomotion" was the song which first made Kylie Minogue famous. More than that, it produced full-blown Minogue Mania in its rise to number one in Australia, number two in the UK and number three in the US. First written in 1962 by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Kylie doesn’t alter the ‘60s version's pure, sexless tone – instead, she leans into it as her first accidental act of camp.

The green-screened music video pegged it as an aerobics tune, almost as a commercial strategy in case the lead single flopped. Critics at the time derided it as already dated, and "Locomotion" has only become more so over time. 

25. "In Your Eyes"

Taken from 2001’s ‘Fever’

Instead of cowering in the shadow of Fever’s blockbuster first single, "In Your Eyes" chooses to copy it. Continuing the incessant futurist beat and ruminating further on desire, it’s an acceptable follow-up that might have been better off as simply a strong album cut.

24. "I Was Gonna Cancel"

Taken from 2014’s ‘Kiss Me Once’

A Pharrell Williams-produced song that is unsurprisingly the funkiest instrumental 2010s Kylie presided over, driven by staccato harpsichord.  Lyrically, it’s anthem of frustration with one memorably inscrutable couplet – “Everything is clearer than a mirror is to woman/Just the same as a dog is to man”. It seems like a missed opportunity for Kylie to have committed to a full nu-funk album, with nothing much left to lose at that juncture.

Watch the official video for Minogue's "2 Hearts" here... 

23. "2 Hearts"

Taken from 2007’s ‘X’

It’s a testament to Kylie’s understated prolificacy that a 2005 breast cancer diagnosis only left a two-year gap in performances and recorded material. Her comeback single of sorts was a Marc Bolan-esque piano glam boogie, given to her by electronic duo Kish Mauve. It’s a mature recording with acoustic instruments that seemed to spell out a “late career” comedown from the electronic-hype of the early noughties.

22. "What Do I Have To Do"

Taken from 1990’s ‘Rhythm of Love’

"What Do I Have To Do" piggy-backed off the incessant beats of ‘90s rave in a perfect bridge from the pejorative “Smiley Kylie” persona to her dancefloor-filling turn. It holds up as a pop distillation of the sounds of the era, and began to turn critical heads.

21. "It’s No Secret"

Taken from 1988’s ‘Kylie’

"It’s No Secret" has a quietly disruptive sentiment, hidden under the ringing piano and fluffed-up innocence. It’s the catharsis that comes with a cheating lie exposed – a personal bomb defused through a failed detonation, and agency regained. Ironically, the track is something of a secret; a fumbled promotional strategy following the unexpected success of "Especially For You" with Jason Donovan rendered it the most underlooked single from "Kylie".

20. "Word Is Out"

Taken from 1991’s ‘Let’s Get To It’

"Word Is Out" is an oddball cut, swiped from the new Jack swing sounds of New York clubs. The wacky piano chords and vocoder were a detour in Kylie’s dance journey, with its pithy lyrics broaching seduction as an acceptable theme in her music for the first time. It’s probably the only truly great song from Let’s Get To It.

19. "Tears on My Pillow"

Taken from 1989’s ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Even though it was incremental change, Kylie explored a few new aesthetic ideas away from bubblegum on her second album, Enjoy Yourself. One of those was French crooner pop, à la Brigitte Bardot. Mirroring the dual talents of her inspo, Kylie starred in the middling teen romance of The Delinquents, and contributed this cover of Sylvester Bradford and Al Lewis’s 1958 doo-wop classic to the soundtrack. Kylie didn’t quite nail the same subversive baroque tone of Bardot – how could you, without Serge Gainsbourg – but it’s sweetly sung.

18. "Shocked"

Taken from 1990’s ‘Rhythm of Love’

The instrumental is ripped right from a lesser New Order cut with a "Devil Inside"-aping guitar break to boot, but this song was Kylie’s most vocally experimental to date. Dabbling in half-talky asides, and enlisting the services of female rapper Jazzy P on a remixed edition, it continued to impress that Minogue was musically dexterous and adventurous.

17. "All The Lovers"

Taken from 2010’s ‘Aphrodite’

An attempt to reinject the melodrama of the Stock Aitken Waterman days back into Kylie’s music on 2010’s Aphrodite was the pop star’s most obvious “single” since "Slow". "All The Lovers" seems to take stock of the spectral love interests populating Kylie’s back catalogue, under a cheesy vintage synth. It works, but it’s not as convincing as it once was.

16. "Cowboy Style"

Taken from 1997’s ‘Impossible Princess’

One of the richest instrumentals on Impossible Princess, the song (unintentionally?) borrows guitar melodies from a roll call of ‘90s alt rock hits, including "My Iron Lung" and "Black Hole Sun". The fiddle also recalls the Middle Eastern scales in "Confide In Me", an aesthetic turn which Minogue unfortunately never revisited.

15. "The One"

Taken from 2007’s ‘X’

Confidence in the promotional campaign for X began to sap by the release of "The One", with the record company fumbling it from a tour single into an early digital release. It’s a shame because it’s X’s finest moment – a disco-mope that stands contemporaneous with any of Robyn’s finest moments.

14. "Where Is The Feeling"

Taken from 1994’s ‘Kylie Minogue’

This is one of Kylie’s least commercially-successful singles, but it was a quiet landmark in personal expression in the pop singer’s music. The beat borrows from house and jungle music, and in an alternate version, Kylie adds candid lyrics of her own – “Detached and vulnerable / The world on my shoulders...If only I could laugh in the face of irony/Safe in the knowledge of our eternal love”. 

13. "Say Something"

Taken from 2020’s ‘Disco’

Kylie has now reached the uncanny moment that occurs in any long, influential career – she sounds like she’s borrowing from herself. "Say Something" could easily be mistaken for a decent attempt to run with the trend of ‘80s-aping pop influenced by Minogue, like that of Jessie Ware. It’s a bright, bombastic and gloriously vague call for unity that serves as a decent chaser to a bleak year. If Disco is this good, it’ll be a triumphant capstone to the first thirty years of Kylie’s career.

12. "Better The Devil You Know"

Taken from 1990’s ‘Rhythm of Love’

In the concocted life of the pop star, some songs must be made to forward the narrative on the record. "Better The Devil You Know" was the track that showed Kylie Minogue’s new “mature” phase – coded language for the first overt display of sexuality in her persona. She’d left Neighbours and changed out dating the innocence of Jason Donavan for Michael Hutchence – the media didn’t need much further prodding to wheel in the 'good girl turned bad' tropes. 

The song itself feels relatively meek compared to the more drastic Kylie rebirths to come, but its stuttering synth and broad chorus hold up well as dance fodder.

Watch "Kids" one of Kylie's best, with Robbie Williams... 

11. "Step Back In Time"

Taken from 1990’s ‘Rhythm of Love’

Nostalgia for a different era in music is often corny, and at its worst reactionary. Kylie managed a rare example of the contrary in her earnest tribute to ‘70s disco on "Step Back In Time". A namedrop of the O’Jays and the Jackson Five reference feels earnt through the exceptional doo-wop delivery; the production driven by rich wah-guitar, and thumped bass.

Although it seems absurd now, Minogue’s move to dance music was met with skepticism at the time. The sexless bubblegum of her first two albums still weighed on her persona, but the pop star was undeterred.  Kylie had discovered her aptitude for nu-disco on this track, and although she would experiment with more alternative styles on her mid ‘90s work, it remains the cornerstone of her musical identity.

Top 10: 10. "Some Kind of Bliss"

Taken from 1997’s ‘Impossible Princess’

Buoyed by her Nick Cave-led brush with rock fame and the depths of an ever oscillating identity crisis, Kylie went AWOL on 1997’s Impossible Princess – a polarising tapestry of the last gasp of grunge, trip-hop, drum and bass, and all-out pop. The choice of singles led everyone to believe it was purely guitar-rock – a suggestion Kylie resented, but should have predicted.

"Some Kind of Bliss" was written by none other than Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore. The track is a legitimate entry in the annals of Britpop history, as Kylie sounds like a soft Courtney Love. Taken in isolation, the lyrics harken back to bubblegum Kylie, celebrating the naivety of a good mood. 

9. "Did It Again"

Taken from 1997’s ‘Impossible Princess’

Kylie is doing her best PJ Harvey impression on "Did It Again", matching the steel twangs of the guitars with the forced pops in her voice. It features a rare turn of biting sardonicism, pushing back at both her own neuroses and the media’s incipient interest in her private life. The pop rock of the verse also presaged the arrival of Avril Lavigne by five years.

8. "Kids" featuring Robbie Williams

Taken from 2000’s ‘Light Years’

A marvellously absurd slice of pop nonsense that features Kylie singing the actual lyric, “I've been dropping beats since Back in Black” and some surprisingly heavy guitar. It’s a shame the song has faded into supermarket playlist fodder (and the theme song for Junior Masterchef), because it stands proud as one of Kylie’s greatest work of camp.

Watch the music video for "Spinning Around" below...

7. "Spinning Around"

Taken from 2000’s ‘Light Years’

"Spinning Around" is Kylie’s glamorous epitaph for the 20th century. The musical detours of Impossible Princess just three years prior couldn’t be further from mind, as Kylie declares a disco rebirth. The music video which showed the pop star dancing in a club screamed for the new millenium, and debuted the near-mythic pair of gold hotpants – which now sit in a glass case at the Art’s Centre in Melbourne.

The nu-disco was more refined than Kylie’s previous entries into the genre, with its strings ringing with the fantasia-like fidelity of a Disney soundtrack. Although it historically pales in comparison to "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head" a year later, it was the true beginning of Kylie’s new era.

6. "Your Disco Needs You"

Taken from 2000’s ‘Light Years’

Parlophone head at the time Miles Leonard tried to can this song as a single, for fears it was “too camp and too gay”. That fact, trumpeted from the beginning of the absurd French Revolution-esque titular cry, is exactly what makes it so sublime. Writers Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers ratchet up the ridiculous, beats the legacy of Village People into a pulp with a level of campy artifice and nonsense rhyme few have matched to this day – “You're lost in conversation and useless at Scrabble/Happiness will never last/Darkness comes to kick your ass”.

5. "Love At First Sight"

Taken from 2001’s ‘Fever’

This bright counterpoint to "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head" on Fever has a circular quality, pinned around the endless sugar rush that is its chorus. Although the single appears to be an uncomplicated ode to spotting a club crush on the dancefloor, its first few lines lend itself to a more subversive reading as a druggy hallucination. Despite the chart-topping success of "Love At First Sight", it remains curiously underlooked in Kylie retrospectives. It rewards listens on loop, where strange feelings arise from its knotty and detailed proto-EDM production.

4. "Slow"

Taken from 2003’s ‘Body Language’

This minimalist sawtooth synth number is apparently Kylie Minogue’s favourite song of her whole career – a curious choice that should tell you a lot about the deceptively dissident pop star. Taking away the ceaseless disco thump of Fever does wonders for this tale of seduction. Kylie conducts the fluctuating pace of the beat, in a sultry battle of give and take with its anonymous subject.

3. "Confide In Me"

Taken from 1994’s ‘Kylie Minogue’

It’s the track that confirmed Kylie Minogue as cool, perfecting the knotted blend of sounds emerging out of mid ‘90s club culture. The Middle-Eastern trip-hop instrumental could have easily appeared on Björk’s Post, but Minogue’s vocal theatre elevates it to pop transcendence.

The lyrics externalise an internal power struggle in which, according to a biography written jointly with William Baker, has Kylie as “both puppet and puppet master". It’s the thematic template for modern Kylie, in that manipulation, obsession and seduction are often coded introspection.

Watch Nick Cave, The Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue's video for "Where The Wild Roses Grow" below...

2. "Where Do The Wild Roses Grow"

Taken from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ ‘Murder Ballads’ in 1994

Before the internet, music writers rarely got to deploy the now overused term “genre-defying”. Musicians, outside of the DIY realm, stuck to their musical lane because record companies didn’t know how to sell things otherwise. In that context, Kylie’s duet with Nick Cave was unlikely, if not unheard of. It was the peak of her mid ‘90s writhing against the pop machine, and remains one of pop music’s most subversive moments.

It may have helped that Kylie didn’t know much about Cave or the song beforehand. In interviews, the Prince of Darkness said the song was borne of a six-year obsession with the pop star, writing songs that didn’t fit until this one. It hinges on an interpolation on the murderous medieval legend of Elisa Day, a woman killed by a man obsessed. 

Kylie’s breathy performance lingers, yet never crescendos once. Despite already being an ubiquitous star, her gravitas on the song manages to create a retroactive mystique all over again.

The great music writer Dele Fadele once compared Cave’s album Murder Ballads to ‘90s gangster rap for its similar depiction of crass and motiveless acts of violence, and "Where Do The Wild Roses Grow" fits that bill. Kylie, although still in dialogue with Cave, is the song’s treacly hook; its counterpoint, to the sadism of Cave’s Killer. 

1. "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head"

Taken from 2001’s ‘Fever’

Cultural reset is a buzz term blown into oblivion, but it's difficult to describe "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ without it. Competing with the overly busy electronica and R&B of the early 2000s, it opted to undercut it all with simplicity.

Remarkably, the song wasn’t even written for Kylie. S Club 7 rejected the demo written by Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis for sounding too bare bones, but Kylie said yes after hearing just its first 20 seconds.

The pop star, steeped in the history and meaning of dance and disco, understood the instrumental’s accidental perfection. Kylie never attempts to outshine the hypnotic, spiralling and simple beat, leaning into its creeping mood with a single musical syllable. The titular phrase is a glorious double entendre, for its intended musical reaction and its obsessive topic. You can see it as a song of lust, insecurity or both. The subject is nameless and faceless - it is fixation itself.

Without "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head", Kylie probably wouldn’t have had a 21st century career. It washed away the (commercial) tarnish of Impossible Princess, and in a rare instance, felt flawless.

An early version of this article mistakenly referred to Keith Washington as Kerry Washington and incorrectly referenced the song, "If You Were With Me Now". This has since been corrected. 

All the Best Looks From The 2020 VMAs...