"All The Lovers" debuted at #14 in Australia this week, becoming the second lowest charting lead single of Kylie's career. In fact, only "Some Kind Of Bliss" performed worse (landing at #27 in 1997) and that was released at the absolute nadir of her popularity. It's a bit depressing but hardly unexpected. I reviewed the song a month ago and wrote the following:
As much as I adore the song, I do have some criticisms. Well, one big one. I really hope I'm wrong but I don't think "All The Lovers" is a particularly smart lead single from a commercial standpoint. Kylie needed to steal her sister's crown as the undisputed Queen of Clubs instead of returning with what is essentially an electronic Mother's Day anthem. Fans have likened the song to "I Believe In You" and "The One" but neither of those set the charts on fire outside of England.
Sometimes I hate being right. The Kylie faithful will tell you that "All The Lovers" is a grower and will get a boost with the release of the physical single (in stores Friday) but I doubt it. The song has fallen out of the top 20 on iTunes and has stalled on radio. Strangely, I'm not that bothered. If the album is half as good as the "Aphrodite" megamix suggests, then Dannii's much older sister will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking future singles and she can take heart from the song's top 5 debut in the UK and top 10 position in Germany. However - given that "All The Lovers" has received almost universal praise from fans and critics - what the fuck went wrong in this country?
Some militant Al Kylieda members have blamed the song leaking a couple of weeks in advance but I think that's ridiculous. More people legally downloaded "Your Love Is My Drug" last week and that's the third single from an album that's being doing the rounds online since January. Then there's the usual chant of "no promotion", which is slightly more valid. Australia hasn't really been a priority for Kylie since she exploded internationally in 2001 and the remote control approach to what is traditionally her second biggest market has been slowly backfiring ever since. However, Kylie did just as little promotion for "Slow" and "2 Hearts" and they both reached #1.
In my opinion, the problem lies with the dud remix package (Dada Life and XXXChange just don't cut it over here) and the fact that she went with another mid-tempo tune. Kylie really needed to come back with a dancefloor anthem that appealed to the half a million or so people that spent $20 on "Fever". As pretty and dreamy and perfect as it is, "All The Lovers" is too subtle and way too European for a market currently ruled by Katy Perry and Ke$ha.
Fortunately, every song on that "Aphrodite" megamix sounds more instant and radio friendly than the lead single. I honestly have such a good feeling about this album and think it has the potential to be absolutely massive. Kylie HQ just needs to be a bit smarter about single choices and make sure they are tailoring them for different markets. Particularly when it comes to the clubs. Get TV Rock or Hook N Sling to remix "Get Outta My Way" so it will actually be played in an Australian club outside of Oxford Street. Go with a different song if the UK's choice won't work over here. If an act as big as Pink can be bothered with Australia only singles, why can't Kylie?
Anyway, here are the living legend's 11 lead singles and their chart position from 1987 - 2010. A top 15 hit 23 years into a career is actually a pretty amazing achievement. I just think we all have so much affection for Kylie, we can't help but want more for her.
1987 Locomotion - #1
1994 Confide In Me - #1
1989 Hand On Your Hand - #4
1990 Better The Devil You Know - #4
1991 Word Is Out - #10
1997 Some Kind Of Bliss - #27
2000 Spinning Around - #1
2001 Can't Get You Out Of My Head - #1
2003 Slow - #1
2007 2 Hearts - #1
2010 All The Lovers - #14
On the bright side, at least Kylie's not as big a flop as Robyn, Kelly Rowland or Christina Aguilera! And she's the only person who can fall flat on her fanny and still look fabulous in the process. For video evidence watch this iconic moment below!