|"Confide in Me"|
|Single by Kylie Minogue|
|from the album Kylie Minogue|
|Released||29 August 1994|
|Studio||Sarm West Studios|
|Brothers in Rhythm|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
"Confide in Me" is a song recorded by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, taken from her fifth, self-titled studio album (1994). It was released as the album's lead single on 29 August 1994, by Deconstruction, Imago, and Mushroom Records. The track was written by Steve Anderson, Dave Seaman, and Owain Barton, whilst production was handled by British trio Brothers in Rhythm. It was recorded in London, United Kingdom at DMC and Sarm West Studios during 1994. Musically, it is a pop song that incorporates elements of indie music, trip hop, and Middle Eastern instrumentation such as strings and percussion, whilst the lyrical content talks about Minogue's earnest of seduction and manipulating people to confide into her.
Upon its release, "Confide in Me" received critical acclaim from music critics. Several critics selected the track as a standout from many of her records and compilation, whilst individual reviews commended Minogue's vocals, the production and influence of Middle Eastern elements. The track received nominations at some award ceremonies, along with being listed on critic's year-end lists. Commercially, the track experienced success in regions like Australia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, France, and New Zealand. It also became Minogue's only charting single in the US during the 1990s period, having peaked at 39 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.
An accompanying music video was directed by Paul Boyd in Los Angeles, California during July 1994; it featured six different videos of Minogue in a commercial to help the audience confide their numerous problems to each character. The song has been performed on several of Minogue's concerts, and most recently on her A Kylie Christmas concert series in 2016. "Confide in Me" has been noted by critics and publications as one of the most iconic and innovative singles from the 1990s era, and Minogue's singles history, and has been recognised by authors as an important period of Minogue's career and musical "re-inventions". Alongside this, it has been sampled and covered by musicians, and used in several media.
After Minogue's final single release, her cover version of the Kool and the Gang's track "Celebration" with the record label PWL, she left them and signed a contract to United Kingdom dance label Deconstruction Records in 1993. During the time of her final singles with PWl, she felt that her producers, the British trio Stock, Aitken, and Waterman were treating her "very much [like] a puppet in the beginning. I was blinkered by my record company. I was unable to look left or right". "Confide in Me" was written by Steve Anderson, Dave Seaman, and Owain Barton, whilst production was handled by British trio Brothers in Rhythm, whom the former two writers are members of.
According to British author Sean Smith, who wrote a biography detailing Minogue's career, Brothers in Rhythm had developed a demo version of the song in just under an hour, and Minogue has been travelling to her Chelsea, London home. Minogue was contacted by the members of Brothers in Rhythm to record the track, so she went to their homebase to record the track in one take. Seaman was surprised with the development process, stating to Smith; "It just all kind of flowed out and slotted into place, which is usually the case with the good stuff". Anderson was impressed with the demo that he decided to use it as the final recording; he commented "Obviously, there were embellishments to it and we spent a lot of time on the whole production, but it was still the original one that we were using". However, some additional vocals by Minogue were recorded at DMC and Sarm West Studios in London, United Kingdom, and was mixed in the same locations by Niall Flynn and Paul West.
Brothers in Rhythm were "well aware" of a crossover dynamic between pop and dance music at the time, nothing that Minogue's vocals and "willingness to experiment with music" made them able to "push the envelope" further. Brothers in Rhythm composed the track, and is a pop song that incorporates elements of indie music, dance-pop, and Middle Eastern instrumentation such as strings and percussion. The opening part of the track, which lasts 50 seconds, were from the original demo of the track, and features an orchestral arrangement from musician Will Malone and a piano section by Anderson, which was performed using a Bösendorfer. The opening section also features a violin solo by Gavyn Wright, where Anderson and Wright commented that the inclusion was merely an "improvisation" to further help the record's sound. During the song's opening and bridge section, a gated digeridoo is played by Anderson.
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According to Jason Lipshutz, writing for the American magazine Billboard, "'Confide In Me' continued Minogue on her path away from simplistic pop atop a swath of strings and Middle Eastern influences. The deadpanned bridge -- "Stick or twist, the choice is yours/Hit or miss, what's mine is yours"--is delivered in a murmur that yearns for a Serious Artiste label". Jude Rogers from The Guardian gave it a similar review, "before it pivots off the hook of an early-80s cult classic (the melody of Jane and Barton's It's a Fine Day, already revisited a few years earlier on Opus III's rave-era hit)". She also noted that the track samples from the 1974 Jimmy Smith jazz cover of Barry White's I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby." Similarly, Nick Levine from Digital Spy labelled it "Middle Eastern pop", with elements of "string-swathed dance-pop". Larry Flick labelled the sound as "atmosphere", and believed it was influenced by downtempo music.
Lyrically, the content talks about Minogue's earnest of seduction and manipulating people to confide into her. The message in the lyrics is that it is she who manipulates the situation between her and someone by saying "I can keep a secret/and throw away the key"; it also represents the respect as the "power remains hers". It later explains that, in the bridge part where she sings "Stick or twist/The choice is yours", she teasers her lover that they hold the key to power. According to William Baker, whom had written a biography with Minogue detailing her career and life, he says that the song "symbolizes internal power struggle that rages beneath her [Kylie's] surface" as he continues "she is both puppet and puppet master".
"Confide in Me" was released as the album's lead single on 29 August 1994, and was her first single to be distributed by Deconstruction; Imago Records, and Mushroom also released it as a CD single, cassette tape and 12" and 7" vinyl. Two CD sets were released in the UK and Australia; the first CD featured the extended mix of the single, plus two remixes of the track, whilst the second CD featured the extended mix and two B-sides titled "Nothing Can Stop Us", originally from Saint Etienne, and "If You Don't Love Me", originally from Prefab Sprout. The European CD single featured the extended mix and The Truth remix, whilst the US maxi CD included the radio edit, plus two remixes of the song and a remix of her song "Where Has the Love Gone?". Two vinyl sets were published in the UK and US, and the UK and Australia; the first featured the extended mix and two remixes, whilst the latter spawned three remixes of "Confide in Me" and two remixes of "Where Has the Love Gone?". Released in the UK, a special 7" jukebox vinyl included two remixes, whilst two cassettes were distributed in the US and Australia respectively. In 2003, to promote Minogue's success with her album's Fever (2001) and Body Language in Asia, a promotional disc with five remixes of the single was issued in Japan and Israel, whilst a limited edition 12" vinyl was released in the UK to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the release.
"Confide in Me" received critical acclaim from music critics. Sean Smith labelled the track a "classic" to Minogue's discography, as similar to how William Baker viewed it. Quentin Harrison from PopMatters highlighted the track from the parent album, and said "Minogue's international perspective lent her canvas precision, not iciness as witnessed with 'Confide in Me'. The cut played like a lost spy film accompaniment, its grandiose strings and rumbling groove enthralled. 'Confide in Me' let Minogue become the vocalist cynics sneered she'd never be ...". Nick Levine from Digital Spy selected the track as the standout, and commented "How can we plump for anything other than 'Confide In Me'? Fifteen years on, this sumptuous, string-swathed dance-pop epic still caresses the ears like a flirty hair stylist." British author and critic Adrian Denning enjoyed the track and called it "truly timeless and absolutely wonderful." He declared the track "Arguably still her finest musical moment to this date," and found the production and lyrical delivery "classy".Billboards Jason Lipshutz wrote of the track:
Deeply flirtatious and as knowingly dramatic as a James Bond theme song, "Confide In Me" continued Minogue on her path away from simplistic pop atop a swath of strings and Middle Eastern influences. The deadpanned bridge -- "Stick or twist, the choice is yours/Hit or miss, what's mine is yours" -- is delivered in a murmur that yearns for a Serious Artiste label.
Chris True at AllMusic described the song as "slicker, more stylish, and less hooky than anything she had previously recorded." He also highlighted the track as one of the album standouts. Similarly, Marc Andrews from DNA Magazine reviewed the remastered vinyl of the parent album and pointed it as the best track on the album. Mike Wass from Idolator said "the Australian diva switched labels and reemerged with a haunting Brothers In Rhythm-produced indie-pop anthem that still seethes and seduces 20 years later." However, a negative review from Hot Press editor Craig Fitzsimons; he criticised the "boring" production, saying "'Confide In Me' is exactly what you would expect; a boring, nothingy post-Stock Aiken Waterman piece of dance fluff enlivened only by Kylie's breathy exhortations to "Stick or twist/The choice is yours/Hit or miss/What's mine is yours."
Commercially, the track experienced success in regions like Australia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, France, Finland, and New Zealand. It debuted at number 31 on the Australian Singles Chart, but went straight to number one the following week, marking it one of the highest jumps for a single in Australian chart history. It became Minogue's first Australian number one single since her 1988 track "Got to Be Certain", and remained at number one for four weeks. It stayed inside the top 10 for nine weeks, and eventually spent a total of 25 weeks in the top 100. It debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart, having been stalled by Wet Wet Wet's Love is All Around (in its last of 15 weeks at number one), and lasted a total of 14 weeks inside the top 100 chart. It was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 200,000 units, and sold 183,000 units by March 2014. The single peaked at number one on the Finnish Singles Chart, but failed to enter the top ten in Ireland, peaking at number 12 during September 1994.
In New Zealand, "Confide in Me" debuted and peaked at number 12, which was her first charting single since 1990's "Step Back in Time". It lasted four non-consecutive weeks inside the top 20, and stayed in the chart for nine weeks overall. The song was success on the French Singles Chart, peaking at number ten during its 13th week, and lasted a total charting span of 18 weeks. In Switzerland, it reached number 20 in its third week and lasted 8 weeks inside the top 100 chart. It stayed inside the German Singles Chart for 7 weeks, peaking at number 50, one of Minogue's lowest charting singles in that region. Elsewhere, it reached the top 40 in regions like the Netherlands' Dutch Top 40 chart, Belgium's region of Flanders, and in Sweden. The song was released by Imago Records in North America, and managed to chart on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart at number 39, staying in there for six weeks; this remains Minogue's first and only charting single in the US during the 1990s period.
An accompanying music video was directed by Paul Boyd in Los Angeles, California during July 1994. According to William Baker, the video "presents Kylie as a kaleidoscope of female stereotypes that at first suggest her to be a plastic commodity. This notion is overturned by the lyrical content that reveals, contrarily, a multi-dimensional character who actually empowers". Minogue had shot the video just before working on the 1994 action-film Street Fighter, which she already had a tight schedule at the time due to promoting the singles release in the US, South East Asia, and in Australia. The video opens with a hand print, with the title underneath saying 'Touch the screen'; it hovers to the right, and six screens are divided into different "stereotypes" of Minogue; one with army-esque material, a rainbow background, drugs, blood splatter, an ecstasy pill with the words "Call me" on it, and the final with an egg.
During the entire video, several title screens appear that feature seductive phrases as similar to an advertisement commercial, including "Call me", "Call now", and a fake phone number for the audience to call; some title screens are written in different languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish. As the first verse starts, each individual Minogue clone sings the track in their respective areas. The video ends with all six figures walking off their sets, with the fake phone number at the bottom of the video.
Sean Smith noted that the each Kylie was "slightly sinister and contained no cute skipping and jumping". Editors from Out.com highlighted the video amongst some of her best work. In an extended analysis, Bence Illés from Pop-Cultured said "The music videos accompanying the album were also Kylie's most colourful and provocative videos to date. 'Confide in Me' presented Minogue singing in front of six different colourful paintings symbolising murder, war and peace, sexuality, and drug use (as a nod to the 90s clubbing culture). The video also featured the singer as a femme fatale, as well as a cute girl, reminiscent to her career beginnings." Lewis Corner from Digital Spy listed it as one of Minogue's most surprising transformations, and also on a similar list by Simon Duke at Chronicle Live. The video placed third in the vote for Best Video at the 1994 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party.
As part of both single and album promotion, Minogue performed "Confide in Me" on some TV shows such as Hey Hey It's Saturday in Australia and Top of the Pops in the United Kingdom. "Confide in Me" has been performed on several concert tours by Minogue. It was first performed on her 1998 Intimate and Live tour, where it appeared in the fifth section. It was also performed in her fifth segment of the On a Night Like This Tour, following a performance of "Butterfly". The song was included in the Streetstyle section of her KylieFever2002 tour, where Minogue portrayed a police officer who, throughout this section, mixes with the kids on the street. The song was included on the 2005 Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour. Minogue was unable to complete the tour as she was diagnosed with early breast cancer and had to cancel the Australian leg of the tour. After undergoing treatment and recovery, she resumed the concert tour in the form of Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour in 2006, and "Confide in Me" was again added to the set list.
Minogue included "Confide in Me" on the setlist of her 2009 For You, for Me tour, which was her first time touring in North America. As part of Aphrodite album promotion in 2010, Minogue performed a concert for BBC Radio 2 Acoustic Live Sessions, in which she sang an acoustic version of "Confide in Me", accompanied by a full orchestra band. The song was performed again on the 2011 Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour, where it opened the fifth section; Minogue wears a "Bacofoil ball gown" to perform the song. At the London stop of Hurts's Happiness Tour, on 4 November 2011, Minogue joined duo band to perform a duet of "Confide in Me". On the Kiss Me Once Tour in 2014, an a cappella portion of the song was performed on selected concerts, during the fan request moment. Minogue performed "Confide in Me" on A Kylie Christmas concert series in 2016, on act two, between "Come into My World" and "The One", performed as a duet with musician John Grant.
"Confide in Me" has been sampled and covered by several different musicians since its release. British rock band The Sisters of Mercy recorded a cover version of the song for their cover album The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (2002). Croatian rock band Analena covered the single, and their version appeared as a B-side to their single "Arhythmetics" in 2000. Similarly, a cover version by Australian artist Ben Lee appeared on his extended play The Dirty Little Secrets in 2002. In 2006, another cover was added to Angtoria's album God Has a Plan for Us All, whilst British singer Nerina Pallot recorded her version for her single "Sophia". British duo Hurts performed a live version of the song, whilst Australian bands The Cat Empire and Tame Impala recorded their versions as stand-alone recordings.
British rapper Example sampled the track for his own song "No Sleep for the Wicked", whilst Australian artist Missy Higgins recorded it for her fourth studio album Oz (2014). The single was performed on the Australia Broadway show Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 2007. "Confide in Me" has appeared on numerous greatest hits compilation albums conducted by Minogue, including the titular compilation album (2001) and Ultimate Kylie (2004). Some compilations, such as Ultimate Kylie and The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012) feature altered versions of the single, whilst the Phillip Damien Mix has appeared on her remix album Essential Mixes (2010). However, the compilation albums Confide in Me: The Irresistible Kylie (2007) and Confide in Me (2016 edition) are exactly the same album releases but distributed in two different years, meaning "Confide in Me" has been used in two same album releases. In 2018, a cover of the song was used throughout the marketing for the Foxtel miniseries, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
|"Confide in Me" (Master mix)||Hits+||Greatest Hits|||
|Confide in Me|||
|3 Originals||Box set|||
|Artist Collection||Greatest Hits|||
|"Confide in Me" (Radio mix)||Ultimate Kylie|||
|"Confide in Me" (Master mix)||Greatest Hits 87-99|||
|Confide in Me: The Irresistible Kylie|||
|Kylie Minogue / Impossible Princess||Box set|||
|"Confide in Me" (Phillip Damien Mix)||Essential Mixes||Remix album|||
|"Confide in Me" (Master mix)||K25 Time Capsule||Box set|||
|"Confide in Me" (Radio mix)||The Best of Kylie Minogue||Greatest hits|||
|"Confide in Me" (Master mix)||Confide in Me (2016 edition)|||
Since its release, "Confide in Me" has been noted by critics and publications as one of the most iconic and innovative singles from the 1990s era, and Minogue's singles history, and has been recognised by authors as an important period of Minogue's career and musical "re-inventions". According to Lee Barron, who wrote the book Social Theory in Popular Culture, he felt the image of the music video was an example and opening of "Indie Kylie"; an image that later progressed through the work of her 1997 album Impossible Princess. Jude Rogers from The Guardian listed the track on her "10 of the Best Kylie Minogue Songs" in June 2016; Rogers complimented the production and said "The effect is utterly mesmerising, and Kylie is in total control from the off, telling you she "can keep a secret / And throw away the key". Later she turns the middle eight into a particularly pervy-sounding card game ("Stick or twist / The choice is yours"), and also plays with the idea of her fame ("Hit or miss / The choice is yours")." She also said the track was her "greatest, strangest hit". Brittany Porter from AXS.com listed the lyric "'I stand in the distance/I I view from afar/Should I offer some assistance/Should it matter who you are?'" as some of her best lyrical performances to date.
Nick Levine from Digital Spy labelled it one of her most standout singles to date. Louis Virtel, writing for the website NewNowNext.com, hosted by Logo TV, listed it as her third best track from 48 selected songs; he compared it to the work of Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor and said "Demanding intimacy is a Kylie strong suit, and her performance on this gently prodding, yet desperately longing track is so lovely and vulnerable ... Kylie's comfort in provocatively challenging a lover to be more honest is one of her greatest audio moments." Jason Lipshutz from Billboard listed it amongst nine other tracks on his "Kylie Minogue Primer: The Top 10 Past Hits You Need To Know" list. Zac Bayly from Oyster Magazine called it his favourite Minogue track. Stephen from Homorazzi.com listed it at number 7 on his "Top 10's: Top 10 Kylie Songs of All Time", stating "'Confide in Me' actually grew on me as time wore on. My first exposure to it was in her Greatest Hits album and it wasn't a track I paid much attention to, but in time it's grown into one of my favourites." On the American website AllMusic, it has been selected as a highlight numerous times from her albums: Confide in Me,Hits+,Greatest Hits 87-97, and Greatest Hits 87-99.
Credits adapted from the CD liner notes of Kylie Minogue:
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone