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Best Kylie Minogue Albums: The Complete Studio Discography, Ranked
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Best Kylie Minogue Albums: The Complete Studio Discography, Ranked

The best Kylie Minogue albums prove why the “Princess Of Pop” has confounded expectations with each dancefloor reinvention.

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When Kylie Minogue burst onto the pop scene in 1987, the suggestion she would go on to issue 16 studio albums across more than three decades would likely have been greeted with the riposte “She should be so lucky!”, but Australia’s most successful musical export has repeatedly confounded expectations. How? Step back in time, as we count down the best Kylie Minogue albums – her entire studio discography, ranked and reviewed…

Listen to the best of Kylie Minogue here, and check out our best Kylie Minogue albums, below.

16: ‘Kiss Me Once’ (2014)

Kylie’s 12th album had the most obvious of intentions: to pair the singer with the world’s strongest songwriting talent and the best material they had. What emerged was an eclectic and accomplished 11-track collection (with two further cuts added to the special edition). Lead single Into The Blue, co-written by Kelly Sheehan and Mike Del Rio, is a solid midtempo pop cut, while the more experimental Pharrell Williams-penned I Was Gonna Cancel, with its edgy, electro-disco production, got the critical thumbs-up but failed to make the UK Top 50. A duet with Enrique Iglesias, Beautiful, lacked some of the steamy energy one might imagine, while the contribution from Sia, Sexercise, got a video made for it but never secured the global single release it deserved. Kiss Me Once is a solid album, but the 15 production credits suggest a search for inspiration that was slightly beyond reach.

Must hear: I Was Gonna Cancel

15: ‘The Abbey Road Sessions’ (2012)

An orchestral reinterpretation of past glories, The Abbey Road Sessions was issued as part of the celebrations surrounding Kylie’s quarter-century in the music business (her pre-Stock Aitken Waterman version of The Loco-Motion had been Australia’s best-selling single of 1987). Revisiting some of those early PWL hits, Kylie’s more confident vocals added a layer of pathos to those frenetic Hi-NRG pop timepieces, while the more sophisticated later material was also stripped back to expose some of the delicate melodies that have carried her career comfortably into the current century. One new song, Flower, was added to the 15 remakes, while Nick Cave returned to join her on an update of their celebrated 1995 duet, Where The Wild Roses Grow.

Must hear: Flower

14: ‘Let’s Get To It’ (1991)

By the early 90s, Kylie’s partnership with PWL and its in-house front bench, Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, was starting to fray at its seams. For a start, Aitken had already bailed on the songwriting partnership that had arguably made the men the world’s most successful hitmakers in the late 80s, and now even the public was starting to cool on the trio’s brand of effervescent dance-pop. Kylie stuck with Mike and Pete to record her final record for the label after securing shared songwriting credits for the first time. With one obligatory cover version, The Chairmen Of The Board’s 1970 smash Give Me Just A Little More Time, delivering Let’s Get To It’s biggest UK hit, the album’s nine other tracks – including the swingbeat-influenced single Word Is Out, a duet with soul singer Keith Washington, If You Were With Me Now, and the sophisticated urban pop ballad Finer Feelings – hinted at the sophistication that would come from the best Kylie Minogue albums, but this felt a bit like Kylie was biding her time, waiting for the opportunity to really spread her creative wings. There would be three more tracks recorded for a greatest-hits collection and then, in 1992, Kylie left the PWL label for good.

Must hear: I Guess I Like It Like That

13: ‘Kylie Christmas’ (2015)

The fit seems obvious enough, but it took Kylie almost three decades to get round to recording a festive album, despite a cover of Santa Baby appearing as a B-side to her 2000 single Please Stay. The 13 songs picked for the regular release of Kylie Christmas ranged from the obvious standards, such as It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, to some neatly picked covers, including a particularly strong 2000 Miles (Pretenders’ frontwoman, Chrissie Hynde, joined Kylie for a performance of the song at Kylie’s festive Royal Albert Hall residency). Other surprising collaborations included Iggy Pop, on The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping; actor James Corden on Yazoo’s Only You (a UK Christmas No.1 in 1983 when covered by The Flying Pickets, in case you were wondering…) and Kylie’s sister, Dannii, joining her for the EDM banger 100 Degrees; included on the deluxe edition of the album, the latter was a neat homage to the sunshine Christmases of the Minogues’ homeland. In 2016, Kylie reissued the set in a Snow Queen Edition, expanding the collection to a marathon 22-song run.

Must hear: 2000 Miles

12: ‘X’ (2007)

The battle to return to work and something approaching a normal life after her cancer scare was a personal and professional triumph for Kylie. Dozens of tracks were recorded over lengthy studio sessions, punctuated by breaks as the singer regained her strength and confidence. The 13 cuts that eventually emerged on X ranged from the Calvin Harris collaboration In My Arms, the indie-electro cover 2 Hearts (Kish Mauve first recorded it in 2005) and the glorious pop energy of The One (created with Richard “Biff” Stannard, who has worked with Kylie for years and made his name with Spice Girls). On the back of an extraordinary amount of promotional work for someone still in recovery from such a serious illness, there was a huge outpouring of support for the project, which also solicited some of the best reviews of Kylie’s career. Cementing its place among the best Kylie Minogue albums, X was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album, and it sold more than a million copies worldwide, going to No.1 in her homeland.

Must hear: The One

11: ‘Impossible Princess’ (1997)

Perhaps the most divisive album of Kylie’s long career, Impossible Princess was released at a difficult time for the singer, who was still struggling to cast off her image as a SAW-manufactured protégé. In the late 90s, disco-pop had slumped to something of a critical nadir, and Kylie was no longer sure what sort of artist she wanted to be. For her second album with the Deconstruction label, she turned to indie darlings James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore of Manic Street Preachers, along with Soft Cell’s Dave Ball and club titans Brothers In Rhythm for a record clearly influenced by Britpop and the credible end of dance/techno music. In many ways, just about everything that Kylie is now most celebrated for was largely excised on Impossible Princess, and it’s a credit to the songwriting here that the album didn’t fall flat on its feet – critically or commercially. Certainly, the public was rather bemused, and it would fail to sell as strongly as many of the best Kylie Minogue albums, but the singles Some Kind Of Bliss, Did It Again, Breathe and Cowboy Style (only issued as a standalone release in Australia and New Zealand) are among her most interesting.

Must hear: Some Kind Of Bliss

10: ‘Body Language’ (2003)

Coming off the back of her biggest global success, with 2001’s Fever, Body Language was naturally assumed to consolidate Kylie’s elevated position against her chart rivals but, in nudging her sound ever-so-slightly in a denser, electropop direction, some of the commercial momentum seemed to falter. Lead single Slow proved indicative of what was to follow on the 12-track collection, with a memorable video (shot in Barcelona, Spain) offering a set of shimmering synth-heavy hooks that assured the song a place at the top of the stateside dance charts but didn’t, this time, cross over into the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100. In more consolidated markets, such as the UK, the single topped the charts, but follow-ups Red Blooded Woman and Chocolate (both written with long-time songwriting collaborator Karen Poole, formerly of Alisha’s Attic) lacked some of the pop punch that had long been Kylie’s trademark. No matter, Body Language is a real grower with a steely, credible confidence that deserves its place among the best Kylie Minogue albums.

Must hear: Slow

9: ‘Rhythm Of Love’ (1990)

If Kylie was distracted by Madonna’s phenomenal success in the late 80s, she can be forgiven. Rhythm Of Love was her first rebellion record and, despite Stock Aitken Waterman providing perhaps the strongest consecutive run of singles in Kylie’s long career – the widely-regarded classic Better The Devil You Know, the pastiche pop-funk of Step Back In Time, the Hi-NRG floor-filler What Do I Have To Do? and the anthemic Shocked – Kylie chose to work on some of her third album with Stephen Bray, who co-wrote some of the best Madonna songs, including Into The Groove. While recording in Los Angeles, Kylie also wrote with pop producer Michael Jay, then coming off major success with US singer Martika, and their song, The World Still Turns, is one of Rhythm Of Love’s many highlights. In truth, there’s little to disregard across the album’s across 11 tracks. The PWL productions are among the best of all time, and even an album cut as simplistic as Secrets proved strong enough to get picked up by other artists (in this case, the ex-EastEnders actress Sophie Lawrence, looking for a follow-up to her hit cover of Donna Summer’s Love’s Unkind). Rhythm Of Love didn’t sell as strongly as Kylie’s previous two records, but the seeds of her longevity were certainly sewn here.

Must hear: Better The Devil You Know

8: ‘Kylie Minogue’ (1994)

Freed from her contract with PWL, Kylie set about repositioning herself with a determined focus and, in working with some of contemporary dance’s finest talents, created the first bona fide critical success of her career. The roll call of Brothers In Rhythm, M People and remixers Heller & Farley polished Kylie’s self-titled album’s dance-pop nuggets, including the smash single Confide In Me, which returned the singer to the top of the Australian charts – her first homeland No.1 since 1988’s Got To Be Certain. Pet Shop Boys penned the atmospheric Falling, and the gorgeous midtempo ballad Put Yourself In My Place is among Kylie’s most accomplished. The dance ambience of Where Is The Feeling? – the album’s final single, after Put Yourself In My Place – was an extraordinary choice for a Kylie release, signalling just how much had changed since her breakthrough little more than seven years before.

Must hear: Confide In Me

7: ‘Golden’ (2018)

The country coating which Golden gave Kylie’s more familiar dance-pop on is about as close to a concept project as the singer has ventured to date (festive collections aside) but, in tightening her creative focus, Kylie seemed more confident in broadening the range of experience she was prepared to put on record. Lead single Dancing is a gorgeous, age-appropriate pop-ballad speaking to the life phase Kylie was now entering – lesser-part heritage act, larger-part national treasure. Stop Me From Falling offered a catchy, uptempo update to a more familiar sound, later recut with Cuban duo Gente De Zona, and the mid-paced A Lifetime To Repair and the delicate ballad Music’s Too Sad Without You, a duet with Jack Savoretti, became major airplay hits. One of the best Kylie Minogue album of the 2010s, Golden coincided with a rich period in the singer’s career – following the successful European and Australian tour to promote the album, she then took the Legends slot at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival, with a warm reaction from the crowd moving her to tears.

Must hear: Music’s Too Sad Without You

6: ‘Enjoy Yourself’ (1989)

Perhaps a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” 1989’s Enjoy Yourself was another slick effort from the Stock Aitken Waterman pop production line then dubbed “The Hit Factory”. The customary hits appeared as if by routine, with Hand On Your Heart and the Little Anthony And The Imperials cover, Tears On My Pillow (used to promote Kylie’s feature-film debut The Delinquents), both topping the UK charts. Wouldn’t Change A Thing and Never Too Late also made the British Top 5, but there was a slight softening of Kylie’s sales figures in this period in her homeland. Enjoy Yourself remains tight, sugar-coated perfection, with the Madonna-influenced title-track strikingly reminiscent of the “Queen Of Pop”’s True Blue sound, while I’m Over Dreaming (Over You) is perhaps the finest SAW song never granted a standalone single release.

Must hear: I’m Over Dreaming (Over You)

5: ‘Disco’ (2020)

Released in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, this sharp update of classic dance drenched in contemporary production treatments emerged to a world still largely shielding, and the glorious glitterball tour that would most likely have run alongside this 12-track critical and commercial hit is unlikely to ever see the light of day. Despite recordings starting in late 2019, Kylie was forced to complete the record at home, engineering elements of the production herself. Disco’s lead single, the shimmering electro-pop hit Say Something, made the UK charts and was soon followed by the accomplished Magic, which draws inspiration from the high-concept glamour of Studio 54 and those classic 70s sounds. Dua Lipa guested on the album’s third single – Real Groove – while Years & Years and Jessie Ware joined Kylie on the singles A Second To Midnight and Kiss Of Life, which were included on Disco’s subsequent reissue, billed the Guest List Edition, in late 2021. If critics were more divided on the experimental Golden, this was hailed as a fine return to form among the best Kylie Minogue albums.

Must hear: Magic

4: ‘Aphrodite’ (2010)

Executive Producer Stuart Price had revitalised Madonna’s career on Confessions On A Dance Floor, and his hand in Aphrodite’s 12 tracks gives this album a rounded, polished confidence. The classic All The Lovers[link to song story] is surely among Kylie’s finest singles and routinely the one her most sceptical listeners will claim to respect, but its commercial showing wasn’t replicated by its equally fine follow-ups Get Outta My Way, Better Than Today and Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love). There’s a consistency to this record, despite the customary battalion of songwriters taking part, including Calvin Harris, Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, and Nerina Pallot, who also co-produced two of the album’s tracks. Aphrodite is a classic record that draws on the composite ingredients that make up the best Kylie Minogue albums: polished pop with an experimental but accessible production that’s perfect for the dancefloor. Upon its release, Kylie was named the female artist to have scored Top 5 albums in the most consecutive decades, and the first solo artist to have No.1 albums in the 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s (Disco would extend that run in the 2020s).

Must hear: All The Lovers

3: ‘Light Years’ (2000)

Signing to the legendary Parlophone label would mark Kylie’s critical and commercial renaissance, with Light Years celebrating everything we (and perhaps the singer herself) knew she was best at. Lead single Spinning Around returned Kylie to the top of both the UK and the Australian charts – and made an icon of her gold lamé hot pants – while the electropop banger On A Night Like This, written by the team behind Cher’s mega-hit Believe, featured the late actor Rutger Hauer in its dramatic video. Robbie Williams, at the height of his solo fame, co-wrote the melodic Loveboat and joined Kylie on the rock-pop duet Kids, but should be knighted for his contribution to the extraordinary Your Disco Needs You, a track criminally overlooked as a single in the UK for – unbelievably – being considered too camp. Now considered one of the best Kylie Minogue songs of all time, it’s perhaps the highlight of 14 uniformly strong tracks which helped Light Years become one of Australia’s most successful albums of the decade and reignited Kylie’s draw as a touring act.

Must hear: Your Disco Needs You

2: ‘Kylie’ (1988)

Only one person had seen this coming: a TV soap star with a record so hot the production plants couldn’t keep up with demand… But Pete Waterman OBE had taken a business gamble with the release of Kylie Minogue’s debut album, effectively launching his own record label after the majors passed on issuing I Should Be So Lucky as a single in late 1987. Of course, that song topped the UK and Australian charts, and even made the US Top 30 – where no one had even heard of Neighbours, the TV show that had made Kylie a household name – but, in truth, even Stock Aitken Waterman would likely have scoffed at the idea that this bubblegum-pop album would become the UK’s best-selling record of 1988, shifting more than two million units in the process (with worldwide sales of more than five million). The megahits Got To Be Certain, a new version of her Australian breakthrough The Loco-Motion (which even made No.3 in the US) and the synth ballad Je Ne Sais Pas Pourqoui maintained the commercial momentum, but Kylie herself admits the recordings were rushed, and has said she felt no particular connection with the material. These are generic SAW compositions (Got To Be Certain had first been recorded by Mandy Smith, while Hazell Dean would soon enjoy a Top 20 UK hit with the Kylie album track Turn It Into Love), but there’s a stately confidence and simplicity to these catchy timepieces, with US single It’s No Secret being the “deep cut” that’s particularly worth a listen.

Must hear: Je Ne Sais Pas Pourqoui

1: ‘Fever’ (2001)

Home to Kylie’s most successful single ever – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – which restored her to the US Top 10 after a break of 13 years, 2001’s Fever truly amplified Kylie’s established flair for updating classic disco with fresh, cutting-edge production. Drawing on material from her now-established collaborators Richard “Biff” Stannard and Steve Anderson, Fever also featured tracks created with singer-songwriter Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis, formerly of 70s British supergroup Mud. Notwithstanding the aforementioned megahit, Come Into My World also performed strongly as the album’s final single, following the Richard Stannard- and Julian Gallagher-produced nu-disco gem In Your Eyes and the Eurodance froth of their Love At First Sight. All of these releases, issued with dynamic remixes, consolidated Kylie’s universal dancefloor appeal, and there’s nothing on Fever that feels less than an accomplished triumph. It’s rightly Kylie’s most successful album worldwide and still sounds fresh today. Come Into My World may have grabbed the Grammy (for Best Dance Recording) but it’s the icy, electro-pop classic Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and its distinctive video that certainly secures Kylie’s status as one of the classic pop artists of all time – and ensures this record tops our list of the best Kylie Minogue albums.

Must hear: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

You know the best Kylie Minogue albums, now check out our best Kylie Minogue songs.

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