I Believe in You (K Minogue/J Shears/Babydaddy) 2004 and Giving You Up (M Cooper/B Higgins/T Powell/L Cowling/P Woods/N Coler/K Minogue) – Kylie Minogue 2005
Kylie followed up her hit album Body Language in 2004 with a collection of greatest hits, Ultimate Kylie, which was a comprehensive two-disc collection of 35 songs including two new singles, which quickly became hits when lifted off the album.
I Believe in You was a great slice of Euro electro-disco with a soaring chorus, pulsing bassline and a pounding beat, the influence of her co-collaborators, the New York glam pop group, Scissor Sisters, was discernible. Their lead singer Jake Shears and bassist Babydaddy (real name Scott Huffman), co-wrote and produced the record, and they didn’t mess with Kylie’s pop-dance formula too much, imbuing a hypnotic melody with dazzling atmospheric synths, and a killer chorus. It was a substantial hit and charted #6 in Australia and #2 in the UK where it was kept from the top spot by Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid 2.
Kylie was everywhere at this time, appearing on the local sitcom Kath and Kim, opening Kylie: The Exhibition, a collection of her gowns and memorabilia which toured Australia and the UK, and was ultimately donated by Kylie to the Melbourne Arts Centre, as well as appearing in the vocal cast of the animated feature The Magic Roundabout.
Giving You Up was the second new single lifted from the Ultimate Kylie album and it boasted no less than seven songwriters, the most on any song recorded by her. It was produced by Brian Higgins and his team known as Xenomania, who had created smash hits for Girl’s Aloud, Sugababes, Texas, New Order, and most notably Cher’s auto-tuned mega-hit Believe. This song is an angsty, slinky electro-pop outing with insistent keyboards and Kylie purring about her unconditional love for a man she just cannot give up. The promo clip was Kylie’s take on the 1958 B-movie Attack of the 50 ft. Woman, as a giant vampish Kylie strides through London’s nightlife in a clever parody of the original. The B-side to this record was Made of Glass, an altogether more subtle and nuanced song than Giving You Up, the record charted #3 here and #6 in the UK.
This would be Kylie’s last record for nearly three years, at the age of 36 she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, her Showgirl Tour was postponed, and she entered Melbourne’s Cabrini hospital in May to undergo surgery. The Kylie Minogue who had strutted the Showgirl stage as a pink flamingo, flaunting exotic plumage, and tottering on impossibly high heels, would undergo a drastic physical makeover, and in late 2006 would re-emerge from a long period of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and convalescence, to take tentative steps towards re-starting her career. She was a Garboesque figure, dark glasses shielded a gaunt, pinched face, and a scarf covered her hair loss after chemotherapy.
Following her recovery Kylie commented on the potentially lasting effects of the lumpectomy and subsequent radiation therapy on her capacity to have children, many years later in 2019 she said “I don’t want to dwell on it, obviously, but I wonder what it would have been like… I can’t say there are no regrets… you’ve got to accept where you are and get on with it.” (London Sunday Times Style).