On the evening of Saturday June 26, 2010 Kylie fulfilled one of her life’s ambitions when she made a guest appearance at the Glastonbury Festival duetting with the Scissor Sisters (above), but she would return in 2019 to star in the Legends spot at Glastonbury and enthrall the crowd with her performance which included duets with Nick Cave and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Kylie’s next single lifted from the album Aphrodite, was Better Than Today, written by the husband-and-wife team of Nerina Pallot and Andy Chatterley, better known comically as “We Are the Chatterleys” (below). Its basic premise about losing your inhibitions by dancing was not unfamiliar territory for Minogue, but this song lacked the finesses and elan of her previous dance pop hits, it was repetitive and even brash, with few redeeming features.
The production by the Chatterleys and Stuart Price was uninspired, trite, Euro pop, which merged turgid keyboards, with a relentlessly depressing beat, robotic vocals, and it failed to resonate with Kylie’s fans.
The music video was however quite inspired, a dazzling mix of laser beams, neon pink wigs, steepling stilettos, giant lips, and the band wearing Pac-Man helmets, which collectively created what was an impressive homage to the1980’s arcade games. But not even a great video could salvage a dud song, which staggered to #32 in the UK and stiffed in Aust at #55, but continued Kylie’s run of #1 US Dance chart hits. The record market was dramatically changing at this time as downloading of songs from such sites as iTunes and Spotify, were making CD singles a less important format, such physical releases would soon disappear, and Kylie would embrace this new digital technology in the near future.
For her next single Kylie turned to Taio Cruz, then the current go-to creator of auto-tuned club bangers in Europe – Will Young’s Your Game, and Cruz’s solo hits – Break Your Heart, and the album Rockstarr formed part of his impressive CV. He came up with Higher, a slick, hard-hitting dance track, about how intoxicated clubbing can make you feel, OK this was not exactly cerebral or even remarkably different from other dance club songs Kylie had recorded, and Parlophone initially rejected it as a song for her. But as the potential singles on Aphrodite had been exhausted, Kylie insisted on recording Higher as a duet with Cruz and it charted very well, #8 UK, #7 France, and #25 Aust to restore Kylie’s somewhat recently tarnished chart credibility.
The promo video was shot by Alex Herron in a cavernous, shadowy warehouse in London’s Docklands, Minogue and Cruz burn rubber in shiny new BMWs, before stepping out and having a musical face-off, to date it has recorded over 73 million views on YouTube.