About as rock-oriented as any female singer was allowed to get in 1981 unless her last name Harry or Benatar, Kim Wilde’s performance here is something akin to Che Guevara with hairspray.
I was six when the song was originally released, but at some point in my pre-adolescent life, it drifted into my consciousness. Whoever this Kim Wilde was, she was the girl for me. At turns both sexy and gentle, she seemed like the kind of trouble that would have been acceptable to my parents. She was a pied piper of youth empowerment, destined to lead me out of my put-upon existence of cartoon-watching and riding bikes.
“YES! We ARE the kids in America! We live for the music-go-round! Whatever that is!”
But until I started writing this post, I had no idea what she looked like, which is mostly attributable to living in a cable-free (and therefore MTV-less) household. But I was pretty sure she wore day-glo bangle bracelets, a sweatshirt with the collar ripped off a la Flashdance, and legwarmers. Possibly tights. Tights and legwarmers.
“Kids In America” suggested that it was a sociological imperative that Kim and her intended have sex, since there was a wave of change approaching. Oddly enough this sort of reminds me of that scene from Grease II with DiMucci and his girlfriend Sharon in the air raid bunker.
Unfortunately for Kim, his interest in revolution was fleeting. The boy she found in clubland had commitment issues and would later keep her hanging on.* Unfortunately, the listener is also left hanging by three unresolved questions:
1. What was it about the “new wave” that was going to prevent it from spreading to the western portions of California?
2. If kind hearts alone aren’t enough to grab any glory, does the addition of coronets change the equation at all?
3. Did Kim Wilde have dual citizenship in the U.S. that allowed her claim to be one of the kids in America?
Without looking it up, how many albums would you say Kim Wilde recorded between her debut, and her 2006 comeback album, Never Say Never? Eight, for a total of ten in her career. Much like Hasselhoff and Lowenbrau, Kim Wilde is apparently still big in Germany though she does not sell very well here. So apparently the kids here in America have stopped listening, which is a shame as Ms. Wilde still has a lot to say.
Confidential to Avril: Sweetie, it’s not too late to get Kim’s people to put something like this together for you.
Final crazy fact about Kim Wilde: She is a professional gardener. This is amazing to me. Next thing you know, Stacey Q is going to turn out to be a champion shuffleboard player.
* I know it’s a cover. Shut up. You like to tell people the endings of movies before they’ve seen them, don’t you?