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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May-18 > SISTER ACT

SISTER ACT

AS ONE HALF OF THE TRULY ICONIC 80s DUO MEL & KIM, KIM APPLEBY IS A PART OF POP ROYALTY. NOW SHE’S BACK, HEADING UP A BBC FOUR SERIES CALLED THE 80s POP ROAD MAP WITH CO-PRESENTER MIDGE URE. THE PWL LEGEND TALKS US THROUGH A LIFE IN MUSIC.

KIM APPLEBY

Kim Appleby has been out of the spotlight for a while. In fact, it’s been so long, that she doesn’t really remember how long. She chuckles when she counts back and figures it out for herself.

“I’m quite a private person and I don’t really crave the limelight,” she explains. “So it’s not important for me to keep the profile out there, I guess.” But there’s another reason she’s turned down numerous interviews, television shows and reality programmes.

“Sometimes I feel that I’ve said enough about the Mel & Kim story, and what went on there. I just feel that sometimes it becomes quite repetitive.”

However, it is a tale that bears repeating, because the Mel & Kim story is pop gold: sisters, from Hackney in London, record a demo in 1985 which lands them a deal with Supreme Records. They are then introduced to the talented up-and-coming producers Stock Aitken and Waterman, who go on to write material specially for them and their personalities…

“What was great was that Mel and I had Mike, Matt and Pete all to ourselves, because they were so unknown,” she recalls.

“They’d done the Divine thing, remixed Dead Or Alive, and Pete had something to do with Musical Youth’s Pass The Dutchie. It wasn’t known as The Hit Factory then either – just PWL. Mel and I were very lucky because all the songs were personalised to us. It was a great time.”

She elaborates further on how their first recording session with SAW could’ve gone quite differently…“We recorded a track called System, which ended up on the album, and then they took us down the pub. We were streetwise Hackney girls with strong accents and laughs. They were asking us tons of questions about where we lived and what we did. We were there with them for a good hour-and-a-half and the story goes that Pete went back to the studio and said: ‘scrap that track, we need something tough for these girls’ and that’s where Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend) came in. The rest all followed like that… songs like F.L.M. – which I think you know doesn’t really stand for Fun, Love and Money. That’s what I mean when I say that we were very lucky, we had their undivided attention and those songs were written around us.”

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About Classic Pop

In the new Classic Pop we celebrate 30 years of Kylie Minogue – from the PWL early days through to the iconic noughties classics and her new No.1 album, Golden. We also take an in-depth look at Kylie’s Fever for our Classic Album feature. As a special treat for Kylie fans, we have an exclusive limited edition special fan pack issue of the magazine available with four fantastic A4 glossy art cards of the star. Subscribers will receive an exclusive version of the issue with a collectable cover. Elsewhere, we are granted a rare audience with Scritti Politti's Green Gartside, we serve up our Top 15 sophisti-pop albums of all time and Prefab Sprout feature in The Lowdown. We chat to Kim Appleby about her new TV show and the prospect of new music; Sophie Ellis-Bextor talks to us about her new album of orchestral reworkings of her back catalogue and Daphne & Celeste return to the pop fray. Our album reviews section features Sting and Shaggy, CHVRCHES and Alison Moyet. This month’s reissues section includes John Foxx, The Human League and Brian Eno. On the live front, we check out gigs by Erasure, Morrissey, Paul Weller and Lloyd Cole.