Wednesday, 7 March 2007

My 25 Favourite Dannii Songs

I've been debating whether I should countdown my favourite Dannii songs since opening Dannii's Dirty Box. I resisted because it is completely arbitrary - my favourites change on a daily basis. But what the fuck! These are my 25 favourite Dannii songs. As of today. I'm sure you'll agree that each and every one of them is a work of poptastic genius. Dannii might have spent more time lying on a beach than most lifeguards, but who is going to begrudge her some relaxation when she keeps turning out gems like these?

25. Work (Love & Kisses, album track)

Drivin’ in my brand new Benz 190
My homegirl Sheila
She’s coolin’ right beside me

Given her current standing as the undisputed queen of dance, it is easy to forget that Dannii launched her career with an eye firmly on the American market and that meant a pop album with a distinctly urban edge. I love Dannii's debut album and "Work" stands out as one of her most amusing R'n'B experiments.

24. Everybody Changes Underwater (Girl, album track)

Diving deeper, beckoned by dolphins

I can't decide if this is one of Dannii's best songs or one of her worst. Whatever the case may be, it is certainly the most bizarre thing Dannii has ever recorded. Dannii spends 6 minutes talking about water and dolphins against a backdrop of eerie electronic bleeps. Experimental genius or a load of stinking shit? I'm not sure but I know I like it!

23. Show You The Way To Go (Get Into You, single - #30 UK, #104 Aus)

Follow me my friend
Let me show ya, let me show you the way to go

As La Toya Jackson's self-proclaimed number 1/only Australian fan, I have always had a soft spot for the crazy Jackson clan. Therefore, Dannii's cover of the Jacksons' "Show You The Way To Go" was always going to be irresistable to me. Which is lucky because everyone else seems to despise the song.

Watch -
Show You The Way To Go

22. Mighty Fine (Neon Nights, album track)

Zip a de day, just sail (your troubles away)

The first time I heard "Neon Nights", the song that really stood out for me was "Mighty Fine". The only reason for its low placing is the simple fact that I've played it 3000 times and need a rest. "Mighty Fine" reminds me of the slow disco classics of the late 70s, with its full sound and dreamy lyrics. A slice of pop heaven!

21. Coconut (Girl, single - #62 Aus)

Doctor, is there nothing I can take
to relieve this bellyache?

Now let me get this straight

"Coconut" reminds me of the Sydney gay scene. In fact, I heard it twice last night! It's pure dance trash but that's exactly why I like it. And what other song can boast its own drug taking game?!

Download -

20. This Is The Way (Get Into You, single - #27 UK, #45 Aus)

Alone in a crowd in a city
Searching for love

"Get Into You" is probably my least favourite Dannii album but it did have some great singles. I love the faux American pop vibe of "This Is The Way" and the video is pure gold.

Download -
This Is The Way (The Cool 7")

19. Vibe On (Neon Nights, album track)

Jump on top it
Sit right on it

When confronted with trashy, low class individuals like Robpop who claim that Dannii is nothing but a cheap imitation of Kylie, I always bring up "Vibe On". Kylie wouldn't sing a song about her vibrator if her life depended on it, even though she probably has a bigger collection than Dannii. "Vibe On" sums up all of Dannii's best qualities - her sense of humour, the fact that she doesn't take herself too seriously and her love of plastic cock. What more could you want in a pop star? Dannii explains the song by maintaining that it is really about sitting on speakers - bitch, please.

18. Boogie Woogie (Japan only single, #1 Japan)

You know you made a difference in my life
You came along and eased my troubled mind

I love Dannii's brief stint as Japan's leading dance diva. "Rescue Me" is fabulous but "Boogie Woogie" gets my vote due to its distinctively Euro sound. Whigfield would be jealous of this little gem. It's that good!

Download -

17. It’s Amazing (Girl, album track)

It’s only when the night descends upon me
That I realise
no one can take your place

"It's Amazing" is one of Dannii's most gorgeous ballads. This is Xenomania at their absolute best. The production is a delight, with beautiful strings, heavy breathing and subtle electronic bleeps. This is one of the many tracks from "Girl" that cried out to be released as a single. "It's Amazing" is a romantic treat.

16. I Don’t Wanna Take This Pain (Love & Kisses, single - #40 UK, #92 Aus)

If loving you is wrong
Then wrong has got to be right

You either love R'n'B Dannii or you hate it. I obviously love it and in my opinion, the rap duel towards the end of this song is one of the most glorious moments in Dannii's entire catalogue. I particularly love the 12" version, which is the closest Dannii will ever get to sounding like SoulIISoul!

Download -
I Don't Wanna Take This Pain (12" Mix)

15. Jump To The Beat (Love & Kisses, single - #8 UK, #48 Aus)

Embrace the good things in life
Come on and dance with me

I much prefer the original Australian version of "Love & Kisses" to the English version, with one exception - the poptastic "Jump To The Beat". The song was a desperate ploy to spark some interest in the UK and it worked a treat, making #8 in the charts. "Jump To The Beat" is irresistable bubblegum pop.

14. Perfection (The Hits & Beyond, single - #11 UK, #13 Aus)

I’m aching inside
I’m aching inside for you

You could not go into a Sydney gay club last year and not hear "Perfection". The first time I heard it, I thought the song was cheap and cheerful trash. However, it has grown on me immensely and I now realise that Dannii has unleashed yet another pop masterpiece. The video is priceless. I'm sure Dannii filmed it on her camcorder during one of her many trips to Ibiza!

Download -
Perfection (Drag Mix Edit)

13. Success (Love & Kisses, single - #11 UK, #26 Aus)

Tell me are you ready

Really really ready for success

I think "Success" is a great song but it has a deeper meaning as Dannii's declaration of intent. In fact, I think of "Success" as Dannii's personal anthem. She had her sights set on pop stardom and nothing was going to stand in her way. Well, apart from Kylie and a couple of hundred holidays. I'm so happy that Dannii is now experiencing success as the queen of UK club music and as a judge on Australia's 4th most watched show.

Download -
Success (E-smoothe Groovy 12")

12. Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling (Neon Nights, single - #5 UK, #22 Aus)

I said some things
That did not ring true

The fourth single from "Neon Nights" was a blast of 100% pure pop fun. The mash-up with Madonna's "Into The Groove" is brilliantly done and Dannii looks like a goddess in the video. A rare example of a record company getting everything right. AATW, please take note.

Download -
Don't Wanna Lose This Groove (Extended Bootleg Mix)

11. Get Into You (Get Into You, single - #36 UK, #79 Aus)

I don’t want your love
I want your soul instead

"Get Into You" sounds more like early 90s En Vogue than Dannii Minogue. It should be awful but it's actually rather sublime. I think Dannii's voice suits this sound surprisingly well. In fact, I think Dannii should revive freestyle as her next project! I've uploaded a club mix to balance out the R'n'B flavour.

Download -
Get Into You (Arizona Club Mix)

10. Begin To Spin Me Round (Neon Nights, single - #2 UK, #14 Aus)

You’re a sinner but you told me you’re a saint
Too fast I tripped and lost my way
Can’t believe what’s happened to me lately

I truly believed that this would be Dannii's first #1 hit. As one of the best songs of this decade, it deserved to sit at the top of the pop charts. The song is hot in its own right but mashed with Dead Or Alive's "Spin Me Round", it is utterly perfect. The video is also superb, particularly when Dannii cuts off her hair. I've uploaded the excellent extended version.

Download -
Begin To Spin Me Round (Extended Mix)

9. Love & Kisses (Love & Kisses, single - #8 UK, #4 Aus)

You’re the kind of girl
That I want to keep
We ain’t at McDonalds
So what’s your beef?

Danni's debut single was an absolute corker. I remember running to buy the 7" single, which came with a fold out poster that had pride of place in my bedroom for years. The lyrics are adorable and Dannii is definitely not "the plain Jane type"! An Australian pop classic.

8. Feel Like I Do (So Under Pressure, B-side)

I want your number baby
So write it down on me

I still can't believe that something as brilliant as "Feel Like I Do" ended up as the B-side to "So Under Pressure". What the fuck? From the opening piano/keyboards to the killer chorus, this song screams out to be a single. This is the gravest pop injustice since Kylie's "Tightrope" ended up as a shitty bonus track. I'm still mad!

Download -
Feel Like I Do

7. So In Love With Yourself (Girl, album track)

So in love with yourself
How could you love somebody else?

This was my favourite Dannii song for many a year but I think I've played it a couple of thousand times too often. "So In Love With Yourself" is about as classy as dance music gets. The vocals, the melody and the production are all gorgeous. Fuck, Kylie even sings back-up! If this was released as the second single from "Girl" instead of "Everything I Wanted", the album would have stood a much greater chance of success. As it is, this stunning anthem remains a fan favourite.

6. For The Record (Neon Nights, album track)

It’s just a thirst
And I’m drunk on the addiction

"Neon Nights" really is an amazing achievement. The album just gets better with age and I continue to find new favourites. "For The Record" is a slice of disco heaven. There hasn't been anything quite this fabulous since the 80s. I don't think "For The Record" was ever considered as a single and in all honesty, it doesn't have the edge of an "I Begin To Wonder" or "Put The Needle On It". Instead, "For The Record" exudes fun and warmth. Like Dannii, this song just gets better with age!

5. Come & Get It (Neon Nights, digital single Germany)

If tonight is going right
Move in a little closer

J.C.A. should be legally obliged to work on every Dannii album. The man behind "I Begin To Wonder" created what has to be the most spectacular "hidden track" in musical history. "Come & Get It" is an insanely catchy floorfiller, which works brilliantly as a straight-up pop song. I sincerely believe that Dannii threw away a #1 hit. Oh well.

Download -

4. This Is It (Get Into You, single - #10 UK, #13 Aus)

I’m lost for words, I’m in a daze
Stunned and amazed by your open ways

Dannii's cover of Melba Moore's "This Is It" was her first big Australian hit after a string of flops. I remember how great it was to have Dannii back on Video Hits and Rage. The video even became a much spoofed phenomenon and I can remember the steps to the tacky dance routine to this very day. There is nothing subtle or original about "This Is It". It's just good, old-fashioned, gay-as-all-fuck pop music! I've included Dannii's live interpretation for the "25 Years of Mushroom" concert.

Download -
This Is It (Live)

3. Am I Dreaming? (Girl, album track)

Can you hear me, hear me calling?

"Girl" is such a quirky pop album. If Dannii's detractors ever took the time to actually listen to it, I'm sure they would be impressed. "Am I Dreaming?" has aged remarkably well. The song sounds as fresh today as it did 10 years ago. "Am I Dreaming?" is not your average piece of dance-fluff. The lyrics are thoughtful and the melody is drenched in melancholy. It really is a very impressive achievement.

2. Who Do You Love Now? (Neon Nights, single - #3 UK, #15 Aus)

And it’s hard to break a habit

Dannii revived her career with this dark and brooding dance epic. I was living in Europe when "Who Do you Love Now?" was released and I was floored to hear Dannii on a German radio station. Dannii was not only back on the charts but was suddenly a cutting-edge dance diva with a sexy, new dyke-tastic hairstyle. Dannii has since made a habit of re-interpreting instrumental club hits but she is yet to match the brilliance of "Stringer". This is as good as dance music gets. Check out the French version of "Who Do You Love Now?".

- Est-ce que tu m'aimes encore?

1. Party Jam (Love & Kisses, album track)

Hey yo listen up
My name is Dannii
It’s time to get loose to my
Brand new Jammy!

Shut up. I love it! I know "Party Jam" is not the best song in Dannii's catalogue of hits but it is my favourite. When I purchased "Love & Kisses", I didn't know what to think of Dannii's solo material until "Party Jam" came blaring out of the stereo. I was instantly smitten. To my 10 year old ears, Dannii's rapping made her the coolest woman on the planet. Obviously, I have since realised that "Party Jam" does not exactly count as gangster rap. I still believe that Dannii does not get enough recognition for how unusual it was for an Australian pop act to combine urban elements at that time. As usual, Dannii was decades ahead of her time. It took Kylie until 2003 to go down the same path with "Body Language" - some 13 years later.

Download -
Party Jam

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