|Single by Kylie Minogue|
|From the album X|
|Released||15 February 2008|
|Recorded||August 2007, Magnetic Studios; Ibiza & Echo Studios (Los Angeles)|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
|X track listing|
"Wow" is a song by Kylie Minogue from her tenth studio album X (2007). Released on 15 February 2008 by Parlophone, it later appeared on Kylie's 2012 greatest hits compilation The Best of Kylie Minogue. Written by Kylie, Greg Kurstin and Karen Poole, while produced by Kurstin, Kylie requested to set up a studio in Ibiza with Poole and Kurstin with her while they recorded the track along with other tracks recorded.
"Wow" features instrumentation from guitars, electronic synthesizers, keyboards and drum machines, along with pianos through some verses. The song is set in a dance-oriented beat with many other electronic elements. Upon the song's release, the song received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, who praised the production and release as a single; however, critics felt that the single was badly timed, as some people referred to this as the first single. Nevertheless, the single was a commercial success. The song managed to peak inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs, as well as charting inside the top twenty in countries including her native Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, New Zealand and Hungary.
The song has been performed on three of Kylie's concert tours: KylieX2008, in the act Cheer Squad, her For You, For Me tour, a more rock-oriented version being performed at the Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour and the Kiss Me Once Tour. Along with the promotion in her tours, the song has been featured in many media productions. It has been used as background music in Desperate Housewives, The Kylie Show and was included in the soundtrack of the film Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Additionally, the song has been released twice in the United Kingdom with alternative versions instead of the single version. The accompanying music video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, which featured Kylie in a futuristic outfit, in a club, dancing withalien-inspired outfits worn by the public. The video has received positive reviews, mostly about the futuristic style of format the video had featured.
Background and release
Originally, "Wow" was meant to be released as the second worldwide single; this however didn't happen, with "In My Arms" being released a day earlier, so became the second UK single and third worldwide single, with "In My Arms" as the third UK single.
"Wow" was also annouced as the lead single from the album in the US, starting promotion at the same time as the UK, aiming for a February release date for X stateside, but since the album kept being endlessly delayed, Astralwerks got cold feet and decided to go with the more 'american sounding' "All I See"; it was therefore released as the second US single, and when it failed to chart inside any mainstream charts in North America or Canada, it was released as Kylie's first club single in North America.
Three new additional tracks were featured on the CD Single, these being "Cherry Bomb", "Do It Again" and "Carried Away", which were recorded during the album session; there songs were also release as the B-sides to "In My Arms".
Composition and recording
"Wow" was composed and written by Greg Kurstin, Kylie and Karen Ann Poole. Kylie requested setting up a studio in Ibiza with previous writing partner Karen Poole, and newcomer to the fold Greg Kurstin, an American multi-instrumentalist musician and producer, during the summer of 2007. Kylie had written other tracks while in Ibiza.
Musically, "Wow" is a strong dance-pop song, which continues to feature a nu-disco, Euro disco, house music and also contains a bit of new wave interpretation. According to the sheet at MusicNotes.com, which was published by EMI Music Publishing, the song is written the key of D Major. Kylie's vocal range span from the key note of F#5 to the key note of E5. Additionally, the song is set in common time and has a tempo of 124 beats per minute. According to the website, the song takes in influences of club music, along with dance-pop, eurodance, europop and pop rock music. Lyrically, the song talks about someone who stands out, with the title referring them as "Wow". In the United Kingdom, the song's composition differs a lot, where it is edited.
"Wow" received mixed to positive reviews from contemporary music critics, although most critics took the acknowledge to not mention the song in their reviews. The Boston Globe had compared "Wow" with American singer Madonna's 1983 single "Holiday", but added ""Wow" is "Holiday" on studio steroids". Kelefa Sanneh from The New York Times had said that "Wow"; "updates 80s-era Madonna". Evan Sawdey MusicOMH gave it a very positive review, as he compared the songs to Kylie's previous songs "Shocked", "Too Far", "Come into My World" and "The Loco-Motion", saying in his extended review; "it’s jam-packed with peppy melody, built around a simple, addictive piano melody that is soon shot into the pop stratosphere." He also said that the song is a "great track". Dave Hughes from Slant Magazine gave it a positive review, saying ""Wow" is a pretty great summation of the commercially successful aspects of Kylie's career to date—a hyperactive juvenile disco track full of fun, big-budget whooshes and drops, something utterly disposable that she sells without shame." They also highlighted the song as an album standout.
However, Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy wrote that "Wow" "doesn't have the 'oomph' factor to make us fall for her like we have in the past", but the song's "disco swirls and whooshing synths are great fun". In a review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis called the song "fantastic" and compared it to Kylie's songs with Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Pitchfork Media reviewer Tom Ewing wrote that the song's "excitement is infectious" even though its "funked-up electro sexiness may feel contrived".
"Wow" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number thirty-two on 24 December 2007, based solely on digital download sales. Ten weeks later, the song reached number five. In February 2008, the song topped the UK Upfront Club Chart. This eventually became Kylie's best selling single in the UK since 2002's "Love at First Sight" selling over 180,000 copies. The song was also very successful in France, where the song debuted at number fifteen, then descended to ninety-eighth. The song then re-entered to peak at number eighty-eight, but stayed in the French Singles Chart for twenty-two weeks in total. The song had also European chart peaks, where it peaked at number thirty-three on the Austrian Singles Chart and number fifty-one on the Swiss Singles Chart,
In Australia, The song debuted at number eleven where it peaked, and remained on the singles chart for eight weeks. It debuted at number thirty-four on the Swedish Singles Chart, until rising to number thirty-two, where it peaked, and stayed in the charts for five weeks. In the Romanian Singles Chart, the song debuted at number 63 in February, finally peaking at number 42 in June, becoming her first song ever to miss the top 20. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number seventeen on 24 February 2008. Following radio airplay, it later rose to number sixteen on 9 March 2008.
In North American, the song was released to American dance radio-stations and became a moderate success when it debuted within the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, eventually peaking at number nineteen. The song also peaked at number twenty-five on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay, and managed to peak on competent charts, having peaked at number sixteen and seventeen on the Euro Digital Tracks and Euro Digital Songs.
Two versions of the music video were released. The music video for "Wow" was directed by Melina Matsoukas and filmed in Los Angeles, California along with the video for "In My Arms" in early January 2008. The video features Kylie in dancing in a futuristic nightclub surrounded by dancers in alien outfits. The video begins with Kylie's silhouette dancing against a lighted background. She is then shown in a white tracksuit surrounded by a group of dancers. Scenes of Kylie and her dancers dancing in front of a lighted background are intercut throughout the video.
PerezHilton.com hosted the world premiere the music video on 29 January 2008. It was scheduled to premiere on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 30 January 2008, but was postponed. Media regulator Ofcom removed the video after they found it did not follow viewer guidelines due to the use of strobe lighting. The video was re-edited and broadcast in the United Kingdom the following week. In the video appears Dani Artaud (also known as DaniGORE), from the band Millionaires, as an extra.
The video is Kylie's 2nd highest viewed on YouTube, with views of 36,238,185 as of 24 August 2009.
Live performances and other media
Since its release, Wow has been performed at all of Kylie's tours except the Anti Tour. The song premiered in 2008, in the KylieX2008 tour. This was featured in the second act entitled "Cheer Squad" where Kylie and the dancers emerged on the stage dressed as an American cheer squad. The song was performed following a performance of "Heart Beat Rock". Kylie wore a blue leotard paired with white hot pants. The outfit changed a lot throughout the tour, starting with the blue version, then a pink version of the same outfit, then changed to an outfit similar to the male dancers. In 2009, the song was performed as part of the For You, For Me Tour. It was performed as the last song in the fourth act following a dance interlude of "Heart Beat Rock". This act was dubbed the Heart Beat Rock Segue. A more rock-oriented version of the song was on Kylie's Aphrodite tour in 2011. The song was performed as the third song of the first act. More recently, the song was performed on Kylie's Kiss Me Once Tour. It was performed as the fifth song in the first act following performances of "Les Sex", "In My Arms", "Timebomb" and "Sexy Love". It was a more rock oriented version beginning with guitars instead of pianos and having a stronger bass and drum beat. It was performed at the 2015 show of the Christmas concert series It was also performed at the F1 Grand Prix in 2016.
The song was performed at a few dates on the Kylie Presents Golden tour in 2018, and appeared in various performances throughout that year, including Kylie's performance at White Party Palm Springs. A new 90s remix of the song was included in the Golden Tour, with Kylie appearing on the screens driving a car through the desert singing along to the song.
The song was also performed on:
- The Kylie Show
- 2008 BRIT Awards
- The X Factor season 4
- BBC Proms in the Park 2012 (orchestral version of the song)
The song was also featured in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and its soundtrack. In addition, it was in heavy rotation for ABC's primetime television lineup advertising. Additionally, the song was used in the series finale montage of the American TV Show So You Think You Can Dance "Wow" was also used as background music in a few commercials for ABC'sDesperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters in April 2008. In the Philippines, the song's instrumental is used for the title card of daily music countdown show MYX Daily Top 10starting May 2013.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Wow".
UK CD single #1
UK CD single #2
UK 12" Picture disc
Australian CD single
Digital download Bundle #1
Digital download Bundle #2
Digital download Bundle #3
EU CD Single #1
EU CD Single #2
Other Official Versions
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
The following people contributed to "Wow":
- Kylie Minogue – lead vocals
- Greg Kurstin - production, all instruments, mixing
- Karen Poole - backing vocals, vocal production
- Eddie Miller - additional engineering
- Geoff Pesche - mastering
- Recorded at Magnetic Studios in Ibiza and Echo Studios in Los Angeles