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Kiki Dee, nata a Bradford il 6 marzo del 1947 (vero nome Pauline Matthews), ha iniziato li, negli anni 60, a cantare in piccoli club. Nel 1963, a soli 16 anni, viene messa sotto contratto dalla Fontana e fa il suo debutto discografico con l'incisione di Early Night. Nel 1965 partecipa, cantando in italiano, alla XV edizione del Festival di Sanremo con la canzone Aspetta Domani , pubblicato come singolo sempre dalla Fontana con retro Senza Te; e sempre lo stesso anno pubblica un altro singolo cantato in italiano, Come Ti Amo/Favole.    Successivamente nel 1970 è stata la prima cantante europea ad essere messa sotto contratto dalla famosa etichetta di musica nera Motown.  Il vero successo, soprattutto in patria,  arrivò solo dopo il suo incontro con Elton, insieme al contratto con la Rocket Records (1973) e con Don't Go Breaking My Heart, numero 1 sia negli Stati Uniti che in Gran Bretagna, e successivamente la sua carriera proseguì con alcuni alti e bassi.  Nel 1981 incise con Elton  un nuovo duetto, compreso anche nell'album Perfect Timing, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, ma la canzone non ebbe particolare successo.   Dopo un periodo di pausa dovuto a malattia, ritornò in scena con con un paio di musical nei teatri londinesi e alcune collaborazioni discografiche.  La sua carriera si è incrociata di nuovo con quella di Elton in occasione dell'album Duets (1992), dove hanno reinterpretato il classico di Cole Porter True Love, fallendo di poco la vetta della classifica inglese.  Attualmente lavora con il chitarrista Carmelo Luggeri, con il quale ha in attivo due album acustici, il live acustico Almost Naked del 1995 e Where Rivers Meet del 1998, e il suo manager è Steven Brown, vecchia conoscenza di Elton sin dagli anni 60 e l'abbiamo ritrovata a ricantare in One Night Only nel 2000 al Madison Square Garden.  Nel 2005, dopo vari rinvii, è uscito il suo ultimo album Walk Of Faith, sempre in coppia con Carmelo Luggeri.


Kiki canta in italiano



Elton John - Kiki Dee


cliccate sugli album per avere i dettagli

1968   Fontana TL5455 LP(mono)
                      Fontana STL5455 LP(stereo) Kiki Dee

1970   Tamla Motown STML11158 LP Great Expectations

1973   Rocket Records PIGL5 LP Loving & Free

1974   Rocket Record PIGL10 LP I've Got The Music In Me

1974   Philips International 6382079 LP Patterns

1974   Music For Pleasure/Sound Superb SPR90030 LP Kiki Dee(raccolta)

1976   Rocket Records ROLL4 LP I've Got The Music In Me (ristampa)

1976   Rocket Records ROLL5 LP Loving & Free (ristampa)

1977   Rocket Records ROLA3 LP Kiki Dee

1979   Rocket Records TRAIN3 LP Stay With Me

1980   Warwick Records WW5092 LP Kiki Dee's Greatest Hits (raccolta)

1981   Ariola ARL5050 LP Perfect Timing

1982   Ariola ARL5050 LP Perfect Timing (ristampa)

1986   Music For Pleasure MFP4157541 LP Perfect Timing (ristampa)

1986   Arista 74321193172 CD Perfect Timing

1987   Columbia SCX6701 LP Angel Eyes

1987   E.M.I. CDP7466752 CD Angel Eyes

1991   Rocket Records 8483592 CD Spotlight On Kiki Dee Greatest Hits (raccolta)

1994   Rocket Records 5167282 CD The Very Best Of Kiki Dee (raccolta)

1995   Tickety-boo TKBCD01 CD Almost Naked (live)

1998   Tickety-boo TKBCD02 CD Where Rivers Meet

2005   2005  Tickety-boo    TKBCD03  CD  Walk Of Faith 



di Dusti Rhodes

Success in the music business is generally considered to be the product of three factors: what one knows, who one knows, and timing.

With that in mind, then, success should be firmly in Kiki Dee's grasp at this point. It seems, however, that Kiki has spent most of her career standing on the brink of mass acceptance; occasionally stepping over, then slipping back into the quagmire of also-rans.

It's been 13 years since Kiki began the long and arduous climb to the top, as a cabaret singer at 16 years of age. Success on the cabaret circuit led to her first recording contract and an album, I'm Kiki Dee, released in England on Fontana Records. That lp caused little reaction outside of the recording industry; but within music-biz circles, Kiki's reputation began to spread, and in 1969, Kiki was the first white artist to be signed with the Tamla/Motown label in Detroit. She released one album on the label, titled Great Expectations -- an apt title for an album that was later found belly-up in the cut-out bins, as Motown moved its headquarters to the West coast, and Kiki's career was misplaced in the shuffle.

But the Motown era was not entirely fruitless: it led to Kiki's fateful meeting with John Reid, who was working for the label at the time. When Reid left Motown to manage Elton John, he arranged the initial meeting between Elton and Kiki -- a meeting that blossomed into a friendship and professional association that would further Kiki's career considerably.

Under the guidance of Captain Fantastic, Kiki's writing talents were put to use to include four of her own songs on the Elton-produced Loving And Free album, her first for Elton's Rocket label.

Once again, Kiki found herself on the brink of stardom -- but once again, in spite of her heavy touring schedule as opening act for heavies like Elton John, The Beach Boys and Steely Dan, industry enthusiasm far outweighed commercial success; and Kiki Was soon back in the studio readying another album for release in the same year.

Consistent exposure apparently paid off, and Kiki's great non-advice song, "I've Got The Music In Me", the title track from her second Rocket album, yielded an international hit single and considerable attention, along with a second tour as Elton's opening act. That tune was perhaps Kiki's finest showing to date as a rocker, and demonstrated her ability to step out from behind herself when she's feeling really confident.

The same confidence marked last year's "Don't To Breakin' My Heart"; confidence and gold-record success being bolstered (albeit borrowed) by Kiki's teaming with Elton for that single joint musical venture.

Now, a year later, Kiki is out with a new album, produced once again by Elton, and titled simply, Kiki Dee, An impressive list of musical contributors on the album, includes Dee Murray, Davey Johnston, Steve Holley, Ray Cooper, Bias Boshell, James Newton-Howard, Randy, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, and ELO's Richard Tandy, Hugh McDowell, and Melvin Gale. But Kiki's self-titled effort seems a testing ground, more than anything, with Kiki's strengths demonstrated best in her own compositions -- a natural tendency, I suppose, but glaring in this case.

The album's rockers are characterized by over abundant strings, confusing arrangements, and flat mixes, in which Kiki tends to get lost. There seems to be a lack of conviction or command in Kiki's vocals on the up-tempo tracks; one can't get over the feeling that there is still some confidence lacking, and that Kiki would be a killer rock vocalist if she'd just cut loose and wail.

The album's best moments display the softer side of Kiki, in six of her own tunes. "Sweet Creation", (co-written with James Newton-Howard and Gary Osborne) and "Into Eternity", (co-written with Davey Johnston and Gary Osborne) feature simpler instrumentation and arrangements, in front of which Kiki's vocals seem strong and sure, with more power and feeling cutting through. "Night Hours" and "Bad Day Child" are perhaps the best dramatic ode to the one that got away; the latter, a basically acoustic number, offering safe harbor in a sad/sweet song to a troubled lover. Kiki shows the most vocal exercise in "Walking", a wistful, somber, reflective tune that finds her backed only with acoustic piano for most of the song.

Why, then, all the emphasis on Kiki as a rocker, if her obvious strength, at least this time around, are toward the roll side of rock? It might have something to do with the ongoing association with Elton, who "popped in" on a few major dates during her just-completed American tour -- despite Kiki's contention that she's set out to establish her own identity without copping any more rides on Elton's status, one is still made very aware of EJ's presence and involvement. Only the best intentions are at heart, no doubt, but it's gotta be a bitch trying to build a career in the shadow of a giant.

So the timing is right for Kiki's emergence as a writer and vocalist of her own strengths and weaknesses, with her own direction. A listen to her new album provides a glimpse of an immense talent, waiting to be pulled out of a pool of self doubt, where she can nurture her own strengths to become a more convincing artist.



di Kris DiLorenzo

Elton John caused quite a furor in Manhattan when he flew in to guest at friend Kiki Dee's Dr. Pepper Festival appearance. While in town for a few days Elton did some shopping, fell in love with N.Y. disco Studio 54 and bumped his fill at a party thrown by Rocket Records for Kiki at the elegant One Fifth Restaurant (see photos. Mr. John's attire was attention-getting, as always: soccer shirt, white track shorts, sweat sox and "tennies", and a cricket cap.

Dee's concert in Central Park had been pushed back a day due to heavy rain, but the party happened on schedule. There were quite a few name guests at the private affair; besides Elton and Kiki and members of their respective bands were all the members of Blue, Patti Smith, Paul Simon and Shelly Duvall, Shirley Maclaine, John Oates and manager, Carol Bayer Sager, actress/comedienne Madeline Kahn, and assorted record biz personalities including Clive Davis.

Kiki;s performance the nest evening had the audience standing on their chairs, waving signs and cheering madly. Elton showed up to duet on "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "I Got The Music In Me". In the audience, of all people, was actor Richard Thomas -- that's John-Boy of Walton fame.

Blue opened the show with a pleasantly-rocking set of Raspberries-like material. the band of attractive Scots performed the best of their new/first album, a collection of good pop songs abounding with rhythmic hooks and occasionally biting riffs. They couldn't energize the audience the way Kiki did, however. Dee possesses one of the strongest pop/rock voices among female performers, and if her guitar players were better, she'd be invincible. Her look was clean and smart, her crowd appeal unquestionable (though her stage moves are minimal). Dee built a well-paced set with songs like "Step By Step" from her first album and a variety from love songs ("Amoreuse") to rock ("Chicago") from the new LP. Her self-penned (the first song she ever wrote) "Loving and Free" was a pretty ballad, and Dee's version of "Chain Of Fools" hinted that she might do well to include more R&B-oriented tunes in her show (after all, Kiki was the first white artist to record for Motown, years ago). Her two hits ("I Got The Music In Me" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"), of course, elicited a wild reaction from the audience, who didn't leave when Elton did.

Judging from Dee's gutsy singing and her ability to hold a crowd, there's no reason (if she loosens up) this woman shouldn't go far, except for her only semi-competent band and the fact that as a woman she'll receive less support from record companies and promoters than a less talented male artist. But as one audience member's placard read: Keep Going Kiki.

What's Elton been up to lately? Well, Viking Press will release the official book of Elton photos by David Nutter (with captions by Bernie Taupin) in October at approximately the same time Elton's Greatest Hits Volume II ships platinum. Both events coincide with Elton's induction into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame as its first no-sports figure (for Elton's week of sold-out concerts last summer which broke all house records). this honor follows the release of Elton's next single, produced by Thom Bell of Philadelphia fame and due at the end of September. A party to commemorate all these occasions is being planned for the second week in October, and it should be a killer.

© badsideofthemoon