Kim Wilde released her cover of the Supremes’ 1968 hit, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” on September 19, 1986 in the U.K. The single peaked at #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The song was released on March 3, 1987 in the U.S. and reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” was the biggest hit of Wilde’s career, and her last top 40 hit in the U.S., after “Kids in America” in 1982.
Wilde didn’t know “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” very well, so she went into the studio with her brother Ricky and recorded a Hi-NRG/power-rock cover. The song was responsible for revitalizing Wilde’s career, after her singles charted sporadically between 1982–1985. She would go onto release her most successful album, Close, two years later, which produced three top ten hits in the U.K.
After hearing Wilde’s cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” Michael Jackson invited her to perform as his opening act on his Bad World Tour in 1988.
You Keep Me Hangin’ On 4’15
You Keep Me Hangin’ On [W.C.H. Club Mix] 6’28
You Keep Me Hangin’ On [W.C.H. Mix/Extended Ian Levine Club Version/Extended Mix] 9’02
Kim lies on a black bed as debris blows through a dark room. A door opens and the silhouette of a man stands there as she sings to the camera. The bleach-blond hair, black lace, and cardigans all bring back memories of 1986–1987. Although it now seems a very rudimentary video, I recall being very impressed by it’s theatricality at the time.
This song hit #1 in the U.S. right after I had my heart broken for the first time. Even though the song was almost as old as I, the lyrics seem fresh and specifically written for me and how I was feeling. The racing guitar and dramatic synths spoke to me, too. It was a great song to howl along with in the car as the healing began. It was one of the first 12″ singles I bought, after Madonna’s “Burning Up,” Bananarama’s “Venus,” and Book of Love’s “I Touch Roses.” The B-Side, “Loving You,” is a slow, moody ballad that fades in at the beginning and out at the end. After I bought Another Step and started seeking out other Kim Wilde records, I discovered she had recorded “Kids in America,” too, and a lifelong love affair began with Ms. Wilde.
What are your memories of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde?