Its Dannii month. We've already had the rather interesting Piers Morgan interview & now comes a bevy of Dannii's releases. Three in all! Although none of the albums are new they contain a bucketload of unreleased material. The most interesting is of course the brilliant 1995 Sessions compilation album. It supposedly includes tracks that were meant for a third studio album that failed to come about. We've only heard Everlasting Night so this is practically a new album. I can't wait to hold this hand and play it loud. I'm gonna open my windows and blast it out. Let the citizens of Hackney jump to the beat of Dannii circa 1995! Yes, its going to be fabulous November! Perfect early Christmas present!
So what is it with Dannii? People have often pegged her without ever enjoying the slice of pop she's baking and instead build stupid stories surrounding the dance pop princess. She isn't as good as her sister. The comparisons have always bored myself silly. She is a popstar. She'd be somewhere in the pop industry whether Kylie was doing it or not. Its always pissed me off that people always instantly lazily judged her work without actually listening to the music. Journalists and radio stations couldn't get beyond her surname. Always asking the same boring questions. I never understood this. No one really compares brothers. Its just taken as it is. However women in the industry are always taken apart because of their clothes, hair colour and family relatives. Rarely is the music and the star individually celebrated. This is my moment to do just that.
Truth is, Dannii's music has always been stellar. You can hear the hard work in her albums. Often or not she's one step ahead of the game when it comes with production houses. Dannii was the first high profile act to take a buck on the pretty unknown songwriter Brian Higgins. This was long before Girls Aloud were on the scene. What? Dannii more cutting edge than Annie, Sophie Elis-Bextor, Gabriella Cilmi, Texas, Sugababes and Pet Shop Boys? In this precise context, yes!
Dannii lives and breathes the industry. She's been in it for four decades. Stardust runs through her dna. Its in her blood. Play Neon Nights & you can hear shades of the mighty Robyn and Confessions on a Dancefloor L.P's that came out a year afterwards. Listen to Dannii's Girl and you'll hear early cries of Cher's amazing Believe album and Madonna's Ray of Light. Ever since the release of Girl, Dannii's studio albums have emerged as great indicative products of pop music. Often or not I find myself humming a current dance anthem that would evolve into something from Dannii's albums.
What makes the Dannii experience annoying is the fact that her record companies tend to mess things up. That's the impression I seem to get. I am just a fan of her music here. Take for example the release of He's A Greatest Dancer. That was a hot mess. Then you hear the bonus bits on her greatest hits and digital only releases like ClubDisco. Love Fight could have been amazing. As would have the JCA collaboration Come & Get It. If they were only released. Still, at least we have the music through the viaducts of additional tracks on greatest hits packages. These have emerged as a little liferope for the Dannii fan. Moreover, they illustrate the difficulties within the music industry at present.
With her current position as X Factor judge many have raised questions about her qualifications. To me this is ridiculous. The arguements are sloppy and ill-thought. It should be someone who has had a U.K number 1. It should be someone who has had huge successes around the world. It should be a superstar. However, looking closely at it all Dannii's position at the table becomes ever more appropriate. Listening to the music it is proof that Dannii is a stern hardworker. Proof that the industry isn't about lying about and things falling into place at the snap of the eyelashes. If you want to be under that spotlight for more than 15 seconds you've got to work to stay there. Many argue its all about being born under a lucky star. However that lucky star gets rather fickle and tired at its subjects. Its always been the case. Its up and down. And often or not, down and out.
Dannii has constantly worked her butt off in all different forms. On stage, on tv and producing. Dannii knows the industry. She's probably the best experienced at being a popstar in this respect. Someone who has only tasted the upper echelons of success could only ever be able to produce advice that is limited in its scope and thus ultimately flawed. Dannii can see the bigger picture. What happens after the show is over. X factor is no star maker. In fact its truly ever created one long term proper popstar. Leon and Alexandra have had successes for sure but not in the longterm. As I said above, many have criticized Dannii and her qualifications as a successful popstar but I'd say it would be wiser to pay attention on the the success of X Factor as so far it seems more of a flop format. My point? Dannii's credentials have been well proven, the show she is on has not. That's where analysis should lie. Not in the judge. It is a monster of a show in which many careers within the music depend on and this is probably too many eggs in one basket. For every Leona...there's a Steve and Shayne. Dannii has nothing to prove. No. The show however does. Success is a funny thing. Indeed Dannii wrote about it when she was just a kid and its all in that second single.
Alas, I am sidetracked. Dannii, Dontstopthepop pours this toast of crispy bubbly just for you. Organic of course. On a more personal note I actually passed my Dance GCSE to the extended remix of Everything I Wanted. Class! I made sure the rest of my class listened back to the entire Girl album back in 1997 (and 1998). We stomped our way through Heaven Can Wait & Someone New (yes, I had the Japanese import from Tower Records London for a snip at £22!-all my pocket money for 2 months!). In the winter months of 1997, Girl and Spiceworld emerged as the critical soundtracks to my dance classes in the drama buildings of my school. Thank you, Dannii! You helped Dontstopthepop get a great grade in my GSCE's but also the soundtrack to my teenage years with the girls from 9LTN and beyond!