|Single by Kylie Minogue|
|from the album X|
|Released||17 February 2008|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
"Wow" is a song recorded by Australian singer Kylie Minogue for her tenth studio album, X (2007). It was written by Minogue, Greg Kurstin and Karen Poole, while production was handled by Kurstin. The song was released as the second single from X on 17 February 2008 by Parlophone.
"Wow" features instrumentation from guitars, electronic synthesizers, keyboards and drum machines, along with pianos through some verses. The song is set in a disco-oriented beat with many other electronic elements. Upon the song's release, it received positive reviews from contemporary music critics, who praised the production and release as a single. The song peaked inside the top 20 on the US Hot Dance Airplay chart, 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 all of Minogue's concert tours since it was released (With the exception of the Anti Tour). It was featured on her first world tour, KylieX2008. It was then featured on her KylieUSA2009 tour, along with a more rock-oriented version being performed at the Aphrodite World Tour. In 2014, Minogue performed the song on the Kiss Me Once Tour, in 2015 on the Kylie Summer 2015 Tour and again on her Kylie Presents Golden tour in 2018. It was most recently performed on the 2018 Golden Tour. Along with the promotion on her tours, the song has been featured in many media productions. It has been used as background music in Desperate Housewives, performed at her TV special The Kylie Show and was included on the soundtrack of the film Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Background and recording
"Wow" was composed and written by Greg Kurstin, Minogue and Karen Ann Poole. Minogue 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. Originally, it was said that they wanted "Wow" or "Like a Drug" as the first single, but ultimately "2 Hearts" was released as the lead. Minogue intended the track to be the US lead single from the album, but it was withdrawn and "All I See" was released instead in an attempt to appeal to a more urban market. "All I See" ultimately failed to enter mainstream charts in the US. Following this, "Wow" was released as Minogue's first club single in North America. In Australia, "Wow" was officially sent to radio on 14 January 2008. 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 sessions.
The song is written the key of D Major. Minogue's vocal range spans from the key note of F#3 to the key note of E5. Additionally, the song is set in common time and has a tempo of 124 beats per minute. Lyrically, the song talks about someone who stands out, with the title referring them as "Wow".
Two versions of the music video was 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 Minogue in dancing in a futuristic nightclub surrounded by dancers in alien outfits. The video begins with Minogue's silhouette dancing against a lighted background. She is then shown in a white tracksuit surrounded by a group of dancers. Scenes of Minogue 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.
"Wow" received mainly positive reviews from contemporary music critics. 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 Minogue'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 Minogue'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 Minogue'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 Minogue'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 Minogue's native 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 America, 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 Airplay chart, eventually peaking at number nineteen. The song also peaked at number sixteen and seventeen on the Euro Digital Tracks and Euro Digital Songs charts, respectively.
Live performances and other media
Since its release, Wow has been performed at all of Minogue's tours except the Anti Tour and the first few shows of her Summer 2019 Tour. The song premiered in 2008, in the KylieX2008 tour. This was featured in the second act entitled Cheer Squad where Minogue and the dancers emerged on the stage dressed as an American cheer squad. The song was performed following a performance of "Heart Beat Rock". Minogue wore a blue leotard paired with white hot pants and heels. 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 Minogue's 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 as the Heart Beat Rock Segue. Minogue later performed the song on her Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour in 2011. The song was performed as the third song of the show, with the Death Metal Disco Scene Mix used as an intro to the song; this version was also performed at various events between 2012 and 2014. A new remix of "Wow" was also performed on Minogue's Kiss Me Once Tour, which was used in various performances up to 2018, including Kylie Summer 2015. the 2015 Christmas show and the last two dates of her Summer 2019 Tour. The song was performed acoustically in a few of the shows during the Golden underplay shows in 2018, and the song was completely reworked into a 90's house track for the Golden Tour, where Minogue performed with dancers in an array of outfits, as she appeared on the screens singing along whilst driving through the desert in a red Ford Mustang.
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's Desperate 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 10 starting May 2013.
Formats and track listings
UK CD single
UK 12" picture disc
EU CD maxi single
EU CD single
Digital download 1
Digital download 2
Digital download 3
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
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
|Australia||16 February 2008||CD maxi single||Parlophone|||
|United Kingdom||17 February 2008||Digital download|
|Digital download (EP)|
|Digital download (Remixes)|
|18 February 2008||CD single|
|CD maxi single|
|12" picture disc|
|France||2 June 2008||Digital download|
|Germany||4 July 2008||EMI|
|CD maxi single|
|United States||28 July 2009||Digital download (EP)|
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