Light Years is Kylie Minogue's seventh studio album which was released on September 25, 2000 by Parlophone Records.
In 1998, Kylie Minogue's contract with Deconstruction had ended, due in part to the relatively unsuccessful commercial turnout of the album, "Impossible Princess."
The last single from that album "Cowboy Style" was released only in Australia by Mushroom Records to coincide with the "Intimate and Live Tour".
By 1999, Minogue had signed a record deal with the label Parlophone. She began recording songs for her seventh album, "Light Years," most notably the lead single "Spinning Around", which became a number-one hit and was considered her "comeback" single).
Title & Artwork
The title of the album derives from the song "Light Years." Vincent Peters (out of other designers and photographers) was selected to photograph Minogue for the album cover. The shoot took place outside a villa at the far north of Ibiza Island.
It was reported that Peters was selected because he wore tight T-shirts and jeans halfway down his Calvin's and his most extraordinary photographs. His images were told as an "instant iconic piece of art".
The cover features a glamorous backdrop of the sky and the sea, with the glimpse of a golden sunset filtering through like a supernatural halo. Kylie then gazed towards some 'heaven'. While in an interview, Peters had stated:
"The great thing about Kylie is that she differs from other celebrities. There is a separation between how celebrities perceive themselves and what the public wants to see. Most are concerned with reproducing a certain logo or caricature of themselves. They want to cling on to an image developed years ago which makes things difficult because there is no room to take a picture, you aren't really forced to improvise which is when the best things happen. Every photographer has their own very personal vision of her, and she lets them have it. That is the big difference with Kylie, that she walks in and says 'This is me, what are you going to do with it."
In her "Kylie / Fashion book" (illustrating her fashion from 1987 as a 25-year recognition), Minogue said that the photoshoot was about sending the message across. She stated: "The shoot was incredible. It was my first album with Parlophone and we were very sure of the message we wanted to get across: sunshine, beach, fun, glamour. I've always loved Ibiza and it's true that the island has a magical quality. The lightness of the chiffon matched my mood and desire."
William Baker, who helped through the album process, said that the images have a "mystical quality to them." He then said: "With Light Years, we wanted a cover that was a visual statement about Kylie reclaiming the throne of the Princess of Pop. Ibiza was perfect [...] And so, surrounded by the infinity of blue sky and ocean, Kylie returned to her rightful place!"
- Password 3:47
- Spinning Around 3:27
- On A Night Like This 3:33
- So Now Goodbye 3:37
- Disco Down 3:57
- Loveboat 4:10
- Koocachoo 4:00
- Your Disco Needs You 3:33
- Please Stay 4:08
- Bittersweet Goodbye 3:43
- Butterfly 4:09
- Under The Influence Of Love 3:23
- I'm So High 3:33
- Kids (with Robbie Williams) 4:20
- Light Years 4:47
In Australia, "Light Years" debuted at number two on the ARIA Albums Chart on 2 October 2000. Three weeks later, the album rose to number one, becoming Minogue's first number-one album in her home country.
The album spent 41 weeks in the top 50, and subsequently received a quadruple platinum accreditation from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales in excess of 280,000 copies.
In New Zealand, the album debuted and peaked at number eight on the RIANZ Albums Chart, where it stayed for five weeks altogether.
"Light Years" debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart for the issue dated 1 October 2000, remaining in the top 75 for 31 non-consecutive weeks. On 9 February 2001, it was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), denoting shipments in excess of 300,000 units.
Elsewhere, the album reached number 16 in Hungary, number 24 in Finland, number 26 in Sweden, number 28 in Switzerland and number 35 in Germany.
"Light Years" was received well by music critics. Chris True of AllMusic commented the album is "not just another Minogue dance-pop record, but a great collection of disco stylings and Europop kitsch." He concluded, "Arguably one of the best disco records since the '70s, Light Years is Minogue comfortable with who she is and what she's good at."
In a 2011 retrospective review for Digital Spy, Nick Levine described its sound as "camptastic", while praising the album itself as "a shiny, sparkly early noughties disco record complete with a Village People pastiche ('Your Disco Needs You'), a Donna Summer homage ('Light Years') and even a Barry White cover ('Under The Influence Of Love'). Along the way there's plenty of catchy dance-pop ('Spinning Around', 'On A Night Like This', 'Butterfly'), a couple of groovy '60s tunes ('Koocachoo', 'I'm So High') and just the one ballad, but it's a lovely one ('Bittersweet Goodbye')."
NME noted that the album sees Minogue "dropping her considerable concern for cool and bouncing back to her disco-pop roots", adding that "Light Years is all you need to know about Kylie in less than an hour: fun, perfectly-formed, not too taxing and occasionally annoying."
Yahoo! Music's Gary Crossing referred to the album as "a polished, well-produced yet largely undemanding collection of disco, Hi-NRG, Ibizan trance, funk, 60s film and TV themes and Latin-flavoured tunes which like the Minogue minx's attire leaves very little to the imagination."
He also opined that "[y]ou just get the feeling that if those concerned put as much effort into the songwriting as they did into the glossy album sleeve photo shoot things might have been a whole lot better."
Andrew Lynch of entertainment.ie viewed the album as "inconsequential stuff and as with all Kylie's albums the quality is disappointingly uneven. But the best tracks have an engagingly bouncy quality and taken as a whole this is a much better record than most critics would like to admit."
Select praised the album, stating that "apart from the foul Lloyd-Webber-esque ballad 'Bittersweet Goodbye', it's an unrelenting hoot" and that "it's all contrived to within an inch of its life, heaving with potential singles and brazenly derivative. That is her job and she does it well."