“I Should Be So Lucky” is a song performed by Australian recording artist and songwriter Kylie Minogue from her debut studio album Kylie (1988). Released on 29 December 1987 by Mushroom Records and PWL Records, the song became a worldwide breakthrough hit; its now-iconic image of Minogue on the front cover was shot by David Levine.
The song was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman for Minogue, and they went on to produce Minogue’s first four studio albums. “I Should Be So Lucky” was an international hit, reaching number one in several countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany, as well as making the US Billboard Hot 100 top 30.
After the success of her debut single “Locomotion” in Australia, Minogue traveled to London to work with Stock Aitken Waterman, a successful British writing and production team. They knew little of Minogue and had forgotten that she was arriving; as a result, they wrote “I Should Be So Lucky” in forty minutes while she waited outside the recording studio. Mike Stock wrote the lyrics for the song in response to what he had learned about Minogue prior to her arrival. He believed that although she was a successful soap star in Australia and very talented, there must be something wrong with her and figured that she must be unlucky in love. Minogue recorded the song in less than an hour, which Stock attributes to her good ear for music and her quick memorization skills. After Minogue finished the recording session she returned home to Australia to continue work on the soap opera, Neighbours.
“I Should Be So Lucky” is a dance-pop oriented song, which features elements of bubblegum pop and new wave music. According to the music sheet on MusicNotes.com, which was published by Universal Music Publishing Group, the song is set in the key of C Major. Minogue’s vocals span from the key note of D4 to the key note of C5. The song is set in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. Instrumentation of the song features synthesizers, keyboards and guitars. According to PopMatters, they said the song features “numerous orchestra hits to the uncomfortably thin sounding drum machine.” Waterman has admitted the tune is based on Pachelbel’s Canon.
“I Should Be So Lucky” received positive to mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, who thought that the song was an instant highlight and good song within the 80’s, while some dismissed the lyrical content. Despite this, the song received commercial attention around the world, where the song peaked in the top ten in many countries including Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Dance charts in the U.S.
The song was also known to many in the late 1980s and early 1990s as one of Minogue’s signature songs, which many critics entering the song on their best track or worst track list. And additionally, in 2011, “I Should Be So Lucky” was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Sounds of Australia registry.
“I Should Be So Lucky” later appeared on six of Kylie’s hit compilations including Greatest Hits (1992), Greatest Hits 1987–1999 (2003), Greatest Hits 87–97 (2003), Ultimate Kylie (2004), her compilation The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012) and The Abbey Road Sessions (2012).
The music video for “I Should Be So Lucky” was directed by Chris Langman and filmed in November 1987 at Channel 7 Studios in Melbourne, Australia. The video features Minogue walking through her home, with scenes of her dancing in front of a colourful chalkboard background intercut throughout. It presented a cute, wholesome, young “girl-next-door” image of Minogue to the public, with scenes of her giggling and making funny faces to the camera.
“I Should Be So Lucky” was a commercial success, reaching atop the Australian Kent Music Report chart for six consecutives weeks, and became her second number-one single after Locomotion. The song was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and ranked at number five on the Year-end chart for 1988. In New Zealand, the song entered at No. 15 on New Zealand Top 40 and peaked at No. 3 on 27 March 1988, spending twelve weeks on the chart. In United Kingdom, “I Should Be So Lucky” was released on 29 December 1987. The song entered at No. 90 on the UK Singles Chart, climbing to No. 54 the following week and three weeks later, it was No. 1 and remained at the top position for five weeks. It spent seventeen weeks on the chart. It was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for the shipment of 600,000 copies. The song was one of the best-selling singles of 1988, with estimated sales of over 675,000.
Elsewhere, “I Should Be So Lucky” peaked on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Dance Club Play. The song reached No. 10 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart on 4 June 1988 and no. 28 on the Hot 100 on 16 July 1988. In Canada, the song reached at No. 61. Across Europe, “I Should Be So Lucky” also topped the singles charts in Germany, Ireland and Switzerland. It became a top-five hit in Austria, France and Norway, as well as a top-thirty hit in Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden. It peaked at No. 1 in Finland, Israel and Hong Kong. The song was certified silver by the Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique (SNEP) and gold in Germany.
Kylie performed the song on the following concert tours: (Click on title below highlighed in red to relive Kylie’s memorable performances)
- Disco in Dream/The Hitman Roadshow
- Enjoy Yourself Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Rhythm of Love Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Let’s Get to It Tour (Extended Mix performed)
- Intimate and Live Tour (Torch Version)
- On A Night Like This Tour
- KylieFever2002 (as a medley with “Dreams”)
- Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour
- Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour
- KylieX2008 (added as an encore from 17 May performance in Bucharest)
- Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour (only in the Japanese performances)
- For You, For Me (Torch version)
- Kiss Me Once Tour (part of a medley)
- Kylie Summer 2015 Tour (shortened acapella version)
The song was also performed on: