Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mel & Kim

Mel (born Melanie Susan Appleby on July 11, 1966) & Kim (born Kim Lorraine Appleby on August 28, 1961) were a British pop/dance duo from the '80s.

In 1985, Mel recorded two solo demos under the management of Alan Whitehead. The producers loved her voice and asked her if she would have someone to sing with and her big sister Kim became involved.

In December of that same year, Mel was treated for a malignant paraganglioma on her liver. Together, the Appleby sisters recorded five demos which got them signed with Supreme Records and the president of the label, Nick East put them in touch with music production team Stock Aitken Waterman.
In 1986, Mel & Kim released their debut single, "Showing Out (Get Fresh At the Weekend)." The song was originally intended to be a B-side to the chosen single, "System," but it was later flipped to the A-side and became a hit, peaking at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart.

In the United States, the song peaked at #78 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for a week in February of 1987 & Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart (along with "System.") The song also peaked at #23 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.
The second single, "Respectable" topped the U.K. Singles chart for a week in March of 1987. The song also topped the charts in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

In the U.S., the remixed version of the song topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for a week in July of 1987 and also topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

By January of 1987, Mel began experiencing back problems which delayed the filming of the single's music video.
In 1987, Mel & Kim released their debut album, "F.L.M." which peaked at #3 on the U.K. Albums chart. The album went Platinum, selling 400,000 copies in the U.K. and 3 million worldwide.
The title song (meaning "Fun, Love and Money") peaked at #7 on the U.K. Singles chart. The song was also moderately successful in Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

In June of 1987, during a promotional visit to Japan, Mel's severe back pain became apparent. When Mel returned to the U.K., she was diagnosed with a recurrance of the cancer in her spine.

The duo withdrew from publicity while Mel underwent treatment. Footage from their performance at the Montreux Festival was used to make the music video for the "F.L.M." single.

While the media speculated that Mel was terminally ill, the sisters denied it and stated that Mel suffered from a debilitating back injury.
In 1988, Mel & Kim released the single, "That's the Way It Is" which peaked at #10 on the U.K. Singles chart.

The song was also moderately successful in Ireland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and France. In the U.S., the song peaked at #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

By the time the single was released, Mel had withdrawn from the public eye after being diagnosed with spinal cancer. She had discharged herself from the hospital to record vocals for the track.

The duo made Mel's illness public and they both appeared on the Wogan Show in April of 1988 while Mel was still undergoing treatment as part of European Cancer Week.

The song was also featured on the  soundtrack to the Eddie Murphy film, "Coming to America." Due to Mel's illness, the Appleby sisters didn't appear in the promotional videoclip for the song and the video featured a team of dancers in a studio.

After that, the duo disappeared from the public view while Mel continued with her cancer treatment.
A promotional single from Mel & Kim's debut album, "More Than Words Can Say" was released only in Sweden, but didn't make the charts.
The last single from the album, "I'm The One Who Really Loves You" received a limited release in the U.S., peaking at #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and #12 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

Work on Mel & Kim's follow-up album wasn't continued due to Mel's illness. Sadly on January 18, 1990, Mel succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 23.

With the aid of her boyfriend, ex-Bros bassist, Craig Logan, Kim began a solo career with much of her debut solo album co-written with Mel for what was intended to be Mel & Kim's next album.
Kim's self-titled debut solo album became successful in the U.K. and the  singles from the album: "Don't Worry," "G.L.A.D.," "Mama" and "If You Cared" were moderately successful.

Her sophomore album, "Breakaway" wasn't commercially successful and had a limited release. She released three more singles in 1993 and 1994.
In 2007, Kim released a download-only single, "High." She had a show on the European Internet station entitled "Storm Live" and dabbled in acting as well.

These days, Kim continues to be active in the music business.

To see a video for Mel & Kim performing "Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)" on "Top of the Pops," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGeB8FcCQ0o

To see the music video for "Respectable," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJXmU5afCDM

To see a video of Mel & Kim performing "F.L.M." at the 1987 Montreux Pop Festival, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJGP0-GjhsM

To see the music video for "That's the Way It Is," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rosfa15nQg

To see a fan-made video for "I'm The One Who Really Loves You," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajkR52EpveE


[updated on 05/20/13]

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