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Kate Bush - Babooshka / Ran Tan Waltz CD (album) cover

BABOOSHKA / RAN TAN WALTZ

Kate Bush

 

Crossover Prog

3.00 | 5 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Eighteen: 1980.

-- First review for this single -- KATE BUSH had a nice habit, especially in the eighties, to release non-album songs as B- sides of her singles. There are so many of them that they nearly fill a whole disc in This Woman's Work compilation box. But first the main dish.

'Babooshka' was taken from her delicious third album Never For Ever, and it spent 10 weeks in the UK chart, peaking at number five. The lyrics tell an intriguing story of a wife's desire to test her husband's loyalty by sending him "scented letters" signed as Babooshka. Bush didn't know at the time that the Russian word (pronounced Baabushka) actually means grandmother. She was inspired by the English folk song 'Sovay', in which a woman dresses as a highwayman and accosts her lover in order to test his devotion.

The music accompanies the story perfectly. It has both seducing sensualism behind the veil of mystrery and the thorn of the rose, so to speak. In the end there's the sound of breaking glass created by Fairlight CMI digital synthesizer. Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel were pioneers of its use in popular music. 'Babooshka' is a fine song, and a good example of how Bush had matured as an individual artist since her Lionheart album.

'Ran Tan Waltz' then is a good example of Kate's B-siders. A light-hearted and a bit silly song one wouldn't want to hear on an album. The waltz rhythm is emphasized in the staccato kind of arrangement featuring also accordion. Have to admit this song stands rather poorly repeated listenings, but still, it's more interesting to have these "throwaway" pieces, shameless deviations from the normal standards of the artist, on the backs of singles instead of simply using the album material.

Matti | 3/5 |

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