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Kate Bush - This Woman's Work CD (album) cover


Kate Bush


Crossover Prog

3.69 | 26 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars These two discs listed here (by me, actually) are officially a part of the box containing Kate's whole output up to The Sensual World, but I took the liberty of representing only the CD's of non-album material, as has done the library from where I borrowed this. So, we're dealing with RARITIES of Kate Bush! Hence I'm going to be more detailed than usual, because many of these tracks are hard to find elsewhere. The first five tracks are from 1980. 'The Empty Bullring' (B-side of Breathing 7") is a nice little song that sounds like the Lionheart album. 'Ran Tan Waltz' is just silly and annoying. 'Passing Through Air' (B-side of Army Dreamers 7") is quite OK but somehow feels half-baked as it repeats the chorus several times in its 2-minute length. 'December Will Be Magic Again' and 'Warm and Soothing' appeared as a season single in 1980, both fine tracks if not very memorable. The latter reminds of 'In the Warm Room' from Lionheart.

The Donovan-cover 'Lord of the Reedy River' (B-side of Sat in Your Lap 7"): WOW! Is it a pipe organ or what that accompanies her sensual vocals? A magical and very unique track. "I fell in love with a swan..." Then she switches to French: 'Ne T'en Fui Pas' (1982) is a more modern track featuring the soft sound of Fairlight (compare 'Mother Stands for Comfort' in Hounds Of Love); it sounds like David Sylvian's band JAPAN. 'Un Baiser d'Enfant' is naturally a translation of 'The Infant Kiss' from Never For Ever.

The melancholic 'Under the Ivy' (1985 as the next two) is very beautiful and atmospheric in its spacey, piano-centred arrangement, but 'Burning Bridge' goes the exact opposite, being a monotonous drum-machine rubbish not even saved by the merry vocals. 'My Lagan Love' is among the highlights, a folky a cappella number. Kate's vocals sound just fantastic on their own. 'The Hands of Cabin Boy' is a traditional, Kate's arrangement contains only an even layer of synth background. Another highlight! 'Not This Time' (1986) is a heavily overproduced and hollow pop ballad; 'Be Kind to My Mistakes' works better with its beat reminding of early Talk Talk. The Lovely 'Walk Straight...' has appeared in Sensual World CD.

The second CD has less highlights or new acquaintances to offer. 'Ken' was quite bad. 'One Last Look...' is a 1-minute orchestral instrumental that feels like it's a part of some larger work (sadly the information about this disc was completely missing from the copy I borrowed, as were the most of information about the first disc: the B-side info above is from a book I own). The Whole Story compilation - which was among my first LP's in 1986 - included both the new version of 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Experiment IV'; they have stood the time quite well, especially the latter. Then come the four live tracks of On Stage EP (1979). Nice but unnecessary if you have her first two albums. 'James and the Cold Gun' however is notably longer with its superb guitar solo.

Those who were young vinyl buyers in the 80's may remember the maxi-singles -- which I think are among the most stupid things in pop music. All those extended mixes, ouch! Sadly I have to say that in the case of Hounds Of Love -era Kate Bush they are utterly crap compared to the real album versions. For example 'Cloudbusting (Organon Mix)' totally messes up the song's drama. All in all I was extremely pleased to finally hear many KB songs for the very first time, even if the true highlights were limited (and some of them I had already heard elsewhere, e.g. in Hounds Of Love CD edition).

Matti | 3/5 |


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