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Kate Bush - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon CD (album) cover


Kate Bush

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Wow !!!! A volcano in full flow !

Kate Bush is not as highly regarded as she should be. In my estimations, she is easily among the five best female artists ever....... and pretty high up on my list of the best female/ male solo artists ever. But Kate Bush does things her own way. That means shopping for groceries at Tesco and living a silent life outside the limelight somewhere in London while the rest of us has to suffer through the stream of rubbish female singers being thrown at us through X Factor, Britain Got Talents and other "talent" shows. None of them even reach half way up Kate Bush legs when it comes to talent and quality.

For those who wonder what I am ranting about; listen to this live album from 1994. Kate Bush is rampaging through some of her best songs (up to then). Female piano player and vocalist..... sounds sickening sweet, doesn't it ? Well, not in the case of Kate Bush. She wrings the songs by the neck and does it her own way. That's why I am missing her so much. Nobody has this type of quality and charisma any longer. Just listen to her version of Wuthering Heights. I thought I had heard anything. But her intro of a guitar solo (not done by her) on this, her signature song, is brilliant. It adds even more life to one of the best ever songs to come out of England.

Before this song, we are being treated to some pretty good songs......... made excellent by Kate Bush. I do not know how she does it. But I am sure she could even breathe life into the children rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb if she had tried...... and elevated that song into a masterpiece. Her delivery and presence is sheer magic. The way she use her voice is on another planet. Ditto her use of the piano. She even make reggae sounds good. The arrangements of the songs are excellent. Not too grandeur, not too minimalistic. Just perfect.

My only gripe with this live album, whose sound is excellent, is that the songs are not brilliant and the sound is too much 1980s too my liking. But besides of that; this is a very, very impressive live album. Not at least; a highly entertaining album.

Please come back, Kate Bush. You are so missed in today's scene.

4.5 stars

Report this review (#280357)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Tour of Life

Just 28 magical shows in 5 weeks, and she never toured again.

Lucky are those who witnessed the brief live incarnation of rock's strangest bird. After two phenomenal albums before her 20th birthday, Bush worked intensely hard to bring her vision to the concert stage. She trained feverishly for her dance routines while working night and day on the stage direction. The goal was not to present another rock concert, but to do something that hadn't quite been done before. The band was largely relegated to the background, while Kate, costumes, and some amazing dancers were brought to the fore of the dimly lit, theatrically infused stage. Bush wore an early version of the wireless head mic so as not to let it get in the way of her dancing.

Musically the show is nothing short of delicious, featuring highlights of her very solid first two albums. Sadly what is present on both the CD and DVD releases reflect less than half of the full shows. Like the debut album the live CD opens with "Moving" which is the most beautiful song I've ever heard. It brings a tear to me eyes every time as "Wuthering Heights" does during the show's emotional climax. The competent Brian Bath and Del Palmer bring Kate's songs to a very warm place, organic, not harsh, with that 70s glow that I love. Kate would not stand for this sound much longer, she would soon move into her more experimental phase where the old boys were shown the door in favor of more exotic and advanced musicians, though of course boyfriend Palmer would remain in Kate's circle. Peter Gabriel would become her friend, collaborator, and a large influence on Kate, and I believe she influenced his work as well. This hour long disc features romantic ballads and occasional rockers, but to revel in the Tour of Life masterpiece you have to see this, not just hear it. Find the video or the laserdisc and experience one of rock's greatest moments.

What Kate and EMI are thinking by not reissuing this concert is beyond me. They are daft on this decision to be quite frank, whatever their reason. The Tour of Life is one of progressive music's great achievements and a true masterpiece of rock. It should be released in its entirety, with all footage restored in glorious sound and picture quality. Let it happen before I die God, if you're listening.

Have a taste of the magic, three minutes you won't regret soon:

Report this review (#312627)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink

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