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KATE BUSH

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Kate Bush picture
Kate Bush biography
Catherine "Kate" Bush - Born July 30th, 1958 (Bexleyheath, Kent, England)

A demo of Kate Bush reached David Gilmour in 1975. Being impressed by her true original talent, the PINK FLOYD guitar player financed her fist proper recording session before introducing the result to EMI. In 1978 her debut album was issued but two songs were written years before that. "The Kick inside" must have been one of the most passionate albums ever written. In 1978 Bush' talents were an amazing revelation : a rare talent for melody and poetic imagery but especially the sound of her voice was something which was never heard before at the time. On the debut album her innocent sounding voice is in full helium mode and reaches ear ear-splitting frequencies. The songs are piano driven but the colourful arrangements are unmistakable in the vein of progressive rock. Similarities can be found in the sound of Gerry Rafferty at the time or the first albums from The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. No wonder the full TAPP-line-up was in charge as the backing band on this record. Unlike the aforementioned bands, Bush's music is very feminine and reveals more light & playful pop & rock tunes. The hits "Wuthering heights" and "The man with the child in his eyes" introduced her to a large pop audience. Within months following the release of her debut album, she was already recording a successor album. Even though "Lionheart" contained another hit single, the compositions were less sparkling. On "Never for ever" her sound is enriched with traditional folk influences provided by more session musicians. Moving further away from the standard pop format, Bush challenged her audience with more experimentation with a most refreshing result. This album gave her the confidence to take full control of her music. She co-produced her next album "The Dreaming" on which she explored the fairytale weirdness even more. With it's haunting rhythm's this album could be described as manic and fearsome, one of Bush' strangest efforts. On the musical side her sound got innovated by the use of computer and fairlight, also the influence of an artist like Peter Gabriel was heavy felt. In 1985 Bush released her magnum opus and most successful album to date. "Hounds of love" is divided in a pop side and a progressive side. On the pop side it seemed the controversial influences from the previous album were incorporated in accessible pop songs. The epic side consists of one fascinating suite : "The ninth wave", di...
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Remastered Part 1 (7cd)Remastered Part 1 (7cd)
Rhino Records 2018
$56.76
$58.93 (used)
Hounds Of Love (2018 Remaster)(LP)Hounds Of Love (2018 Remaster)(LP)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$18.95
$24.30 (used)
Remastered Part 2 (11CD)Remastered Part 2 (11CD)
Rhino Records 2018
$91.28
$77.86 (used)
Remastered In Vinyl II (4LP)Remastered In Vinyl II (4LP)
Box set · B-sides included · Extra tracks · Remastered · Remixes included
Rhino Records 2018
$78.15
$74.22 (used)
Remastered In Vinyl IV (4LP)Remastered In Vinyl IV (4LP)
Box set · B-sides included · Extra tracks · Remastered · Remixes included
Rhino Records 2018
$79.43
$76.35 (used)
Remastered In Vinyl I (4LP)Remastered In Vinyl I (4LP)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$76.50
$70.69 (used)
The Whole StoryThe Whole Story
EMI 1989
$5.25
$1.83 (used)
Before The Dawn [3 CD][Live]Before The Dawn [3 CD][Live]
Concord Records 2016
$19.32
$12.91 (used)
The Sensual WorldThe Sensual World
Legacy 2008
$4.10
$3.95 (used)
Remastered In Vinyl III  (6LP)Remastered In Vinyl III (6LP)
Rhino Records 2018
$103.70
$101.01 (used)
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KATE BUSH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KATE BUSH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 302 ratings
The Kick Inside
1978
3.35 | 211 ratings
Lionheart
1978
3.96 | 265 ratings
Never For Ever
1980
4.09 | 280 ratings
The Dreaming
1982
4.12 | 404 ratings
Hounds Of Love
1985
3.51 | 188 ratings
The Sensual World
1989
2.70 | 143 ratings
The Red Shoes
1993
3.81 | 236 ratings
Aerial
2005
2.82 | 80 ratings
Director's Cut
2011
3.71 | 146 ratings
50 Words For Snow
2011

KATE BUSH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 37 ratings
Live At The Hammersmith Odeon
1994
4.00 | 2 ratings
1979 Television Special
2014
4.11 | 25 ratings
Before The Dawn
2016

KATE BUSH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.82 | 17 ratings
Live At The Hammersmith Odeon (Video)
1981
3.52 | 10 ratings
The Single File (VHS)
1983
3.84 | 16 ratings
The Whole Story VHS
1986
2.37 | 8 ratings
The Sensual World, The Videos (VHS)
1990
3.04 | 8 ratings
The Line, The Cross & The Curve (VHS)
1993
2.92 | 7 ratings
Hounds of Love: A Classic Album Under Review
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Only Girl in the World
2013
2.95 | 4 ratings
1979 Television Special
2014

KATE BUSH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 63 ratings
The Whole Story
1986
3.72 | 23 ratings
This Woman's Work
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moments of Pleasure - The Best Works 1978 - 1993
1993

KATE BUSH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 4 ratings
The Man With The Child In His Eyes
1978
4.50 | 2 ratings
Wow / Fullhouse
1978
4.67 | 3 ratings
Hammer Horror / Coffee Homeground
1978
3.67 | 3 ratings
Wuthering Heights
1978
2.60 | 11 ratings
On Stage
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Babooshka / Ran Tan Waltz
1980
5.00 | 2 ratings
Breathing / The Empty Bullring
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Army Dreamers
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
December Will Be Magic Again
1980
4.00 | 3 ratings
There Goes a Tenner
1982
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Dreaming
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Suspended in Gaffa
1982
4.05 | 3 ratings
Night of the Swallow
1983
4.91 | 3 ratings
Running Up That Hill
1985
3.75 | 4 ratings
Cloudbusting
1985
3.82 | 9 ratings
Experiment IV
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man With The Child In His Eyes / Sat In Your Lap
1986
2.05 | 2 ratings
Love and Anger
1989
2.42 | 8 ratings
Aspects of the Sensual World
1990
2.14 | 8 ratings
Rocket Man / Candle in the Wind
1991
2.17 | 4 ratings
And So Is Love
1993
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rubberband Girl
1993
3.83 | 6 ratings
Wild Man
2011
2.09 | 2 ratings
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (2012 Remix)
2012

KATE BUSH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Kick Inside by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 302 ratings

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The Kick Inside
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One of the most enigmatic POP debuts all time! What a surprise I haven't reviewed this long ago.

Yesterday I listened to this album after a long while, and I felt a good deal of the same magic that fulfilled me as a teenager. At the time, around 1986, I already had all Kate Bush's studio albums up to that point. Being a debut of a very young and unexperienced performer, in the artistic measures The Kick Inside understandably loses in several ways to masterpieces such as Hounds of Love and The Dreaming, but it also has unique charm, or indeed magic if you like, that is hard to find elsewehere in any popular music. It is starry-eyed romantic, very melodic, a little naiive in a good way, and most of all deeply sensual. (I know people who have made love while playing this album... I haven't, perhaps to avoid competition of my attention.)

It has 13 songs. I have never much enjoyed 'Kite' or 'Them Heavy People' (slightly silly, merry songs that I rather skip), and 'James and the Cold Gun' is a bit boring melodically until the final vocal line and the following guitar solo of Ian Bairnson. The remaining ten songs are either extremely lovely or very enjoyable. I was too young to be bothered when the smash hit 'Wuthering Heights' was heard everywhere, so to me it's just a great Kate Bush song among her other great songs; in fact, as fascinating as this Emily Brontë inspired song is, it's not among my most definitive highlights. The three first songs 'Moving', 'The Saxophone Song' and 'Strange Phenomena' set the atmosphere to the magical level, finished with dreamy details such as whale song or words in a strange/unidentified language. 'Kite' stops that bliss, but 'The Man With The Child In His Eyes' is a beautiful, orchestrated soft ballad.

The overwhelming sensualism continues on the vinyl's B side. 'Feel It' has very sexual lyrics. (How sad that sex in today's pop music is usually very banal and commercial, not sensual and intimate like this.) 'Oh to Be in Love' and 'L'Amour Looks Like Something Like You' are beautiful love songs, while the final tracks 'Room for the Life' and 'The Kick Inside' have always appeared as a pregnancy-themed pair of songs to me, the first having a joyful chorus, the latter a more passionate one.

Kate Bush (b. 1958) had been writing these songs since the age of 13, and there were dozens to choose from when her debut was finally recorded. That undoubtedly explains the certain naivism, or child-like sense of wonder -- not that it would be a bad thing in the first place. Later she became more and more self-sufficient as her own producer, but for the success of the debut's music, the work of well chosen collaborators is invaluable. Arranging and producing were on the hands of Andrew Powell who had worked with The Alan Parsons Project (as well as several musicians playing here). The following album Lionheart -- which is pretty good -- was quickly made within the same year, and its 10-song cycle is less captivating than this 13-song cycle. The album cover for The Kick Inside is not very convincing with all the orientalism that would suit better for a Chinese restaurant.

 Lionheart by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.35 | 211 ratings

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Lionheart
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released only 9 months after her brilliant debut album The Kick Inside, Lionheart was a rushed affair and it shows. It seems the recording company was eager to keep the ball rolling and cash in as much as they could while the novelty was hot. Accordingly, the same team of musicians/arrangers/producers were used again. Small wonder Bush herself had little time to come up with new material. In fact only three tracks on Lionheart were recent ones (Symphony In Blue, Fullhouse and Coffee Homeground), the remaining seven songs were old stuff, although she did rearrange them for this recording. And Bush herself did not hide her dissatisfaction about the whole affair in interviews over the years. She would never let the recording company rule her releases that way again.

So, in the end, that´s exactly how Lionheart sounds: a (mostly) collection of leftovers from The Kick Inside. It does not mean that her sophmore release is bad. Not at all. It´s just inferior. And it won´t grab you like The Kick Inside. It takes more time to sink in and although several tracks here are very good, none reaches the heights of her debut´s peaks. Lionheart nevertheless show Kate Bush maturing rapidly as an artist and the CD is more fluid than her previous one in terms of production and performances. It´s just a pity that the songs were not as powerful. Although this is her only CD not to make to the top 5, it did reach number 6 and stayed on the charts for 36 weeks, making it a worthy (commercially at least) effort.

Al in all, not a bad record from this remarkable and unique talented singer/songwriter. I understand why she was never happy with it. Fortunately she would prove herself several times in future releases. A lesser work from KB, but a nice one anyway. 3 stars.

 Aspects of the Sensual World by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
2.42 | 8 ratings

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Aspects of the Sensual World
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Aspects of the Sensual World" is an EP that Kate Bush released in the US and Canada in March 1990. It contains the track "The Sensual World" which was a single from the album of the same name, released in September 1989, and also contains B-sides released between 1989 and 1990 in Europe and the UK. There are 5 tracks in all.

"The Sensual World" is the most known of these tracks, of course. It is a sensual, lush and romantic song which originally was supposed to have lyrics based on the ending of James Joyce's "Ulysses", but Kate was not given permission to use the text, so she rewrote the lyrics depicting the main heroine of the book as coming out of the book into the real world. The main instrument in the song is the Uillean pipes which contribute to the lushness and the sensuality of the piece. Such a beautiful song, and somewhat erotic, you can understand the inspiration taken by many other aritists like Bjork for example.

"Be Kind to My Mistakes" is taken from the soundtrack to the 1987 movie "Castaway". It was originally featured on a promo 7" as an A Side to Brian Eno's "Chemistry", also from the film. It was also available as a B-side to "This Woman's Work", but in the same remixed version as on this EP. This is a very upbeat song that could have fit on "The Sensual World" or even on "Hounds of Love". There is a nice airy bass line that stands out, and, of course, a tricky, unique melody that Kate is famous for. Good song.

"I'm Still Waiting" was also added as an extra track on the "This Woman's Work" single, and is also on the anthology box set "This Woman's Work Anthology". This track is led by the piano and a hard, persistent, mid-tempo beat. Again, this track is representative of her music during this time. This one features the versatility of her voice, from deep fullness, to her unique, fluttery sounds. This is yet another track that shouldn't have been a throw away, but it's great to discover these excellent tracks at a later time, hearing music that is not new, but it's new to you.

Originally, I thought the next track "Ken" was written as a sort of jingle for a candidate for an official office in England or something. It was actually written for the comic strip film GLC. It was released as the B-side to "Love and Anger". Now, this highlights Kate's dynamics in her voice, but it is driven by a synth that is quite dated, so, other than Kate's amazing voice, this could use a remix to update its sound. Needless to say, I'm not as impressed with this one.

The EP closes with an instrumental version of "The Sensual World" which is still a beautiful enough song to enjoy even without the vocals. At least you still get the "Mmmmmm Yes" and background vocals. The song remains sultry and sensual.

So, this is a great EP, but, most of the tracks are available elsewhere. The toughest one to find is "Be Kind to My Mistakes", so it could still be worth looking for, but unless you are a completionist, look for a cheap, used copy. The b-sides, except for "Ken", could have been easily used for any of her albums, they are not throw away material. We'll give this one 3 stars, because it is so short, but at least it keeps you wanting more.

 The Kick Inside by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 302 ratings

BUY
The Kick Inside
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I remember listening to Wuthering Heights in 1978, it was a big hit in Brazil (I guess it was a hit everywhere, wasn´t it?). I was mesmerized by this song and to this day it still moves me deeply when I hear it. It was the height of the discotheque and it was so refreshing to hear this beautiful, haunting and strange song n the radio! It was original and at the same time so melodic, even the lyrics were a novelty. But the most impressive was Bushs vocal delivering, so unique, powerful and emotional for a 19 year old! When I heard she was also the songwriter and pianist on the song I knew we were introduced to a great talent. But somehow I missed the album., I was just another teenager facing the usual lack of money to buy all the records I was interested in. I had to be very selective and I guess Yes Tomato and Gentle Giant´s Playing The fool had some prerogative over most new acts.

It took me 40 years to finally listen to get The Kick Inside and give it the attention it deserved. And I was impressed. I should have bought it at the time after all. Well, better late than never. Although no track here surpass her most famous hit song (how could it be different?), I was stunned how strong and mature her debut CD sounds after all those years. Still a teenager, she sounds as confident as any seasoned pro. Songs like Movin, The Saxophone Song, James And The Cold Gun, Feel It and The Man With A Child In His Eyes are the kind of stuff most artists would kill for. In fact, it´s easier to point the weaker tracks, like Kite or Them Heavy People, but even they are at least original and interesting. Well, and considering that some of them were written when she was 13 make them even the more remarkable!

Of course the fact that the album was very well produced and arranged does not hurt either. She was backed by some of the finest musicians at the time: most of them from the Alan Parsons Project, which helped to give the record a bands feel and a cohesive whole, even if some of the stuff was quite varied. Producer Andrew Powell (also from APP) provided orchestrations for two of the tracks.

Al in all a stunning debut for this great artist. Maybe her most accessible album in her long career. Not perfect, of course, but an incredible start for someone so young. And one who stood so well the test of time. If you like me, only know her for her hits, give this CD a try and you´ll be rewarded. A must have for any music lover.

 Aerial by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.81 | 236 ratings

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Aerial
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After taking a long break from touring and recording, Kate Bush returned with this excellent double album. Sounding nothing like her previous album 'The Red Shoes', or really any of her other albums, this album shows mostly her strengths of songwriting and composition. For the most part, it is quite ambient, some songs with rhythm and some are just Kate and a piano. The real center of this album is Kate's beautiful and unique voice, and just like before, she has all kinds of vocal tricks up her sleeve.

Kate wanted to do a double album where each album focused on 2 different things. The first record is called 'A Sea of Honey' where each song is about a different person. The first one is an up-tempo song about Elvis and wondering what kinds of things he would be thinking about if he is alive somewhere out there. This was the only single to be released off this album, and it is also the oldest song on the album, written a few years before, but Kate never felt comfortable with it until now. 'Pi' is a mid tempo song with Kate singing in a dreamy yet surprisingly dynamic voice about a mathematician who has a fixation on numbers. The amazing thing is when she sings the endless number that represents Pi, and how she does it with so much emotion, like someone that actually has this personal attachment to numbers. This is something only Kate could do. 'Bertie' is about Kate's son, who was kept secret until Peter Gabriel spilled the beans to a reporter. This is an emotional and personal song. Her son was one of the main reasons why Kate took such a long sabbatical, she wanted to be involved in her son's life. The next song is 'Mrs. Bartolozzi' is a beautiful and emotional song about a fictional woman who basically has not much of a life, that when she washes her clothes, she stares into the washer and imagines it is a huge sea with waves crashing around. This turns into a romantic fantasy of sorts that is very sad that a washing machine is the one thing that takes her away from her mundane existence. This song is just Kate and a piano, but there is so much depth to this one that it is all you need.

'How to Be Invisible' is one of my favorites. It has a good beat to it, yet it stays slightly subdued. There is also a great guitar hook throughout the song that drives it forward. A very beautiful melody and catchy. Some have accused Kate of copying Radiohead's song 'How to Disappear' from 'Kid A', because both songs are about a book who's subject is disappearing. Kate said that if she had known that, she wouldn't have written the song, so I am personally glad she didn't know it. One of her biggest fears is writing a song that sounds like someone else's. The song is about a person that wants to become invisible. 'Joanni' is a mid tempo song about Joan of Arc. This one hasn't really phased me much yet, but it is a little more complicated, so I will give it time. Last of all on this half of the album, is 'A Choral Room', which is a portrait of Kate's mother and memories of her up to and including her death. This one is very personal and you feel Kate's love and heartache in her voice. This one is also just Kate and a piano, with a short interlude sung by Michael Wood.

The second record is entirely a suite of songs called 'An Endless Sky of Honey' which is about any day following the movement of light and birds. It starts off with a 'Prelude', which is the sounds of birds with synths and piano and Kate's son Bertie reciting a short spoken word passage. This follows into 'Prologue' and moves immediately to the afternoon. This one is mostly Kate's voice and a piano, but the difference between this one and the minimal tracks on the first record is this one is much more structured. 'An Architect's Dream' has a mid tempo beat driven by what sounds like bongos, but very softly. Keyboards and synths provide the instrumental background. It talks about an artist working (inspired by the painting 'Fishermen') and how the lines in the painting are like an architect's dream. 'The Painter's Link' is a short interlude where time moves into late afternoon and the painter's painting gets washed into a picture to streams of color. 'Sunset' is more of a soft jazzy number. In this one, the painter's colors transform into the sunset. The music builds into a faster rhythm, keeping with the jazz feel. Very nice. 'Ariel Tal' is another short interlude with birdsong and Kate starts to mimic the sound through wordless vocals as if she is talking to the birds. Even if it may sound corny on the surface, I love this carefree sound. 'Somewhere In Between' is everything you love about Kate Bush's music. Nice, lush instrumentation and Kate's beautiful voice. This one is my favorite on this part of the album. Gary Brooker is doing the male vocals here. The day moves into twilight as Kate reminisces about a romantic encounter. This one is simply beautiful.

The next track is 'Nocturn', which means we have reached nighttime. Kate and her lover go driving to the beach and spend the night swimming. This one seems less structured at first, but moves into a mid tempo with a driving rhythm. From the lyrics in this song and throughout the suite, Kate paints everything, every scene, just like a painting through her words. That is the main strength of this track especially as she treats the experience as a painting come to life. There is an instrumental section and then the sun starts to rise as the lovers realize they have spent the entire night there. The light climbs up an aerial and the reflection is blinding and the dreamers are waking. Next comes the title track 'Aerial'. The song builds with a driving rhythm as Kate wishes to climb up high with the sun and the birds. She starts mimicking the birds again and singing wordless vocals and laughing, expressing joy and excitement of a new day and the beauty of life and birdsong. Soon and instrumental section begins, percussion drives to Kate's vocals again. She makes us all want to be up on the roof, and soon after guitar and keyboards have an interlude again, a sampled chorus joins her on the roof.

This is an amazing album from an amazing talent, one of her absolute best. If you missed out on this one, then you need to get it for it's beauty and its progressive sound. Like I said before, it is mostly ambient, but it also has some surprisingly driving melodies also. Nothing is formulaic as far as traditional songwriting and singing goes. However, it is very accessible, but never predictable. The first record of the double album is probably more loose and improvisational sounding, where as the second record is more structured, but almost all of it has that ambient feeling to it, which only drives the beauty of it all. This is a must have for progressive rock lovers, especially for Kate Bush fans. It is an amazing album that never gets tiring. You will grow to love it more as you get more familiar with it also. 5 glowing stars for this one.

 Running Up That Hill by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
4.91 | 3 ratings

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Running Up That Hill
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Running Up That Hill' was a hit single across Europe, and also in the USA it reached Top 30. Even today it feels so effective that, with the well-done music video accompanying the song, it simply had to make an impact back then. On one hand, it's very accessible with the ear-sticking beat and the emphasis on chorus, and on the other hand it's carefully designed art-pop with sounds that were pretty unique. Rarely the hit potential and the artistic depth are combined so perfectly in popular music.

Here's some background information (copied from Wikipedia): "Representatives at EMI were hesitant to release the song with its original title of 'A Deal with God' owing to possible negative reception because of its use of the word God. Bush relented and changed the title. However, the album version of the song is listed as 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)'. The executives of EMI initially wanted to release another song, 'Cloudbusting', as the lead single from the album. Bush successfully persuaded them to release 'Running Up That Hill' first, claiming that it was the first song written for the album, and felt that it better represented the broader feel for Hounds of Love."

As good as the main song is, I wouldn't rate the single five stars unless the B-sider wasn't a fantastic non-album song. 'Under the Ivy' is a melancholic, slightly folkish song with a ripped-down arrangement, leaving lot of space for Kate's voice to shine as beautifully as ever. Having known the song for a long time from the Hounds of Love reissue, it's among my Top Ten of Kate Bush tracks. Absolutely lovely and deeply moving -- even without really understanding the lyrical message of it.

 Before The Dawn by BUSH, KATE album cover Live, 2016
4.11 | 25 ratings

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Before The Dawn
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Vinyl Connection

4 stars Ms Bush's 2014 concerts sold out so quickly it broke the internet. The luckies who scored a ticket received a lavishly produced and impeccably staged conceptual art rock-theatre piece. This huge set records the concerts over eight sides of vinyl. It is a lot of music. The repertoire is drawn from Kate's later albums'no Wuthering or Babooshkering here'and features lots from 2005's Ariel. Given how strong that album was, the selections are no bad thing. Short segments of spoken work add drama and make the theatre overt. Playing is outstanding throughout, the sound is extraordinary for a live recording and the album packaging is lavish and interesting. Immersing yourself in the Bush of live ghosts is a mesmerizing experience. www.vinylconnection.com.au
 Before The Dawn by BUSH, KATE album cover Live, 2016
4.11 | 25 ratings

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Before The Dawn
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm surprised to be only the second reviewer for this, considering the huge news value of Kate Bush having gone on stage again. One thing is sure: the fans are anxiously hoping and waiting for the DVD release of this three-act concert. (I've said this before, but I strongly prefer DVD's over live albums. And no, I didn't buy this 3-CD, just borrowed it from my library.) Even if Kate's vocals are in a good form and not notably aged, my initial reception was slightly disappointed. The first disc [39:34], or Act One, contains seven unrelated tracks from the albums Red Shoes, Aerial and Hounds of Love ('Never Be Mine' from The Sensual World was recorded when the show was being filmed without the audience). The selection is not very good IMHO, and it's sad that many great albums in her discography were totally excluded. The other reason for my negative feelings was the way the performances are mostly just uninspired replicas of the studio versions.

Act Two: an extended version of "The Ninth Wave" suite that originally formed the B side of the Hounds of Love album. I can imagine the spoken-oriented extensions increase the drama level on the concert when you are/were there (I wasn't, sadly), but on audio-only they become a mere nuisance. And for the music itself, the arrangement here follows very closely the original form, meaning that a lot of sounds and vocals are not real live at all. As a listening experience this theatre-oriented performance is a bit frustrating in several ways, hopelessly losing to the superb original without really adding new MUSICAL ideas. The happy final part, 'Morning Fog', offers the band a good opportunity to blow some extra life into the playing, but, even if it's the one that differs most clearly from the original, it sounds somewhat lame here. The line-up is top-notch: David Rhodes, John Giblin, Jon Carin, Omar Hakim, etc. After listening to two CD's I felt disillusioned.

Act Three: "A Sky of Honey", ie. the suite of the 2nd disc of the 2005 Aerial album. During this 73-minute disc my reception turned for the positive. Maybe it's because the music of this suite is airier, softer -- less "artificial" if you know what I mean -- , the live performance of it functions extremely well. Finally the band finds its real strength. Already the 'Prologue' part contains extensions that are musically inspired, and the suite becomes a cathartic listening experience, even more so than it was on the album. The new song 'Tawny Moon' is sung by Kate's son Bertie (whose name I fail to find from the booklet?) and it's a very good addition to the suite. From the 2011 album 50 Words for Snow comes 'Among Angels', a beautiful melancholic piano song of the purest Kate Bush touch. And the encore piece 'Cloudbusting' is gorgeous.

The weakest part is the first act, especially being a missed opportunity in a discographical sense. Act Two made me only crave for the visual side of the performance (the pictures reveal it's awesome). Act Three finally made an impression on me, but I guess I have to rate this with "only" three stars. Hopefully the DVD will be released some day.

 Breathing / The Empty Bullring by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Breathing / The Empty Bullring
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Kate Bush's third album Never For Ever (1980) marked a transitional stage in her career, a logical link between the first two albums of a young singer-songwriter backed by a band and producers with their own wills, and The Dreaming (1982) in which she took control firmly in her own hands and produced a difficult "she's gone mad" album that was a nightmare to the record company. I love them all. One of the best songs on Never For Ever is the closing track, 'Breathing'. As a composition, it's a magnificent leap in artistic depth compared to naďve, starry-eyed balladry of songs such as 'In Search of Peter Pan' or 'Oh England My Lionheart'. And technically it's a perfect example of the way Kate strived for new soundscapes with the aid of modern devices, especially Fairlight.

I bet there aren't many Kate Bush fans that fail to be moved by this dystopic and mysterious song. One doesn't even need to be aware that the protagonist is an unborn child inside the mother's womb. The outside world has faced disaster: "Chips of Plutonium are twinkling in every lung". Here Kate starts to show her real capacity as a widely expressionistic vocalist instead of a high-pitched pop sensation so easy to make fun of. 'Breathing' is simultaneously both soft, beautiful, and haunting, dark-toned. Worth noticing is the goosebump effect of the mid-section featuring the male voice-over, and the increase of the tension. Also the silent, extended ending is bravely against the pop norms. This definitely is a five-star song for me.

'The Empty Bullring' on the B side is a fairly good non-album song, so no need to lower my rating! It's just Kate and her piano, a bit like 'In the Warm Room' (on Lionheart) but slightly livelier and brighter -- at first it may bring 'Oh To Be in Love' in mind, only without band-backing or a clear chorus -- and the piano work is more decorative. Not so far from the classical lied, actually. Funnily I originally mistook the white mushroom on the cover for a figure of a lady wearing a large white hat, before having a closer look...

 Love and Anger by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Love and Anger
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars [Just added a bunch of Kate Bush singles.] This is probably her worst single ever (hopefully there aren't others as bad). 'Love and Anger' is an outtake from the album The Sensual World (1989). I bought the CD when it was just released, and I used to enjoy it quite a lot, despite some disliking for a couple of songs. Over the years it has become clearer that the album as a whole is a bit of a let-down and surprisingly average on her artistic scale (only the follower, Red Shoes from 1993, is notably worse). Especially considering that Kate worked on it for a long time, the results were not as good as they should have been. The listener simply doesn't feel the passion and inspiration so strongly felt on the previous album Hounds of Love (1985) which I cherish as a pop masterpiece. But yes, The Sensual World surely contains some very fine songs.

'Love and Anger' is among its weakest tracks. The song became quite popular in the States, where her stardom was notably smaller, and practically based on a handful of separate songs more than on complete albums. It is a decent, fairly listenable pop song if one compares it to the pop music of the time in general. But one really expects more from this individual art-pop artist. The vocals are all right, but the composition is among the least inspiring or original she has ever written. The single version is the same as the album version, only the end laughter has been cut off.

However, it's the B-sider that makes this single so bad. 'Ken' is an awfully noisy (supposed to be uplifting and joyous) pop song in the ugliest in-your-face production of the 80's, in the vein of Cyndi Lauper and other commercial mainstream pop featuring programmed drums. Not only the sharp brass sounds are nasty, also Kate's vocals get awfully screamy on this song that is a torture of nearly four minutes. The song was made for a comic strip film G.L.C. "Ken Livingstone, former leader of the GLC, Member of Parliament and the first democratically-elected Mayor of London is the official Labour candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as London Mayor in 2012", informs the YouTube page. The cover design is the best part of this release.

Thanks to fishy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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