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Why The '80's Didn't Suck: Kate Bush

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Poll Question: What's your favorite?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [13.64%]
10 [45.45%]
7 [31.82%]
2 [9.09%]
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resurrection View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote resurrection Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why The '80's Didn't Suck: Kate Bush
    Posted: June 19 2011 at 23:14
The Dreaming. An idiosyncratic and unusual talent, a bit of a wild card.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2011 at 11:13
The Dreaming

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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2011 at 23:51
On second thoughts about my vote!  Breathing might just be my favourite Kate Bush song and Never For Ever is overall another excellent album.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2011 at 14:32
Originally posted by Warthur

I'd also point out that just because prog itself (as it was understood in the 1970s) took a back seat in the 1980s, there was plenty of experimentation and new sounds out there, the post-punk scene in particular taking an avant-garde, experimental approach to things, and the indie scene in general coming up with superb music (even if it wasn't "prog"). The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Fields of the Nephilim, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, The Chameleons - all of them were releasing great albums, none of them are 80s bubblegum pop with 80s pop production values.

Basically, I think people tend to assume that all modern music sucks... as soon as they stop keeping up with modern music and discovering new bands and obscure sounds that don't get mainstream airplay. Mainstream radio has sucked hard since the 1980s and continues to suck today, and probably sucked in the 60s and 70s too (though perhaps to a lesser extent, I don't know). The reason so many people think music improved in the 90s or 2000s was that that's when they got the internet and started discovering new bands again...
 
You are right about mainstream radio. I used to listen to Radio Caroline (until the boat sunk!) as they played a lot of prog but also they played decent eighties stuff on occasions as well. China Crisis was another decent eighties band as I remember ,produced by ex Steely Dan members I think.Wishfull Thinking was a classic song of that decade.
What annoyed many about the eighties was the rise of MTV and the over importance of music videos but then Live Aid helped redress the balance and show that bands who could actually do it 'live' were much better than those that couldn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Warthur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2011 at 05:54
I'd also point out that just because prog itself (as it was understood in the 1970s) took a back seat in the 1980s, there was plenty of experimentation and new sounds out there, the post-punk scene in particular taking an avant-garde, experimental approach to things, and the indie scene in general coming up with superb music (even if it wasn't "prog"). The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Fields of the Nephilim, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, The Chameleons - all of them were releasing great albums, none of them are 80s bubblegum pop with 80s pop production values.

Basically, I think people tend to assume that all modern music sucks... as soon as they stop keeping up with modern music and discovering new bands and obscure sounds that don't get mainstream airplay. Mainstream radio has sucked hard since the 1980s and continues to suck today, and probably sucked in the 60s and 70s too (though perhaps to a lesser extent, I don't know). The reason so many people think music improved in the 90s or 2000s was that that's when they got the internet and started discovering new bands again...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2011 at 01:24
The 80's didn't suck at all its just that prog took a back seat for a while before it was able to get back on its feet again.
Mike Oldfield,Simple Minds,Al Stewart,Tangerine Dream,Vangelis,Marillion,IQ,Iron Maiden,Rush,Peter Gabriel,Steve Hackett etc all released excellent albums. Plenty to enjoy imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 22:19
Originally posted by Tapfret

1 good artist, or even a liberal handful of bands would not save the 80's from sucking. Art as a whole suffered a backlash against thought.
 
There's no denying that a lot of wrong turns were taken in the 80s but in my opinion:
 
a) Its impact is greatly exagerrated and there's no reason to thumb down the good music that was nevertheless made in that decade merely on account of negative trends in mainstream music of the time. I make no defence of the production values but would also state that I am quite happy to overlook those if the musical substance is interesting...and especially over music that is well produced but fundamentally stale, of which there's much these days.
 
b) The argument against the 80s also ignores the dull and boring music that was doubtless made in the 60s and the 70s too, like Eagles, Carpenters, Kiss and many others (I can't be bothered to jog my memory because I'd prefer to remember 60s for Beatles and Hendrix and 70s for KC or PF).  Or for that matter the 90s too, viz Celine Dion, Mariah Carey. Why then should the 80s be remembered only for bubblegum pop (or whatever pop it's supposed to be!) or hair/glam metal and not for Kate Bush or Rush?


Edited by rogerthat - June 17 2011 at 04:54
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stonebeard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 22:07
Hounds of Love is the best album of the 80s.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 21:02
1 good artist, or even a liberal handful of bands would not save the 80's from sucking. Art as a whole suffered a backlash against thought.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 20:27
Originally posted by richardh


I expect Andrew Powell has a significant influence on her in the early days before she was able to stand on her own two feet so to speak. The Dreaming and Hounds Of Love seem more 'organic' to me as she was able to fully express her ideas without having to force anything into a specific sound and style. Much of Hounds of Love features the Fairlight which uses sampling techniques and is strong on texture and atmosphere. Perfect tool for someone like Kate and enabled her not to be so reliant on orchestration to paint a picture.


Don't know about Powell but certainly evokes the art rock of the time generally in the early albums.  The interesting thing there too is that her songs seem to develop momentum without a whole lot of instrumental 'activity'. Just as a comparison, say something like Love Lies Bleeding has so much orchestration and a more rocking tempo to propel it but Kate makes the chorus of say Symphony in Blue throb with mostly just accompaniments to the vocals. Shes uses the guitar very effectively and without it overpowering the piano and keyboards (except on out and out rockers like Violin).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 20:10
Originally posted by Sean Trane



 
Soooorry, but....
 
from your list, not one of these albums would find its place in my top 200 of the 70's if they had been released in 78 or 79 (prog or not)...
 
Maybe Script and Brother, and Love Over Gold woud scratch the 200 level... UZed certainly gets in though.
 
And although you're right that the 90's aren't all that great, I can list quite a bit of albums (certainly more than the 80's) that would find space in my 300.
 
 
 
 
 



You asked about odd good albums and I gave you a bucketful, can easily add several more.  Where you rank them in your preference is not my concern, but none of these are drek, whichever way you argue it and for that matter, all of these albums are far more invigorating than that boring Supertramp album which has nothing going for it except that "gosh, they didn't sell out in 1985".  I have a couple or more of albums from the 90s like OKC and Grace that I'd put in my top 20 albums but there's really too much confused and tired rock music going nowhere in particular as against that.


Edited by rogerthat - June 16 2011 at 20:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 16:56
Originally posted by rogerthat

Originally posted by Chris S

Hounds of Love is such a powerful work, yet individual albums appeal at different times.


That is exactly right. Her albums appeal for different reasons and yet it's possible to like a good many of her albums too.  In spite of Hounds of Love's commercial success, I'd have to say she's somewhat underrated.  She has amazing control working within essentially pop form, paints varied and highly evocative textures and writes unusual chord progressions that are still effective and expressive enough to have immediate appeal.  And rarer still is she seems to be able to pull a different ace to bank on in different albums, whereas composers typically identify their strengths early on and tap them to the hilt.  If the first two albums seem to draw more on the conventional focal points of melody and harmony, Hounds of Love relies more on texture and rhythm and I can't say she is less effective as a composer in either approach.
 
I expect Andrew Powell has a significant influence on her in the early days before she was able to stand on her own two feet so to speak. The Dreaming and Hounds Of Love seem more 'organic' to me as she was able to fully express her ideas without having to force anything into a specific sound and style. Much of Hounds of Love features the Fairlight which uses sampling techniques and is strong on texture and atmosphere. Perfect tool for someone like Kate and enabled her not to be so reliant on orchestration to paint a picture.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 16:47
Originally posted by rogerthat

Originally posted by Sean Trane

Well my preferred KB albums are from the 70's.... Sooooo the 80's did suck after all !!!Wink
 
 
All kidding aside, even if there is the odd good album that was released in that dreaded decade, they are usually the exception that confirms the rule....


Odd good album?  Nightfly,  The Dreaming/Hounds of Love, Synchronicity/Ghosts in a Machine, Moving Pictures/Signals, Fire of Unknown origin, Discipline, Remain in Light, Gaucho, Metal Fatigue...there's no shortage of good albums from the 80s. Yes, it was no match for the 70s (so what!) but I really doubt the conventional wisdom of the 90s being so much better than the 80s these days. Yeah, if you really hate the guts out of all accessible music, then maybe.  80s production values were awful but the albums weren't necessarily so.

EDIT: On topic, I love the first three of these chronologically almost equally for different reasons but got to give it to Dreaming for just how mad it is.  An incredible and bold metamorphosis of a talented artist.
 
Soooorry, but....
 
from your list, not one of these albums would find its place in my top 200 of the 70's if they had been released in 78 or 79 (prog or not)...
 
Maybe Script and Brother, and Love Over Gold woud scratch the 200 level... UZed certainly gets in though.
 
And although you're right that the 90's aren't all that great, I can list quite a bit of albums (certainly more than the 80's) that would find space in my 300.
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 12:00
Originally posted by Chris S

Hounds of Love is such a powerful work, yet individual albums appeal at different times.


That is exactly right. Her albums appeal for different reasons and yet it's possible to like a good many of her albums too.  In spite of Hounds of Love's commercial success, I'd have to say she's somewhat underrated.  She has amazing control working within essentially pop form, paints varied and highly evocative textures and writes unusual chord progressions that are still effective and expressive enough to have immediate appeal.  And rarer still is she seems to be able to pull a different ace to bank on in different albums, whereas composers typically identify their strengths early on and tap them to the hilt.  If the first two albums seem to draw more on the conventional focal points of melody and harmony, Hounds of Love relies more on texture and rhythm and I can't say she is less effective as a composer in either approach.


Edited by rogerthat - June 16 2011 at 12:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 11:46
Hounds of Love is such a powerful work, yet individual albums appeal at different times. Sensual World is incredible too. As usual with such excellent music, none has dated although kick inside is my least favorite :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 09:21
Originally posted by Sean Trane

Well my preferred KB albums are from the 70's.... Sooooo the 80's did suck after all !!!Wink
 
 
All kidding aside, even if there is the odd good album that was released in that dreaded decade, they are usually the exception that confirms the rule....


Odd good album?  Nightfly,  The Dreaming/Hounds of Love, Synchronicity/Ghosts in a Machine, Moving Pictures/Signals, Fire of Unknown origin, Discipline, Remain in Light, Gaucho, Metal Fatigue...there's no shortage of good albums from the 80s. Yes, it was no match for the 70s (so what!) but I really doubt the conventional wisdom of the 90s being so much better than the 80s these days. Yeah, if you really hate the guts out of all accessible music, then maybe.  80s production values were awful but the albums weren't necessarily so.

EDIT: On topic, I love the first three of these chronologically almost equally for different reasons but got to give it to Dreaming for just how mad it is.  An incredible and bold metamorphosis of a talented artist.


Edited by rogerthat - June 16 2011 at 10:13
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2011 at 02:39
Well my preferred KB albums are from the 70's.... Sooooo the 80's did suck after all !!!Wink
 
 
All kidding aside, even if there is the odd good album that was released in that dreaded decade, they are usually the exception that confirms the rule....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harold-The-Barrel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2011 at 13:03
Hounds followed by never for ever
You must be joking.....Take a running jump......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote valravennz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2011 at 00:16
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by moe_blunts

I voted Never For Ever because it is my current favorite Bush album.  Infant Kiss is particularly...well, disturbing.  Great stuff. 
 
pleased to see it get a voteClap

Never For Ever is in my top 3 Bush favourite albums, so had to vote. Big smile

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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2011 at 10:21
Originally posted by moe_blunts

I voted Never For Ever because it is my current favorite Bush album.  Infant Kiss is particularly...well, disturbing.  Great stuff. 
 
pleased to see it get a voteClap
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