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Kate Bush

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Kate Bush The Single File (VHS) album cover
3.52 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wuthering Heights
2. Man With The Child In His Eyes
3. Hammer Horror
4. Wow
5. Them Heavy People
6. Breathing
7. Babooshka
8. Army Dreamers
9. Sat In Your Lap
10. The Dreaming
11. Suspended In Gaffa
12. There Goes A Tenner

Line-up / Musicians

Musician's credits not given.

Releases information

Novercia, LTD and EMI Records, LTD

Thanks to Slartibartfast for the addition
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KATE BUSH The Single File (VHS) ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

KATE BUSH The Single File (VHS) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars This VHS sat in my player for quite some time and I thrashed it to death as it was very compelling colection of Kate Bush's infamous video clips with her greatest hits at the time. It begins with the enigmatic Wuthering Heights; "Oh it gets dark, it gets lonely, On the other side from you, I pine a lot, I find the lot, Falls through without you, I'm coming back love, cruel Heathcliff, My only one dream, my only master..." Wuthering Heights grabbed my attention as a teen and still retains its power to instil in me feelings of a cold, lonely spirit who is coming back to grab Heathcliffe's soul away. It is chilling stuff based on the famous Bronte novel. The film clip that was played to death at the time featured an ethereal forest setting with Bush waving her lithe body and bending over backwards and stalking with arms outstretched; unforgettable images from a theatrical master. She looked a picture as she stared at the camera with her wide gaping eyes and flowing hair. the clip ends with her disappearing and reappearing bending her body like a sapling.

Man With The Child In His Eyes has Bush in a studio watching the camera with eagle eyes and moving slowly as she mimes the words. A beautiful song with great visuals.

Hammer Horror is a chilling clip with Bush miming smashing someone with a hammer and she is dressed in ethereal flowing dress with creepy facial expressions. Once again she mimes the whole song in a dance ballet style.

Breathing is Bush at her sexiest as she mimics a Barbarella type scenario, lying on her back in a sexualised pose and miming the bizarre words.

Babooshka is one of the most memorable with Bush looking like an Aztec warrior in sexy Xena like garb complete with phallic sword that she slashes through the air. She looks beautiful with the lights behind her hair glowing and she also has a section where she is in black with a face covering veil and she plays a massive cello. Indelible images of the 80s.

Army Dreamers has Bush in a Vietnam setting with her leering in to the lens with her photogenic looks and there are tanks and camouflage and soldiers to help the scenery.

The Dreaming is interesting reenacting the Houdini escape artist events.

Overall it is a great little video; quite popular at the time and very memorable.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The essential video collection for the Bush fan

Kate's first collection of her video work was called "The Single File" and it contains videos from her first album up through 1982's The Dreaming. This collection is preferable to the later ones as it contains her most precious video work. All of the great early stuff is here and it includes more of The Dreaming videos. Some of The Dreaming videos were later sacrificed for the lamer Hounds videos a few years later, on the Whole Story project. The Whole Story also trashes the amazing "Wuthering Heights" song by redoing the vocals and drums with disastrous results. Like many artists, Kate failed to acknowledge the remarkable qualities of her earliest work and was contemptuous of some it.

I unapologetically maintain that Bush's earliest work was her strongest, from the debut album and Tour of Life masterpieces through the experimental gem The Dreaming. She lost that amazing spark after this period, becoming much more guarded, much more predictable, and much less fun. Aside from The Ninth Wave which is a formidable piece of work, there is nothing post-Dreaming which I consider essential Kate listening anymore. Sensual World, Red Shoes, and Aerial have some nice moments between them, but all pale in comparison to her 1978-1982 run.

The Single File gives us the best compilation of her greatest period. The fact that her video budgets and professional studio skills increased substantially after this makes it ironic that the work became so much less interesting and less passionate. These old videos, which may seem cheesy and old fashioned by today's standards, are precisely the vehicles to best present Bush's amazing talents at dance, music, theatrical style/costuming, and intimate presentation. Kate doesn't need the Donald Sutherland or the big Hounds era videos to engage you, she did so much more effectively in these early, intimate, "musical numbers" by staring you straight in the eye and "moving." These videos are emotionally gripping and feature a direct "human connection", something seemingly lost on most music videos enslaved to linear plots and special effects.

The early video is pure imagination, immediacy, and youthful sass caught on tape, a mix which proved unmatchable by the more mature Bush, and in my book ranks as some of the most memorable video ever created. Without Kate-bashing, because I understand her frustrations with the music industry and fame, her early work contains a certain magic that is the product of naivety and wonder, which is truly special. Something got lost later on as a more cynical and sad seriousness crept in, perhaps inevitably, but unfortunate all the same. From what I can discern, Kate was truly having fun the first five years. After that, she was enduring, and it shows.

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