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Kate Bush

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Kate Bush The Kick Inside album cover
3.95 | 394 ratings | 34 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moving (3:01)
2. The Saxophone Song (3:52)
3. Strange Phenomena (2:58)
4. Kite (2:57)
5. The Man With The Child In His Eyes(2:41)
6. Wuthering Heights (4:29)
7. James And The Cold Gun (3:36)
8. Feel It (3:02)
9. Oh To Be In Love (3:18)
10. L'Amour Looks Like Something Like You (2:28)
11. Them Heavy People (3:05)
12. Room For The Life (4:05)
13. The Kick Inside (3:34)

Total Time: 43:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Kate Bush / lead & backing vocals, piano

- Ian Bairnson / guitars, backing vocals (9)
- Paul Keogh / guitar (2)
- Alan Parker / guitar (2)
- Andrew Powell / keyboards (2), electric piano (3), synth (9), bass & celesta (6), arranger & producer
- Duncan Mackay / electric piano (1,10), synth (3), organ (4,6,7), clavinet (4)
- Paddy Bush / harmonica, mandolin (9), backing vocals (11)
- Alan Skidmore / saxophone (2)
- David Paton / bass, acoustic (6) & electric (9) guitars, backing vocals (9)
- Bruce Lynch / bass (2)
- Stuart Elliot / drums, percussion (9,12)
- Barry de Souza / drums (2)
- Morris Pert / percussion (3,4,6,12)
- Orchestra (5,13) - uncredited
- David Katz / orchestra contractor

Releases information

Artwork: Splash Studio with Jay Myrdal (photo)

LP EMI ‎- EMC 3223 (1978, UK)

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 46012 2 (1986, Europe)

Thanks to fishy for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KATE BUSH The Kick Inside ratings distribution

(394 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KATE BUSH The Kick Inside reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Crow
4 stars Iīm really pleased for being the first in making a review here of this wonderful album...

The Kate Bushīs music itīs very special, because she has a unique and really good voice. She learned to sing bel-canto since she was a girl before moving to the pop and rock world. Her music is very personal, like her lyrics, because apart of sing and play some instruments, she is very good songwriter...

This music can be called prog rock, but I think itīs just pop with some symphonic arragements. The piano has a very important rol in this album. And songs like the very famous Wuthering Heights have very good orchestral arragements.

"The Kick Inside" has a long story behind. It took three years in being completed, since 1975 to 1978, but the Kate Bushīs label (EMI) waited patiently to the whole album being finished. And it worthed the waiting, because songs like the mentioned Wuthering Heights and The Man with the Child in His Eyes reached high places in the charts, and the critics were very favourable.

The songs not included in "The Kick Inside" went to the Kateīs following record, "Lionheart", an album with a sound very similar to "The Kick Inside", but not as good in my opinion.

Best songs: all of them!

Maybe itīs not a masterpiece of progressive music, but itīs a great album of "symphonic pop" music. 4 well deserved stars!

Review by Blacksword
5 stars She made it into the archives!! It's about time, and as a life long fan, I'm delighted to see her here.

The Kick Inside is a superb debut album. The 18 year old singer songwriter was spotted by Floyds Dave Gilmour, and to this day her contribution to progressive popular music has been enormous and certainly unique. The debut lays down a few blueprints for the rest of her career, in terms of piano dominated ballads, the use of orchestra - or at least strings and the very personal lyrcis. But, in reality her music has changed a great deal over the years.

The album opens with 'Moving' After haunting whale song, Bush, accompanied by piano sings to the world for the first time. It's a great moment. 'Saxophone Song' 'Strange Phenomenon' and 'Kite' are all quirky Kate Bush classics which I dont feel have dated at all. This is one of her many strengths and arguably the mark of any great songwriter; the work ALWAYS sounds good, even many years after it was written and recorded. The album produced a few hit singles, 'Wuthering Heights' and 'The man with the child in his eyes' both packed with haunting melodies, and both introducing the world to a new type of female recording artist; a free thinking musician who had no or little interest in the conventions of making pop music, but at the same time perfected a sound that was accessable to so many. The Kick Inside was just the start, and for anyone thinking of discovering Kate Bush, then I would suggest that you start here.

Review by richardh
4 stars I started listening to Kate Bush in the eighties just prior to the release of Hounds Of Love.Her music although on the pop side of things had always seemed full of diverse ideas so I took the plunge and got hold of her albums.The first four albums are without doubt 'song based' albums.By that I mean they do not have a common theme or anything to really bind the songs together into some coherent whole.For that reason I decline from giving any of them a 5 star rating.As much as I like her,none of the the first four albums warrant the masterpeice status in my view. The highlights here are the singles 'Wuthering Heights' and 'The Man With The Child In His Eyes'.There is also the beautifull title track which has a strong feminine theme although is never overbearing.The other songs fall slightly fall short but then the clever arrangements of Andrew Powell and some nice production work keep it interesting.Overall a fine debut.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Dave Gilmour backing Kate Bush for her debut album made me listen to this album properly not to mention she was the fashion icon of the then british era and people bought the album in droves. Overall the album has some gems like ' The Man With The Child In His Eyes' and ' The Kick Inside' Critically it cannot be dismissed due to the unique sound it had and the personality of Kate Bush driving the music. Great albums do not date but this one does sound a bit dated I am afraid. Probably one of her best selling albums which set the stage for even better material. If I had to label it I would call the music Avante garde or art rock. Prog related is a safe call. A good debut.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kate Bush's first album is very well balanced: the omnipresent piano, the background keyboards, the lead vocals, the electric and acoustic guitars, the bass and the drums work together and produce loaded and rather rhythmic tracks. The tracks duration (ranging between 2 and 4 minutes) is not sufficient enough to classify this record as pure progressive rock, but, although the rhythm and patterns do not change excessively, this record is certainly progressive related. The keyboards are not extremely present, (Fender Rhodes and a few discreet organ parts), but the omnipresent rhythmic piano, the backing vocals and the other instruments are elaborated enough to fully compensate.

I do not find the saxophone on "Saxophone song" very attractive, but the track is very good: it begins with real whale sounds, I think, and it has a more melodramatic mood than the other tracks. Just listen to the orchestral arrangements on "Man with the child in his eyes": it is absolutely GREAT! On this track, one can hear the more "normal" voice of Kate: I wonder why she did not exploit more this kind of tone. There is the beautiful & catchy hit, "Wuthering heights", not to be missed. The piano & vocals- oriented songs will continue in her next album, "Lionheart", which is more delicate, elaborated and progressive.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kate Bush?

Prog Rock??

Surely not!!!

Dusting off my precious copy of "The Kick Inside" - largely unlistened to since the 1980s - I prepared myself to litter this review with comments about "pop songs" and just because there's a tenuous David Gilmour and Peter Gabriel link sort of thing.

But hey, it's listed under Prog-related, and I guess the latter relates Ms Bush to Prog.

I strapped on my trusty Sennheisers - and initially you could have blown me down with a feather.

There is a truly Prog Rock type vibe running through the whole of the first side of this album - although it never goes into "full-blown" territory - and it's even better than I remember it being back in the 1970s/80s. There is music on this album that has remained fresh to these ears and transcended the era it was unleashed upon.

For unleashed is the right word.

Kate Bush has a mesmerising and (almost literally) bewitching voice that only the coldest of hearts could fail to be completely melted by, and caused a great stir with the release of "Wuthering Heights" especially.

She also has a very and unusually feminine approach to her piano playing, avoiding "masculine" sounding chord progressions almost, it would seem, at all costs - choosing the softer and often unexpected chord changes every time, maintaining a surprisingly spontaneous yet ultimately coherent feel to the music.

"The Kick Inside" is complemented by an army of session musicians who really manage to get into the groove - presumably under strong direction - and manage to avoid sounding sterile on the whole. There are one or two exceptions on this otherwise solid work of progressive music, and I'll cover those in the following analysis;

"Moving" opens the album incredibly well, with what sounds like wolves howling - or it could be whalesong... Delicate piano chords shift and drift, with Kate's voice seeming to improvise verses and choruses over the top - it's like she's performing a duet with herself; the piano and voice two separate and individual yet complementary instruments. Midway through the chorus, there is a key change of startling beauty that is well worth singling out for attention.

The saxophone in "The Saxophone Song" is less remarkable than the guitar playing, which is deliciously sensitive and a point, while the sax itself cuts little mustard. The song itself is largely unremarkable too - but does get into a nice, if somewhat repetitive groove for the burn-out.

"Strange Phenomenon" is better, with icy dischordant ripples on the piano mellowing somewhat, while keeping a real free-form feel until the chorus, which has an odd singalong feel to it - but you wouldn't add it to your bath playlist unless you had Kate's amazing vocal registers...

"Kite" is among my least favourite of Kate's work - and a modest hit - but it's still a very unusual song with unexpected chords... and that horrible "White Man's Reggae" feel. Even Kate's voice can't save this one for me.

"The Man With The Child In His Eyes", on the other hand, is what we're talking about. Another hit single from this brilliant debut, it showcases both Kate's melodic invention and pianistic abilities - and that wonderful, sympathetic yet detailled orchestral arrangement. The chord progressions and key changes are dazzling and seem to paint a picture of a universe of possibilites and potential in a fully Progressive way. The subtle and delicate use of the orchestra serves to highlight little details in the music and lyrics - note particularly the early use of the 'cello, and later use of woodwind and horns. Utterly spellbinding.

But the best is yet to come. "Wuthering Heights" is one of my all-time favourite songs, and under analysis, makes me feel kind of sumg that a song that moves me so deeply emotionally should be so packed with all the right sort of details - a strong chorus, surprising key changes in the verses, a magnificent middle 8, shimmering organ, pianistic details and above all (literally!) Kates incredible voice in full flight. And then there's THAT guitar solo (way too low in the mix and with terrible execution issues, but the 1986 remix fixes that to perfection)! Magical stuff.

The problem now is that we've heard the best. Here is where side 1 of the vinyl ends.

The album continues well, but never again reaches the peaks of "The Man..." or "Wuthering Heights" - indeed, side 2 is a real let-down in comparison.

"James and the Cold Gun" is a good rocker, with a catchy chorus, but the only thing that's really remarkable about the song is Kate's voice and the story in the lyrics. Oh, and there's some tasty Hammond licks in there.

"Feel it" is much better - featuring Kate, a piano and some imaginative jazz-inspired chord progressions with intuitive punctuation and decoration, moulding the music effortlessly into smoky sillouhettes.

"Oh to be in love" is a bit more uncomfortable and would seem to be filler, the session musicians as unsure of the overall groove of the verses as Kate seems to be, and the choruses somewhat non-descript. The keyboard parts are further evidence that certain things cannot be polished...

"L'amour looks like something like you" returns to the quality of groove of "Feel It", albeit with a few execution issues and a naff electric piano sound.

"Them heavy people" was yet another hit, presumably bought only by devoted fans, and is a return to the "White Man Reggae" sound of "Kite". Unremarkable except for its sub-average nature.

"Room for the life" is almost devoid of flow and does not even stray into average territory, the session musicians floundering, and Kate struggling to find a real groove but faking the passion reasonably. What's with the Brain May guitars?

"The kick inside" brings Kate and the piano back together again in, if not perfect, at least extremely agreeable harmony. The unsettled nature of the chord progressions, occasionally substituting minor and major thirds for effective and momentary harmonic base confusion, with deliberate shifts between major and unrelated minors via modal progressions... well, you know... these devices are all well and good, but Kate seems to do it without even thinking about it - and that's the difference between creating honest, progressive music and calculated nonsense.

A very good closing track - one well worth hanging around for, but I'd skip the majority of side two to get to it if I were you...

In summary, then, an album with some remarkable (if not really Prog Rock) music on it that deserves a little corner in any progger's collection - but since it's only 60% good stuff, does not score highly overall.

On the other hand, the stuff that's good is exceptional.

If you like the lighter side of Prog and haven't got it already, do yourself a favour and buy "The Kick Inside" by Kate Bush. If you only like the heavier side, buy it anyway - you might like it :-)

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First of all, i have to tell you something, Kate Bush is here in Prog Related section, because her music is not progressive rock, only a few songs, and for that reason, this album for most beautiful that it is, cannot be a five star album, because it is not a masterpiece of progressive music, maybe it could be a masterpiece of progressive related music i dont know.

Talking about the album, it was Kateīs first album, all we know Kate was discovered by David Gilmour, and he wasnt wrong, he discovered a beautiful voice, a different woman with excellent ideas and music, in this album we can see it. Wuthering Heights is the most well known song here, its great but not the best, i really love The Saxophone Song and The Man with a Child in his Eyes, both songs are beautiful, the entire album is really great, This album has 13 songs, and believe me i cant get enough of it, it has beautiful lyrics, great piano and arrangorchestral arrangements, not the most complex guitar work, but its good too, some melodic and some happy songs we can find, it is a very reccomendable album, but as i said above this cannot be a 5 star album, if this were a site of rock, this will be for sure a 5 star album. Beautiful!! Excellent!!

Review by hdfisch
3 stars KB's debut is another one of those albums I still keep in my collection mainly for memorial and sentimental reasons and one that was rather growing dust on my shelf. In fact it wasn't before I purchased her "Aerial"-album just recently that I picked it up to give it a spin after ages. She was just 17 years old when David Gilmour discovered her talents and supported her dealing with EMI in mid 70's and I think I've been about the same age when I heard these songs here first. Of course I liked them very much back then but the term "Prog" wasn't existing yet for me at that time. And in fact I never heard much of a link to this specialized genre in her music, for me it was always rather high quality artistic pop music. I still like the songs of this debut here, no question about it, and whenever I feel the need to listen to some lighter type of music (which hardly ever occurs I've to say) this album has certainly good chances to find its way into my player. But on the other hand there isn't anything present here that would make a sophisticated music lover run miles for. The songs are throughout well arranged, there's a nice balance between more up-tempo ones and ballads and for sure KB' s voice though being still quite premature never sounded that bewitching and native again later on in her career. As usual the most memorable air-play hits like "Kite" and "Wuthering Heights" are by far not the strongest songs. "The man with the child in his eyes" is a wonderful introvert ballad but best one is for me "The saxophone song". Worth mentioning that the musicianship which is presented by almost complete Alan Parsons Project-1978-lineup is really great throughout this record.

I think this has been a very brave, for that period anachronistic and remarkable debut by a highly talented young girl but I'm afraid saying that it sounds a bit dated meanwhile and IMHO it's not to be considered an essential addition to any Prog collection. Only outstanding work (in terms of Prog) is her latest one "Aerial" I would say. I consider the rest of her catalogue rather a kind of "high quality easy listening music". For this one here I would eventually add half star extra!

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Kate Bush is certainly a bit of an enigma, so it’s pretty difficult to come up with any really definitive statements about her music. Her sound is very hard to classify, and for me at least even how to rate her albums seems to depend on what day it is and how her music hits me at any particular moment. This means that there are times when her voice grates on me and I can’t get through all forty-five minutes of an album without a break. Then there are other times when her angelic tones and painfully intimate lyrics can bring me to tears. And the level of experimentation in her music is also acquired taste, particularly in her later albums.

So I think what I’ve just described is a prog music diva, for lack of a better term. And even that is a generalization, as it doesn’t fully and accurately describe Ms. Bush. She truly is an original.

I’m a bit torn on where to place this album against the rest of her discography. On the plus side there isn’t a bad track here, although there are a couple (“James and the Cold Gun”, “Oh to be in Love”) that have never really grabbed me emotionally, which is what I think the measure should be for a great Kate Bush song. Also, it has the benefit of being the debut of a completely unique sound, which meant at the time it would either hit or miss with very little chance of landing anywhere in between. It hit, so that’s good. But it’s also worth noting that this album was over two years in the making, so Ms. Bush certainly had plenty of time to get it right. Her next two albums would suffer somewhat from the lack of such a long time to perfect them. She also had the benefit of the most impressive production support imaginable for a young teenager in David Gilmour and Alan Parsons Project arranger/conductor Andrew Powell. Several of the songs on the album had been written years before, and there are indications from the Phoenix recordings that Ms. Bush had spent considerable time rearranging these are experimenting ad nausea until she got them right, and she had the incredible fortune of a record label that was supportive and permitted her these artistic freedoms.

So really, this is an album that would have been very hard to screw up. Not that she should be begrudged her good fortune; it’s just that Ms. Bush’s big break could not have been handed to her on a more silver platter.

But she certainly did capitalize. Hearing Kate Bush’s voice for the first time is like being struck by lightening and living through it. You’re not quite sure what happened to you, but the experience causes you to rethink things you once held to be immutable.

The opening track “Moving” is either about being in love, or being pregnant, or about having sex. My vote goes to being pregnant, which is in fact the recurring theme of the album. The whale songs and references to life and lilies and moving liquid all kind of lean in that direction. Musically this is closer to a pop song, with very tasteful piano and keyboards, understated saxophone, and a fairly straightforward arrangement. A nicely done (though conservative) coming out for Ms. Bush.

“The Saxophone Song” gets a bit more interesting in its more prominent featuring of that instrument, as well as in the greater vocal range demonstrated by Ms. Bush. This is a lovers’ song, and presents itself quite well as just that. It also has one of the more priceless lyrics I’ve heard in many years:

“The stars that climb from her bowels, Those stars make towers on vowels”.

Not sure what that means, but you have to admire someone who sings those words with a straight face.

On “Strange Phenomena” Ms. Bush seems to be showing a bit of a crush on, or at least some tender admiration for David Gilmour. Musically this is kind of fluff, but again there is some very elegant piano work from the artist, and overall it is a decent enough song.

With “Kite” Ms. Bush shows just a little of the wild side that would fully bloom in ‘The Dreaming’ and become mature with ‘Hounds of Love’. There’s some jerky percussion, slightly strident piano, and vocals that seem to sometimes challenge the notion of what can be considered ‘carrying’ a tune. Combine that with some keyboards and a little funk on guitar and bass (undoubtedly influenced by the adult producers in the room), and you have a quirky but pleasant tune.

But everything to this point pales once “The Man with the Child in his Eyes” starts to play. Here Ms. Bush demonstrates her ability to show restraint, with piano and vocals that can only be described as utterly gorgeous. The synthesized string sounds add a touch of class, and this is one for the ages. If I’m not mistaken this was one of Ms. Bush’s biggest hits.

But not as big as “Wuthering Heights”, which has a lot of the same characteristics as the previous track but adds greater vocal range, as well as a more dynamic arrangement and a little piano passage that could have easily ended up as the theme music for an airline somewhere. Pretty decent guitar work here too, courtesy of Alan Parsons sidekick Ian Bairnson I believe.

I just can’t get past the fact that “James and the Cold Gun” strikes me completely as a Pat Benatar song with its rock one-two punch, dated guitar work, affected vocal squealing from Ms. Bush, and ‘trailer trash hits the road’ lyrics. The guitar riffs are catchy enough, but overall this is not a particularly memorable work.

“Feel it” is another lovers’ song. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising since Ms. Bush wrote most of these songs in the mid-seventies while she was a budding teenager, but there is certainly a lot of lust being expressed on this album. ‘Went to a party, came home, got laid’ is the basic message here, albeit stated much more tastefully by the artist herself. Again, a decent song musically but doesn’t do much for me lyrically, as I could have gotten this off a Motels album, or maybe Martha & the Muffins.

And again more of the same lyrically on “Oh to be in Love”, but musically the keyboards are much more interesting, the peppy refrains are catchy, and the addition of male backing vocals gives this song a dimension that the rest of the album doesn’t have. I’m not sure what instrument is making the organ-like choppy keyboard sounds, but I like it.

And once more with the titillating teenager on “L'amour Looks Something like You”, but this is also a refined arrangement with some great piano work and vocals.

“Them Heavy People” is an odd little tribute from protégé to teacher with an obscure reference to dance guru and spiritual nut-job G.I. Gurdjieff. This and the previous song are the two on the album that have not stood the test of time particularly well, and do sound a bit dated today, particularly due to the bouncy keyboards wrapped around a bland bass line. This one just kind of fades into the woodwork on the album and isn’t really missed.

“Room for the Life” is another song about having babies, this time in the context of trying to connect a woman’s ability to do so with some sense of immortality. I’m not sure if Ms. Bush was obsessed, or affected, or simply wanted to have some thematic continuity to this album, but there sure is a lot of discussion around having babies. The mildly calypso feel to the percussion here is another preview of the striking direction she would take on ‘The Dreaming’.

The title track closes the album with the most bizarre song of all, the tale of a girl who is impregnated by her brother and commits suicide as a result, still clearly enamored of her sibling even as she prepares to turn her own lights off. And to think in the American Midwest during the seventies our parents burned and banned albums from the Beach Boys and Rod Stewart for being too racy, while at the same time the erstwhile Ms. Bush was cranking out tunes about lust and incest and suicide to great acclaim on the other side of the pond. Go figure.

Anyway, this is a fun little album to listen to, and I may have had a different opinion of it had I heard it first, instead of discovering Kate Bush in the eighties and picking this one up after the fact. But considering all the things that were stacked up in her favor to make the success of this album all but a foregone conclusion, I have to say that it can’t be ranked as any better than pretty good. So three stars seem right, and this would be her best effort until ‘The Dreaming’ nearly five years later.

Note: the version of the album here in the U.S. was the one of her sitting on the floor with red leggings and a slightly bemused look on her face. I like the British version better.


Review by chessman
4 stars Another great album that I bought when it was first released. It has been years since I heard it, but the other night I taped it off my friend's cd and gave it another spin. I still believe, after hearing all her other output over the years, that this is her finest moment, her strongest album. I remember when Wuthering Heights was first played on the radio; it was a thursday afternoon, towards tea time. The DJ said, after it had finished playing 'if that is a hit, I will eat my hat.' I would love to know if he did! This album is the perfect balance, IMO, between singularly attractive melodies and fascinating lyricism. Kate is in fine voice throughout, and the good thing here is that none of the tracks are overly long. I find her later albums, whilst good in parts, are very patchy and, at times, too experimental. They contain much material that doesn't remain in your mind for long. This album is different. Every track is catchy and, indeed, hummable, yet each track retains that special Bush atmosphere, with good if unobtrusive instrumentation and lovely piano work from the lady herself. I won't go into individual songs, but the highlights for me are 'Moving', 'Strange Phenomena', 'Kite', 'Wuthering Heights' (of course!), 'James And The Cold Gun', 'L'amour Looks Something Like You' and 'Room For The Life'. But every track is strong. As far as I am concerned, you only need two Kate Bush albums; this one and 'The Whole Story'. (The latter contains an even better version of Wuthering Heights, complete with improvised vocals at the end.) For me, she was never to quite scale these heights again. This is almost a bedsit album, but far superior in style and content. Wonderful, almost unique, ethereal stuff. If you want to hear her at her best, then get this. Four stars.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Pure Magic.

Kate's first will always be her best in my book. The Kick Inside is one of the most beautiful albums ever made.

Kate would explore deep fantasy land (Never For Ever), experimental (The Dreaming), grand epic (Hounds), and pop (Sensual) before unfortunately arriving at the downright awful (Aerial.)

But the Kick remains amongst the most emotional, original, and beautiful albums I've ever heard, capable of near constant shivers down one's spine. "Moving" is my favorite piece with its gorgeous melody and the standout tracks keep coming: The Man with the Child in his Eyes, Wuthering Heights, Strange Phenomena, Feel it. I can only imagine what Gilmour must have been thinking when he witnessed young Kate performing these tracks on a piano. These songs tap into the magic of youth, curiousity, sexuality, femininity, and passion, while Kate's amazing vocal and musical ability create a complete world all her own. And I mean that, Kate exists in *her own world* and she is so unique of other performers. This album is the perfect introduction to that mystique.

The playing is top notch and the sound on the remastered CDs is great. And no 80s synth or drum sounds yet so you have a very personal, warm, organic feel to the sound.

Kate is such an original that it's pointless to talk much about her music, it must be experienced. If you've never heard her definitely start here with her first album. Be prepared to find musical heaven. 5 stars is hardly enough for The Kick Inside. A true masterpiece.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album was very popular when it came out in late 70s. Of course, two songs made the album and Kate Bush became very popular: "Moving" and "Wuthering Heights". Kate Bush vocal quality is really good and in respect to this album, it has become a major selling point for this album. This is not actually the case for me as I can see the beauty of Kate Bush' music as it has an excellent ambient. I thought initially that the music of Kate Bush is something like pop music. But when I observe the subtleties of the music, it goes beyond pop music. There is no such complex arrangement pertinent to this album. But that's not the whole point that I'm trying to make. The beauty of music is not necessarily something to do with complexity. It transcends into the mix of styles, textures, melodies and lyrical expressions. Typically, I do not consider lyrics in most of my reviews but I believe that this is an important factor to consider, especially with Kate Bush' music. As far as this album's concern, it's a good album even though it's not a heavy one in terms of composition.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Itīs funny but Kate Bush is one of the first artists I remember listening to on the radio in my childhood and of course it was Wuthering Heights which was the great hit from The kick Inside and probably the greatest hit Kate Bush have ever made. Itīs doubtful that I heard Wuthering Heights in 1978 as I was only 1 year old at the time, but a couple of years after is more plausible. Itīs strange how things that we associate with our childhood can bring out strong emotions but thatīs exactly what Wuthering Heights does to me. I get goosebumps every time I listen to that song. Just beautiful.

I didnīt listen to Kate Bush for many years then but around 1995 I started listening to Tori Amos and in interviews with Tori, I read that she was very influenced by Kate Bush and of course I was curious to know if that was true. Listening to the two artist itīs clear that it is very true. Tori is very influenced by Kate Bush as are many other female singer/ songwriters.

The music is piano driven, but the main focus is on Kate Bush beautiful voice which spans over many octaves. Her voice can be tiny as a mouse and as grand as a bear but always with a sensual edge. The structure of the songs are mainly vers chorus radio friendly but there are twists here and there to keep things exciting. All songs are either good or excellent, but a couple of the songs stand out from the rest. These two songs are simply masterpieces of progressive rock. Moving and Wuthering heights are very special songs that even Kate Bush herself has only made a handful of in her career. Listen to the emotional singing in those songs, it just canīt be done better. Note the beautiful and pretty original harmony and background vocals in Moving. Fantastic, just fantastic.

Kate Bush has assembled an outstanding cast of musicians to play on The Kick Inside, but the brightest star is definitely herself. Her piano playing is outstanding and her vocal perfomance here on her debut is beyond what can be expected even by the most experiences singers. Her vocal performance is simply outstanding and unique.

The production is nice and soft, a typical seventies production with soft drum and bass sound. The vocals have gotten the most attention though and they are very well produced.

This is not a masterpiece as there are too many songs that are just good, but the few masterpieces and the couple of excellent songs makes this album a 4 star album for me. Itīs higly recommendable though.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Unfortunately I can't confirm or deny the persistent rumours that our own Finnforest had a torrid affair with Kate Bush back in the eighties. What I can tell you is that Kate Bush was blessed with a ton of talent. She was the first woman to have a number one self-written song in the UK with "Wuthering Heights". She started playing piano at age 11 and wrote her first song at 13. The demo David Gilmour recieved from a friend of her brother had 50 songs on it all written by Bush before the age of 16. Signed to EMI at 16, and released this her first album at 19. Five members of the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT play on this album including Andrew Powell who also produced and arranged it.

"Moving" was written by Kate when she was 13 years old. It opens with 20 seconds of whale song before the piano and vocals come in. Strings come and go. "The Saxaphone Song" is a top three track for me. It opens with more whale song before vocals, piano and acoustic guitar come in. A fuller sound follows quickly. This contrast continues. Love the sax, it will be back later. I like the way the song ends as it seems to drift along for quite some time. "Strange Phenomena" isn't one i'm too fond of really. It's ok though. "Kite" is an infectious song. I like how theatrical she gets on this one. David Gilmour was the executive producer for the next song "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" which is also a top three track for me.This song just kills me. Violin and piano with those innocent vocals are heart breaking to say the least. The orchestration is stunning. The chorus with those words "Ooh, he's here again..." is as emotional as it gets.

"Wuthering Heights" is the other top three (surprise !). Piano and vocals are simply pure joy for me. Words like "Cathy it's me come home i'm so cold..." "James And The Cold Gun" is an uptempo track with some organ that comes and goes. I like the calm 3 minutes to the end. "Feel It" features piano and vocals throughout.This is all about Kate. Fantastic tune ! "Oh To Be In Love" has some male vocals helping out on the chorus. Strummed guitar and piano lead the way. Excellent track. "L'Amour Looks Something Like You" is another beauty. Again this is all about Kate. "Them Heavy People" is a catchy and bouncy track. Strings on the chorus. "Room For The Life" opens with those child- like vocals as piano plays. Drums and a fuller sound come in quickly. Some percussion after a minute and some prominant bass 2 minutes in. "The Kick Inside" is another vocal / piano track with some strings too.

I completely agree with Finnforest that this album has to be felt, describing it doesn't work here. So much emotion and feeling on this special album.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This album was Kate Bush's debut release, a great start to what, so far has been an amazing career. While not quite as progressive as some of her subsequent releases, this album has enough spirit of adventure to keep most prog fans happy. And that voice. So expressive and sexy. She can even make a man actually almost want to read "Wuthering Heights". Almost.

Highlights here are "Kite", with it's bounce tune and odd lyrics about being a kite, the aforementioned "Wuthering Heights", and the only straight out hard rock tune I know of from Ms. Bush, "James And The Cold Gun". The music throughout is a foreshadow of what is to come in the next decade or so, but it's the lyrics that rule here. From "L'Amour Looks Something Like You": "All the time I find I'm living in that evening, with that feeling of sticky love inside."

Excuse me, I need a few moments. Again.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There probably isn't a universal definition for the word 'beauty', but Kate Bush managed to explain what it means to me in around 40 minutes of pure and gorgeous music.

At the heart of each song sits a sensuous and clever piano ballad, fleshed out by an impressive list of professional musicians, lending a proggy feel to the material. Luckily they abstain from unnecessary soloing or any other form of obtrusive playing. Regardless whether Kate sits alone at the piano or is backed up by the entire band, this album maintains a uniquely romantic and dreamy mood throughout. Even when they let in a little punky breeze as on James and the Cold Gun, it remains entirely cute and charming.

The number of highpoints is endless, to name just a few, the opening duo Moving/Saxaphone Song is superb, if those can't convince you of the vocal qualities and song writing skills of this lady then nothing will. The band really shines here as well, adding just the right doze of progginess to it, very subtle. Another favourite would be The Man With The Child In His Eyes.

Kate Bush would create one other album with a similar feel and would then gradually evolve and diversify her music, with another number of great accomplishments as a result. But never did she conjure up the unique ambience and disarming purity of her debut. Nothing less then essential in every household, prog or otherwise.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "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..." I start this review with some of the most potent lyrics to hit the radio in the 70s. 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, and the piano is soul stirring. 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 made a huge impact with this track and of course the album sold many copies due to this song alone. I got hold of this to check out what else she could do and was mildly surprised that nothing else really measured up. 'The man with the child in his Eyes was a great track and also a single but everything else is forgettable and throwaway material apart from glimpses of brilliance. It was her voice that was so enchanting and she had a spellbinding presence on her albums, the wide eyed witch with estranged high pitched vocals was a haunting image but the material on this was uninspired for the most part, and mediocre, but still it was her debut and greatness was yet to come. I can give it 3 stars for the 2 singles and some moments but it is best to get these songs on greatest hits compilations as the rest of this album is quite dull.
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kate Bush's debut album is excellent mix of art-rock and art-pop. From the very first sounds listener will feel entering very special world of magic and beauty. Not magic of dragons and knights happily, but elegant and sensual magic of the world around as.

Melodic piano based mid tempo music is perfectly arranged and well balanced. Kate's voice is an art itself, later it will be used as standard for comparabilities. Every song is small piece of art, perfectly cooked in old-fashioned great art of albums making. Opener "Moving" with "The Saxophone Song" right after are excellent duo to introduce you into the album!

"Wuthering heights" is album's trade mark, played too often during last decades, but still great song. On any song besides of excellent vocals you will find extremely competent and well balanced musicianship. Possibly, not all songs are so strong compositionally, but it's a real pleasure to listen just how great music is arranged and played!

Great debut, and really strong Kate's album (not the best though).My rating is 3,5 rounded to 4.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Kate Bush's debut album established her as an art rock auteur on a par with the likes of David Bowie - a star who from the very beginning exerted a powerful control over the sound and musical direction and course of her career. The top track is, of course, Wuthering Heights, a bizarre little song which gets even creepier if you've read the book (in that Kate is most likely singing from the point of view of a ghost), but much of the rest of the material also combines fine vocal performances with competently performed, engaging and idiosyncratic poppy art- rock. An excellent start to a fantastic career.
Review by rogerthat
4 stars The Kick Inside is the sensational debut of an incredible artist. The then 19 year old Kate Bush surely paved the way for the likes of Bjork to rise and shine in the 90s. If Joni Mitchell debunked any sexist myths about a woman's ability to write great pop and rock music in the early part of the 70s, Kate Bush arriving at the tail end of the same decade popularized the notion of an artsy, theatrical, weird female artist.

It is often said that there is always room at the top and Kick Inside's strong opening is perhaps more proof. As a young artist only just making her way, Kate Bush manages to establish her own unique style in a decade full of prog rock heavyweights. You may trace influences but she doesn't imitate anybody in particular and already has a sound that can be distinctly recognized after listening to her songs a few times.

Indeed, if stunning opener Moving does remind you of some music, it might likely be some of Tori Amos's early work. ;) But Kate Bush writes far more unusual chord progressions and the notion of resemblances with Tori is soon dispelled. Her music is also evidently very atmospheric, without necessarily leaning heavily on Pink Floyd. Meanwhile, her vocal style is influenced by her idols Gabriel and Hammill but she also sings bel canto, so, once again, she sounds quite unlike anybody else.

And the beauty of Kate Bush's work lies in how this unusual combination - theatrical vocals, unusual piano chords and atmospheric arrangements - resolves most satisfyingly. Her music is not formally prog but it has many characteristics also found in prog that prog rock listeners would enjoy.

Kate Bush also seems to have a knack for writing a surefire pop lick. Kite for instance is a very catchy pop song while yet full of character. It was not however released as a single, being the B-side, instead, to the no.1 UK hit Wuthering Heights. A most unusual pop 'hit', that, mysterious, creepy and enchanting. The piano chords following the verse are so mesmerising that I can only hopelessly gush about their effect as I listen to it at the time of writing. It resolves into a more run of the mill chorus than Moving and the guitar coda is also more generic which might have aided the commercial success of this single.

Some other hallmarks of her music like the prominence of harps are also already evident. There is still some way to go yet for the development of fretless bass to approach its eventual importance in her sound. Also, on two songs, namely Saxophone Song and Man with the child in his eyes, she shuns her theatrical attack and goes for a mellow tone. She sounds very sincere in a Sandy Denny vein but a tad unremarkable with this approach. Not surprisingly, such a tone is nowhere in evidence by the time of The Dreaming. While Kate Bush's 'natural' voice is beautiful, it lacks presence and power so even if I get off sometimes on her overwrought theatrics, I find that more appealing and memorable.

Her trademark theatrics do help shore up the second half of the album. For it swiftly slides downhill post Wuthering Heights. It's not as if the songs suddenly start to stink. On the contrary, James and the Cold Gun for instance is a very catchy song and Feel It anticipates some aspects of her subsequent work. But Kate is unable to sustain the marvellous impression created by the first half - and it does set the bar really high.

The second half sounds more like an alternative Kick Inside wherein it is just a regular debut of a promising pop artist with some distinct stylistic aspects and the songs tend to resolve to safety rather than thrill. The two halves put together is a fairly schizophrenic experience and I am sure a lot of fans just avoid the second half altogether, even though it is decidedly not nearly that bad.

Because said inconsistency mars the impact of this album quite a bit, I cannot rate this album 5 stars. But it's a very strong 4 stars that I do give and has some of my favourite Kate Bush tracks (as well as that of, I am sure, many other fans).

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars This was appropriately my first KATE BUSH album and I fell for it upon first listen. Nobody in all of the musical world sounds like her. At the young age of 13 she already had her fingers on the pulse of the musical world and was creating, crafting and delivering her own passionate array of well polished songs with her own unique stamp on them. By the time she was sending demos she had already created over 50 songs.

After sending her demos around one finally got to David Gilmour who would help her refine them into more professional sounding pieces and thus would help catapult her into instant stardom in her native UK. By the time she was 19 her debut album was released and her singles such as 'Wuthering Heights' began to fly up the charts at home and then abroad.

I listen to this now and it does the same for as it did the very first time I heard it. Powerful stuff indeed because of Kate's strangely idiosyncratic vocal style and haunting cord changes that she has successfully integrated into the music to give it a unique feminine style. It still gives me goosebumps. 4.5 rounded up

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut albums in which Kate Bush's unique and eccentric sound, unique and eccentric voice, unique and eccentric style, and unique and eccentric messages & lyrics were being served unto the public. Many, especially in her native United Kingdom and Ireland, were quick to embrace this fresh new sound (thus, her chart topping singles and album and awards), yet the Kate embrace was not necessarily worldwide and not universal and not all full of praise. While I immediately appreciated and smiled at this courageous little woman, I was not a convert and have never become a fan of either this album, its songs, or the next. This may be, perhaps, due to my usual blindness to lyrics (the human voice is just another delivery mechanism for the comprehensive tapestry of song; rarely do the words or messages impact me), but it also has to do with the rather extreme quirkiness of the music.

Favorite songs (four stars): "Kite" and "The Man with the Child in His Eyes."

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I remember listening to Wuthering Heights in 1978, it was a big hit in Brazil (I guess it was a hit everywhere, wasnīt 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 Giantīs 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, itīs 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 youīll be rewarded. A must have for any music lover.

Review by Matti
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.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars I have heard a lot of great things about Kate Bush's music. I heard that a lot of her albums were really great, but I never explored much of her music, until now. I was tired of missing out of what was supposedly a great artist. It was tearing me apart, and I wanted what Kate had to offer with her music. So, I decided to give in and listen to her first album, since it was pretty well loved in a lot of music circles. After listening to it, good lord, I was missing out on such a great artist.

The album is a beautiful assemble of glorious singing. Kate Bush is definitely the main focal point of the album, not just because it's her album with her name on it, but because of her singing abilities. Not only that but her range is also fairly immaculate as well. It is young and pure sounding. I also really love the lyricism she brings to the table, especially with songs like Oh To Be In Love and The Saxophone Song. Also the instrumentation and the quality of said instrumentation is top notch. The pianos and drums are super well done, giving it a melodic and beautiful sound to the album, and the guitars balance things out tremendously well. I never find myself bored whenever I hear a song from the album, especially with the combination of the amazing instrumentation and vocals.

Now this album is obviously not without flaw, but it's more so for general things. Of course not every song is gonna be a one shot wonder, there are obviously songs you might like more than others, and I do admit that Kate Bush's vocals do get getting used to, especially hearing songs like Wuthering Heights and Them Heavy People for the first time due to her high vocal range, but trust me you'll get used to them fairly quickly.

So despite a few general things, this album is amazing. It perfectly crafts a masterful experience of progressive pop and art rock, and it definitely a fun album to listen to while grooving out in the evening. It's not perfect, but I'd be damn to not call it a masterpiece, and this being her first just shows how good Kate Bush is as a musician.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A strong debut album by a gifted piano player, composer with original high-pitched voice. Not surprisingly, songs are piano oriented with mellow arrangements and a touch of progressive rock textures while being rooted in songwriter pop. However, compositions are more ambitious than commercial po ... (read more)

Report this review (#2337688) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, February 22, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In 1978, an OMNI album, not exceptional, but avant-garde, one of those that will get people talking... 1. Moving sound of whales or other... a voice that moves you, beautiful, long before its physical beauty; a piano, a tune and... his voice; pop no it's too intimate, pop art, art rock yes 2. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2310758) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some albums are a blueprint to wich albums, I'd yet have to discover in the expanded and wonderful universe of recorded music, have to comply. Night at the Opera (Queen), Mirage (Camel), Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull), Octoberon (BJH), Planets (Eloy), Red (King Crimson) and Heads or Tales (Saga) ... (read more)

Report this review (#1529325) | Posted by Kingsnake | Monday, February 15, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kate Bush is an artist that's had numerous musical peaks throughout her career (The Dreaming being her most experimental, Hounds Of Love her most complete and well-written), but "The Kick Inside" seems to be her magnum opus. A perfect combination of a rawly produced progressive record with a very wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1181606) | Posted by Xonty | Saturday, May 31, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a really good debut and it is remarkable to think that this creative talent came from a teenager. Bush was already writing songs as young as eleven! Her style was very original and eclectic especially for the time, although I think this early sound still influences and affects many people ... (read more)

Report this review (#384549) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have always admired Kate Bush from afar. Not as a sex object but as an artist. Her sophistication and her career is an example for everyone. She is a mythical person. Strangely enough because she refuse to be a mythical person. Instead, she is doing her weekly shoppings in just the kind of s ... (read more)

Report this review (#259040) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kate isn't a prog rocker. She isn't even a sheer rocker. Her music is sophisticated, emotional pop. Many suggest she's the 'female Bowie'. Why not? Although she refused stubbornly to mess herself with any contemporary sounds of her time. That means she just wanted to be herself. The popular mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#65463) | Posted by | Thursday, January 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me, Kate Bush made kind of a fortunate (furthermore, very fortunate album). In the world of music, starting your adventure in the good way is always something profitable, and this is a good example (unfortunately, latter efforts would show us some ups and downs) This album provides the ... (read more)

Report this review (#61346) | Posted by shyman | Friday, December 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A certain shorecoming, a call of Venus from the sea, as the whales sings in the begining of the album, the realisation of 4 years of work, between profetional demos and more and pulled conposition (try to ear the bootleg "Cathy demos") from these times, only 3 songs (produced by Gilmour) left ... (read more)

Report this review (#57312) | Posted by Dellius | Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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