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Kate Bush

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Kate Bush The Dreaming album cover
4.09 | 291 ratings | 29 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sat In Your Lap (3:30)
2. There Goes A Tenner (3:26)
3. Pull Out The Pin (5:30)
4. Suspended In Gaffa (3:58)
5. Leave It Open (3:25)
6. The Dreaming (4:41)
7. Night Of The Swallow (5:25)
8. All The Love (4:35)
9. Houdini (3:52)
10. Get Out Of My House (5:30)

Total Time: 43:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Kate Bush / vocals, piano, Fairlight synth (1,2,5-10), Yamaha CS80 (2), strings (4), arranger & producer

- Brian Bath / guitar (3)
- Ian Bairnson / acoustic guitar (5), backing vocals (1)
- Alan Murphy / guitar (5,10)
- Paddy Bush / mandolin (4), strings (4), percussion (1), backing vocals (1,6,10), bullroarer (6)
- Geoff Downes / synth (1)
- Dave Lawson / synclavier (2,4), string co-arranger (9)
- Liam O'Flynn / uillean pipes & penny whistle (7)
- Sean Keane / fiddle (7)
- Donal Lunny / bouzouki (7)
- Rolf Harris / didgeridoo (6)
- Del Palmer / bass (2,4,8), fretless & 8-string basses (7), voice "Rosabel Believe" (9)
- Eberhard Weber / bass (9)
- Jimmy Bain / bass (1,5,10)
- Danny Thompson / double bass (3)
- Preston Heyman / drums (1,3,5,10), percussion (1)
- Stuart Elliot / drums (2,4,6-9), percussion (4,8)
- Esmail Sheikh / talking drum (10)
- Stewart Arnold / backing vocals (1)
- Gary Hurst / backing vocals (1)
- David Gilmour / backing vocals (3)
- Percy Edwards / voices (6)
- Gosfield Goers / voices (6)
- Richard Thornton / choirboy vocals (8)
- Gordon Farrell / voice "Houdini" (9)
- Paul Hardiman / voice "Eeyore" (10)
- Bill Whelan / arrangements (7)
- Andrew Powell / string co-arranger (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Kindlight with Nick Price (aquatinting)

LP EMI ‎- EMC 3419 (1982, UK)

CD EMI-Manhattan Records ‎- CDP-546361 (1982, US)
CD EMI ‎- CDP 7463612 (1984, UK)

Thanks to chopper for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Collector's Edition
Baktabak Records 1995
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KATE BUSH The Dreaming ratings distribution

(291 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KATE BUSH The Dreaming reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by richardh
4 stars Kate's fourth album is her most interesting by far.Gaining in confidence she explores all kinds of weird ideas,some bordering on the perverse! It took me a lot of plays to get to like this but eventually I fell in love with it.However I still believe that an album like this which is primarily 'song based' can't really be regarded a masterpeice.Harshly I award only 4 stars but I respect different views and many will give this 5 stars.I also expect there will be a few 2 star reviews as well because this kind of experimental approach will not go down well with everyone.
Review by Raff
4 stars As Kate Bush has always been one of my favourite artists, the wait for her inclusion in the Archives has been quite long. Now she's here at last, and I can review all her back catalogue to my heart's delight while I wait to get hold of "Aerial".

"The Dreaming" is considered inferior to its follow-up, "Hounds of Love", by those people who find it way too adventurous for its own good. Multilayered vocals, all kinds of exotic instruments, eerie sound effects, lyrics dealing with intense, somewhat disturbing subject matters, .... It's probably Kate's most 'progressive' album in the true sense of the word, and as such not too everyone's taste. It can be be compared to Peter Gabriel's production of the same period, especially as concerns the liberal use of ethnic beats and the presence of topics such as the plight of indigenous populations. In both artists' '80s output the influence of 'new wave' is quite evident, but at the same time it is only one of the flavours added to an intensely personal mixture. There's very little filler on "The Dreaming", although the lighter-hearted "There Goes a Tenner" and "Suspended in Gaffa" are not on a par with the other tracks. Among the highlights I would mention the heavily percussive title-track, echoing with the voices and sounds of the Australian outback, and the hauntingly beautiful "Houdini", with plaintive violins in the background. However, the real gem here is the wonderful "Pull Out the Pin", with David Gilmour providing backing vocals to a tale from the Vietnam war told from the point of view of a Vietcong: "Just one thing in it, me or him/And I love life..." The lyrics are pure poetry, starkly reflecting the absurdity of war and bearing once again witness to Kate's deep insight into human nature.

"The Dreaming" is arguably not as easy to get into as either its predecessor, "Never For Ever", or the highly praised "Hounds of Love", as it is admittedly less melodic and its lyrics can be downright impenetrable at times. However, neither of these factors stop it from being an excellent album. Four and a half stars, perhaps?

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This record mainly consists in female vocals explorations through scattered, repetitive, clinical & brief sound effects. The ensemble is very original, yes, but if you want to relax, do not listen to this record. The compositions are not really simple and not accessible at all: the music can be seen a bit as a progressive mix of Yello & Art of Noise! There are many piano bits with very good fretless bass, provided by Eberhard Weber, the king of the fretless instrument. Everything is nervous, restless, unequal, and at the same time there are many ambient & subtle arrangements: it gives original textures, but it definitely lacks elegance & fluidity. Kate's emotive & often aggressive voice does not help at all. I rate this record 3.5 stars: I think half the album is very good but the other part is unlistenable, and this does not corresponds to any track in particular: most of the tracks share very good and awful moments. There are too many irritating bits: I cannot uninterruptedly listen to the whole album! This record is definitely her worst one!

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Matti
4 stars Kate's fourth album goes deeper into experimental strangeness. Whereas even the spell- binding and many-sided Never For Ever was safely rooted in romantic, ethearal charm of a siren-like young woman singing about passion crimes, love-making, summer nights and other delights, and was capable of taking the listener at once into its beauty, The Dreaming is much harder work of art to digest completely. There would be ideas enough for ten albums, wrote Fred Vermorel in his book 'The Secret Life of Kate Bush'. I don't know if that statement is accurate in practice, but there's some truth in it. In short, The Dreaming has some fantastic dark-toned tracks and some oddities that are for rare listening only. And something in between, such as 'Get Out of My House' which is a hair- raising song full of crazy power. "This house is full of m-m-my mess, this house is full of m- m-ma-ma-madness!!"

The title track is about Australian Aboriginals digging gold for white man - and features a didgeridoo. The other song that can be seen in The Whole Story video compilation is 'Sat in Your Lap' and I still can't quite figure out what's it about. 'Pull Out the Pin', featuring Dave Gilmour's backing vocals, is a bit boring musically (the lyrics are full of meaning) and so is 'Suspended in Gaffa'. 'Leave It Open' is extremely strange, even the "singing" in it. She's a plain witch whenever she feels like it.

The other vinyl side has the real goodies. 'Night of the Swallow' could be described as a folk-prog song featuring Uillean pipes. Lovely. 'All The Love' is a moody ballad, very English, very atmospheric; refrain is sung by a choirboy. One of my favourite Kate Bush songs, and so is 'Houdini' too. Eberhard Weber's magnificent bass playing finisihes the perfection of these songs. 'Houdini' is the song behind the cover picture: "With a kiss I'd pass the key...". Musically it comes closer to chamber music than rock.

This highly artistic and original album is very close to being a masterpiece, but some less accessible or monotonously boring (though very innovative) songs make it too uneven for five stars. But its best moments are absolutely highlights of her whole career. A must for fans.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This album was my introduction to Kate Bush, and what a first impression she made!

1982 was a strange year for music. I wasn't really listening to much progressive music because - well, it was dead. Or so said Trouser Press and Rolling Stone. This was the time of more mellow, palatable stuff like Alan Parson's 'Eye in the Sky', Roxy Music's 'Avalon', and Asia's debut. Pretty tame stuff, really. I was going through a phase of collecting albums from female bands and singers, which is the only reason I bought this one. I had no idea who Kate Bush was, and her albums weren't really generally available in the musical wasteland that was the American Midwest. But the cover was unusual, and Ms. Bush was certainly much more interesting to look at than say, Siouxsie Sioux.

When "Sat in Your Lap" blasted out of my stereo's speakers though, I figured this was something akin to the Banshees type of music, or maybe Exene or something. Really strident strings and piano, pulsating aboriginal drums, and shrieking vocals. Totally shocking stuff. But buried in the chaos was this voice that had incredible range, and an uncanny ability to stay the course amidst the bizarre tempo and cacophonic arrangements. Really intriguing.

So when "There Goes a Tenner" rolls around, I'm surprised again with this kind of theatrical composition and those vocals, alternating between some strange brogue and an ultra-soprano child-like lilt that made Clare Grogan sound like an alto. Not the strongest track on the album, but enchanting nonetheless.

I still don't know what "Pull Out the Pin" is supposed to be about, but the throaty, operatic tones Ms. Bush belts out over the top of the odd percussion (is this the synclavier?), great sound effects, and again the chaotic rhythms and harsh strings. This stuff takes a lot of listens, but eventually it gets under your skin and really grows on you.

"Suspended in Gaffa" is another song that starts off sounding like a Julie Andrews theater composition, were it not for Ms. Bush's totally unique voice. The harmonious blending of strings and piano is really catchy, and serves to contrast the shrill vocals even more than on previous tracks.

The vocal treatments on "Leave it Open" are yet another dimension to this album, and the first several times I heard this one I figured it for filler, but as I've come to learn more about Ms. Bush's discography I realize that term isn't really in her vocabulary. The drums and percussion get really intense if you play them very loud on a good stereo, and if you are in a bit of an altered mood her voice is actually kind of scary.

The cover track with its aboriginal percussion and bizarre sound effects is the strangest work on the album. The affected Australian accent is an interesting twist as well, and this kind of story-song is just one more experiment that perhaps played better with those of us who were new to her music than it did with die-hard fans.

The "Night of the Swallow" features the closest thing to what most people consider normal vocals on the album, but even here the occasional shrill refrain doesn't let you relax much. The uillean pipes and penny whistles give this a folksy feel, and the drums are almost hypnotic. This is a great tune even without the vocals, and although it takes a bit of time to really kick into gear, Ms. Bush manages to bring all the various sounds together eventually to a cohesive ending (relatively speaking).

"All the Love" is a strange and very personal reflection by the singer, and the strings and guitars here are quite odd and intriguing. This would have been a better closing track than the harsh "Get Out of My House", but it certainly fits the mood of the album.

More of the odd strings on "Houdini", and the piano and strings here would have made for a great extended instrumental piece. Finally Ms. Bush shows that she can not only shock and defy physical limits with her voice, she can also sound plainly beautiful when it suits her mood. It just doesn't manage to suit her mood for an entire song anywhere on this album.

Finally comes "Get Out of my House", and I'm taken back to memories of some rather unpleasant personal relationships when I hear the shrew-like exhortations in the background as the guitar and keys build up to a nervous ending (is she actually braying like a donkey at the end of this one?).

This is one of the most unusual albums I have ever had the experience of listening to, and back when it came out none of my friends could stand to listen to it more than once. I did, actually repeatedly. The chaos and experimentation are the same things that drew me to a lot of post-punk music, although Kate Bush certainly would never be considered in that category. It's also what I have always found appealing about David Bowie's 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps', which I would lump with this as a work by an artist where they were simply curious to see how far they could go to stretch the bounds of their own music (Bowie went much further than Ms. Bush, but the comparison is still valid).

This doesn't rise to the level of essential (I don't personally feel anything Kate Bush has done reaches that bar), but it was without a doubt one of the best albums that came out in 1982, and probably one of the best in the first half of that decade. It's a great addition to anyone's collection, and although can be considered an acquired taste, is highly recommended. Four stars.


Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 1982 and another strong release from Kate Bush. The album definitely showed Kate Bush at her most eccentric to date which did not win over too many new legions of fans. But if I had to compare this to The Kick Inside from 1978 The Dreaming would show a much more mature work and there are some of us who perhaps prefer her more eccentric side anyway.There is that strong Celtic feel to the album as one will find on parts of Sensual World.Ian Bairnson on guitar most notable for work on Alan Parson's Project.Eberhard Weber on bass and Stuart Elliot on the drum kit, not to mention Rolf Harris an almost everpresent playing didgeridoo, hence the Australian comparisons. A great concept album again and the major highlights would have to be the unnerving ' Sat In Your Lap', the brilliant ' Suspended In Gaffa' and the scary ' Get Out Of My House' Kate Bush at her mosted experimental to date in the vocalizations. Three and a half stars.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bush's boldest and most daring work

The Dreaming is a truly remarkable piece of work. This is the first album where Kate did not incorporate songs from her large cache of material written as a teenager on the piano. She changed people she was working with, changed the way they worked, changed her writing style, and wrote brand new material. Rather than beginning on the piano and working with the studio musicians to fill in the flesh, here Bush begins with rhythms and then works from there. Her friendship with Gabriel and her own desire to break her own mold resulted in a work that was as jarring to those around her as it would be to the public. Some of her collaborators did not like the work and insisted it was too noisy, abrasive, and impossible to absorb. Undeterred, Kate moved forward willing to make some mistakes in her quest for reinvention and wonder.

It is an album I'm somewhat torn on. Without doubt it was her most challenging work, her most adventurous, her most "out there", and her strongest lyrically to date. It is groundbreaking and stunning. And yet it is musically speaking colder than its predecessors. For years I believed this made it less preferable to me as a listener but over time it has improved greatly in my eyes. While I once preferred the dreamy romantic vibe of Never For Ever, I've now come to feel that The Dreaming may be her best or second best album, rivaling her debut masterpiece. It also shares the stage with side 2 of Hounds as Bush's most challenging work and is an obvious problem for people who insist Bush was not a progressive artist.

Review by Slartibartfast
5 stars It was one of those happy coincidences. Maybe a year or so before Hounds of Love came out, I was driving home and only had a crappy radio in my car. By that time I had pretty much started staying away from commercial radio. So I was tuned into a college radio station and Suspended In Gaffa came on. I knew Kate by name only, this was my first time hearing her music. There was something about it that gave me the Goosebumps. At the time I had already been well immersed in many of the classic prog groups. I suspect many people in a similar situation might have found the material on the Dreaming a bit grating. But, then again already being a Zappa fan meant that I had already acquired a taste for the weird. I suspect the also fairly weird, Peter Gabriel III, which came out two years before influenced her here.

All of the musical styles here are fairly eclectic. Some of the songs here tell little tales. There Goes A Tenner is about safe robbers in action. Pull Out the Pin is the about a guerilla fighter, most likely Vietnamese fighting Americans. The Dreaming is about the Australian Aborigines and their intersection with the supernatural. Houdini, of course is about Houdini's last performance.

I don't think I've ever heard a song with lyrics quite like Sat In Your Lap, the quirky album opener. It's about the nature of knowledge. "Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap. Some say that knowledge is something that you never have.". "Some say that heaven is hell. Some say that hell is heaven.". "I must admit, just when I think I'm king, (I just begin.) " I must admit, Kate's absolutely right.

Others are about relationships. Suspended In Gaffa indecisiveness in matters of love. Leave It Open is about closing your mouth and opening your mind. Night of the Swallow is about breaking up and musically has more in common with the material from Never For Ever. Although on all her subsequent albums there's always at least one track with a strong Celtic sound.

The real icing on the cake here for me is Get Out of My House. A spooky ghost story. Excellent heavy prog thing happening here. Chilling!

The Dreaming is not like anything else in Kate's discography. When you compare it to her previous album, Never For Ever, it's almost like you've got a completely different artist. With the following album, Hounds of Love, she returned to a somewhat more accessible sound. She's categorized here as Prog Related, but the Dreaming is surely a masterpiece of Avant-Prog.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Off comes the gloves, the nice and melodic Kate Bush has grown up and become a strange flower. The first three albums from Kate Bush The Kick Inside, Lionheart and Never For Ever are all beautiful slightly progressive pop albums. All three are pretty easily accessible and very melodic. With The Dreaming starts the second phase of Kate Bush career and this period is much more experimental. In fact The Dreaming might be Kate Bush most strange and progressive album. Itīs a bit inaccessible and for newcomers I wouldnīt start here. Itīs taken me a long time to appreciate The Dreaming and I was sure I wouldnīt give it a very high rating, but when I listened to it again for a couple of times to make this review it was like the years since I listened to it the last time had been good for The Dreaming and I finally solved the mystery and understood the album.

Like the three previous albums the music is build around Kate Bush phenominal vocal melodies and unique voice. This time around the instrumentation is very different from the previous albums pretty basic guitar, bass, drums and piano/ keyboard standard rock formula. The year is 1982 and itīs very clear that we are in the eighties as synths play a big role on The Dreaming. Itīs not big synth chords though, the synths are more used to make effects and strange things. Kate Bush vocals are also heavily effect laden in some of the songs especially on the opening song Sat In Your Lap and Leave It Open, which are also some of the most experimental songs on The Dreaming. Another thing Kate Bush uses lots of times on The Dreaming are some brilliant harmony and background vocals which sounds really atmospheric. There are lots on moaning and grunting from Kate Bush on The Dreaming and I know itīs an aquired taste if you think thatīs annoying or brilliant. Itīs one of the things that took me a while to appreciate, but now I think itīs one of the things that sets The Dreaming apart from any other album Kate Bush ever made and makes it unique. The music is not as beautiful and melodic as on previous albums. Itīs like Kate Bush subdues the melodies on purpose and it works well IMO. Itīs always nice that you have to dig a bit deeper to find the melodies in music. That way the music last longer. At least for me. I quickly tire of music I understand and appreciate the first time I listen to it.

As always Kate Bush is in good shape vocally on The Dreaming. She never disappoints. She is my favorite female singer. What she does with her voice on The Dreaming borders schizophenia as she can sing both in the high and in the low register, moan, scream, grunt. The Dreaming might be her crowning achivement vocally.

The production is pretty fantastic too. Kate Bush has clearly entered the eighties and all sounds have a harder edged sound than on her previous more seventies sounding albums. The very synth dominated soundscape profits from the hard sound. The production on Kate Bush voice is excellent. It helps bring out every emotion she wants.

The excellence of The Dreaming has come as a complete surprise to me, and a pleasant suprise indeed. The CD had actually collected dust on my shelf for a couple of years, but now I see that was a big mistake. The Dreaming will be played much more from now on in my house. Iīll give this excellent album 4 stars. It comes highly recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I've listened to this 8 times in the last 3 days and i'm still trying to sort it all out. Haha. Finnforest warned me that this was an experimental album but I don't think anything would have prepared me for this ! Kate really pushes the boundries here and you really could place this album in the Avant-garde section it's that unusual. She really pulled out all the stops though, from the Celtic instruments, to the strings, to the effects and samples, to the bizarre vocals, it's all here folks. All I have to compare this to is her debut which was so passionate and emotional. At this point in her career she's wanting to progress and try new things and I think overall it's a success.

"Sat In Your Lap" opens with drums and piano as vocals come in. Horns come and go.The vocals are pretty wild at times and male vocals help out. "There Goes A Tenner" is kind of silly with piano and drums as horns come and go. I like the mellow passages a lot. It's a funny tale about robbing a bank of all things. "Pull Out The Pin" is a good track where Kate gets theatrical at times and male vocals sing "Pull out the pin". Some interesting sounds in this one. It gets dissonant before 3 1/2 minutes. "Suspended In Gaffa" has that silly vibe when the piano and vocals open the proceedings. Check out her high pitched backup vocals. Some strings in this one. "Leave It Open" features more outlandish vocals from Kate as male vocals help out. A fuller sound comes in before 2 1/2 minutes. It gets even more powerful late.

"The Dreaming" starts the second half of this record and it's my favourite half at that. This is a catchy tune that for some reason reminds me of that song "Fast & Furious" haha. I like the Celtic instruments used on this one. Very cool track. "Night Of The Swallow" is another excellent track (my favourite) that reminds me of the debut because of the emotion. Her vocals are heart-breaking early. Love when the tempo picks up 2 minutes in and the uillean pipes arrive.Themes are repeated. "All The Love" is a relaxing tune with some great atmosphere. Another favourite. "Houdini" is where Ms Bush gives us her Peter Hammill impression. Haha ! Very theatrical at times. Strings in this one too. "Get Out Of My House" is spooky to open (about a haunted house) as drums and vocal melodies come in. Kate follows quickly. This one is pretty out there vocally at times. I like the guitar that comes and goes.

It's only been the last couple of listens that i've started to appreciate what she's doing here. New things keep popping up I didn't hear before. 3.5 stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars In my not so humble opinion, The Dreaming is Kate Bush's finest and most progressive album. Her amazing voice is put to it's greatest use here, and her songwriting is better than ever.

Right from the start, Bush kicks it into high gear, with the compound time signatures in the exciting "Sat In Your Lap", then continues with the first of her character pieces on this album, "There Goes A Tenner", with Kate portraying a bank robber over a deceptively quirky music track. "Pull Out The Pin", with Kate as a soldier struggling over the killing of an enemy is another deep track with lush music behind it. "Suspended In Gaffa" lightens the mood a bit, and "Leave It Open" ends the first half on a darker note.

"The Dreaming" opens the second half (originally side 2 of the record), an Australian flavored tune about driving through the outback. This is another lush sounding song that includes some screams that sound like they were pulled from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", and features a digeridu performance from the one and only Rolf Harris (music buffs remember him primarily for the 50s hit "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". The digeridu continues playing into the next song, "Night Of The Swallow", where it creates an interesting mixture of sounds along with Irish pipes, strings and pennywhistle.

"All The Love" is a nice, deep love song. "Houdini" has Bush playing the wife of magician Harry Houdini, watching her husband die in his final escape attempt. Her strained vocals perfectly portray the tragedy of the event. And "Get Out Of My House" is the perfect ending to this masterpiece, with Kate primal-screaming the title as Paddy attempts to get in.

I'm glad I pulled this out out to listen to it. I had forgotten just how great it is.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars I still remember when KATE BUSH was added to Prog Archives, I felt it was an odd decision,because there's no reason to include her in a Progressive Rock database, except maybe because she released a song with PETER GABRIEL, but she's here and the only thing left to do is review one of her albums.

Lets be honest, she's beautiful, has a great voice, a strong personality and charisma, but I can't find the slightest connection between her weird POP music and the genre we're here for, and believe me, I tried to find any relation, but no, it's not possible for me.

So started with "The Dreaming", considered by many as her most progressive release, I will accept it's weird for a POP artist, her multi layered vocals and use of exotic instruments makes the music richer, but this is nothing more than unusual melodic POP, of high quality but out of place in our beloved site.

The real problem is that in the attempt to sound experimental, she looses her strongest attribute, and that's her soft and beautiful voice, the strange sounds, the Cabaret like music, hardly reaches the climax and gets lost in the search for an original sound that never finds.

But extreme weirdness is not the only problem, there's a point in which all the songs sound absolutely predictable and repetitive, after two tracks I find nothing new or fresh, just sounds, shouts and dissonances without coherence, and that's sad, because she's a fantastic artist, but she goes way over the fence with the cacophonic excesses.

But not everything is boring, the closing section of "The Dreaming" and the instrumentation in "The Night of the Swallow" are exquisite, but not enough to save the album, she should stay with simple music for her pristine voice, because that's what she does best in my opinion.

Sorry, but I don't like the album at all, if it wasn't for her fantastic voice, I would go with one star, but that would be unfair, so I stay with 2.

Review by Bonnek
3 stars The Dreaming is Kate's most experimental album and used to be my favourite back in the days. I was around 12 years old and the fact alone that my pop-loving sister didn't like it was reason enough to prefer it to anything else Kate had released till then. The charming quibbles of childhood :) A few years after, I gradually lost interest and stopped listening to it, putting it on the turntable for the first time in 20 years turned out to be a nice reunion.

The album doesn't start strong though, the first two songs are too far-fetched, trying too hard to be special and experimental; they sound forced and lack Kate's usual song writing qualities. Pull Out The Pin is the first moment on the album where the adventurous arrangements are carried by strong enough song material. Also Leave It Open is interesting. The title track is the album's highpoint, Peter Gabriel's influence is clearly felt in the tribal percussion and theatrical vocals. 5 star material this one.

Night of the Swallow is more melodic and announces the style that would be continued on the next album. All The Love continues the momentum. It's a gentle and brooding ballad with a great atmosphere and Kate's typical dreamy-magic charm. The album ends with the powerful Get Out of My House.

The Dreaming is overwhelming and impressive, but it has less of the emotion and charm that graced Kate's earlier work and it is slightly uneven in song quality, 3.5 stars.

Review by TheGazzardian
5 stars My first listen to this album was an electric experience, one of those rare moments where you are caught breathless by this new interpretation of what music can be. It wasn't that I'd never listened to 80s music before, nor that I was unfamiliar with music that could be categorised as extremely odd. But I had never, in my life, heard someone sing in the way Kate does on this album. I was immediately entranced.

On this album, it's like Kate wanted to stretch her vocal cords into every conceivable orientation. There are of course the songs where she sings normally (such as "All the Love") but for the most she experiments with her voice on the songs to create interesting contrasts. The most common ingredient is a really high pitched, harsh yet not sharp singing. Just listen to the first 30 seconds of the opening track (Sat in Your Lap) and you will hear exactly what I'm talking about.

Other vocal styles include deep, donkey-like ee-hawing (no joke) and tribal style vocals on the title track.

And it all works, because Kate not only has a superb voice, she has great control and is able to do all of these things with skill. The studio is also used to allow her to layer her voice, or have two of her different "voices" singing at the same time.

Weird singing doesn't a good album make, but Kate has a strong sense of songwriting as well. There isn't really a song in here that isn't memorable. The least attractive one to me is "All The Love", which isn't particularly a bad song - in fact, it's quite emotional - it just sounds less "new" to me than anything else on here. It's the ballad of the album.

Each track on this album is carefully crafted and has a great depth of sound (I read that Kate has said she made this album to be played loud, so you could hear all the details). Yet at the same time, they almost all have a memorable melody that will get them stuck in your head, so you will want to spend enough time to listening to discover all these great details.

My favorite track is Suspended in Gaffa, which is incredibly catchy and has interesting lyrical content (it's about seeing God and then never being able to again) (and if you youtube it, you can find Kate doing some crazy interpretive dance to it). Get Out of My House is the darkest thing here, and this is the one where the aforementioned donkey braying is from. This one is based on Stephen Kings "The Shining".

Definitely a very strong album, and one that I have been unable to stop listening to since I first heard it. Very strong, very memorable and creative, and a lot of emotion.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Kate Bush's growth as a musician continued with the Dreaming, which saw both a diverge range of musical styles coming to the fore - including wonderful Irish folk influences on Night of the Swallow to traditional Australian music on the title track - and Kate herself continuing to develop her range as a theatrical vocalist, taking on roles as diverse as a bank robber, a smuggler (and his wife), an Australian aborigine dispossessed by uraniam miners, a soldier in Vietnam and (as depicted on the cover) the glamourous assistant of a Houdini-like escape artist. In fact, I'd say with this album Kate staked a claim to being one of the best of the theatrical art rock singers, her command of her different personas ranking alongside the likes of David Bowie and Peter Gabriel.
Review by Dobermensch
5 stars First off let me quickly point out that I'm no big fan of Kate Bush. 'The Kick Inside' was ok, 'Lionheart - entirely forgettable. 'Never for Ever' - patchy with good moments and. 'Hounds of Love' - too polished and over produced.

Daringly and commendably she went anti-commercial on 'The Dreaming'. The results in 1982 weren't too well received, but with the passage of time this album has transformed from an oddity in her discography into to something of a masterpiece.

She's armed with that most inaccessible of instruments - the Fairlight - a digital sampling synthesiser - which cost an arm and a leg back then, which only the ultra-rich like Godley and Creme and Peter Gabriel could afford.

The tunes are pretty much all idiosyncratic with very confusing and non sensical lyrics. It flows beautifully and sounds unlike anything she has recorded before or since. It's all very catchy and hummable with a multitude of instruments all over the place - probably mainly due to some 'Fairlight' tweakery. Not a duffer is to be found on this astonishingly original album which clocks in at 43 minutes, no matter which version you buy.

On the aboriginal influenced title track she's managed to steal some Dr Who 'Cyberman' outfits as she sings the infuriatingly catchy lines "Banga goes another kanga on the vana' - where she seems quite happy to be counting up some road kill on her travels in Australia. Oh - and check out the video for this one - Grrrrr!!!

There's a good powerful ending to this album with 'Get out of my House' which culminates in some fantastic donkey braying impressions that should send a shiver up the spine of most.

'The Dreaming' was a commercial failure but an artistic triumph and the only Kate Bush LP I can listen to repeatedly.

She was fodder for the funny farm at this point - which is probably why I like it so much...

Review by rogerthat
5 stars Kate Bush is my favourite female composer in rock/pop and this is in my opinion her strongest work. But it is indeed a matter of opinion. This album can be seriously polarizing as Bush pushes the eccentric side of her music to an extreme that can initially be disorienting. You are either going to find it annoying and cheesy or simply a thoroughly entertaining ride.

It seems to be difficult to find some middle ground with this album. If you buy into the basic idea, you will like just about every track of the album. If you don't, you'd be hard pressed to find a silver lining. The music is conceptualized in a very consistent way without necessarily relying too much on a narrow and repetitive formula. The sheer eccentricity, delivered largely via Bush's vocal capabilities, seems to tightly bind the album together.

So what does the music comprise of? Bush takes the theatre rock of her previous albums and follows Peter Gabriel's lead in assimilating world music influences. All We Ever Look For on the predecessor Never for Ever broadly anticipates the style adopted on The Dreaming. A song like Night of the Swallow further establishes connections to previous material.

But as I described earlier, Bush really pushes the envelope in terms of eccentricity here. It is not even just kinda weird as songs like Fullhouse might be described. Parts of these album are so eccentric it is in your face and grabs your attention. Now whether you embrace such an extreme dose of weirdness is up to your preferences.

For me, it works better this way at many levels. I must admit while I love many of Bush's compositions, I find her singing strictly an acquired taste. On The Dreaming, the sheer eccentricity provides a suitable context for her over the top and often overwrought style of singing. As I said before, this album can be very in your face which does require bold and over the top singing as more restrained delivery might dampen the mood.

In this regard, the production also works specifically for the music on this album. I may not otherwise care for such a saturated and synthesized approach, but it works superbly on The Dreaming. Andrew Powell's lush production was great for her previous work while this calls for a different approach...radically different, as it turns out.

One possible pitfall with this approach could have been the album could have become a rather breathless and repetitive affair. Opener Sat In Your Lap hints that this might be the case, moving at breakneck speed. But Bush effectively adapts the pacing of the songs and there are some that seem to crawl next to the aforesaid song, like All The Love. Overall, she keeps you eagerly anticipating what she's going to come up with on the next track. If you are as in thrall of this album as I am, it's edge of the seat stuff even.

Time for the rating now. I have already underlined the consistency and strength of the material and it all depends on what you make of it. But what are you supposed to make of it? I think the artist has taken pains to give us a very good idea with the artwork. I don't think you need a bigger hint than that to know this is going to be a mad, mad ride. Yes, it may not be for everyone but it's a winner for those whose tastes it is suitable for. Five stars.

Review by Prog Sothoth
5 stars Whenever I'm listening to some female vocalist with a high range without blatant R&B inflections like Kimbra or whatnot, others in hearing distance have this tendency to say "She sounds kinda like Bjork". Bjork, Bjork, Bjork. Granted, I dig her a lot, especially her Vespertine stuff, but Kate Bush was hitting unbelievable high notes without reverting to falsettos long before Bjork, and Kate wasn't exactly an 'under the radar artist'. She was big. And man did she have a voice!

She's also fact, proggy as hell during The Dreaming. It has all the credentials you could want, except for perhaps epic length tunes. Whatever, since this also boasts better lyrics than most of what the prog competition was dishing out at this time.

So, is this album a masterpiece? Yes. It's her most adventurous uncompromising vision, alternately challenging and difficult to deal with as it is beautiful and atmospheric, The Dreaming is an emotional roller coaster with her pipes providing a multitude of characters their unique voices. She coos, howls, screams, whispers and sometimes just sings really damn GOOD, often varying her styles within the same song. She never gets boring because there's just no way to tell where she's going next during the initial listen.

Then there's the tunes. Lots of interesting buggers here. Some, such as the opener, utilize seriously booming tribalistic drums, and time signatures are occasionally almost as adventurous as her voice. Musically there's a slew of various instruments popping up, but the songs never get to the point where anything is muddled. This stuff can be pretty weird, but it's always listenable, never overblown, noisy or simply irritating. There's some cool jazziness in "All The Love" and rock guitars in "Get Out Of My House", but what you won't find within this album is anything pandering to the early 80s style of commercial pop music. Her label managers must have collectively soiled their trousers when she co-produced and brought this wild collection of songs to their attention. And they're fantastic, even offering a bit of David Gilmour on the haunting "Pull Out The Pin". If I have any slightly negative thing to say about this recording, it would have to be that silly chapman stick usage. Yeah, they looked cool at the time, but wow do those things sound dated for this sort of music. It's alright though, since everything else is such a winner, and Kate is out of her mind at times on this thing...not something most singers could remotely get away with...but she does 'feral' and makes it cool.

To those who don't consider Kate Bush prog, check this album out. It may not be easy listening, but it's one interesting ride that never strays too far into weirdness. If you're not convinced after listening to its entirety, then I don't know what to say. Considering what much of the 70s greats were pumping out in the early 80s, with only a handful of those artists doing anything remotely progressive such as King Crimson, she should always be revered for keeping the creativity flag alive during those days. Nowadays she seems more acknowledged by the prog crowd than the alternative crowd, but man during her prime it was like she had hordes of various music geeks at her feet. Even if this didn't hit the popularity heights that the surrounding albums achieved, this puppy has aged well enough to become this bizarre classic that never gets old.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For several years I thought this might be the greatest album ever created/recorded. As time has passed, it's freshness and innovations have staled a bit, but upon donning my headphones and re-immersing myself into The Dreaming, I can recall my lust and enthusiasm for this music as I heard it first in 1982. While I never cared much for "Sat in Your Lap" or "Suspended in Gaffa," I always find the rest of the album spell-binding. The ironic humour and quirkiness of "The Dreaming" (10/10), the raw power of one of my favorite songs of all-time, "Get Out of My House" (10/10), the eerie/sexy mysteriousness of "Houdini" (9/10), "The Night of The Swallow" (9/10), "All The Love" (9/10), "Pull Out the Pin" (8/10), and even the teenie-popper, "There Goes a Tenner" (7/10), the raw power and inventiveness of the vocals on "Leave It Open" (8/10), the awesome drumming of Stuart Elliott, the Fairlight CMI, the wonderful incorporation of traditional Irish/Celtic instruments, the intricate storytelling, the incredible vocals--it all makes for one heck of a ride! This is by far the most highly rated 1980s album I've ever critiqued--even outshining the Heads, Crimson, Gabriel, Sylvian, U2, The Cocteau Twins and The Cure. This is, in my opinion, Kate's most breathtaking, refreshing, innovative album--a masterpiece. Simply astounding lyrics/storytelling and vocal acrobatics.
Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars Good gravy! I was not expecting this when I decided to check out Kate Bush's music. I guess I was expecting some very 80s synthy pop/rock, but what I got instead was a FEARLESS voice! Kate Bush is like no one else, and I guess that explains why so many people love her.

The music on this album is definitely a foundation and nothing more. There are all kinds of strange instruments used, and they add a feeling of eclecticism to the music. I think this is simply a reflection of Kate's character, though. She doesn't do things "normally".

Her voice, however, is the true star here. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard what I can only describe as "harsh" vox come from her mouth. Wildly diverse uses of her voice are present, from low growls to high-pitched tone variation that doesn't seem like it should be possible. But, she always makes it work. In fact, there are times when I thought I should be repulsed, but in no time at all it simply worked and worked well.

Kate Bush is something of an anomaly. I've seen discussions about getting her out of "prog- related" and into "crossover", and I couldn't agree more. This is progressive music through and through, and I think the character and style that Kate presents is proof enough.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This was probably Kate's most daring album as well as her most experimental. Released in 1982 it did of course get quite a mixed reception. There's a blend of styles and her voice often sounds different too. Kate Bush herself also describes "The Dreaming" as the "I've gone mad album". Not all o ... (read more)

Report this review (#341447) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My favorite Kate Bush album, along with THE DREAMING and HOUNDS OF LOVE. Highlights are "There Goes a Tenner", "Suspended in Gaffa", "The Dreaming", "Houdini", and "Get out of my House". There is some WILD stuff here- with all the Kate screams and moans included. Great time changes and always ... (read more)

Report this review (#309591) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now that's what I call progressive! I cannot think of another album that is as forward-pushing as The Dreaming. Each and every song contained within could have been fleshed out into it's own double LP concept album. Even a quarter century after it's release, nobody else has even come close to re ... (read more)

Report this review (#178158) | Posted by classicalgasp | Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars By far the Best Kate Bush album in my opinion. Just reading some of the reviews I notice that people are not aware of what the lyrics in pull out the pin are about ! The lyrics are part of what makes this albums so great. Its about the war in vietnam from the perspective of a vietnamese fight ... (read more)

Report this review (#135505) | Posted by Nicholas Linear | Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Highly overrated, I don't think so. The Dreaming was Kate's most underrated album. Dismissed by her fans as "to weird", this album didn't do so well with singles or sales. Most of Kate's fans preferred her more eclectic pop sound. As time passed more people began to appreciate this album for t ... (read more)

Report this review (#66414) | Posted by | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I hate to be a pain in the a**, but this is a mediocre album. It's not bad, but it's so weird and personal, than I can be fascinated from it. The first sid eof the vinyl is full of nice pop-oriented songs, with 'Suspended in Gaffa' being the best one. It's not difficult to see that's she's los ... (read more)

Report this review (#66211) | Posted by | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Absolutely her finest work. A controversial album because others will say this is her least appealing work. It is highly recommended that one use headphones whilst listening to this masterpiece and let the profound music and that hauntingly sublime voice embrace the mind and soul. This album i ... (read more)

Report this review (#61565) | Posted by paisanojac | Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'The Dreaming' is undoubtedly the strangest and most adventurous album of KB's career. Utilising treated ethnic rhythms (a strong Celtic and Australian influence) and, then, cutting-edge Fairlight technology, in some ways, the album is a more extreme and emotionally edgy companion to Gabriel' ... (read more)

Report this review (#56666) | Posted by The Sea Priest | Thursday, November 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A controvercial album, full of experimentation, barroque arrangements, luxury of lirycs, poetry about keys that passed by a kiss. Is the more "avant garde" album of KT, summing australian instrument, all kinds of chorus , like the " hee haa" as a donkey at the end of the album, is like to enter t ... (read more)

Report this review (#56583) | Posted by Dellius | Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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