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Kate Bush

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Kate Bush The Whole Story album cover
3.57 | 79 ratings | 10 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wuthering Heights (new vocal) (4:58)
2. Cloudbusting (5:10)
3. The Man With The Child In His Eyes (2:40)
4. Breathing (5:28)
5. Wow (3:45)
6. Hounds Of Love (3:03)
7. Running Up That Hill (4:58)
8. Army Dreamers (3:14)
9. Sat In Your Lap (3:29)
10. Experiment IV (4:21)
11. The Dreaming (4:13)
12. Babooshka (3:28)

Total Time: 48:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Kate Bush / vocals, piano
- Others / as per original albums

Releases information

Original CD CDP 7464142 (EMI)

Thanks to chopper for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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KATE BUSH The Whole Story ratings distribution

(79 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KATE BUSH The Whole Story reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm not going to review every single track here, because this is a singles collection and most of the tracks are reviewed here on their original albums. Suffice to say, this is as good a collection of singles as any solo artist can muster. It includes all her chart singles from the 1978 number 1 "Wuthering Heights", which here has a new improved vocal from Kate (and the drums sound better), to "Hounds Of Love" in 1986. For some reason, "Hammer Horror" is omitted, as is the non-album Christmas single "December Will Be Magic Again". Also of interest to collectors is the inclusion of "Experiment IV", which is another non-album single, featuring Dawn French in the video. I've given it 4 stars for being an unparalleled collection of singles, it would have been 5 if "Hammer Horror" and "The Big Sky" (the single prior to Experiment IV) had been included.
Review by Matti
4 stars Kate is very much an album artist and this is compiled only of singles, so it is quite limited in representing her work that far. Even so, these singles have more variety than most singers or bands could imagine to have in singles alone. And these even succeeded averagely well. The new non-album track 'Experiment IV' is awesome, very strong both musically and in the story level ("all they wanted was a sound that could kill someone from the distance"). Otherwise it's quite unnecessary to have both original albums and this compilation, unless you get the video/dvd; some videos are very good.

I'm glad 'Big Sky' (never my favourites) was omitted. There's 3 hits from Hounds of Love already, and it's 'Hounds of Love' that I like the least here, after the rather boring 'Army Dreamers'. As 'Wuthering Heights' has a new - powerful - version here, 'The Man With a Child in His Eyes' and 'Wow' are the only ones from two first albums and give too polished and unexciting picture of them. The order of tracks has a small problem when the cathartic crescendo of 'Cloudbusting' is followed by almost unaudible frailness of 'The Man..'. This was one of the first LP's I bought in '86, by the way.

Review by chessman
3 stars I well remember, back in '78, hearing on the radio in late afternoon one thursday, a very strange and haunting voice for the first time. It was the classic 'Wuthering Heights', with Kate Bush's helium scarred vocals in full flow. I thought, 'this is interesting'. The DJ said at the end of the song - "If that is a hit, I will eat my hat." The rest, of course, is history. It shot to number one and established Miss Bush as a major new talent. I bought her debut album, 'The Kick Inside' when it came out, and loved it. When 'The Kick Inside' was released, I bought that too, but was a tad disappointed with it. I didn't buy any other albums by her but, over the years, a friend of mine, a big Bush fan, got them all, and let me listen to them. I thought that, in the main, they were decent and interesting, but never heard one that was close to the debut for me. Anyway, today I purchased 'The Whole Story' for the princely sum of 2.50! Second hand of course. I had it taped previously, but couldn't resist the chance to get it at such a good price. I have always enjoyed this Greatest Hits compilation. Each track is well executed, with nice twists, some subtle humour, and instantly recognisable Bush piano playing. The version of 'Wuthering Heights' is a little different from the original and, to me, slightly better, as her voice improvises nicely at the end, and through the fade out. Other highlights are 'Running Up That Hill', 'Wow', Experiment IV', Hounds Of Love' and 'Cloudbusting'. Only one weak track for me, and that is 'Sat In Your Lap', which is unusually noisy for Miss Bush, but still recognisable as her. The other tracks are all more than decent. A good introduction to her work for those who don't have her albums, but, for those new to her, and judging her only on the new album, Aerial, be prepared for a more commercial, outgoing, yet very melodic sound. Excellent and recommended.
Review by Menswear
4 stars A Collection of Great Dance Songs.

Indeed, Bush's songs are surprinsingly catchy enough to create an urgent need to express yourself by body movement. I'm not talking Invisible Touch catchy, but something completely besides the mainstream pop. Yet, Kate Bush is to me a female counterpart to Peter Gabriel: theatrical, dramatic and giving the song what it takes to drench you into the captivating tiny stories (Wuthering Heights, Army Dreamers, Cloudbusting, Running up that Hill).

A complete set of her most accessible songs, therefore a very competent introduction to the british 'Sound Witch.

For those who are swearing only by Tori her Mother.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars More than 90% of the time, if a record label, particularly on e of the major labels, releases a "best of" collection for any band or artist, the label will choose the most "accessable" music, creating, at least for a talented artist, a relatively bland listening experience. I'm happy to say that isn't the case with this collection. While the expected tracks, "Wuthering Heights" (with newly recorded vocals), "Running Up That Hill" and "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" (is that legal?) are here, most of the tracks are actually some of the more inventive from Kate Bush's EMI catalog.

It's a pleasure, then on this collection to find such delights as "Breathing", "The Dreaming" and "Babooshka". The variety on this collection makes it an excellent entry point into the music of Kate Bush (nearly all the best of which is on her EMI releases).

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wow!

Everyone of us have our favorite things to do, favorite food, favorite books, favorite teams, favorite bands and I bet favorite female singer, in my case, this great woman named Kate Bush is who occupies that top place. And it is kind of strange that so far I have only reviewed one of her albums, so I would like to talk about her in some other reviews, starting with an easy one, her 1986 compilation album called "The Whole Story" which includes probably her most representative tracks from her first 5 albums, you know from "The Kick Inside" to "Hounds of Love", so it is a nice career retrospective so we can appreciate her different vocal ranges and styles, because her vocal abilities are unique and awesome, that is one of the reasons I love her.

This excellent compilation album contains 12 songs and a total time of almost 50 minutes, kicking off with "Wuthering Heights" taken from her debut album and you won't let me lie, one of her two better known and most representative songs ever, a song I love due to her impressive vocal range, simply awesome. I liked the idea of starting the album with a song from her debut, the other song taken from The Kick Inside is "The Man with the Child in His Eyes", a beautiful song without a doubt.

From "Lionheart" only "Wow" was included, which is another very nice song. From "Never Forever" three songs were included in this CD, "Babooshka", "Army Dreamers" and "Breathing", 3 songs which are very different musically and vocally speaking so we can appreciate her superb diversity, the first one shows her most powerful style, while the others in moments show her delicate and soft vocal tones.

From "The Dreaming" were taken the title track and "Sat in Your Lap", another couple of great songs without a doubt. And from "Hounds of Love", the songs chosen to be here were of course "Running Up that Hill" which is the other song that anyone who barely knows Kate's music is familiar with, besides "Cloudbusting" and "Hounds of Love", her 5th record has probably been her most acclaimed album, so you have to check this songs to understand why, but actually you better listen to the whole album.

There is one song left which is called "Experiment IV" and I believe it was released as a singles in order to give promotion to this compilation album.

There are a lot of songs that I love which are not included here, but who cares, I truly enjoy listening to this 50 minute album because I like all the songs here. I recommend it to anyone who wants to enter to Kate's world, and I also recommend it to those who already know her. My final grade is 3 stars because I think it is a very nice compilation, so buy it, it's worth it.

Enjoy it!

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars In general I don't like compilations, but this one gives a good idea of Kate's work up to 1986. I would have added just Hammer Horror but all the most impolrtant songs are present.

"Wuthering Heights" is the song that made her famouos in 1978. It was produced by David Gilmour and it has been remastered for this disc. I have the impression that the final solo is played by Sir David, but I can't be sure. The album sheet says that only vocals are new, but I think the guitar part has been re-recorder as well.

"Cloudbusting" is from Hounds of Love. I remember a very nice videoclip interpreted by Donald Sutherland. It has the typical 80's sound, based on Fairlight, but the song is nice.

"The Man With the Child in His Eyes" is another song from her first album "the kick inside". Kate says she wrote this song when she was thirteen. She was a very talented teen to write a song like this. One of her best, I think.

"Breathing" is from "Never for Ever" (1980). There is probably a sexual double-sense in the lyrics. The track is driven by an impressive fretless bass. Kate's voice is dramatic. The final male choir gives her the possibility to shout in a crescendo.

"Wow", is one of her most famous songs. Back in 1978 (Lionheart). In tis song Kate demonstrates her vocal extension by singing a very bass "wow" - unbelievable, really.

"Hounds of Love" from the homonimous album (1985) is yet based on the Fairlight. About the use of Fairlight, Kate is credited on Camel's Stationary Traveller for "borrowing the fairlight". The song is in the same mood of Cloudbusting. This was the electronic period of Kate Bush.

The same can be said about "Running up that hill". Same sound, same album. Deep inside the 80s. I see some similarities with Rick Wright and Dave Harris Zee project (1983), at least in how the fairlight brasses sound.

"Army Dreamers", is a very nice acoustic short song. A slow waltz with high but sussrred vocals.

"Sat in your Lap". Is another fairlight song on which the overdubbed vocals have the most important part. From "The dreaming" (1982).

"Experiment IV" was the inedit. Again is son of its times. The electronic drums seem the same used by Mason and Fenn in "Profiles" released the same year...However Kate is always able to add something different to her songs, even if the overall sound is dated, due not only to the use of Fairlight, but also to all the other electronic devices (guitar effect, fretless bass and so on).

"The Dreaming" from the homonimous album is another example of vocal skill, inventive and composing. A very interesting track, even if the sound is still the same.

Finally, "Babooshka" is a very good closure. From "Never for Ever". It's a very good pop song, not too much affected by the 80s standardisation. One of my favourite. You can still hear some guitar here.

If you are not going to purchase Kate's whole discography, this is a good example of her music. A good starting point to be kicked inside Kate's music.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Pointless repackaging

Never a fan of nostalgia concerning her own work, Bush was not thrilled with the idea of a career retrospective. She agreed to it to the great pleasure of EMI who saw it as a great opportunity to cash in on the enormous success of "Hound of Love." She felt that she owed some payback to certain individuals who had been helpful to her and the timing could not have been better.

While a commercial success, "The Whole Story" is a completely unnecessary purchase which sells the artist and listener short. First, she destroys her own "Wuthering Heights" track by re-recording the beautiful original vocal, then plastering a heavier drum track over it because she felt the old one was "dated." Actually the old one holds up better. She claimed she would have neutered more of her old songs in this way if she'd had the time, thankfully for us, she did not.

The more crucial issue, and reason for a low rating, is that Bush is not well presented by this kind of compilation. All of her early work was consistently strong, and the personality of the songs best heard in the context of their "siblings." Both the early and later works are cheapened by this presentation and it's a terrible way to experience Kate's magic. There's no reason to buy this sampling of tracks when she only has four or five studio albums to acquire to hear the songs properly. It's not like Zappa with dozens of albums, where a collection could help a newbie dip his/her toe. Further, the early material doesn't sit all that well with the then current Hounds material. The transition to/from "The Man with the Child in his Eyes" with newer material is not pleasant.

Bush recorded "Experiment IV," a flat and truly uninspired piece of work, which EMI used as the bait to get fans to pony up. Were the song anything special I could offer another star, but as it is this collection is for the completionists. I may be hostile to these kinds of pointless collections, but only because I hate to see folks who may have limited funds spending money on this rather than one of her fine, original pieces of work. Occasionally a collection may have some use, but this is not one of those times. Avoid this, and buy the real albums from 1978-1985.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The whole story? Well, mostly it is. 12 singles that cover Kate Bush's work up until 1986. All the usual suspects are here: "Wuthering Heights", "Hounds of Love", Babooshka"..etc..with "Wuthering Heights" getting a new vocal treatment. I actually like the extra nonalbum song that is incleded h ... (read more)

Report this review (#451660) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was my first introduction to the music of Kate Bush, the tracks are mainly best of tracks, The music is definetaly Prog Releted no more, no less. "Cloudbursting", "Hounds of Love" and "Running up that Hill" are my personal favourites, My least favourite tracks are "Wurthering Heigh ... (read more)

Report this review (#59188) | Posted by PROGMAN | Monday, December 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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