Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
Hounds Of Love Album
- Released 16 September 1985
Made No. 1 (Double Platinum)
- The title comes from one of the songs, which is entitled
``Hounds of Love,'' and this album for me is like two quite
separate pieces of work: the a-side and the b-side. The a-side is very much
five individual songs that are in some way all linked by
love as a theme, and this seemed to be a
title which really did sum up that side. We actually gave a title to the b-side
of the album as well, but because you can't have two titles for an album, so we
just went for the a-side title to cover it all. (1985, Homeground)
- It's almost
like two separate albums for me, this really, in that the first side is five
separate songs, if they're linked it's only be the theme of
love - they're all forms of love songs,
they're about relationships. They're all very different subject matters from
each other. And the second side of the album is a conceptual piece which is
seven songs all linked together. And it's very much something that was designed
and written to work as one piece of music. (1985, Rockline)
particular, seems to have been closely involved musicly - more closely
[Laugher] involved musically with hounds of love then
previous albums. Is there any particular reason for this?
- John: Well, I think it's the new studio, because having the studio
at home gives a very relaxed feeling to the work. So I mean there are a number
of other reasons, really the creative ones and there were some gaps in there
and I cleaned them up a bit.
- Paddy: Right. And in fact this particular album has shown a slight
trend toward using this vocal voice with music as well as the song's voice...
And so quite a lot of us were involved in an audio kind of way. We're asked to
say things, things are put on to message machines - telephone answering
machines and stuff like this. We're asked to phone people up and say silly
things like ``good morning, dear this is early morning call.'' all this kind of
stuff. (1985, kate bush con. Paddy
and jay interview)
do you keep tabs on whether you're loosing track on reality? You know, whether
you're getting to self-indulgent?
- You mean, in context of an album?
- I think you just have to rely on a voice inside you saying that it's
getting better and everything that you do to it does make it better and not
Actually a lot of critics have felt, well the ones I've seen, that
there are some very, very commercial bits in this as well, that maybe you were
aware that the last lp perhaps did go away from the mainstream a bit. Do you
agree with them?
- I don't feel it went away from the mainstream. Whenever you make an
album, you just do it and you hope all the songs are good and that you're
trying to express what you want at that time. And I felt that I've done that,
certainly with the last three albums. (1985, The Old Grey Whistle Test)
- On this album I wanted to get away from the energy of the last one -
at the time I was very unhappy, I felt that mankind was really screwing things
up. Having expressed all that, I wanted this album to be different - a positive
album, just as personal but more about the good things. A lot depends on how
you feel at any given time - it all comes out in the music. (1985, Now)
- I do think this has got a much more positive energy. Not necessarily
that the last album was dark, but it was dealing with intensities of
emotion. Perhaps a more introverted
album and this is more outward and happy, yeah. (1985, Late November, The New Music)
that is exemplary of the bush style -- extreme characters and odd concepts --
she has been known to go even further. Several albums ago, ``the wedding list'' described a
protagonist ``coming for'' the ex-lover who killed her new husband.
- Yes, the last records tended to be extreme, [she says, noting how
songs that changed] from mood to mood [made it more difficult for her to
fully get involved with an entire record].
- Perhaps there's more of a sense of continuity on this album, but
that's just my humble subjective opinion. [one thing's for sure:] It's
the lightest album and the easiest for me emotionally. (1985, Pulse!)
- I never was
so pleased to finish anything if my life. There were times I never
thought it would be finished. It was just such a lot of work, all of it was so
much work, you know, the lyrics, trying to piece the thing together. But I did
love it, I did enjoy it and everyone that
worked on the album was wonderful. And it was really, in some ways, I think,
the happiest I've been when I'd been writing and making an album. And I know
there's a big theory that goes 'round that you must suffer for
your art, you know, ``it's not real art unless you suffer.'' And I
don't believe this, because I think in some ways this is the most complete work
that I've done, in some ways it is the best and I was the happiest that I'd
been compared to making other albums. (1991, Classic Albums)
Do you generally record in the daytime or nighttime?
- Much more in the day with this album than the last. And I think that
sort of goes with the energies, actually. The Dreaming was much more
of a nighttime album, I'd normally do my vocals in the evening. But on this
album I tended to do them in the afternoon when it was sunny because the
atmosphere was right then, because the songs were quite uplifting.
There seems to be so much water-imagery on this album.
- Yes, well I think as soon as I decided to go for the concept, I sort
of said, ``Oh, let's be brave and go for it,'' then the energies, the
synchronicities, or whatever you want to call them, started coming into play
and nearly everyone I was working with was a water-sign! But I think, again, a
lot of people have commented already on how the album seems to them very
elemental - you know, full with the elements wind and rain. And I can't help
but put quite a lot of that down to the fact that I moved out into the country.
Instead of being boxed in by big houses, the visual stimulus
coming in was that of fields and trees and seeing the elements doing their
Certain of the new songs, like `` and dream of sheep'' and ``
hello earth,'' strike me rather like hollywood show-tunes: They're rather
- I think in a way they're, umm, probably the most visual
songs I've written, in that when I was writing them, I had in mind what
potentially might be done with them, visually, which isn't normally the sort of
way you go about writing a song. So it'll be interesting if we can ever
actually turn it into a film, which is
what I'd like to do, and to see if it takes to it well.
Do you think in your writing you've gradually departed further and
further, structurally speaking, from the standard pop-song formula?
- I don't know! I suppose I have in some ways. But particularly
rhythmically perhaps subconsciously I've moved more towards that.
I mean the constant rhythm with fewer breaks is more in evidence on the new
album: though the music is changing, the rhythm keeps on going, and in a way I
think that actually makes it a little more commercial. But I think trying to
tell the story musically is the biggest concern for me now, rather than...I
mean, obviously the structure of the song is always important, but in a way the
story tends to dictate that a little bit.
I suppose the songs on side one are more to formula: Verse, verse,
- Yes, absolutely.
But it's not just the case that side one was just put together out
of a lot of odds and sods?
- No, no, not at all!
Del: I would say that, in fact, probably over the course of time
there's been more time and effort spent on some of the tracks on side one.
Kate: Recording, yes, but,
compositionally, more on the second side, the ninth wave. The
songs on side one were written quite quickly.
It seems to me that perhaps hounds of love doesn't
cohere so organically in terms of texture and
emotion as did the dreaming and that,
rather than being such a masterpiece, it's a collection of several smaller
masterpieces like ``hello earth,'' `` jig of life,'' and things like that.
- Well, I think the problem with Side Two, The Ninth
Wave, is that it is an overall concept, and ideally I would have liked
two sides of an album to develop it. But I wouldn't like to feel the album was
just lots of little cameos that have been put together but rather that the
album does flow. It's true, the first side is very much made up of separate
songs. But it's so interesting what you say, because so many people have just
the opposite reaction in that they found The Dreaming terribly
difficult, I just don't think they could understand it. That's fascinating,
extraordinary! (1985, Musician)
One can't help but notice that the first three songs on your new
album, though quite excellent indeed, have a distinctly more ``commercial pop''
sound to them than anything on the dreaming. Was this to
help make the album sell better than the dreaming, or did you feel it
artistically important to make some music that might be more accessible to more
people, or did it just come sort of come out that way?
- I don't feel that it is that much more obviously commercial. I mean,
I think from what people say, they feel that it is, but for me they are very
similar energies. They are just trying to create as interesting a song as
possible with the best production to accompany it. And to make it different.
And I think what makes it more accessible for people is the consistency of
rhythm. I can't really see that much difference, apart from how different songs
are anyway from each other.
Well, did you think to yourself, ``well, if I use a consistency of
rhythm that it will be more accessible to more people'' when you went about
writing the song, or did you -
- Just want to do that?
- Well, I write a song because it's what I like at the time. On the
last album I was beginning to get very intrigued with the use of rhythm. I
realy like using rhythm, and I think this album is a progression of how I've
learned to work with it. (1985, Love-Hounds)
You see, the thing is, with a lot of the stuff on the new album,
would you agree if I said that the first side anyway was probably the most
commercial thing you've done to date? [Long silence.] or don't you like
that word ``commercial''
- No, I think especially from your mouth I can accept it! And in some
ways I think you're very right: it is, and not necessarily so intentionally as
perhaps I thought. I think the development of rhythm in my music is perhaps one
of the things that makes it obviously more available to people, and a constancy
of rhythm perhaps wasn't always there in previous albums.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. I mean it's the rhythm
tracks I find on this album are tremendous. Were you totally responsible for
- No, I wasn't. I think a very big influence was
Del Palmer, who when I was initially
coming up with the songs... I would actually get Del to manifest in the rhythm
box the pattern that I wanted. As a bass player I think he has a very natural
understanding of rhythms and working with drums, and he could also actually get
the patterns that I could hear in my head and that I wanted, so it's sort of
through him that we started off with the rhythmic basis that was then built
upon and was very much what I wanted. (1985, Homeground)
Was it your idea to do something that was very complex and
something that was very easy on this album? - or simple?
- Yes. There were definite areas of simplicity that I wanted to work
with musically, particularly in the traditional areas. And also I wanted to
move away from certain chord patterns that I'd definitely become very fond of
over the last few albums. And, um...though I did move away from them a bit, I
definitely hung onto my old favourites. (1985, Homeground)
- Many hours were spent on tiny vocal ideas that perhaps only last
half a minute. Many hours went on writing lyrics - one of the most difficult
parts in the process for me, in that it's so time-consuming and so frustrating,
and it just always seems to take far too long for something that seems as
though it should come so naturally. One of the difficult things about the
lyrics is that when I initially write the song, perhaps half of the lyrics come
with it but it's almost more difficult fitting in the other half to make it
match than it would be perhaps to start from scratch, where, for instance, you
might have just hummed the tune; or where, in some cases, I wrote them as
instrumentals, and then the tunes [??? Perhaps she meant lyrics] were
written over the top of this. Many times I ring up Paddy and ask him to come
over to the studio immediately, to bring in that string-driven thing - to hit
that note and let it float. [N.b.: ``hit that note and let it float'' is a
quotation from ``big-eyed bees from venus", a song by captain beefheart and the
- One of the most positive things is now having our own
recording studio where we can
experiment freely, and it's definitely one of the best decisions I've made
since I've been recording albums. We've put a lot of hard work into this album,
so we've been waiting for it to be finished and ready, and I know you've been
waiting. I hope that after this time, and after all the snippets of information
we've been giving you, you don't find it disappointing, but that you enjoy it,
and that you enjoy listening to it in different ways again and again.
- This album could never have happened without some very special
people. Many thanks to Julian Mendelsohn, and especially Haydn Bendall and
Brian Tench, who put a lot of hard work into this project, to all
the musicians, who are a constant inspiration, to Ma who helps with every
little thing, to Paddy and Jay for all their inspiration and influences, and
again to Del for all those moments we've captured on tape together. (1985,
Kate's reveries are broken by the phone ringing. Good news and bad
news. The good news is that her record has jumped straight into the top ten -
another number one would be terrific, fantastic, amazing. The bad news is that
the album artwork must be changed immediately. Side two of the disk, a concept
piece called the ninth wave, has been wrongly coupled with a verse
from alfred lord tennyson's ``the holy grail'' The quotation turns out to be
from another poem altogether ["The coming of arthur"]. The connotations
of this faux pas are immensely embarrassing to kate. (1985, What Kate Bush Did Next)
So what's different about this new album, as opposed to all the
other ones, how is it a progression?
- I think one of the biggest differences is that we recorded it in our
own studio. That made a very big difference to me, it's probably one of the
best decisions I've ever made.
Ok, now, this studio... This is like right in your home or what?
And what do you have to do to build one of these things, does it take years,
does it cost millions of pounds? What's the story behind it?
- Yeah, it cost a lot of money.
You gotta find the right place. (1985, MTV)
Alright. We were talking about the studio, right? And you're gonna
tell me like what it was like to build it and what you want built.
- Yeah. One of the main reasons for wanting to build our own studio
was the amount of money that it was
costing in a commercial studio per hour. And when you work experimentally it
actually becomes prohibitive when it's costing that amount of money. Plus the
distractions. So you've gotta find a place, and you gotta get the best
equipment in there that you can that you can afford because [Phone rings
loudly] obviously it's very expensive stuff. [Smiles] (1985,
So, I mean, you have the studio and everything, and it was to help
make it easier, but what about the subject matter. Do you feel that these songs
are about different things than songs on your previous album?
- Yes, I think the last album was quite an intense album. I think it
was about emotion and there were a lot
of things that I wanted to say that I wasn't happy with. I was feeling mankind
to be cruel, negative. And I think I expressed that in a lot of the songs. For
this album there's a completely different energy. I moved from the city to the
country. I was surrounded by elemental forces which I really feel feature on
this album. And I was feeling really happy and positive, and considering
mankind to be much better than on the last album. So I think it... it's got a
more positive energy.
That kinda weird that you say that, because especially on the first
side all the songs are so pessimistic, these songs about people who just cannot
- On this album?
- But I think it's actually finding a way for them to communicate, if
they can't. The positive side is that they find a way to, and if they don't
then there's the hope that they can.
Ok, so then ``
running up that hill'' is just the beginning of a whole cycle?
[Long pause] how do you mean?
Well, cause I mean that is like a really pessimistic thing. I mean,
two people wanting to switch places like that. Saying ``if you could feel what
I feel now, then what?"
- But why is it pessimistic though, why is it not positive to want to
experience what the other person feels? For me, it's a positive thing, it's
saying that they can get rid of the problems, or they want to, they care enough
about each other to want to do that.
Ok, great. So on this side then... We got the optimist... What
caused you to write lyrics though like ``you never understood me, you never
really tried.'' is it some personal experience?
- I think everyone at some times feels misunderstood. But I can't
think of any song that I would say was truly autobiographical. There's
something of me in every song, in that I'm expressing something I'm hoping is
interesting. But I don't think they're truly autobiographical comments in any
way. (1985, MTV)
Is hounds of love an exorcism for you? Or not?
- An exorcism. In what way?
Well, in the way of getting something out of your system.
- I think every album is. Every song, in a way, is channeling or
releasing a form of energy. Yes, so every song is, really.
But having done it now, do you feel content, as it were?
- Yes, I was very pleased when that album was finished. It took a long
time and a lot of work, and I think, for what we were trying to do, it's quite
pleasing. Yes. (1985, Picture
Do you think that hounds of love is much more
controlled than the previous album?
- Controlled. [Pensive] I think it's probably more constant.
The last album was dealing with a lot of very different things, and very
different places, different atmospheres, in tracks maybe next to each other. I
think there's more a sense of a theme on this album. Obviously on the second
side, but even on the first side, although they're separate songs, I think they
are still, they have a flavor that's consistent.
So you'd say it was more consistent than the previous album?
- Yes, I think there's more sense of flow from track to track. But I
was very happy with the last album, it was certainly a mark for us. (1985,
- The first in my own studio. Another step closer to getting the work
as direct as possible. You cut all the crap, don't have all these people around
and don't have expensive studio time mounting up. A clean way of working.
Just on the lighter side, it's a wonderful cover, the album cover.
Now, the two hounds on the cover with you, where did they come from? How long
did it take to pose that picture? Because it must have taken a long time.
- Yes, it's a very popular question! The two dogs are friends of ours.
And John, my brother, who took the photograph, had a lot of trouble keeping
them under control. I think he had a very strong word with them and got them to
behave, and it really was just a matter of patience, because we'd get the whole
scene set up, and then the dogs would come in and they'd be walking all over me
and everything, and it would be totally ruined in five minutes, so we'd have to
So they behaved themselves in the end, anyway?
- They did eventually, to the point where they just went to sleep!
And they got a little mention on the album, as well.
- Absolutely, for all that effort. (1985, Homeground)
- The hounds that appear on the album cover look soft and sleepy, but
it took a lot of time before they settled down. They wrecked the set a few
times... (C.1986, AVD)
There's lots of credits on the album to comic characters and people
involved in comedy. Why them?
- Because in some way they've been involved or helped, either with the
album or something connected to it, and it was a way of saying thank you.
They didn't all come and give you handclaps and all that.
[Laughing] no, I'm afraid not. I wish they had! (1985,
- It becomes increasingly difficult for me to talk about the content
of the songs. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the more I go on, the more I
feel it's for the songs to say than for me. Especially with the second side on
this album I see it very visually. I would eventually
love to see this as a piece of film, and so
I feel restricted about talking about these songs other than to give a brief
analysis of the story. Otherwise, I find that perhaps too much energy is going
into talking about the visual side of it, rather than
doing it. I will try to give a brief analysis and to fill you in
more about some of the people we didn't get round to talking about in the last
Newsletter. (1985, KBC
Cloudbusting / Music /
Hounds Of Love Album