KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

Lionheart Album

Released 10th November 1978
Made No. 6 Gold


  • Symphony In Blue
  • In Search Of Peter Pan
  • Wow
  • Don'T Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake
  • Oh England, My Lionheart
  • Fullhouse
  • In The Warm Room
  • Kashka From Baghdad
  • Coffee Homeground
  • Hammer Horror
  • Maybe I'm a bit too close to it at the moment, but I find it much more adventurous than the last one. I'm much more happier [Sic] with the songs and the arrangements and the backing tracks.

    I was getting a bit worried about labels from that last album; everything being in the high register, everything being soft, and airy- fairy. That was great for the time but it's not really what I want to do now, or what I want to do, say, in the next year. I guess I want to get basically heavier in the sound sense... and I think that's on the way, which makes me really happy.

    I don't really think there are any songs on the album that are as close to `` Wuthering Heights'' as there were on the last one. I mean, there's lots of songs people could draw comparisons with. I want the first single that comes out from this album to be reasonably up-tempo. That's the first thing I'm concerned with, because I want to break away from what has previously gone. I'm not pleased with being associated with such soft, romantic vibes, not for the first single anyway. If that happens again, that's what I will be to everyone. (1978, November, Melody Maker)


    If you can get away with it and keep changing, great. I think it should be done because in that way you'll always have people chasing after you trying to find out what you're doing. And, anyway, if you know what's coming next, what's the point? If I really wanted to, I guess I could write a song that would be so similar to `` Wuthering Heights'' But I don't. What's the point? I'd rather write a song that was really different, that I liked, although it might not get anywhere. (1978, July, Melody Maker)


    I feel I know what I'm talking about in the studio now. I know what I should hear. The reaction to me explaining what I want in the studio was amusement, to a certain extent. They were all taking the piss out of me a bit. (1978, November, Melody Maker)


    *Can you tell me how you enjoyed recording in france?

    Ah, it was an amazing experience. I mean it's the first time I've ever recorded out of the country. And the environment was really quite phenomenal, I mean it was just so beautiful, it was so unlike anything I'd seen for a long while. And I think there was so many advantages to it, but there were a couple of disadvantages - the fact that it was so beautiful, you couldn't help but keep drifting off to the sun out there, you know, that sort of thing. But you just didn't feel like you needed a break, because the vibes and the weather and everyone around was just so good, you know, you didn't feel like you were working. It was really, really fun. (1978, Lionheart Promo)


    *Did you find that this time writing the songs for the album came easily to you, or was it quite difficult?

    It was a difficult situation because there was very little time around and I felt very squashed in by the lack of time and that's what I don't like, especially if it's concerning something as important for me as my songs are, they're really important to me. But it all seemed to come together and it was really nicely guided by something, it just happened great. And there were quite a few old songs that I managed to get the time to re-write. It's a much lighter level of work when you re-write a song because the basic inspiration is there, you just perfect upon it and that's great. And they're about four new songs so they all came together, it was great. In fact, we ended up with more then we needed again, which is fantastic. (1978, Lionheart Promo)


    *Kate said it was not for me to say whether lionheart would see the emergence of equally stunning material [Compared to the first album]. (1978, TV Week)


    *I can't explain what it's like, [she said of the album as its finishing touches were completed].

    It's very hard to describe... perhaps it's just a little bit more up-tempo than The Kick Inside. (1978, TV Week)


    *The album continued with the same high and mesmerizing vocals that had become her trademark. Kate explains, I thought that was very much a part of where I was with the first album and alot of the songs were songs around the same time. I think in a way not much happened, it was really more of the same person. (1983, Wireless)


    Looking back, I don't really think that Lionheart actually expressed the true phase I was in at the time, whereas all the others have. While the first LP consisted of material I'd written up to that point, I found that the time pressures prevented me from writing more fresh material for the second one.

    In fact, I only wrote three new songs - `` Symphony in Blue", `` Fullhouse'' and `` Coffee Homeground'' - and if you know that, then you can tell the difference in style. Basically, this album could have been a lot better. (1984, Women of Rock)


    Your image has changed dramatically from that of a pop chanteuse, as you were perceived on your first two albums, to that of someone with a very clear artistic vision, which is how people have come to perceive you since your third and fourth records. Is that an accurate assessment?

    Even on the first two records, I was doing what I'm doing now as a artist, only because I was a lot younger, and I didn't have the room and the space to be able to truly present my music. I had to work with a producer and within certain kind of set-ups because of the fact that... that's how it was, I wasn't powerful enough basically to be able to say, ``Look, I'm producing this myself. This is what I do.'' And that's what I do now. I think that if I had been a little older, and if I'd had the experience at the time, I would have done it then, too. But I was - When I was making my first album, I was 18. I had never really worked with a band before, let alone a producer in a studio setup. So I just had - [Laughs] - I mean I just about had the guts, you know, to sing and keep it together. But you learn very quickly what you want. By the time the second album was finished, I knew that I had to be involved. Even though they were my songs and I was singing them, the finished product was not what I wanted. That wasn't the producer's fault. He was doing a good job from his point of view, making it sound good and together. But for me, it was not my album, really. (1985, Keyboard)


    Why do you speak in interviews about the first two albums less favorably?

    Well, I think there's a lot of reasons for that. Um, a lot of it's to do with the fact that I didn't really feel that I had creative control over what I was doing for those first two albums. Although I'd written the songs, I wasn't really taking overall control and saying what should happen. I feel very much that the production of the songs has as much to do with the feeling as the words and the music. And by the third album I was starting to take that kind of control. I went into co-production, and actually felt that I was working in a studio as someone that was in control of what they were doing.

    And also, I think that you feel, just naturally more fond of the stuff that you do more recently. It's just a human factor. You don't like to think that what you were doing ten years ago is better than what you're doing now [Laughs]. So that's a factor as well.

    Audience member ron hill: We love them anyway! [Cheering from audience] (1990 kate bush con)

    *Do you ever listen back to a lot of records and say [Makes ``ugh'' sound. Kate laughs.], ``don't like what I did there."

    I very rarely listen to my old stuff and when I do hear it, yes it is sometimes that feeling, yeah.

    In what? In content, or voice pitch, or what?

    It's especially my voice. I mean, in a way I'm still quite fond of some of the flavors of the old albums and some of the songs, but, my voice, it seems... it always sounds so young to me, because, you know, I feel that it's changing all the time. (1982, Dreaming debut)


    *I had only a week after we got back from Japan to prepare for the album. I was lucky to get it together so quickly. But the songs seem to me, now, to be somewhat overproduced. I didn't put enough time into them. (1984, Pulse!)


    It was rushed and that was responsible for me taking as much time as possible over albums. Considering how quickly we made it it's a bloody good album, but I'm not really happy with it. (1989, Tracks)


    *How did you pick the name of lionheart for your latest album?

    Well that was really from the title track called ``Oh England, My Lionheart'' And I just think it's a great word, it sorta means hero, and I think hero is a very cliched word, so I thought Lionheart would be a bit different.

    You're not a leo by any chance are you?

    Ah, yeah.

    Could that be something to do with it to?

    Yes, it could indeed, yeah. (1979, Personal Call)


    Where was the photo that appears on the front cover of lionheart taken?

    This photo was taken in a photographic studio by Gered Mankowitz somewhere in London. (1980, KBC 5)


    *How did the sleeve design come about, of lionheart?

    Well that was just an idea that we had that was basically around the title Lionheart. We wanted to get across a vibe within me of a lion. And for the front cover it basically comes from an idea that my brother had, which was an attic setting with me in a lion suit, so it's slightly comical, but just a really nice vibe on the front that would take away the heavy, crusader, English vibe, because Lionheart is always associated with Richard the Lionheart. And I think it's a word that could become more readily used, it's such a beautiful word. It's kinda like hero, and hero's a very cliched word now. It's used in so many songs. (1978, Lionheart Promo)


    *But anyway, where did you get your theater mask earrings, the ones that you were wearing on the album lionheart?

    Do you know, it's rather lovely, because when I went to Canada, years ago, I was doing a whole day of interviews with journalists and there was a lady journalist, and we only sat and chatted for about 30 minutes. And when I first met her, I said ``your earrings are beautiful.'' And when she left she took them off and gave them to me, and said, ``I hope they bring you luck."


    Yeah, she was really far out.

    And they have.

    Yeah! (1982, Unknown BBC interview)


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