KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

Rocket'S Tail

Which would be your choice for the song that best demonstrates these voices [The trio bulgaria]?

Most definitely Rocket's Tail. It shows the trio off the most, and sometimes when they're singing, if you're in the same room as them when they're singing, you can hear the air cracking, it's like there's so much harmonic information in their voices [Laughs].

Tell me about that song then.

About ``_Rocket'sTail'' Oh God, you would ask me about that one [Laughs]. I wrote this for the trio, really, musically, in that I wanted a song that could really show them off. The other two songs that they appear on were already structured and in a way they had to very much fit around the song's structure to become a part of it, but this song they were there en masse, really, the whole song was based around them. And I wrote it on a synthesizer with a choir sound and just sang along. We put John's on and I had no idea if their voices were going to work on it at all, really, so the whole thing hung on the fact of whether when we went out to Bulgaria, whether it worked or not. And the arranger we worked with out there was such a brilliant man. In some ways, I think that the fact that we didn't speak the same language made our communication much easier because he seemed to know exactly what I wanted, and, really, just after a few hours he was coming up with the most incredible tunes, and I just had to say ``Oh yes, I like that one,'' ``Er, no, not too keen on that one,'' ``Umm, that's lovely!'' and just go away and write it out. It was incredible, I've never worked like that before, so quickly with someone I've never met before. It was really exciting to find that kind of chemistry.

Rocket is one of your cats.

Rocket *is* one of my cats, and he was the inspiration for the subject matter for the song, because he's dead cute [Both laugh]. And it's very strange subject matter because the song isn't exactly about Rocket, it's kind of inspired by him and for him, but the song, it's about anything. I guess it's saying there's nothing wrong with being right here at this moment, and just enjoying this moment to its absolute fullest, and if that's it, that's ok, you know. And it's kind of using the idea of a rocket that's so exciting for maybe 3 seconds and then it's gone [Phutt!], you know that's it, but so what, it had 3 seconds of absolutely wonderful... [Both laugh] (1989, Roger Scott)


"_Rocket'stail'' (not what you might think.)

Er no, [She finds this hysterically funny] a couple of friends this song was very phallic. I was so concerned I tried to change the ``it was the biggest rocket I could find'' line but ``the most expensive rocket I've ever seen'' wasn't quite the same. It's just the idea a rocket is only there for three seconds but those three seconds are lived fully and totally. (1989, Tracks)


Rocket's my cat, but it was written for the Bulgarian girls. Ridiculous collection of images, nothing to do with Rocket, really. He just started it all off.

At the time the only song I could think of that mentioned rockets was ``Rocket Man'' but since then there have been about three of them. I feel a bit like the Python sketch with that guy making eight-millimetre films, saying, ``Hitchcock had his Rear Window out while mine was still at the chemists.'' (1989, NME)


Yet she also finds an emotional fury in those same voices. On ``_rocket'stail'' she launches pink floyd's david gilmour on a screaming feedback guitar coda intertwined with the trio. Well, I'm sure that secretly dave has always wanted to be bulgarian, she laughs. Electric guitar for me has always had that suggestion of a human voice.

It was such a buzz for me to work with him, SHE EXCLAIMS, because obviously I've known him for a long time and he's done little things before, like backing vocals. But I've never really had a song where he could just let rip on a guitar - and it was great.

"_Rocket'stail'' is one of those beguiling bush songs that have a simple story on the surface, about an eccentric strapping a rocket to his back, but you want to know just where it comes from. I'm not sure if it's meant to be figured out, says bush, offering little help. If you want to figure it out, great; But again, songs should exist in their own space. And if they are a curious item, then that's very nice. Some people are, aren't they? (1990, Musician)


Among the other guests on the sensual world are bulgarian singers the trio bulgarka and an old friend, dave gilmour from pink floyd.

It was so good for me to come this full circle where, as you know, Dave was very involved in getting my initial signing to the record company and I'd kinda written this song and I knew I wanted the Bulgarian singers to be the main body of the song. And the idea is that at one point in the song the character dresses up as a rocket and jumps off this bridge, and it just felt so right that Dave Gilmour should be the rocket - you know, sort of... off the bridge. You know... he's kind of the guitar hero isn't he? (1989, Rapido)


No matter how precarious, though, you think love's worth it, don't you? `` reaching out'' is full of danger - the child reaching out to feel the fire, for the hand that smacks...you endorse the instinct.

"_Rocket'stail'' probably sums up what I'm getting at best. In the beginning you scoff at someone else's romantic notion. They say they want to be the glorious rocket, and you say you only see ``a stick on fire/alone on its journey/home to the quickening ground/with no one there to catch it'' But a verse later, you're putting on your pointed hat and strapping the stick to your back. It seems to me that love triumphs over cynicism and, whether you're dashed to the ground and destroyed by throwing yourself into a relationship or whether you survive doesn't matter. The risk, the vulnerability's worth taking. It's the only way you're alive, and anything's better than the loneliness of, say, `` deeper understanding."

Yeah! Yeah! There's a lot of that going on on the album, and I'm really pleased that you should hear it: like, ``It might not be easy, but there is a way of getting out of it, so try not to worry too much.'' (1989, Melody Maker)


It was a vehicle to get their voices on a track in as dominant a way as possible. So I put this down with a DX7 choir sound so it had this kind of vocal feel. Then we got a drummer in and got this big Rock 'n' Roll thing going. Then I got some friends in to hear what it would sound like with big block vocals singing behind my voice, and although they were English people that sing completely differently, it still gave me a sense of vocal intensity. So these two friends must have spent all day trying to sing like Bulgarians. But it was so useful, because there were so many things I immediately understood we couldn't do, and lots of things it felt like we could do.

So we took it to Bulgaria and started working with this arranger. I told him what I wanted, and he just went off and said ``what about this?'' and they were great. He kept giving me all these things to choose from, and we worked so well together.

It was so good that we decided to hold the drum kit - it was originally starting much earlier in the song. Then we let Dave Gilmour rip on it, so we'd have this really extreme change from just vocals to this hopefully big Rock 'n' Roll kit, with bass, and guitar solos. (1989, International Musician)


On the song ``_Rocket'sTail'' on the new album, he does a fantastic solo. It was great for me to actually work with him after all these years.

Rocket is one of your cats?

Yes. He was the inspiration because he's dead cute. The song isn't actually about Rocket. It's inspired by him but the song is saying there is nothing wrong with being right here at this moment and just enjoying it to its absolute fullest. It uses the idea of a rocket that's so exciting for three seconds and then is gone. (1989, Network)


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