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Date: Sat, 16 Sep 89 16:38 PDT
Subject: September 16th issue of Melody Maker
KATE'S SENSUAL WORLD
Kate Bush releases a new single, The Sensual World, on EMI on September 18. Details are also emerging this week about her forthcoming album, also titled The Sensual World, which is due for release on October 16.
The single, written and produced by Bush, is backed with Walk Straight Down the Middle, a non-LP cut which may, however, appear on the album's cassette and CD formats. The cassette single is the same as the seven-inch, while the 12-inch and CD versions contain an instrumental version of The Sensual World.
Bush, on vocals and keyboards, is joined by boyfriend Del Palmer on bass, Charlie Morgan (drums), Davey Spillane (Uillean pipes), Donal Lunny (bouzouki), John Sheahan (fiddle) and Paddy Bush on whips! The accompanying video was directed by Kate Bush in tandem with Peter Richardson.
Other musicians on the album--her first since Hounds of Love four years ago--include Alan Stivell on Celtic harp and backing vocals, Mick Karn, who supplies bass on one track, and Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour on guitar on two tracks-- Love and Anger and Rocket's Tail. Another track, This Woman's Work, will be heard on a film soundtrack <sic>, although details on this are so far not being issued.
Obviously someone goofed up on the last bit (about This Woman's Work ): it should have read something like: "Another track, This Woman's Work, has already been heard on a film soundtrack (to the movie She's Having a Baby )." IED suspects the details that have not so far been issued on this are in respect to whether the U.S. IRS-label soundtrack LP will be released in the UK or not, or whether This Woman's Work will only be made available in England on Kate's own The Sensual World album. It's pretty much certain, though, that TWW will be taking up space on TSW.
Mick Karn, erstwhile fretless bass-player for the now-long-defunct band Japan, has played with Kate once before--on bass during Kate's live performance of The Wedding List at the 1981 Prince's Trust Gala concert. IED is especially pleased to learn that these two have collaborated again.
-- Andrew Marvick
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 89 17:59:22 BST
Subject: September 89, Sounds
Here's the review of The Sensual World from this weeks Sounds.
Kate has often balanced precariously between Home Counties humdrum and absolute eroticism. Here she swings to the latter like never before, capturing the purity necessary to sex as worship. Talk dirty to us Kate: "Then I take a kiss of seedcake/ Go deep sex, go down." This is sex sucessfully rendered as the opposite of prurience.
--["..deep sex" ???? It's actually "...deep south", they do hear only, what they want to hear! --WIE]
Abandoning the intellect for the intuition ("Stepping out of the page into the sensual world"), but craftily hanging onto the aesthetic perspective that mankind has spent so long acquiring, this is a lovely evocation of the moment.
The way it encompasses the opulent production tech, instead of being overpowered by it, is crucial, as is the vocalising on the repeated "Uhhmm, yeah". A moment of meta-verbal magic in the tradition of Larry Blackmon's "oww", this is pop at its best.
Reviewed by Roy Wilkinson
There is also a page and a half advert for the single (also in NME and probably the other papers as well) of which one whole page is a photo.
Be seeing you.
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 89 17:23:57 PDT
From: email@example.com (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: Sept. 23 issue of New Musical Express
Somebody earlier posted the review of the single from Sounds , but I haven't seen anybody post the review from the Sept. 23 issue of New Musical Express . So I will. First of all, it's one of two "Singles of the Week". Sounds good already, doesn't it? Here's the review:
You would have to be a very miserable schmuck indeed not to concede that Kate Bush has made some exceptional disques. "Running Up That Hill" springs to mind immediately -- as does her welcome fear of ever being seen in public once the album hits the Top Three. Going about this business privately is something Guns N'Roses should consider. Maybe then they could fashion something as charming as this.
There is always a Gestation Period between first hearing her new 45 and pronouncing it to be another tablet of genius. But "The Sensual World" feels good already -- and if the notion of the artiste slipping a line like, "I take a kiss of seedcake right from his mouth" isn't enough to make at least half her audience scramble for the Our Price, then what is?
A gentle curtain of cathedral bells call the listener in before Kate enters (and remains) at a very slight kilter. She's relaxing (in an afterglow, mayhap) all the way, while an enchanting forest of oboes, clarinets and strings take at least half the kudos for the overall effect.
Like it now, love it tomorrow, and adore it in a few weeks. This is Betty Blue on vinyl.
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 89 15:31:26 PDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: Sept. 23 issue of Record Mirror
1) Various items from the Sept. 23 issue of Record Mirror.
A) A short article:
WHERE IN THE WORLD
Nobody could ever accuse Kate Bush of rushing her career. Instead of rushing out album after album, Kate prefers to take a back seat in the fast food pop race, laboring away in her picturesque farmhouse in Kent.
It's not that Kate's trying to cultivate an image as an eccentric musician who locks herself away from the world, it's just that she's a total perfectionist who will spend weeks, months, even years getting her ideas just right.
Now though, after a four year gap, Kate will follow up her 1985 album "Hounds of Love" with "The Sensual World", out on October 16. The first taster from Kate's new album is the title track, released as a single this week. Although it's classic Kate Bush, "The Sensual World" is a lot less angry and mellower than "Hounds of Love".
Bulgarian singing group Trio Bulgarka are featured on three of the tracks, such as "Rocket's Tail", and other folky influences include uillean pipes, a bouzouki and Kate's brother Paddy on whips. That's right, whips!
There's bad news, though. Kate has no plans to play live. Her first and last tour was in 1979 and it seems that even wild hounds couldn't drag her back on the road now.
Besides, with all the hours she needs to work on her albums, where would she find the time?
B) A review of the single:
Kate's so clever nowadays she writes *and* produces her records. She's also got bloomin' sexy with "Sensual World" in which talk of desire, touching and Kate's own breasts is rife. But these aren't merely shock tactics. "Sensual" is a delicate and all-consuming song. It even features Paddy Bush on whips!! Easy now.
C) A letter to the editor:
WHAT KATY DID
Hello! So inspired was I by Gary's Fuzzbox poem ( rm September 9) that I've decided to write one of my own (about Kate Bush):
Hey folks! She's back you know,
Picking you up when you're feeling low
She's so cool, she's so ace
No one else could take her place
She is fab, she is lush
Of course it's none other than Kate Bush
Go on now, listen to her groovy new track
Boy I missed you -- welcome back!
-- Lilly Lionheart, Tycoch, Swansea
The editor writes:
Do you think you could put this poem on tape and send it to me, Lilly? No, it's not that I think it's good or anything, I'd just like to hear you rhyming "lush" with "Bush"!
It seems that my attempts to stop people sending poems to the Letters page have failed. If we must have them then can we have some about either Debbie Gibson, Neil Tennant or Simply Red please.
There's a small picture of Kate with the caption "KATE: the lush Ms Bush gives us a blush"
2) A review of the single from the Sept. 23 issue of Kerrang, a British heavy metal (!) magazine:
She still hasn't married. I just wanted to let you know that before we began: Kate is A Single Woman, apart from that dodgy bassist she shares a flat with. Hell, this even comes complete with a pic of her softly caressing a peach, her fingers gently kneading the soft fuzz of the skin, and when she sings, she sings of a deep sensuality that ensures that I have to wear baggy trousers when I dance. Beautiful, warm and ever lasting. I want, I want, I want.. .
I must say I never heard Del Palmer referred to as "that dodgy bassist" before.
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 89 11:40:21 BST
Subject: The Guardian Thursday 12th October
From The Guardian Thursday 12th October, Rock/Pop reviews by
[end of John Cale review] Ambitious, but it's hard to see which market this will appeal to.
If it weren't for the fact that her single The Sensual World is already in the Top Ten, it would be tempting to say the same thing about Kate Bush. The Warbling One is back with her first studio album in four years, and it's not so much a collection of strong songs (with the notable exception of the piano-backed final ballard), as a collection of rhythmic, drifting mood pieces that ought to be far more interesting considering the remarkable selection of musicians involved.
There's Davey Spillane with his uillean pipes and whistle, Nigel Kennedy on violin, Dave Gilmour on guitar, Michael Nyman conducting the orchestra, and even the exhilarating and powerful harmony group the Trio Bulgarka adding backing vocals.
They must have been utterly baffled by what was going on, especially if Ms Bush explained her lyrics to them. They are first heard, chanting eerily on a song about loneliness and word processing ("I turn to my computer like a friend ..."), and later appear, with the unlikely backing of a spacy Gilmour guitar theme, on a song about dressing as a witch and leaping off Waterloo Bridge holding on to a rocket.
The review appeared along side the Adam Sweeting interview with Kate I posted yesterday. The top headline was "Our two critics differ over Kate Bush's album. She's just pleased it's stopped people asking her about sex."
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 89 19:47:12 PDT
From: email@example.com (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: Oct. 14 Sounds
The review from Oct. 14 Sounds :
"The Sensual World" (EMI EMD 1010/CD) ***1/2
Isn't the single absolutely withoug equal? Especially the way the "mmh yes" punctuation gets progressively more urgent as the song unwinds. There is really no doubt about it, when Kate Bush says "The Sensual World" is "a string expression of positive female energy" she isn't kidding. That 45 proves that she's come a long way from "Wuthering Heights" and is now writing approximations of the soundtrack to Body Heat. Stunning stuff.
That song is the best thing on this, her sixth album. It's probably her best song to date, although -- lyrically at least -- it's possibly rivalled by "Rocket's Tail" and "The Fog" for classic Bush-like unsettling, mesmerising undertones.
The former, a powerful evocation of what can only be perceived as the madness of childhood, has backing vocals by The Trio Bulgarka, one of several brave arrangements on the album. She even gets old sponsor Dave Gilmour to chip in on guitar.
The latter, ostensibly comparing a love affair to the father/daughter relationship, is all the odder for having lines of dialogue recited by Kate Bush's actual father. Does he know what he's supposed to be talking about? A weight of Celtic instrumentation (including violinist Nigel Kennedy at last getting a chance to play something decent in the rock sphere) provides one of her most enthralling musical tableaux.
These are the album's best songs, although nothing on the record is below par, not even the awkward punchline of "Heads We're Dancing". To expect a classic after a four year wait is to underestimate the demons of experimentation that inspired Kate Bush to make, for example, the outrageous monster The Dreaming in 1982 when the world demanded some of those nice piano ballads. She's still the most inspired non-conformist in commercial music.
What you're required to deal with on The Sensual World is just as she says: "my most personal and female album so far." And, if you've been listening since "The Man With The Child In His Eyes," you'll appreciate that that makes this one pretty staggering in scope. I can't wait to see some of these wild and tormented songs making it into the charts.
-- David Cavanagh
The review from Oct. 14 Melody Maker :
The Sensual World EMI
"When Lauren was a small girl, she would stand in the field and call the cats. Only by one they would come to her through the grass, across which lay the ice of the coming winter; and she could see them in the light of the moon.. . She herself wondered why they came. They were wild and heeded no one else; their thrashing in the fields did the farmers no good and Lauren's father hated the howl they invested in the night, like a thousand bleeding babies in the grass. But they came for her and it was certain therefore, because of that, that she was in some way special. Perhaps, she was to wonder 20 years later, they came for the same reason she came to see them, all crucifixes of shadow and the army of lights like knives, and she was beautiful like that too" -- from "Days Between Stations" by Steve Erickson.
Even reading the record company's biography of Kate Bush -- that too is like beginning a breathless windswept novel -- "her father is an avid piano player and her mother is an Irish woman who takes much joy in music and dancing. Kate and her two brothers were raised with an open mind to artistic experiments." Signed to EMI before leaving school, Kate never had to worry too much about real life. I guess she never had to put the muse on ice because a gas bill had to be paid. Quite right. Let's protect the artists. In 1977 her first single was "Wuthering Heights", her first album The Kick Inside, the rest is.. .
We should be eternally grateful that Kate was never stiffed by mundane reality, by having to get by, was always allowed complete freedom of expression in a non-contemporary fashion. Her confidence grows and we benefit from a music which is so naturally *outside*, so gracefully *above* the sweatings and strainings of those who *strive* to be alternative, so instinctively *other*. Because Kate Bush's music emanates from a grander reality, an inner truth, from the breed of verity which is being increasingly blitzed out and rendered nearly extinct by the advertising age, the decade of computer games and fast everything which Martin Amis lampooned so accurately in "Money".
Kate Bush takes her time, acts like she lives in a leafy vacuum with her heart, and every so often sends out a record as a message in a bottle. Like all her best achievements, this album marries the physical honesty and self-pride of Marvin Gaye to the querying passionate intelligence of, say, Elizabeth Smart, and gives birth to a rare mystical and aesthetic precision.
Somehow "The Sensual World" is both the most feminine song ever recorded *and* ethereally androgynous. At no stage does its account of female sensitivity and sexuality *exclude* the man, or sneer at him, as do so many hamfisted attempts at a still largely untapped subject. And yet it's as womanly as womanly gets -- "All the *powers* of a woman's body." You can sense (with every sense) the singer's awareness of hips, breasts, "sparks" -- it's both narcissistic and innocent. Innocent because total, unashamed. Innuendo doesn't come into it. Everything is as pure and committed as.. .as a river. Yes, it's a record which reduces me to impotence in the face of similes. It is, I now realize, *pure sex*. It's that romantic. Joyce's Ulysses has been lured so far off the page it's downing tools and damning academia.
Kate Bush seems acutely conscious of the gap between the infinite potential of the dream and the finite fancies of reality (reality being for her, as we have said, the life of the heart in the home). There's a song later, called "Never Be Mine", where she's making an apparently anti-love statement sound like love in bloom: "I want you as the dream, not the reality.. .this is where I want to be.. .the thrill and the hurting will never be mine." It disturbed me that in our times, even Kate Bush -- our last Bronte, our last Mishima -- was backing off from amour fou, but gradually what the songs here demonstrate is that she's neither a saucer-eyed dim dewy damsel who's read too many amor vincit omnia tomes *or* a sceptical she-puma suffering the first blast of doubt.
She acknowledges both the successes and failures, the flourishes and damp squibs of romantic idealism. "Between A Man And A Woman" seems indecipherable until you realise she's addressing a third party. The third party could as easily be what Jane Siberry calls "la jalouse" as an animate entity, but if ever anyone could make ambivalence strike and stick like psychosis it's Bush.
"Love And Anger" (again it's unspecified which she's praising, which she's berating -- or is she equating the two?) is musically the closest approximation to "The Big Sky", but "The Fog" is an unprecedented swirl of strings and harps, which features her father teaching her how to "grow up." Such little-girl-lost tactics would be trite from most others but Kate has the Gaelic knack and imaginative energy of the born storyteller.
"Reaching Out" also seems obsessed with the family, with the child and the parent, but drives its puzzles with a joyous chorus. It has an apropos grandeur that makes charming aspirants like All About Eve sound like hooligans on crutches.
"Heads We're Dancing" closes side one. Here the young girl is seduced by a shadowy Devil, who could well be Hitler. Mmm. Yes. "It couldn't be you, it's a picture of Hitler!" I can't think of anyone else who could get away with setting such high-blown and supremely dodgy themes to pop music. Her chief sleight of hand is that, despite the orchestrations and overlays, it *is* pop music. As it cascades out on a repetition of "he go doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, he go mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh.. ." Kate Bush represents both philosopher and love object. Gertrude Stein and, oh, Ava Gardner. It is, need I tell you, a triumphant combination.
"Deeper Understanding" coaxes us into the sparser second side. It's one of those heart-breaking poignant ballads she arranges so skillfully to avoid corn, and whispers to avoid pomp. A chilly tale of a lonely someone who becomes obsessed with their personal computer "as the people here grow colder", it almost lapses into Peter Gabriel terrain when The Trio Bulgarka swan in, but our heroine's vocal range and risktaking keep it on good terms with the alien inside us all. The Bulgarians take up more and more of the stage as the album climaxes. She obviously wanted to utilise them as an extra instrument. So she does so. When Kate Bush gets it right, you get the impression everything's as effortless for her as making wafting strides through Victorian snowstorm forests in loopy videos.
"Rocket's Tail" washes in on a flood of tears, exuding more mystere than the average constellation. Its story is a rather confused conceit about someone standing on Waterloo Bridge wanting to be a stick on fire, but by the halfway point you really wouldn't find it objectionable if she was singing "Little Bo Peep" or "Blue Is The Colour". In this context, the most cliched guitar solo in rock history comes in and stabs your lungs, Bush and the Bulgarians rise to a glorious vocal tussle which right now sounds like the greatest East-West artistic collaboration of the century.
The coda is "This Woman's Work". We're told this was written for a John Hughes film. Tarkovsky would be more fitting. When Kate and her piano are singing with so much heaven in their blood, the state of music in 1989 is not a reference point. Her excape within is so determined and unqualified it's infectious. And radiant with infections.
Once every few years, the burning Bush completes a chapter in her work and it's like a visitation from a guardian angel. Like flowers are never really out of vogue. Like slow dancing with the lights out and the windows open. The Blue Nile have a challenger for the most impossibly beautiful music of the year, but it's not a contest. It's not even a year. Kate Bush is Kate Bush, and thank Christ for that. She appeals to the feral elemental child in every woman, and if you think she only appeals to every man for one reason then frankly, you know nothing about anything and I can't help you. The sensual world is a world without end. Let's get it on.
-- Chris Roberts
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 89 17:42:50 BST
Subject: The Times, Friday October 13th
Review of The Sensual World from The Times, Friday October 13th.
A little girl lost in waffle
While there has always been something faintly ridiculous about Kate Bush's over-mannered vocal style, her best songs have had a tang as sharp as fresh lemon on the palate. It is not a quality to be found in the current single, "The Sensual World", a drifting piece of atmospheric waffle.
The number is, unfortunately, typical of the album of the same title, a woefully studio-bound extravaganza which, in the wake of "Hounds of Love", it has taken La Bush no less than four years to complete. She has overplayed her hand and the collection is beset by a sluggish undertow resulting from too many meandering or overwrought arrangements being applied to melodies of a generally slight and nebulous nature.
You can sense the cabin fever taking grip as she sings about falling in love with a talking computer in "Deeper Understanding", or discovering that a charming boyfriend is really Adolf Hitler in "Heads We're Dancing". Now in her thirties, Bush continues to apply the language of an adult to a romaticised fantasy world-view that does not seem to have altered significantly since she was 12. "The Fog" and "Reaching Out" are both laden with regression-to-childhood themes delivered in that irritating little-girl-lost voice.
Two tracks stand out from the pack - "Never be Mine", a poignant ballard in the classic Bush mould, and "Rocket's Tail (For Rocket)" - a thumping, slow rocker that begins with the erection of a gorgeous lattice-work of a cappella harmony vocals courtesy of the Bulgarian all-woman troupe, the Trio Bulgarka, before being battered into a pulp by the muscular guitar soloing of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour.
Despite the painstaking attention to detail, a nagging impression that she has lost the initiative remains.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 89 22:01 EDT
Subject: NEWSDAY review
'The Sensual World'
Kate Bush (Columbia)
Kate Bush is one of the great enigmas of the rock world. A self-taught musician and composer, she rocketed to fame 12 years ago, at 17, on her debut single "Wuthering Heights." Ever since, she's attracted a worldwide following despite almost never performing live and taking three years between albums.
"The Sensual World" is Bush's first album since her 1985 hit "Hounds of Love," and it picks up where the earlier record left off (which doesn't mean it is as good a record). Her music is still devoted to love and sexuality, but Bush's writing is more stridently personal here, as she carries us through the downbeat imagery of the title-track--a semi-sequel to "Running Up That Hill"--and the self-explanatory "Love and Anger." Also included is "This Woman's Work," a song of male regret over the separation of the sexes, sung wrenchingly by Bush in the first person.
Bush's lyrics here are even denser and more complex than those on "Hounds of Love." On "Rocket's Tail," she sings about being "dressed as a rocket on Waterlook Bridge," which should send her fans scrambling by the millions for the old Vivien Leigh movie "Waterloo Bridge," the way they did for "Wuthering Heights." The album's production is equally dense, and that is the album's major flaw--despite being her own producer, Bush's voice is often buried beneath layers of instruments. Violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy, harpist Alan Stivell and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour all guest on the record and their names are impressive, but a cleaner mix would've been preferable.
Still, "The Sensual World," like its predecessor, challenges conventional notions of sexuality, sex roles, and romance--all of which makes her success and fandom, as a kind of anti-Madonna, that much more startling. --Bruce Eder (NEWSDAY Sunday 10/22/89, Part II, p. 19)
Bruce should get himself a new stereo; I think the mix and the whole production are utterly radiant. Of course I'm a fan of the ORIGINAL mix of "Ne T'en Fui Pas". The fun is to go swimming into the sound after her. Omnidirectional speakers are a big plus.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 89 20:05:39 BST
From: David Osborne <cczdao%clan.nottingham.ac.uk@NSFnet-Relay.AC.UK>
Subject: REVIEW: The Sensual World (The Independent), October 1989
album review, from "The Independent" newspaper, Friday 20th Oct or Saturday 21st... (sorry: i was given an incomplete cutting). note the reviewer gives the wrong catalogue number, which i think is for the CD single.
The Sensual World (EMI EMD 1010)
For The Sensual World, Kate reaches once more into her bag of improving literature and comes up not with Bronte or Gurdjieff but Joyce, which is a far more entertaining prospect -- especially when, as on the hit title track, she casts herself as Molly Bloom, yes yes. This is the over-educated girl become woman in a way that echoes the hearty Romantic indulgences of her earlier work, and the result is a complex, deeply-textured body of songs of diverse styles but cumulative effect.
The effect of Side One is to leave you like a fly drowning in honey, a pleasurable surfeit of sweet stimulation which cloys only when "Reaching Out" verges on the crassly anthemic. The effect of Side Two is more emotionally stirring, not least because of the presence of the voices of the Trio Bulgarka on three tracks, a musical leitmotif suggesting an almost religious abandon. Like her friend and occasional collaborator Peter Gabriel, she re-combines widely differing strains of "world" music to good effect, be it the matching of Davey Spillane's whistles, Alan Stivell's Celtic harp and Nigel Kennedy's violin on "The Fog", or, more sensuous still, the blending of Spillane's uillean pipes, Eberhard Weber's ghostly electric double bass and the Trio Bulgarka's ecstatic harmonies on "Never Be Mine".
Kate believes this to be her "most personal and female album", and though it's not that far removed from Hounds of Love, there is a luxuriance in her musical textures that goes way beyond anything she has done before. Listening to The Sensual World is rather like entering a cathedral, which makes a change from her earlier records, which often felt like entering a convent.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 89 12:44:39 PDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: The Oct. 28 Billboard
Well, I managed to get my own copy of the Oct. 28 Billboard, as I said I would yesterday. Here are the details:
First, as I said, "Love And Anger" entered the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 13. In the place where the label and number go, it says, "Columbia LP Track". This is the strongest evidence yet that, at least at the time this chart was made up, there was *no* single available for the public to purchase. I hope a real single does come out sometime.
Incidentally, the song would have debuted even higher if it weren't for the fact that KITS, which is a major contributor to this chart, perversely continues to play "The Sensual World" instead. The entire staff at Nob Hill Florists requested it this morning, and it was played for them.
Anyway, back to Billboard. There's a full page ad for the album. It is a picture of the album, and on the right side it says:
"THE SENSUAL WORLD"
A NEW REALM OF SENSATION
WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY KATE
Next, there's a short (like all Billboard reviews) review of the album. It's listed under "Picks", which is a good sign. In fact it's the only album listed under that category this week. Here's what they say:
The Sensual World
Producer: Kate Bush Columbia 44164
Besides her incredible voice, Bush's strongest point has always been her ability to acutely sum up female sensuality without ever crossing the line between erotic and crass; being tantalizingly coy without being too cute. She achieves all that on this, her first new studio album in four years. Additionally, this is some of the most intriguing, ethereal music she has written. She's greatly aided by Bulgaria's Trio Bulgarka on several cuts, including "Between A Man And A Woman." Also tops are "This Woman's Work," and "Love And Anger."
Yes, I know that the Trio does *not* appear on BAMAAW. But who cares, as long as the review is good?
From: rael@cbnews.ATT.COM (c.daniel.vanevic)
Date: 26 Oct 89 01:28:58 GMT
Subject: NPR's Kate Bush's "The Sensual World" Article
Here's a transcription of an article on "The Sensual World" that National Public Radio aired in "All Things Considered" today (10/25). Since a lot of people are posting interviews, I figured I should do my part. Oh, and before I forget, I'm glad to hear that Northern California Love-Hounds have made it OK through the earthquake (at least as far as I now ... I'm 50 or so articles behind).
NPR's article follows ...
NPR: Hers is a voice that people either love or they don't. A distinctive, powerful silvery sound. The voice of Kate Bush. She's just released her sixth album. It's called "The Sensual World". Here to talk with us about it is Anthony DeCurtis (sp?), senior writer at Rolling Stone.
NPR: Now, the title song "The Sensual World" is aptly named. It's layers upon layers of sounds which make it sensual.
ADC: Exactly. One of the things that Kate Bush does on "The Sensual World" is she uses Uillean Pipes and the Bouzouki, which is kind of a Greek mandolin. Kind of folk instruments that she weaves into essentially a song that's based on Molly Bloom's soliloquy (sp?) at the end of James Joyce's "Ulysses". That's very characteristic on her part. She's kind of a highly literate romantic with a capital "R". Her first record was called "Wuthering Heights". So, in "The Sensual World" we get this kind of very layered, highly literary, very internal kind of world of womanly emotions and feelings and sensuality.
NPR: And that refrain that we get from "Ulysses": "yes, yes, yes"
< portion of TSW is played >
NPR: You mentioned Davey Spillane's Uillean Pipes, Donal Lunny on Bouzouki. These are traditional Irish musicians. It's a sort of a fad, I guess now, to use international musicians on albums. Like Paul Simon and his African musicians. On this one she has a trio of Bulgarian women singers: "The Trio Bulgarka", and I must say that it's a really beautiful combination with her voice on, well ... the song "Rocket's Tail" for example.
< portion of RT is played >
ADC: It is a bit of a fad to use foreign musicians, musicians from other countries. But Kate Bush does it, I think, with a great deal of appropriateness and it's something that works very well. And "The Trio Bulgarka", again ... you know ... from Bulgaria, lend a kind of keening quality to "Rocket's Tail", which is a song that is characteristic of what Bush does in that it seems, in a way, to interweave almost ... you know ... rocket technology and witchcraft as this very sort of modern contemporary feel to it at the same time as there is this older folkloric (sp?), almost kind of mystical feel. In addition to "Trio Bulgarka" we have Dave Gilmour on guitar. Gilmour is the guitarist for "Pink Floyd" who discovered Kate Bush when she was 16 years old in 1977 and ... you know ... along with some of these other more exotic elements, there's a strong electric guitar presence that Gilmour provides on "Rocket's Tail".
< Gilmour's RT guitar solo blasts out >
NPR: Anthony DeCurtis ... Kate Bush has a big following in England. She's sort of a cult figure here. I mean, she does have her fans, but it's not a large group of people on this side of the Atlantic. Why do you think that is?
ADC: There are a couple of factors, I think, that contribute to that. One is that ... there is a very strong Anglo-Irish folk quality to her music that's a little difficult to translate here in the US. But I think the main issue is: Kate Bush doesn't like to travel. She's afraid of flying and I think that that limits her audience. A third factor is: her music doesn't sound like what you hear on commercial radio and ... you know ... you just don't hear those "pumping beats" that characterize most of what you hear on pop radio and so it's hard for her to find a place to get heard. If Madonna say is "the material girl", we might think of Kate Bush as "the ethereal girl".
< "Never Be Mine" starts playing >
NPR: Anthony DeCurtis is a senior writer at Rolling Stone. He spoke with us about Kate Bush's newest album: "The Sensual World".
< NBM continues playing through NPR's ATC closing credits >
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 89 23:50:40 PDT
From: email@example.com (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: Review of the album from Oct. 14 Record Mirror
I don't think anyone's posted this review yet, so here it is, from the Oct. 14 Record Mirror.
'The Sensual World' EMI
Four years in the making, 'The Sensual World' features the lushest material of Kate Bush's career.
While 'Hounds Of Love' was very often an angry album, 'The Sensual World' caresses your face and soothes. But don't think for a minute that Kate is settling back into a comfortable niche. Her uncompromising spirit is still there with even some hints of subtle menace.
Undoubtedly, 'The Sensual World' is a romantic album; with Kate, a woman who likes to adopt many roles, playing an earth mother figure throughout much of it. She warmly catalogues a whole range of mixed emotions, from child experiences, to adult relationships and even the secret desires of one of her cats!
'Love And Anger' is a quite superb piece of soul searching with 'The Fog' providing some excellent counterpoints before 'Reaching Out,' gentle but strong all at the same time.
But cosey and endearing as 'The Sensual Touch' [sic] is, the songs are never allowed to become twee, especially the track 'Heads We're Dancing', a ghostly tale of love and war.
'The Sensual World' is warm, wholesome and stimulating. The wait for a new Kate Bush album has been well worth it.
***** -- Robin Smith
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 89 21:23:56 PDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: Review of the album from the Oct. 21 New Musical Express
Here's the review of the album from the Oct. 21 New Musical Express. (Yes, it's yet another rave.)
LET THEM EAT KATE
The Sensual World (EMI LP/Cassette/CD)
Four years to produce one LP works out at ten minutes per year of 'The Sensual World', with an extra three minutes 48 for cassette and CD buyers. This means that Kate Bush is either very lazy or very dedicated. 'The Sensual World' is an album, luckily, which suggests the later.
Kate Bush doesn't have the easy options open to other pop loners. Prince has a veritable museum of styles to work with. Madonna and Jacko have the solidity of dance and a flair for controversy.
Bush only really has a voice (or rather, set of voices) and an attitude. Her capacity to make different musics has generally scuppered her in the charts -- witness the way one of her best songs, 'The Dreaming', died at number 48 in the singles charts because it was "odd".
And while the other pop loners, geniuses though some of them are, have well-defined and self-created personalities which will do a certain amount of donkey work for them -- observe particularly how Morrissey has successfully coasted along since the Smiths ended just on two or three good songs and a strong public image -- Kate Bush has no such automatic pilot.
Bush's idiosyncrasies, marketable though they might well be, are not exploited, probably because Kate Bush hasn't thought of doing so. She could have an album out every year if she presented herself as a reclusive hippy Madonna, famous for being a bit odd and with carefully stage-managed rare appearances.
However, the Kate Bush persona isn't an image. Her "reclusiveness" seems to be more of a normal desire for privacy than an ace way of creating speculation, her "hippiness" merely a set of musical and aesthetic values (liking Pink Floyd, wearing long dresses, going for vaguely mystical ideas, believing in the value of non-Western musical and social set-ups and generally being the sort of person who has never taken all the Arnold Schwarzenegger films out of the video shop) which she shares with a fair amount of non-pop people. So there she is, at home with the Bushes and loved one Del, toiling in the studio and very hard work it must be.
'The Sensual World', it must be said, bears the signs of its labours lightly. From its gliding, dreamy title track to the raw sex (I think) of 'The Rocket's Tail', [sic] this LP is as easy to listen to as a pop song.
The lyrics range across all topics, from a bizarre tune about having an accidental bop with Hitler ('Heads We're Dancing') to a woman and her relationship with her computer ('Deeper Understanding'), from the title track's paraphrasing of the last page of Ulysses (hope it doesn't spoil the ending for me and everybody else who only got as far as page 10), to the slightly more conventional romantic musings of 'Love And Anger'.
Along the way, Kate's Dad turns up to say a few words about Kate abeing grown up, and Trio Bulgarka do exploding rocket impressions on the by no means ambiguous penis talk (I pretty much reckon) of 'The Rocket's Tail'. The general impression, as ever with Kate Bush's lyrics, is of somebody with a fairly unorthodox worldview, an unusual interest in the story song, and a flair for inventive personal examination.
The music is -- at one go! -- seemless and incongruously bizarre. We get the latest studio technology, natch, and we get Uillean pipes. We get Bush playing the most Lionel Ritchie-type piano and we get her singing like she was a rare visitor to any known Earth language.
And on the peculiar and very funny tribute to the male member (I'm certain about this) 'The Rocket's Tail', Trio Bulgarka's voices, which are very *now*, are asked to accompany a clonking great '70s progressive rock solo, which is ver *not now thanks*. It works, too, in ways which only the mind of Kate Bush could possibly explain, and then only to someone she had known for many years.
The Trio Bulgarka part very much exemplifies Bush's attitude. It bothers her not, as it might bother some, that they are revered for their ethnicity and their alleged simple Bulgarian country ways. Were she Paul Simon or Peter Gabriel, she might feel obliged to include at least one song called 'Simple Bulgarian Country Ways', and she would take immense pains to find a cod Eastern European setting for their voices.
Instead she plugs in the Fender Wankblaster and lets rip. Everything is grist to Kate Bush's mill; she is not referring to anything or anyone in the way that nearly all modern music, from SAW to Prince, from The Waterboys to Public Enemy does, which is to use styles, samples, and riffs like some kind of musical sponsorship; she's using all this stuff as ingredients in a total genius stew.
'The Sensual World' is a strange and remarkable record which has very little to do with anything else musical, a fair bit to do with the real world of sex, love and introversion, and everything to do with uniqueness. Kate Bush remains alone, ahead and a genius.
(9 [out of 10, I guess]) -- David Quantick
There's a real bizarre drawing of Kate surrounding by strange images that goes with this review.
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 89 15:05:45 EDT
From: Jon Drukman <jsd@GAFFA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Collegian review: 10/20/89
OK, I know you've all been sitting out there saying "what has that rotten Drukman been up to all this time?" Well, I managed to get a weekly newspaper column here in our student college rag called the "Collegian" (although referred to in rapturous tones by the student body as the Garbegian, or Collusion, or Contusion, or whatever strikes their collective fancy.) So, I announced in my first column to expect a new Kate thing by Thanksgiving time (this was when I still doubted CBS' ability to stick to announced dates). On Friday September 29 they ran my review of the single, which is not very interesting, being mainly a hard sell for the neophytes (a very hard sell considering there's only one record store that sold the import single and it was 10 miles away...).
Last Friday (Oct. 20) they ran my full review, with a pic of the album cover, and the photo erroneously credited to Virgin Records (a slip which almost cost my editor much embarrassment since he was gonna send a copy of the review to them!! and he calls himself a Kate fan! What a bozo... but I digress...)
So, here it is. Excuse the basicness of it, but most people at UMass won't understand phrases like "the stirring cadences of the chorus mingle eerily with the basic weltschmerz of the violin line." I don't understand that either, mainly because it doesn't mean anything.
On with the article...
KATE BUSH GLIDES INTO THE SENSUAL WORLD
By JON DRUKMAN
Four years after the landmark Hounds of Love album, Kate Bush smiles on us all once again and releases The Sensual World. Bush, a musical genius and the inspiration for dozens of articles with insipid puns in the title ("Bush Fires," "Bush Ranger," "The Bush Of Ghosts," etc. ad nauseum) is a painstaking artist, and has released only six albums in her 11-year career.
Despite the fact that she's been around all this time, America has been loathe to embrace her bizarre brand of music. Maybe it stems from the fact that she never follows the commercial trends and makes songs that please her. Maybe it stems from the fact that she has a gale force voice which occasionally gets so rough that your eardrums feel like they've been run over a cheese grater.
More pity for those who ignore her, because if they were to take a look in, they'd find music with originality and imagination.
The Sensual World should find favor in the states because Kate seems to be mellowing out a bit. The cheese grater voice is gone, replaced by a silky smooth one that caresses your ears lovingly, and then, when you least expect it, gives your nose a playful tweak. Featuring an all-star cast, including ex-Japan bassist Mick Karn, Pink Floyd supremo Dave Gilmour, and a batch of Bulgarian vocalists known as Trio Bulgarka, The Sensual World is at turns seductive, playful, mournful, preposterous and celebratory.
Four years of waiting can push expectations high for an album. Couple this with the fact that Kate Bush has already released the best album ever in the history of music (1982's experimental opus The Dreaming) and you can see that we were all set to be disappointed.
While this album isn't as stunning overall as The Dreaming or Hounds Of Love, it's still firmly head and shoulders above the rest.
Even on a record as polished as one bearing the word "sensual" in its title should be, there are standouts. Our current favorite track is "The Fog." IT swirls, broods, glides and swoops like the water that Bush is singing about. IT's a melancholy song about growing up, says Kate, and features her father providing some snippets of dialogue. You can feel the water and fog washing out of the speakers at you.
There is one dud here, however. "Reaching Out" is a histrionic, woefully overdone ballad. Oddly, Bush's most powerful vocal performance on this album is drowned in a sea of syrupy strings and bad Bette Midler cliches. Worse yet, it's right in the middle of all the good stuff. When it comes on, our hand is often seen "reaching out" for the skip button.
We could drone on and on forever about the merits of this album. The brilliant computer love song "Deeper Understanding" or the intense bombast of "Rocket's Tail" (which features Gilmour wailing away in a stunning series of guitar solos) are reason enough to get this record.
While it isn't as ambitious as Kate's previous albums, it is still an ultimately satisfying collection. Just one word of warning: the powers that be decided to relegate one of the best tracks, "Walk Straight Down The Middle," to the status of cassette and CD-only bonus track. For this reason, you should avoid the vinyl unless you also want to pick up the British single, which features the bonus track as a B-side.
But, regardless of medium, this album is a winner. Step into Kate Bush's Sensual World and find out for yourself.
Well, I guess I got carried away with the hyperbole there. I really don't think it's as good an album as I said it was in the column. I sort of felt like I had a duty to praise it in the column though. Maybe we can get her popular here despite the material.
bye for now.
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 89 14:05:57 -0600
From: Michael Mendelson <email@example.com>
Subject: Daily Illini TSW Review
Appearing Oct. 27, 1989 in the Directory section of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was the following review. The DI Ratings system is a five star scale, 5=Classic 1=Poor. TSW got 3 stars. Comments in [square brackets] are mine.
Kate Bush drips sexuality.
Anyone even somewhat familiar with Kate's music has surely experienced her incredible sensual presence. In The Sensual World, the sensuality is still there, but it's tainted with a heavy dose of sexuality, making for one hell of an exciting ride.
The title track heats things up almost immediately. Bush teases listeners with her sultry cooing and provocative lyrics. The intriguing bagpipe sound, coupled with her frequent moanings ("mmmhh yesss"), are sure to stir the kilts of any red-blooded Scot.
At first listen, the second groove, "Love and Anger," sounds like a duet: You'd swear Cyndi Lauper [?!] was singing. But she's not (I checked the credits); it's just Kate. [Quite a relief, ay?] This tune is similar to "The Big Sky" because there is almost too much going on---lots of humming, "oh yeah"s and some amazing background vocals that will leave your head spinning.
Gulls, crashing waves, various whistles and woodwinds make "The Fog" a relaxing orchestral listening experience. About love and fear, it sports one of the best violin solos ever recorded in pop music.
"Hey, heads we dance!" screams Kate in the lead to "Heads We're Dancing." You'd never guess from the title, but the song concerns Hitler and his seduction of a young woman. The forlorn maiden unwittingly falls for his charm, the later laments: "They say that the Devil is a charming man/and just like you I bet he can dance." The devil and almost anyone else can surely dance to this tune; the rhythm is absorbing.
The background vocals of many [? Is 3 many?] of the tracks feature The Trio Bulgarka, but none use the threesome to their true potential except "Rocket's Tail (For Rocket)." A lyrical poem of sorts, Kate sings a cappella until midsong. Then drums and guitar kick in, and the Trio's chanting escalates to a frenzy. Although the hyperactive chanting almost drowns the last verse's vocals, the song still works. [Phew!]
"This Woman's Work," the 10th track, is certainly the best song on the album. [Hmmm, never considered this as a candidate for best song because it had already been around. Maybe, maybe...] Kate's keyboards sparkle, and Michael Kamen's orchestral arrangement is brilliant. Faced with the impending death of a loved one, the vocals overflow with emotion as she croons: "I know you have a little life yet/I know you have a lot of strength left." Her sadness so overwhelms, it may even spark a tear or two.
Not all the songs are wonderful; two are moderate at best. "Reaching Out" delivers Freudian mother connotations, and in "Deeper Understanding," Kate is in love with a personal computer. [Really?] Both are somewhat lame [RO maybe, but I heartily disagree about DU, which to me is among the three best songs on the album] but are spread apart in the album, having little effect on the overall work.
The Sensual World is a treat to hear. [Yay!] Give the disc a spin and see if you agree. Then listen to it again, this time on headphones. WOW!
Overall, a positive review, although a little naive and childish. But that's par for the course, or actually, better that par around here. Reporting from the Feeding Trough of America, this is Mike Mendelson signing off.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Leo Breebaart)
Date: 30 Oct 89 12:09:05 GMT
Subject: Dutch Kate Bush review + accusation
I have never posted to this group before, because I do not qualify as a real love-hound: I like 'The kick inside' a lot, and that's about it. However, I do follow the group, mostly because you people are so funny :-)
Anyway, with everybody posting magazine reviews and articles about Kate's new album, I thought that at least for completeness' sake, it might be interesting to let you know what Holland's leading music magazine 'Oor' has to say about it. 'Oor' means 'Ear', and qua contents it is like the Dutch Rolling Stone, and heavily biased towards the more 'alternative' circuit, which over here does not really include Kate. There are two items: the first is Oor's luke-warm review of 'The Sensual World', the second is an accusation that I think might be of interest to all the Love-Hounds. The translation is mine, and I apologize for any errors: translating to English turns out to be even more difficult than just writing in English.
KATE BUSH - THE SENSUAL WORLD
by Bert van de Kamp [A respected Dutch rock journalist]
Kate Bush made her debut in 1978 with the single 'Wuthering Heights', after the book of the same name by Emily Bronte, and I can remember thinking: this girl is brilliant. After that she made five albums, which suffered increasingly from an excess of production. No expenses were spared, but that was not always necessary for me. Kate composes beautiful melodies, and on top of that writes highly intriguing lyrics for them, but she feels she has to manifest herself as a studio-tigress as well.
After her last album 'Hounds of Love' ('85) I wrote: "I would like to take away all her toys and listen to her alone with her piano.". For now that is not going to be.
La Bush has worked four years at 'The Sensual World' and again takes all the production-credits herself, so the stereosound is once again chock full of sounds and effects, everything wall-to-wall and richly draped. It all sounds very spectacular, but where is Kate? The stars of this record are the Trio Bulgarka en bagpipe-vituoso Davey Spillane.
The title song, also out on single is very beautiful. Kate has dared to put to music a part of the soliloquy of Molly Bloom, with which James Joyce ended his masterpiece 'Ullyses', and she asked Spillane to create fitting Irish sounds to go with it, all with the aforementioned result.
But then I hear her singing in 'Deeper Understanding' about how well she communicates with her home-computer, and the Trio Bulgarka, which has probably never seen a computer, sing beautifully along with it and I think: this is all wrong. The artistic unity is missing, this is take-away work, kindergarten stuff. I'd rather put on a record of the Bulgarian trio themselves.
Textually Kate again turns everything upside-down, too much to mention here. Central in any case is the theme of woman-hood. Beside Molly's soliloquy in the title-song, we can also mention songs as 'Between a Man and a Woman' and 'This Woman's Work'. Again she gives us a few enchanting melodies. 'Never be mine' for instance, where Spillane, the Bulgarka's and Kate herself sound *very* good together: "Ooh the thrill and the hurting..." 'The Fog' is also great (orchestra: Michael Kamen, Celtic harp: Alan Stivell). That makes three direct hits. Am I allowed to have my reservations as to the rest?
"Life in the ghost of Bush. Ooh, it's a sensual world, baby."
[This appeared in 'Oor' Nr. 20, 7 october 1989]
[Now for the second, more interesting piece, which appeared two weeks later in 'Oor' Nr. 21, 21 october 1989:]
BUSH FRAUD ? [In Dutch: 'Bush Bedrog?', a nice alliteration]
'The Sensual World' is the name of the new single by Kate Bush. Although, 'new'? I have known the melody which her accompanist Davy Spillane plays in this song on bagpipes for years.
In the fall of 1985 I was going to interview Kate Bush in England. Because she then already had shown her love for (Irish) folk music, I had brought a cassette of my folk favourites. The interview first was cancelled, but after a few days La Bush called me after all at home (collect). The interview was never published (too thin), but I did send her the tape afterwards. On that tape was the from Yugoslavian Macedonia originating 'Antice, dzanam, Dusice', performed by the Haagse [i.e. from The Hague] ensemble Calgija, conducted by etnomusicologist Wouter Swets. Originally a song about a poor girl who had to take care of her younger sister, and therefore couldn't get a husband; in Swets' (instrumental) version almost as beautiful as 'Mother Nature's Song' by the Beatles.
According to the booklet of the LP and CD 'The Sensual World' the title song was written by La Bush herself: not true. Was this traditional melody suggested to her by the Trio Bulgarka, guests on the album, or did my cassette reach her home address in Kent, after all?
[by Jan Libbenga]
Again my apologies for the clunky tranlations. Oh, and by the way: I *like* the Sensual World, whether Kate wrote it or not...
Fading back into silent monitorhood,
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 89 20:52:09 PST
From: email@example.com (Edward Suranyi)
Subject: The Oct. 27 Gavin Report
The Gavin Report is a trade magazine for the radio industry. Thus, it only includes airplay charts, not sales charts. They missed a week because of the earthquake (it's published in San Francisco), but the new issue just came out. There's lots of Kate in it.
First of all, "Love And Anger", which entered the Album Tracks chart at #50 in the last issue, has now moved up to #32. The same song debuts on the Alternative Tracks chart at #28.
There's a column called "Biofeedback" in which tidbits of information about hot artists are printed. It says:
"When Kate was sixteen she already had a four octave vocal range. Her first demo tape, made while still a teenager, was sponsored by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour."
There's a full page ad for the album -- almost identical to the one in Billboard.
Best of all, there's a nice review of the album:
THE SENSUAL WORLD -- KATE BUSH (COLUMBIA)
The first lady of progressive musical thought returns after her longest absence. Kate Bush's Sensual World is divided into three basic ethnic camps. The first is her usual extraordinary blend of eccentric electronics; the second is the Irish sessions cut in Dublin; the third is the utilization of the Trio Bulgarka, who record ethnic Bulgarian folk on Joe Boyd's respected Hannibal label. Some familiar ground is rediscovered, i.e. a trip back to childhood in relation to complex adulthood on "The Fog." But new fantasies are concocted. "Heads We're Dancing" is a dreamlike trip back to 1939 Germany at a party with young Adolf Hitler (where does this woman get her inspiration?).
Most fascinating is "Deeper Understanding," a techno think piece on the home computer being the next logical step after over-the-phone sex. The collisions between man and woman are explored on the title track, "Between A Man And A Woman" and "This Woman's Work." Guest cameos include guitarist David Gilmour, bassist Eberhard Weber, bassist Mick Karn and members of the Bush clan on various levels of creative support. In keeping with her usual high standards, The Sensual World is first rate whether it's modern high tech record making or James Joycean roots. Plus there's plenty of mystique between the lines, something sorely missing from much of the recent releases.
Later, this reviewer gives a quite favorable review of Laurie Anderson's new album, Strange Angels. At the end of this, he says, "Alongside Kate Bush, this has been a phenomenal week for digital women."
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 89 09:08 EST
Subject: Review New York Times
What follows is a review of TSW from "our country's paper of record" -The New York Times. It was written by Stephen Holden and appears in the >>Pop Life<< column in today's edition.
Molly Bloom's Reverie
When the English singer and songwriter Kate Bush asked the James Joyce estate several months ago for permission to set a portion of Molly Bloom's erotic reverie from "Ulysses" to music, she was devastated when the answer was no.
"I had been fascinated at how well the words fit to music," she recalled the other day in a telephone conversation from London. "I found myself in a situation where I would either have to shelf the song or rework it trying to keep the original sense. I gradually rewrote it, keeping the same rhythm of the words and the same sounds but turning it into its own story, which became the idea of Molly Bloom stepping out of the song into the beauty of nature."
The completed piece became the title cut of Miss Bush's sixth album, "The Sensual World" (Columbia). The song, she said, uses the chord sequences of a traditional Macedonian tune and an arrangement dominated by uilleann pipes, an Irish bagpipe, along with a bouzouki and fiddle. The richness of the language and exotic instrumental textures that sound Indian-flavored, blend gorgeously and make "The Sensual World" one of the year's headiest records.
It was 11 and one-half years ago that Miss Bush, who was then 19, had her first hit with "Wuthering Heights," a song with lyrics inspired by Emily Bronte's novel. The song soared to No. 1 on the English charts. But America has been slow to warm to a singer whose high vibratoless voice and enrapted lyrics suggest a romantic English schoolgirl romping through the Jungian landscape of her own dreams.
Finally, in 1985, her song "Running Up That Hill" became a middle-size American hit. The next year, "Don't Give Up," a duet with Peter Gabriel on his album "So," enlarged her audience. With "The Sensual World," which this week entered Billboard's pop-ablum chart at No. 84, Miss Bush's movement in this country may have arrived.
One reason Americans may be resisting Miss Bush is that she has never performed here in concert.
"I've always preferred to make albums, to be a songwriter and to work in the studio," she said. "We did one tour 10 years ago in England and and in Europe, and I enjoyed it. But there was no call to go to America at that point."
Musically, Miss Bush said, she was influenced by Roxy Music, by the Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Magical Mystery Tour" and by Pink Floyd, whose guitarist Dave Gilmour paid for the tapes that led to her first recording contract.
But more than other pop musicians or authors, Miss Bush said movies have inspired her. Among film makers, she said she most admires Alfred Hitchcock, Nicolas Roeg and Terry Gilliam.
"Their work has spoken to me as directly as that of any other kind of artist,: she said. "Many of my songs I think of as very filmic."
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 08:55:45 -0500
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jenn Turney)
Subject: Cornell Daily Sun, Friday, October 27th
Well, I'll let you folks be the judge of this review (for what it's worth). This is from the Cornell Daily Sun, Friday, October 27th.
TALES OF LOVE
by Karen E. Clements
Kate Bush's sixth studio album, The Sensual World, explores the psychological facets of love amongst grand orchestral musical arrangements. Although not a typical pop album, The Sensual World contains little of the avant-garde musical and vocal experi-mentation that marks her earlier albums. Could Bush be attempting to appeal to the mainstream and "sell out?" [punctuation sic]
Fortunately, this solid album contains many songs equal in emotion and arrangement to such earlier popular masterpieces as "Hounds of Love" and "Running Up That Hill." The album presents two facets of Bush -- the storyteller and the romantic.
As a storyteller, Bush weaves thought-provoking tales amidst theatrical musical arrangements. Set in 1939, "Heads We're Dancing" tells how a dashing young man sweeps a young woman off her feet in a night of dancing. She opens the morning paper only to discover the horrible identity of the young man: "They say that the Devil is a charming man/and just like you I bet he can dance." The quirky, funky beat builds as one's curiosity mounts and the identity is finally revealed: Hitler. [Gee, thanks for relieving the suspense.]
On a slightly lighter note, "Deeper Understanding" follows. In desperation a lonely woman turns to her computer for companionship. Bush illustrates the bizarre paradox that a human, unable to find any understanding, turns to a computer, which has been stereotyped as the epitome of impersonality. Musically the Trio Bulgarka, female Indian [!] backup singers, bring an ethereal atmosphere to the song.
Thematically, the album showcases Bush's knack for exposing the facets of relationships. The title track oozes sensuality. Complimented [sic] by exotic, erotic Uillean pipes, her glorious voice caresses every word. Teasing, humorous lyrics keep the song right on the edge of being steamy: "I said, mmh, yes/But not yet, mmh, yes."
"Love and Anger" deals with self-acceptance and coming to terms with the past. The rhythm of this uplifting song pulses with drums and bass while Kate and Paddy Bush's vocals rise in a crescendo of joy.
Bush also delves into the darker side of relationships. "The Fog" opens with an eerie Joker-like cackle. Bush compares falling in love with the frightening experience of learning to swim: "This love of yours/Was big enough to be frightened of/It's deep like the water was/The day I learned to swim." [misquote sic] A recorded male voice interjects with swimming directions, further augmenting the song's unsettling quality. And on "Never Be Mine" Bush expresses the terrible pain of rejection with haunting vocals and the bittersweet sounds of Uillean pipes.
The Sensual World does contain some weak tracks. The rhythm of "Reaching Out" drags and pulls the repetitive lyrics with it. "Rocket's Tail (For Rocket)" tells an interesting story, but the abrasive electric guitar and drums prove distracting. Lastly, Bush's unusually nasal vocals make "Walk Straight Down the Middle" a little annoying.
While not as conceptual or daring as her earlier albums, The Sensual World presents an extremely talented and versatile artist. And as always, her marvelous voice ranges from a tentative lilt to resounding growls. For those new to Bush, this album introduces her as a wonderful storyteller and vocalist in traditionally structured songs. Longtime, more die-hard fans will not be disappointed, as the album contains many strong tracks and astute observations.
The photo caption:
EXPERIMENT SIX: After a four-year absence, Kate Bush returns to the music scene with her sixth studio album, The Sensual World.
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 89 9:04:21 EST
From: Gregg Simmons <gatech!images.Waterloo.
Subject: Kitchener-Waterloo Record's weekly Entertainment Guide
Hi Love Hounds,
The following review of TSW appeared in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record's weekly Entertainment Guide. It is by Neil Randall, who is an English professor at the University Of Waterloo. He may also be known to some of you as the co-author (with Roger Zelazny) of "A Guide to Castle Amber". A picture of Kate with the caption "Kate Bush continues to dominate her musical genre" accompanies the review.
Although it's not mentioned in the review, it might interest you to know that the first Canadian single from TSW is "The Sensual World".
Kate Bush's World a Sensual sensation
The Sensual World
Kate Bush (Capitol)
If any one artist has consistently embodied excellence throughtout the 1980s, that person is Kate Bush. It's hard to believe that Bush's debut album, The Kick Inside, was released a full dozen years ago, and it's even harder to believe that she's released only five albums since. Her music has dominated her particular genre - whether you call it avant-folk or neo-artiste - so much that her albums seem to have appeared in rapid succession.
But they haven't. A case in point is the amount of time between The Hounds of Love, her last album, and The Sensual World, her brand new one. Hounds of Love was released more than three years ago, yet the influence of that ground-breaking album makes it seem completely contemporary. Bush's videos have influenced many artists, and her lush, dense, utterly absorbing writing and performing have done at least as much. Witness, for instance, Jane Siberry.
The Sensual World is everthing its title implies. Yes, it's sensual, and, yes, it's about the world. More importantly, though, as Bush insists in the advance publicity, The Sensual World is just as distinctively female.
Capturing the essence of female-ness has occupied poets and fiction writers (particularly women) for a large part of this century, expecially during the last two decades. Popular music, however, has remained almost exclusively male. Women have shone, certainly, but nearly always within a setting established by male artists. Understanding what it means to be female has never been much of a concern in rock, because rock is still considered a boy's game. Witness the Rolling Stones, idolized because they refuse to leave adolescent malehood behind.
Back to The Sensual World. The title track, Love and Anger, Deeper Understanding, This Woman's Work, and Walk Straight Down the Middle combine to represent Bush's strong, gripping attempt to come to terms with creating a woman's art. The music is beautiful - it ranges from the lilting to the dense and powerful - and the lyrics are contagious. This is music by a woman who is trying to convey to the world - not just to other women - what it means to be a woman.
In other words, it's nothing short of indispensable.
From: email@example.com (Steve Bloch)
Date: 7 Nov 89 07:48:52 GMT
Subject: TSW review UCSD Guardian
The following is a review in UCSD's mainstream student newspaper (as opposed to the left-wing student newspaper, the right-wing student newspaper, the humor student newspaper, the student-activities news-paper, the Jewish student newspaper, the Chicano student newspaper, and several different "college" newspapers), the UCSD Guardian. Review by Mike Newton:
I was seduced. The first song on the new Kate Bush album, The Sensual World, sent me reeling as I entered the siren-haunted landscape inhabited by her sultry voice, enchanting music and evocative lyrics.
As the title suggests, the album is about feelings, mostly dark ones. Unlike her last work, The Hounds of Love [sic], a beautiful but somewhat abstract conceptual piece, Bush speaks personally and directly to us. Almost every song on the album deals with relationships, whether it's between lovers, parents and children, or people and technology.
Many of the songs have a tone suggesting that Bush is still feeling the pangs of a recent break-up: "It lay buried here, it lay deep inside me / It's so deep I don't think that I can / Speak about it... Take away the love and anger / And a little piece of hope holding us together." [sic] These potent emotions made her music all the more personal and powerful.
There are a few noteworthy guest appearances on the album. David Gilmour, guitarist for Pink Floyd and the musician credited for having "discovered" Bush, brings his searing, soaring electrified strings to two of the songs. Alan Stivell, world-renowned heir of the authentic Celtic harp and barding tradition, lends his ancient instrument on two songs. [Would you believe he doesn't mention Trio Bulgarka?]
I can't think of any radio station that accurately represents the style of music on this album. It's not dance music, hard rock, New Age or anything easily classifiable. It's dominated by Bush's cooing-screaming singing, her piano and Fairlight accompaniment, and Stuart Elliot's drums. It shows occasional Celtic influences, but is thoroughly modern.
Bush has a very unusual and distinctive style. If you don't like her already, this album is not likely to make you a convert. If you do already like her, or have leanings in the art-rock, Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson direction, you'll probably want to acquire her latest undertaking.
Did I like this album? Mmmm, yes.
On to The Reviews Part 2
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996