Interviews & Articles


Record Collector
"Kate Bush: Top 100 Rarities"
April 1987

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

(This article is in Andrew Marvick's The Garden.)

The Record Collector Article

[The April '87 issue of Record Collector (the U.K.'s equivalent to the U.S.'s Goldmine) included a cover article on Kate Bush collectable records. The article was followed by a list of the "top 100 rarities". Both were anonymously written. They will be of interest to all KT collectors, but don't take them too seriously since they are also inaccurate and plagued by ommissions. Edited and annotated (within brackets "[ ]") by Andrew Marvick.]

Kate Bush: Top 100 Rarities

A detailed list of Kate Bush's most valuable collector's items from all over the world

The list of rare records at the end of this feature are proof of Kate Bush's current stature in the world of record collecting. She is undoubtedly one of Britain's most popular singer-songwriters, and she has achieved consistent success entirely on her own terms--refusing to be drawn into dubious publicity campaigns or lengthy promotional tours. Her recent duet with Peter Gabriel on Don't Give Up showed that her popularity extends beyond the general public into the musical community and--as the early votes in this year's Readers Poll have demonstrated--she pulls her support from right across the board, falling into no convenient faction or musical category.

Interest from collectors in all areas of her work has increased dramatically over the last eighteen months, and many discs which would not have been regarded as collector's items two years ago are now changing hands for high prices--notably the original picture sleeve copies of her early U.K. singles. And like all the other most collectable artists, her overseas picture sleeves, promos and limited editions are very sought-after.

We have attempted to put together a definitive list of the 100 most collectable Kate Bush items. In practice, of course, such a list cannot be definitive; there is always going to be a South Korean picture sleeve of Wow or a Peruvian promo of The Kick Inside to alter the odds. But we believe that our list represents all the collectable items that are in general circulation--which is not to say that they are easy to find!

[This claim is just false. There are significant ommissions of KT collectables which are as much in "general circulation"--both here and in the U.K.--as many of the items on the bottom half of the list below; and many of these overlooked items fetch considerably higher prices than some of those which have been included.]

At the top of our list is one of two interview albums issued by EMI-America for North American DJs, to promote Kate's early LPs. [Actually, one of these was made to promote Hounds of Love, hardly an "early" LP.] An Interview with Kate Bush is much scarcer (and more interesting) than the album at No. 5 in our list, which exists in greater quantities--presumably because it comes from the States, rather than Canada.

As you will see, white label test pressings, white label promos and ordinary promos take up a large part of this chart. But there are also some much more unusual items. At No. 3, for example, is a white label album called The Early Years. This apparently consists of demo recordings that Kate made before her first release for EMI. A couple of years ago, an East German company is believed to have got hold of the tapes, and prepared them for release as an album. White label copies were pressed up, and apparently went into local circulation. The album was immediately withdrawn because of pressure from EMI's East German licensees, however, and is obviously now a very sought-after item. We know that collectors are willing to pay up to 60 Pounds for copies, but we have not been able to trace anyone who has actually seen a copy! If you own one, or can give us more details of the contents and the presentation of the album, then please let us know.

[This record, if it were ever to become available anywhere, would undoubtedly place not at No. 3 on the list of most collectable KT items (at a paltry 60 Pounds!), but at No. 1. Since the only consistent criterion for the relative placement of the items on the list seems to be what some collector has said he would pay for them, this writer knows at least three fans who have said they would gladly pay $500 or more for a copy of The Early Years; and no wonder, since this legendary record is supposed to include demos of original Kate Bush material that has never been heard in any form--a prize tantamount to the Kate Bush collector's Holy Grail. The Canadian interview disc and the U.K. white label test pressing of The Kick Inside are ordinary in the extreme, in comparison. So how much credence can the Record Collector's price ratings have?]


The boxed set of Bush singles called The Single File, issued years ago, is now a collector's item in itself, although at its time of release it disappointed many fans, both with its production standards and its failure to reproduce the original picture sleeves. That has done collectors a favour, however, by making it much easier to tell original pic sleeves from the reissues.

On the rarest of the early picture sleeves, Wuthering Heights, the EMI logo on the back cover is round, while on the reissue it is square. The same applies to originals and reissues of Wow. With The Man With the Child in His Eyes, the differences are more difficult to describe; but the reissue has much less clear printing than the original, and is obviously a copy of a sleeve, rather than the original artwork. There are similar differences on the other reissues; for example, the reissues of Hammer Horror have square-edged paper-folds on the back, rather than the round edges of the originals. In some cases, these minor differences can make a variation of several hundred percent in the values of originals and reissue copies.

The four-track set Kate Bush On Stage, taken from her one and only concert tour, is responsible for several entries in our list of rarities. The set originally appeared in demo form as a double-pack in a gatefold sleeve, and the first few copies of the standard release followed the same format. Most copies exist as a single four-track EP in a gatefold sleeve, however, with original copies having a card cover rather than the paper used for the reissue.

[This last distinction between original and reissue true for most of the Single File singles, and is a much easier way to tell one from the other than the tiny differences in corner-cuts, etc.]


There are rumours of a British 12" issue of this EP, but no copies appear to be in circulation. Overseas, however, there are several very collectable variations. The most sought-after is the Japanese 7" edition, which comes with a pull-out insert. Close behind is the Canadian 7" edition, contained in a gatefold sleeve which was itself placed within a 12" outer sleeve. Both these versions sell for about 12 Pounds. Other collectable variations include the Dutch and French 12" singles, plus a double-pack version issued in Portugal. In some other countries, such as Germany, however, the four-track EP was eventually issued in a single sleeve, rather than a gatefold package.

Three flexidiscs are very popular with collectors. Eastern European countries have produced many collectable flexis, and in Kate Bush's case the rarest is a one-sided Russian disc of Babooshka in blue vinyl. A similar Belgian flexi given away with a magazine sells for about 12 Pounds, while the Japanese Fan Club issued a version of Let It Be unavailable elsewhere; this now sells for about 25 Pounds.

[This is all inaccurate. The blue "Russian" flexi-disk may not be Russian. It is quite a common item, and although there was a Russian original, the record has become so common that it seems likely that bootleg imitations now predominate. As for the "Belgian" flexi-disk of Let It Be that is "unavailable elsewhere," the flexi-disk in question was originally made for the Japanese members of the Kate Bush Club, who had formed their own semi-independent organization (now fully independent). A Belgian version of this disk, if it exists at all, is not the original but a copy. Furthermore, the same live recording of Let It Be (from the Bill Duffield concert, May 1979) can be found on at least four later bootleg records, including the two-record set Passing Through Air, and the Duffield bootleg If You Could See Me Fly. And these later sources actually contain a longer, less extensively abridged version of the performance.]

All the prices listed here are for records in Mint condition, and reflect recent selling prices of rare Kate Bush material in this country.

Top 100 Kate Bush Rarities from Around the World

  1. An Interview with Kate Bush (Canadian promo LP, EMI America SPRO 282): 125 Pounds
  2. The Kick Inside (UK white label test pressing in folder cover with photos & biography):80 Pounds
  3. The Early Years (East German white label LP, withdrawn because of copyright problems): 60 Pounds
  4. The Kick Inside (Japanese test pressing with photos and insert): 50 Pounds
  5. Self Portrait (US promo LP, EMI-America SSA 3024): 40 Pounds [Note: This interview LP includes cue-sheets.]
  6. The Single File (EMI KBS 1; boxed set of singles, numbered limited edition): 40 Pounds [Note: If it's important that the set be from the numbered limited edition, then what is the relative value of the later unnumbered edition? The more common unnumbered version of the set isn't even included among the top 100 on the list, even though it is still a highly sought-after item. This seems to indicate that the compiler may not have been aware of the existence of a later unnumbered edition.]
  7. Wow (Canadian promo single, yellow vinyl): 40 Pounds
  8. Symphony in Blue (Canadian promo single, blue vinyl): 40 Pounds
  9. The Kick Inside (German test pressing with photos and insert): 35 Pounds
  10. The Kick Inside (UK picture disc LP): 30 Pounds [Here again, the compiler apparently is unaware of the differences in appearance and price between the original issue of The Kick Inside picture disc LP and the later, more common reissue, which doesn't even crack this "top 100", even though it is certainly more highly sought after than some of the items near the bottom of this list.]
  11. Lionheart (UK white label test pressing): 30 Pounds
  12. The Kick Inside (U.S. promo copy with original cover design, EMI SW 11761): 30 Pounds [This cover shows Kate resting her head on one hand, used by used by Harvest of Canada today for its edition of The Kick Inside. It features a red border around the front cover photograph. This cover should not be confused with the "country-western" cover, listed at number 48 on this list.]
  13. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (U.K. white label test pressing): 30 Pounds
  14. Let It Be (Japanese Fan Club flexidisc in picture sleeve): 25 Pounds
  15. Babooshka ("Russian" one-sided blue flexidisc): 25 Pounds [The original Russian flexi-disk also featured other music by The Doobie Brothers.]
  16. Hounds of Love (U.S. LP on grey marble vinyl): 22 Pounds [This is actually just a greyer marbling of the same pink and grey colours used for the cassette. Both are distinct from the pink-and-white marble of the Canadian pressing, although some U.S. cassettes approach the pink colour of the Canadian LP. Although the quality of the Canadian vinyl is inferior, it is far rarer and more valuable, and should be placed well above entry number 16, instead of at number 27 (below).]
  17. Hounds of Love (U.S. white label promo LP with photos and biography, tied in ribbon): 20 Pounds
  18. The Dreaming (Japanese promo LP): 20 Pounds
  19. Wuthering Heights (U.S. gold vinyl single): 20 Pounds
  20. Wuthering Heights (original U.K. picture sleeve single): 20 Pounds
  21. Kate Bush On Stage (original U.K. double-pack single in gatefold sleeve, not a promo): 20 Pounds
  22. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, clear vinyl): 20 Pounds
  23. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, brown vinyl).: 20 Pounds [This mini-LP, also listed in different colours at numbers 22 and 31 through 34, is not called Sat In Your Lap at all, but simply Kate Bush.]
  24. Suspended in Gaffa (U.S. 12" promo single): 18 Pounds Hounds of Love (U.S. marble cassette): 16 Pounds
  25. Never For Ever (U.K. EMI promo single): 15 Pounds [This is not a single, but a seven-inch flexi-disk EP, containing four tracks from the album Never For Ever.]
  26. Hounds of Love (Canadian pink vinyl LP): 15 Pounds [This record is actually far rarer than most of the above items. Only a very small number of the true "pink-and-white" Canadian pressings were made before the quality of the vinyl mix was discovered to be unacceptable. (Another rumour has it that Kate rejected the Canadian colour-vinyl pressings herself.) In any event, the true pink-and-white marble vinyl LP is quite distinct in appearance from the U.S. "marbleized" pressings, and is worth far more.]
  27. Hounds of Love (U.K. one-sided 12" white label test pressing): 15 Pounds
  28. Experiment IV (white label test pressing with display box): 15 Pounds
  29. The Big Sky (U.K. picture disc single): 15 Pounds
  30. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, blue vinyl): 15 Pounds
  31. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, white vinyl): 15 Pounds
  32. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, red vinyl): 15 Pounds
  33. Sat In Your Lap (Canadian mini-LP, green vinyl): 15 Pounds
  34. The Dreaming (U.S. four-track 12" promo EP): 15 Pounds [Again, this mini-LP is not called The Dreaming. Since in this case, however, it has no title at all, The Dreaming suffices to identify it.]
  35. Running Up That Hill (Japanese promo single): 15 Pounds
  36. Ne T'enfuis pas/Un Baiser d'enfant (Canadian single): 12 Pounds
  37. Running Up That Hill (Argentinian 12" promo, b/w Duran Duran's A View to a Kill): 12 Pounds
  38. Them Heavy People (U.S. mono/stereo 12" promo): 12 Pounds [The U.S. mono/stereo 7" promo of The Man With the Child in His Eyes is also quite collectable, certainly enough so to have been included somewhere in this list.]
  39. Moving (Polish "postcard" single): 12 Pounds
  40. Strange Phenomena (Polish "postcard" single): 12 Pounds
  41. Saxophone Song (Polish "postcard" single): 12 Pounds
  42. Kate Bush On Stage (Canadian 7" gatefold sleeve in outer 12" sleeve): 12 Pounds
  43. Kate Bush On Stage (Japanese picture sleeve single with pull-out biographical insert): 12 Pounds
  44. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (Dutch single, with different picture sleeve to U.K.): 12 Pounds
  45. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (Belgian single, with different picture sleeve to U.K.): 12 Pounds
  46. Wuthering Heights (Italian single with slightly different picture sleeve to U.K.): 12 Pounds [Why is this single, whose only remarkable feature is its Italian translation of the song's title (Cime Tempestose), placed so high up in the list, when the German Wuthering Heights single, featuring an article about Kate by one Dr. Biolek on the cover, is omitted altogether? Ditto for the Spanish Sat In Your Lap, which features a translation of the title (Sentada en tu Ragazo). These are certainly as highly sought after as the Italian Wuthering Heights.]
  47. The Kick Inside (U.S. original LP with different, "country-western" cover to U.K.): 12 Pounds [See note to no. 12.]
  48. Kate Bush (Belgian flexidisc with magazine): 12 Pounds
  49. Kate Bush On Stage (EMI promo double-pack single in gatefold sleeve): 12 Pounds
  50. Wuthering Heights (U.K. promo single): 12 Pounds
  51. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (U.K. promo single): 12 Pounds
  52. The Big Sky (U.K. 12" promo single): 10 Pounds
  53. The Kick Inside (Canadian LP with different cover to U.K.): 10 Pounds [The same design as that featured on the cover of no.12.]
  54. Wuthering Heights (Dutch single with slightly different picture sleeve to U.K.): 10 Pounds
  55. Wuthering Heights (Polish single with same picture sleeve as U.S.): 10 Pounds
  56. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (French single with picture sleeve) 10 Pounds
  57. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (Japanese single with different picture sleeve to U.K.): 10 Pounds
  58. Wow (French single with slightly different picture sleeve to U.K.): 10 Pounds
  59. Wow (Belgian single with slightly different picture sleeve to U.K.): 10 Pounds
  60. Kate Bush On Stage (Portuguese double-pack single in gatefold sleeve): 10 Pounds
  61. Running Up That Hill (U.S. 12" promo single): 10 Pounds [This is as good a place as any to comment on the frequent absurdity of the high prices paid for "promo" items. In many cases--such as this one--the promo LP is no different from the officially marketed LP, except that the promo has been gold-stamped. In fact, the promo is often quite easy to find, and is generally less well made than the official marketed item; usually its only claim to fame is its relative scarcity--a poor justification for its high price.]
  62. Hounds of Love (U.S. long/short 12" promo): 10 Pounds [This is not an edit of the LP track, nor is the long version the same as the Alternative Hounds re-mix; rather, it is the normal LP mix, backed with the same mix artificially extended another 30 seconds by an American engineer.]
  63. The Big Sky (U.S. 12" promo of single mix): 10 Pounds
  64. Experiment IV (U.S. picture sleeve 7" promo): 10 Pounds [If U.S. "promo" 7" singles of Experiment IV and Running Up That Hill (see no. 97) are listed, then why aren't their 12" counterparts--just as "rare" and more valuable--included as well?]
  65. Moving (Japanese single with picture insert): 9 Pounds
  66. The Man With the Child in His Eyes (U.K. original picture sleeve single): 8 Pounds
  67. Hammer Horror (U.K. promo single): 8 Pounds
  68. Babooshka (U.K. promo single): 8 Pounds
  69. Wuthering Heights (Belgian single with slightly different picture sleeve to U.K.): 8 Pounds
  70. Ne T'enfuis pas/Un Baiser d'enfant (French Odeon single): 8 Pounds [This single did not come out on the Odeon label, but on the Pathe-Marconi label.]
  71. Interview (green vinyl picture sleeve single): 7 Pounds
  72. Interview (yellow vinyl picture sleeve single): 7 Pounds
  73. Interview (red vinyl picture sleeve single): 7 Pounds
  74. Interview (blue vinyl picture sleeve single): 7 Pounds [These are bootleg seven-inch "fake-interview" colour-vinyl disks. Why are they included in the list, when none of the other bootleg items, several of which are now quite rare and highly sought-after, are ommitted? For example, there are: a bootleg cassette of Kate's Bristol concert, complete with incidental music and John Carder Bush's readings; the U.S. bootleg albums Wow, Live in Paris '79, A Bird in the Hand, Live in Europe '79 - '80, (a three-record set), and Passing Through Air (a two-record set); a European bootleg LP called Moving; three U.S. bootleg picture-disc LPs (at last count); two U.K. twelve-inch picture-disk interview records; and many others. All of these are certainly as collectable as the records listed in positions 80 through 100 on this list--some of them far more so.]
  75. Wow (U.K. promo single): 7 Pounds
  76. Breathing (U.K. promo single): 7 Pounds
  77. Army Dreamers (U.K. promo single): 7 Pounds
  78. Running Up That Hill (Spanish promo single in picture sleeve): 7 Pounds [Why is this promo alone described as being in a picture sleeve? The notation implies that other promos do not have picture-sleeves, which is not always the case.]
  79. December Will Be Magic Again (U.K. promo single): 6 Pounds
  80. There Goes a Tenner (U.K. promo single): 6 Pounds
  81. Running Up That Hill (U.K. promo single): 6 Pounds
  82. Experiment IV (one-sided white label single): 6 Pounds
  83. Wuthering Heights (French picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds [Why is this French single listed, and not the far more highly sought-after French Breathing, which, unlike the present entry, features a sleeve different to both the U.K. and the German editions?]
  84. Hammer Horror (Japanese picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds [Why are this single, and the Japanese singles Moving (entry number 66) and The Man With the Child in His Eyes (no. 58) listed, but not the equally collectable Japanese singles of Babooshka, Running Up That Hill and Symphony in Blue-- the last of which even features a picture-sleeve different from that of the U.K. edition?]
  85. Hammer Horror (Italian picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds [Again, why not the Spanish edition of Hammer Horror also? Record Collector's anonymous compiler admits that this list is not truly "definitive" because of the existence of so many foreign pressings. But he/she then insists that the list "represents all the collectable items that are in general circulation," which is simply false. The list is very arbitrary, and includes numerous items which are no more highly sought-after than others which have been inexplicably ommitted; no. 86 being one more case in point.]
  86. Kate Bush On Stage (Dutch 12" single in picture sleeve): 6 Pounds
  87. Kate Bush On Stage (French 12" single in picture sleeve): 6 Pounds
  88. Breathing (German picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds [See note to no. 84.]
  89. Babooshka (Brazilian 33rpm picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds
  90. Night of the Swallow (Irish picture sleeve single): 6 Pounds
  91. Hammer Horror (Original U.K. picture sleeve single): 5 Pounds
  92. Kate Bush On Stage (U.K. 4-track single in gatefold sleeve): 5 Pounds
  93. Running Up That Hill (U.K. gatefold sleeve single: 5 Pounds
  94. Don't Give Up (with Peter Gabriel; poster sleeve single): 5 Pounds
  95. Running Up That Hill (U.S. 7" promo single): 5 Pounds [See note to no. 65.]
  96. Hounds of Love (Canadian picture sleeve single): 5 Pounds
  97. Wuthering Heights (U.S. single with different picture sleeve to U.K.): 5 Pounds
  98. Wuthering Heights (Swedish picture sleeve, issued with U.K. copy of single): 5 Pounds

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

"The pull and the push of it all..." - Kate Bush

Reaching Out
is a
Marvick - Hill
Willker - Mapes
Grepel - Love-Hounds