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Hounds of Love: Kate Bush
EMl America ST-17171, $8.98.
Performance: A +
Hounds of Love has given me the kind of thrill I always look for but too rarely find. It is Kate Bush's fifth album, her first since 1982, and it is the best work she has done to date. Kate has always been a challenging artist, absolutely fearless when it comes to taking risks or presenting something different. On Hounds of Love the challenge to the listener is as strong as ever, but what excites me is the new-found strength and confidence which infuse the album.
There is tremendous variety here, and it is dangerous to anticipate what will come next; it's better and far more satisfying to simply put the album on, strap yourself down and go along for the ride.
The first and third cuts on side one, "Running up That Hill" and "Big Sky," are urgent, churning, unsatisfied songs about seeking personal peace, what Kate calls in the former "a deal with God." In between them is "Hounds of Love," which is even more desperate and harder-rocking. "Mother Stands for Comfort" is an unquiet softer song about a soul ailing under the weight of lies told to mother. This one features Eberhard Weber's lyrical bass. "Cloudbursting," [sic] which closes the side, is a look back on childhood fears and joys, buttressed by a fierce optimism that "something good is going to happen." On this song, there is a beautiful string sextet arrangement of surprising power.
Side two opens with a lullaby, "And Dream of Sheep," before it descends into a frightful dreamscape. In the wispy "Under Ice," filtered vocal effects, the sound of thunder, and other background action heighten the sense of unreality. This segues into the nightmare of "Waking the Witch." Here Kate employs barely decipherable voices topped with Pink Floyd's helicopter effect from The Wall to create a spectacular, scary, stroboscopic vocal sound. In the aftermath of "Waking the Witch," "Watching You Without Me" is a quieter piece that might be a love song from a ghost to a former lover. In this song are backwards voices and more stroboscopy plus Danny Thompson's elegant double bass. Set as an Irish dance piece, "Jig of Life" has traditional instrumentsfiddles, whistles, bodhran, uillean pipesat its core. Next, voices of astronauts in orbit form the segue to "Hello Earth," which has the grand power of a big string and choral setting. "The Morning Fog" is a sprightly finale asserting anew the commitment to life after a long, troubled sleep.
Kate Bush produced Hounds of Love herself. It is an audacious effort, full of daring and danger. In lesser hands it would have been pretentious or precious. Instead, it is invigorating.
The recorded sound is really special, as the album keeps bubbling with surprise sounds that feel completely new, many deriving from what Kate does on the Fairlight synthesizer. As I mentioned earlier, the stereo effects are uncommonly vivid. Hounds of Love is especially fine for headphone listening. It stands up very well under that kind of scrutiny.
It is nice to see all of the lyrics included on the cassette releaseeven if the printing is somewhat smeary and the type itself is too small for most people to read easily.
Hounds of Love is an album to treasure. It is one on which an artist I've long admired comes of age and realizes her potential.
- Michael Tearson
Hounds of Love (EMI)
If "Running Up That Hill" crept up on you from behind, then 'Hounds Of Love' is an essential purchase.
Three years in the making, it's a haunting collection of musical images. Each track has been assembled with loving care and although the lyrics tend to drift into Hippy Dippy Land you'd have to be a supreme cynic to deny the beauty of the finished product.
One for Marillion fans everywhere...
- Dave Ling
On her fifth album, the musical enigma that is Kate Bush continues to travel a unique path between the fragile piano sensitivity of Joni Mitchell and the exploratory Fairlight-driven drama of Peter Gabriel. Although still a cult figure in North America, this gifted British writer/performer/producer has based a hugely successful career on artful unpredictability: by turns whimsical, pretentious and direct, her records can be at once engagingly articulate and absurdly ponderous.
The ambitious Hounds of Love begins strongly with the taut, rhythmically captivating "Running Up That Hill" and the similar-sounding title track, but also devotes an entire side to a rambling Gaelic-flavored concept piece called "The Ninth Wave." Not bad, mind you, but it' s far easier to impress than entertain with such grandiosity; there's something uncomfortably archaic about a pop album that seems so anxious to be thought of as Art. Bush possesses undeniable talent, craft and intelligence, and is capable of occasional excellence, but it's sometimes hard to take her as seriously as she takes herself.
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 85 04:37:52 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: Review of "Hounds of Love" in Smash Hits Sep 85
In the 11-24 Sep 85 Smash Hits there is a review of "Hounds of Love". "Hounds of Love" is their pick of the month:
If you for a moment imagined that "Running Up That Hill" was a fluke then one listen to this will put you right. Side one is crammed with songs that are just as good and even side two's ambitious concept piece about a drowning girl ("The Ninth Wave") is surprizingly successful.
In fact the only possible drawback is that it's the sort of record your parents will probably like too and pinch off you to play.
(9 out of 10). Chris Heath.
In the 14 Sep 85 issue of Melody Maker there is an announcement for the release of "Hounds of Love":
Kate Bush releases her fifth album on September 16. "Hounds of Love" -- written and produced by Kate Bush -- divides into two sections. Side one comprises five tracks, including the hit single "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)". All five songs on side one are thematic -- "describing fundamental differences between the sexes and how differences lead to misunderstanding in relationships."
No, they don't! "Mother Stands For Comfort" is about nothing of the sort! It's a love song to mom. Perhaps the other four songs could be described that way, but I would say that they are more about being scared of love and overcoming this problem. I'm not sure how "Mother Stands For Comfort" fits into this theme.
In the 14 Sep 85 issue of Sounds, there are two letters regarding Kate Bush. One is a letter from a representative of EMI denying all rumors that EMI interfered with the album at all. EMI claims that the album is *exactly* the way Kate wanted it to be. They claim that the album was delayed because Kate was unsatisfied with parts of it, and wanted to re-record those parts.
There is a lot of evidence, though, that EMI pressured Kate to change the name of "A Deal With God" to "Running Up That Hill" and that this caused a several month delay because all the artwork had to be redone.
The other letter is from a Kate Bush fan who is upset that some people are comparing Kate with Madonna. I haven't seen anyone do such a thing, thank goodness. Where are they? I'll kill them!
"You're like my yo-yo
That glows in the dark"
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 85 18:03:09 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: NME says Kate Bush is England's best solo artist ever! Sept. 1985
This is something that I just posted to net.music:
[I just can't be quiet about this.]
I've been told many times that the "serious" British music press can't stand Kate Bush. That because she's female, upper-class, beautiful, romantic, was handed a record contract at the age of sixteen and was immediately a huge success without ever having to struggle, speaks with a lisp, and always says "Wow!" and "Amazing!" and other "hippyisms" that she was viewed as someone who clearly couldn't have any real talent. The stereotypical reaction to her was supposedly something like "She's just a spaced-out druid with lush tits".
When last month Helen Fitzgerald of Melody Maker reviewed the single "Running Up That Hill" she did so stereotypically, saying that Kate Bush must have phony tits and should be burned at the stake. So everything I had been told about the British music press was confirmed.
Strangely, in the past several weeks there has been a total turn-around in the reaction in the British music press towards Kate Bush. For the first time in seven years she is getting the recognition she deserves. *Now* it is "hip" to like Kate Bush. Reviews for her new album "Hounds of Love" have just appeared and I haven't yet found a negative one. In fact, everyone I have found except one has been a *rave* review.
The NME, which has traditionally been one of the magazines which continually makes fun of her, says that "Hounds of Love" is the best album of the year! "Kate's a genius, the rarest solo artist this country's ever produced." "Sounds" gave it five stars: "If I were allowed to swear, I'd say that 'Hounds of Love' is f***ing brilliant, but me mum won't let me.... all human life contained herein. Dramatic, moving and wildly, unashamedly, beautifully romantic." Of the big weeklies, only Melody Maker did less than rave. Their reaction is mixed, but they say that parts of it are great. The reviewer, though says that he can't stand concept albums. How's that for being unbiased?
In other magazines, Smash Hits gave it a 9 out of 10. It is the pick of the month. The reviewer for Kerrang, Mick Wall, wrote two pages of verbal orgasm. "Young Kate's a f**king genius." He's clearly a Kate Bush fanatic. He's one of the very few people who gave "The Dreaming" a positive review, and he orgasmed over that too, but he did so more than a year after the album had been released. Yes, this is Kerrang -- the heavy metal magazine! Kate headlines with Kiss, Crawling Chaos, The Venom, Ozzy, and Saga! Oh boy, oh boy!
So what's really puzzling me is why is it suddenly okay to like Kate Bush? In fact, now she's even being lavished with praise, when before she was considered just about as hip as Bobby Sherman. If it's the change in her image away from a cute sex kitten, then how come "The Dreaming" was demolished by the British press? Maybe nobody really listened to it because they had their minds already made up?
Is all this praise a good sign? Maybe there is some fatal flaw with the album that I'm missing and it isn't really the second best album ever recorded -- some fatal flaw that causes the jerks in the British music press to love it.
If the media reaction is any indication of the popular reaction to "Hounds of Love", Kate Bush will soon be a multi-zillionare. Maybe then she can afford to buy her own transatlantic boat, and won't have to depend on the QE2 working, and can make it over to the U.S. this time around.
In any case, here is the entire review by Jane Solana that was in the NME. It does a little bit to explain the change in the media reaction:
BUGGER "Wuthering Heights"! Signed up, like a footballer at age 16 by EMI Records, Kate Bush in her 11 year reign as pop's most idiosyncratic female has always been tainted by the notion that as "the company's daughter" she represents The Establishment and therefore is -- RIGHT OFF...
Beloved of Radio 1 producers and TV pop show awards, Kate Bush has been "family entertainment" for many years; a lovable fact of media life. Even the rumours surrounding Bush's three year disappearance (compulsive eating, junk, and religious fervor) didn't hold water. Washed up? Our Kate? NEVER...
'Running Up That Hill' hit the singles chart and blew heads away. Principally, because no one's heard a classy 45, totally lacking in teen-appeal, in months. Kate Bush, at 27, is at last HIP. I hope she's laughing, because people have been in stiches over her.
Before we're trampled in the rush for copies of Kate Bush's new LP, a brief reminder of 'The Dreaming' -- the 1982 Bush album no one bought. I don't want to hear anyone say 'Hounds of Love' is far out who hasn't heard its predecessor, because -- three years' gap or not -- it's an obvious progression of the skill shown on 'The Dreaming'.
Musically and lyrically Kate Bush's influences haven't changed since 'The Dreaming' and its three brilliant singles ('Sat In Your Lap', 'The Dreaming', 'There Goes A Tenner') bombed. Only the climate has changed, ie the BBC and a nation of reactionary punters are now ready for our Kate's weird shit.
And 'Hounds of Love' is definitely weird. It's not an album for the suicidal or mums and dads. The violence of 'The Dreaming' has turned into despair, confusion and fear -- primarily of love, a subject that remains central to Bush's songwriting. 'Running Up That Hill' was one hell of a depressing record to be bopping around the living room to. It explores the horrors of relationships and pin-pointed the total lack of communication between men and women.
"You never understood me/ You never really tried" is a line sung aggressively by Bush on 'The Big Sky', a track on the supposedly 'up' side of 'Hounds of Love'. The desperation of revealing truth to anyone, let alone a lover, runs througout the album.
Ironically, Bush uses her most cryptic lyrics to get this message across eg "And if I only could/ I'd make a deal with God/ And I'd get him to swap our places" didn't endear her to the more literal-minded members of the record buying public. What *they* are going to make of side two of 'Hounds of Love' is anyone's guess, because that dreaded late '60s affliction, 'the concept album', has been resurrected by Bush. Result: an entire side of Kate stuck in a pond drowning...
Ludicrous as that may sound, 'The Ninth Wave' sequence works, though it's far from immediate and may well piss off those used to Kate Bush's more traditional approach to crafting songs (The Beatles and folk music being a strong source).
But there is plenty of *that* on side one, any track which would make a fine single, though I'd pick out 'Cloudbusting' as the best.
Complex music it may well be, but Kate Bush will always have the ace card up her sleeve in that she consistently manages to make her records erotic, however depressing the lyrical content. The Bush voice drips with sex. But whereas it used to be middle-class and 'virginal' (David Hamilton posters and bed-sitters), it's now classless and shamelessly aggressive (a mad thrash up an alley). Many a seduction scene will go down as 'Hounds of Love' grinds to a halt on the deck. If you think that's a preposterous notion, then you're a sucker for marketing; EMI have packaged this album with Kate Bush (famous tits tastefully concealed) in bed with two dogs.
When The Establishment's on your side you can get away with murder. You can do just one tour in ten years, spend limitless hours and many a tenner in the studio, leap around your own dance studio to your heart's content, stick your family all over your records, fuck off for three years and come zooming straight back into the charts like you've never been anywhere at all. In any other artist it would be sickening, but our Kate's a genius, the rarest solo artist this country's ever produced. She makes skeptics dance to *her* tune. The company's daughter has truly screwed the system and produced the best album of the year doing it. You may all go and kiss the sleeve. I have...
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 85 00:14:02 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: Review Sounds (12 Oct 85)
From Sounds (12 Oct 85):
Kate Bush unleashes a new single from her 'Hounds of Love' album on October 14. 'Cloudbusting' is backed with a new tune, 'Burning Bridge', while the 12-inch has a completely altered/extended remix of 'Cloudbusting' titled 'The Organon Mix', in addition to the normal B-side *and* a traditional tune -- 'My Lagan Love' -- with new lyrics by Kate. The song 'Cludbusting' is said to be inspired by a book called 'A Book Of Dreams'
[It is remarkable that Sounds picked up on this, because I've never seen Kate say anywhere that the song is based on 'A Book Of Dreams', though it clearly is. She only said that it was based on a book she had read.]
and is about the relationship between a father and son. Our obscurity expert Sandy Robertson says this is undoubtedly the same book -- by Peter Reich about his unorthodox scientist father Wilhelm Reich -- which inspired Patti Smith's legendary song 'Birdland'. So *there*!
[It did too. Anyone want to help me design a Wilhelm Reich set for my radio show? Know of any Wilhelm Reich related songs? I know of three: 'Cloudbusting', 'Birdland', and 'Orgone Accumulator' (by Hawkwind).]
"Oh God, daddy I won't forget"
From: harvard!uucp (Black Hole)
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 85 15:56:23 GMT
Subject: Two Reviews, Oct. 1985
Just found the following articles involving Kate Bush...
Review of HOL from the Bexleyheath and Welling Observer,
by Clive Goodman.
Dated: October 17th.
Under the Headline : Elfin Kate still at top.
A three-year lay-off is a long time to be out of circulation, even if you are one of the biggest-selling female singers ever to sprout up in the UK. Not that it seems to have made the slightest difference to the elfin one. Straight in with both the single and the album is no mean feat. No surprise though - because this is tailor-made for chart action. Harder and more rythmically positive than the early stuff - but still with that haunting, ethereal quality that elevates La Bush above the chart hoi poloi.
Its really two albums in one with "Hounds of Love" taking up the first side while the - ahem - conceptual "The Ninth Wave" hogs side two. First things first - and it leads out with the single verson of "Running Up That Hill" which surpasses anything Bush has done previously in terms of romance, power and rhythm. Then theres the wilder, less spartan "Hounds of Love" itself which throbs rather than rocks while those classic breathless vocals slide over the top.
But best of the lot is "Mother Stands for Comfort" with its spiky, stretched tension and slabs of thick textured rhythm. The only sour note is slipping in the 12-inch version of "Running" as a closer.(??) Cheap short that...
Then over to side two for the more experimental, and the less sucessful, "The Ninth Wave", based on a drowning mans impressions and illusions. Good in sections, like the openers "And Dreams of Sheep" and the taut, atmospheric "Under Ice" with its staggered strings and hard arrangement. But as a whole its just a touch too complex and clever-dick to stand close inspection.
As a whole though, "Hounds of Love" is hard to fault on any level - production, by Bush herself, performance and writing...
Item in "The Mirror" dated October 24th.
Headline : Kates Haunting theme.
SPOOKY singer Kate Bushs video team have been upset by a ghost. They had an eerie time in their four days of filming at the White Horse Hill beauty spot in Oxfordshire.
A local said yesterday : "They found it very disturing. They said they felt there was someone watching them all the time - but there was no one there." The hill is near Waylands Smithy where, according to legend, a ghostly blacksmith waits to shoe the horses of travellers.
The seven-minute video is for Kates new single Cloudbusting, which has just entered the charts. She plays 12-year-old Peter Reich, from whose Book of Dreams she drew the idea for the song.
Date: Thursday, 31 Oct 1985 08:35:33-PST
From: herbison%ultra.DEC@decwrl.DEC.COM (B.J.)
Subject: The Boston Globe Calendar 31 October 1985
From the Records section of The Boston Globe, 31 October 1985.
*HOUNDS OF LOVE*
Kate Bush lets her imagination run wild on this fascinating but flawed album. It's not quite up to her last, 1982's ``The Dreaming,'' which offered clearer lyrics and more striking tunes, but in terms of outright invention, this one goes further. Side 1 is slightly more conven-tional, including the subtle but catchy single ``Running Up That Hill,'' which recalls Peter Gabriel's recent work. ``Cloudbursting'' sounds like an Elizabe-than pop song; ``The Big Sky'' borrows from African rhythms; and ``Mother Stands for Comfort'' replaces drums with breaking glass. Side 2, subtitled ``The Ninth Wave,'' is a 25-minute suite about spiritual travels. The music takes a number of surprising turns; a spectral ballad breaks into an Irish jig leading into a long stretch of choral music. Bush makes some unearthly vocal sounds. In one segment she creates a witch trial, doctoring her voice into an ominous male chorus. It's unsettling but positive, ending with an upbeat affirmation of life and love. Bush has come a long way from her early days as a soft-rocking singer-songwriter.
- Brett Milano
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 85 09:33:59 PST
From: Fu-Sheng Tsung <tsung@AEROSPACE.ARPA>
Subject: Pasadena Weekly, Oct. 1985
Here's something I found on the Pasadena Weekly (yes, Pasadena! Not just for little old ladies. . .)
Reprinted (of course) without permission:
In those English girls school stories there's always one student who's forever lost in elaborate daydreams, equally under the spell of the classics, the mystics, and the romantics. That's Kate Bush, who *was* a schoolgirl when she signed her first record contract at age sixteen in 1976. Her records have always been ambitious and fascinating works, earning her Big Star status in England and a rabid cult following on this side of the pond. But youthful lack of restraint (or something) frequently caused her to go overboard with her unique voice and fondness for heavy thoughts.
Now with her fifth album, Hounds of Love (EMI America), Bush has matured. She still deals in High Concepts--side two concerns the levels of consciousness experienced by a person close to drowining at sea, and the first pressings of the album are on vinyl that looks like marble, for crissakes!
But this is her first outing without at least one moment to make you cringe at its feyness. The lush music is highly rewarding at any level of listening, and concerted attention reveals much magic stored in its many layers.
What's more, *Hounds Of Love* is actually finding a wide audience here in the States! The single "Running Up That Hill" (already a fave in the dance clubs) and the album are climbing the charts even as you read this. Available at Poobah Records and Moby Disc. [two local records stores, known for their used-recollection.]
p.s. Seeing that she was born in 1958, less than five years older than me, makes me wonder what've ** I ** been doing with my life.
(reiterating other people's words. .. :-)
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 85 12:17:37 EST
From: Susanne E Trowbridge <ins aset@jhunix>
Subject: KB in People
I will reprint it here without permission (cleverly concealing the magazine in my backpack so that no one in the computer room will know I have a copy of People - no, really, my mom sent it to me. Really.).
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Singer-songwriter-keyboardist Bush is very popular in her native England. This self-produced album should enhance her reputation here. True, she's not likely to become the biggest of pop stars, because her songs are often morose, resembling Shakespearean soliloquies a lot more than they do Top 40 hits. Her lyrics also reflect a primitive belief in animism, conjuring up images of Stonehenge: "Go to sleep little earth/I was there at the birth/ Out of the cloud burst the head of the Tempest." Nonetheless, such songs as "RUTH" and the title track boast inventive, overdubbed harmonies, dark ritualistic drumming and a stark magnetism reminiscent of Stevie Nicks' best work. (Sue's note -- BLASPHEMY!) "Mother Stands For Comfort" and "Cloudbusting" are atmospheric in a sad, wistful way too. For those with a taste for dreamy, brooding music, this could be an engrossing album.
And now, an additional note on "HOL" reviews. Remember the passage that was quoted here a couple of weeks ago about Kate playing Ophelia to her own Hamlet. That was written by a good friend of mine, J.D. Considine, in Musician magazine. He is not a big Kate fan. I asked what it meant, and he said, "Read the play," or words to that effect. "These literary allusions go right over people's heads." He's a nice guy though. We disagree a lot.
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 85 10:23:44 EST
From: Susanne E Trowbridge <ins aset@jhunix>
Subject: Spin Dec. 1985
In the latest SPIN magazine, "HOL" is their Platter du Jour (best of the month, I guess). The review is rather simplistic but there's a nice pic of KB in a weird little hat with a tassel...
(Reprinted w/out permission, of course.)
If Kate Bush had been a writer instead of a musician, she might have written something like "Alice in Wonderland." She writes children's songs for adults, constantly drifting into girlish dreams, while maintaining a vibrant sense of romantic adventure. Every little daydream and all her fragile emotions are projected into a fantasyland of poetic imagery and off-beat music. With traces of classical, operatic, tribal, and twisted pop styles, Kate creates music that observes no boundaries of musical structure or inner expression.
Though she has always been a top 10 artist in Europe (this album was No. 1 in England as of this writing), her odd style and even odder vocal squeal have always kept her off the American charts. (ST note - Well, "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" *did* make it to #89 or thereabouts...) But even though Kate continues on an offbeat course, this album might gain her some well-deserved recognition from the American mainstream.
On "HOL," Kate continues making Gothic pop with brooding string arrangements, sparse and dissonant percussion, and her bittersweet vocal squawks and squeaks. While she introduced intermittent pop touches on her previous album, "The Dreaming," her music is still anything but pop. On side one's "RUTH" and the title cut, she maintains her romantic edge, but structures her songs more accessibly, singing within a range that isn't overly abrasive or far-reaching. These changes don't appear to have been made as concessions, and certainly don't hurt.
The rest of side one has more of Kate's twisted musical sensibility and the lyrics deal with her confused romantic desires. She wants to be enraptured by love, but always ends up shattered and lonely. Just when she wants to be left to herself, she becomes morose in her independence. On "The Big Sky," Kate again adds a more accessible touch, with hints of psychedelia, but then returns to the familiar womb of her childhood fantasyland on "Mother Stands for Comfort." The side closes with "Cloud-bursting" (sic), which appears to be an anti-nuclear song with an arrange-ment framed by haunting orchestration and a minimal rhythmic approach.
While side one is subtitled "The HOL" and is a collection of quite different songs, side two, entitled "The Ninth Wave," is a somewhat loosely interconnected collection of musical movements that are even more bizarre and mystical than Kate's previous works. She dreams again on the operatic "And Dream of Sheep" and is emotionally trapped on the claustro-phobic "Under Ice." On "Waking the Witch," one of the most puzzling songs on the album, Kate brings a funkier edge to her music and seems to be in a state of spiritual confusion. Any other interpretations beyond that should be left to individual opinion.
It took three years for Kate to make this album, and it was two years before that that she last released an album. (ST note - I thought "The Dreaming" was 82) With no plans to tour America, Kate is likely to remain obscure on this side of the Atlantic. While her eclecticism is well (scratch that) welcomed and rewarded in her homeland her genius still goes ignored here - a situation that is truly a shame for an artist so adventurous and naturally theatrical.
Comments????????? At least the guy tried to go a little deeper than most reviewers... (by Steve Matteo, btw.)
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 85 15:20 MST
From: Shoo <RLLeatherwood@HIS-PHOENIX-MULTICS.ARPA>
Subject: KB article in Stereo Review by Mark Peel Jan. 1986
Kate Bush is a spellbinding storyteller, a vocal acrobat, and an intriguing composer and arranger. What she hasn't been credited with until now is a pretty voice. In fact, Bush has always gone out of her way to make her listeners uncomfortable. That's changed with her new album, "Hounds of Love." This time Kate Bush will meet you halfway. Although "Hounds of Love" deals with a lover's murder and death by drowning, compared with her brilliant but difficult 1982 release, "The Dreaming," it's positively tranquil. The bizarre vocal tricks-roller-coaster phrasing and digitized, reassembled voice-that characterized the earlier album have been relegated to occasional ornamentation, and the lurching, fits-and-starts rhythms of "The Dreaming" have given way to more conventional rhythms rooted in African and Irish Folk music. Bush's singing here is sensitive, almost girlish. It may be a compromise, and it's certainly not as daring as its predecessor, but you're far more apt to be able to sit through it without suffering an anxiety attack.
The new album is actually two mini-concept albums. Side one, also titled "Hounds of Love," is the more elusive since it is less about love than about some of love's attendant emotionsfear, alienation, rage, and confusion. In the title song, for instance, the narrator compares falling in love to a fox being chased down by hounds. Much of "Hounds" marches along to steady, galloping rhythms. Bush employs drums very much the way Peter Gabriel does, putting the music in motion through a succession of violent climaxes and hushed pauses. Her vocals carry on a dialogue with, in turn, piano, drums, and bass, and they are shadowed virtually everywhere by a Fairlight backing vocal. "Hounds" is far more pleasant to listen to than to contemplate, and the same is true of side two, "The Ninth Wave," which re-creates the last moments of a drowning victim, an eternity of recollections and hallucinations compressed into a few final breaths. Here the electronic effects are more integralwhirring helicopters, bullhorns, tangled tape-loop voices, chiming synthesized church bells, echoing snatches of conversation, and a host of fantastic characters hurtle into and out of the victim's ebbing consciousness. Bush's vocals, which explore a range of feelingsterror, sadness, resignation, and, finally, euphoriaare posed against an instrumental tableau in which strings, piano, and synthesizer shift in and out of the foreground. The growing sophistication of Kate Bush's compositions, arrangements, and production techniques does not obscure her unique, weird point of view. Only she could make such macabre subjects so seductive.
KATE BUSH: Hounds of Love. Kate Bush (vocals, piano, Fairlight compuer); instrumental and vocal accompaniment. Running up That Hill; Hounds of Love; The Big Sky; Mother Stands for Comfort; Cloudbusting; And Dream of Sheep; Under Ice; Waking the Witch; Watching You Without Me; Jig of Life; Hello Earth; The Morning Fog. EMI AMERICA ST-17171 $8.98, (C) 4XT 17171 $8.98
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 85 17:30:06 est
From: H. Chai <utflis!allegra!ihnp4!utcsri!chai>
Subject: Wilson Library Bulletin Dec. 1985
In this month's Wilson Library Bulletin, the same pix appeared in their recording review section. This section is penned by Bruce Pollock, editor of the mag Guitar. He has this to say bout KB:
"Kate Bush, the eternal English schoolgirl as temptress, continues her bewitching mastery of music's sensual side in an extended mood piece as elusive as emotion. Luckily most of Kate's work has been free of exposure on MTV."
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 85 13:41:01 GMT
Subject: Phoenix, Dec. 1985
The following review appeared in Phoenix: The magazine for Kent students :
-My comments in .
After three years absence, Kate is back with an album that could only be called a myraid of haunting spectualar tracks. The *Wuthering Heights* screeching has been replaced with a patchwork of sounds including Sade-esque soul, traditional irish folk backing music and drumming that could have originated at an Apache indian tribal dance! Although this mixture sounds well [,] its odd to say the least; the credit goes to Kate for getting it to work!! And it does!!
She's lost the little girl lyrics and come up with subtle political messages, hard-hitting poetry and there's even helicopter sounds at the end of *Waking the Witch* on side 2 which are taken from Pink Floyds *The Wall*. [ Big deal !! ]
Some cynics may say its too fragmented, *EMI* had to be bullied into releasing it [anybody else heard this ?] and others think her passe but. *Hounds of Love* is the *Best* album l've heard this year and was well worth waiting for!!
[Reviewed by T.B.]
My comments :-
First i think the people at Phoenix should get a better proof-reader, in the original *Waking the Witch* was *Walking the Witch* :-) The reviewer talks about subtle political message, I didn't think there were any on HOL. The comment about Helicopter sounds being from *The Wall*, so what was so great about this??
Finally even though the Reviewer seems to be confused, at least he/she likes the album.
Oh, and before I forget :- A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!
"December will be magic again"
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 85 20:17 MST
From: "James J. Lippard" <Lippard@HIS-PHOENIX-MULTICS.ARPA>
Subject: Kate Bush in Digital Audio Jan. 1986
Sound Quality: 9/10
Kate Bush's music has always come from the heart. Although Hounds of Love is a complex and richly layered work, it's no exception to the rule.
Since releasing the primitive but inspired The Kick Inside at the age of 18, Bush has evolved into a kind of modern renaissance woman: writer, producer, and Fairlight "player."
Her lyrics go far beyond the expected pop music norm of adolescent writing. They have depth and are always interesting, even though some of the meanings may be known only to Bush herself. Bush isn't a "churn it out no matter what" kind of artist; she has never followed the album-a-year formula. For this reason, her works tend to be creative and unique.
This does not, however, mean that Hounds of Love is for everybody. Bush has always had a highly original and idosyncratic style that never allows a listener's opinion to fall on middle ground. But once planted, the seeds of Bush's strange but seductive vocal melodies and harmonies grow and ripen with each listen.
Part of the success of Hounds of Love stems from its use of so many different textures without compromising musicality. These include processed and/or layered vocals, unusual tones and sound effects, traditional instruments, all manner of real and electronic drums and percussion...the list goes on. "The Big Sky" and "Waking the Witch" are fine experiments in varying textures.
Bush says she aimed for a perfect blend of the best acoustic and electronic sounds on this recording. Striving for acoustic perfection she solicits the help of instruments such as fiddles, whistles, bouzouki, uillean pipes, and dijeridu.
On the electronic side, Bush skillfully explores the possibilities of the Fairlight--that part keyboard, part computer which enables the competent user to create a variety of sounds almost without limitation. "Watching You Without Me," a song with a distinctly Eastern flavor, is a gorgeous blend of acoustic bass and Fairlight.
The sound quality of this disc is first-rate. Part of this may be attributed to Bush's sensitive approach to producing her own music, competent engineering, and digital mixdown--all of which leads to a clean and well-balanced recording.
If you're tired of waking up to the same old CDs every morning, the freshness of Hounds of Love will make your day.
-- Hugh Hardy
[From Digital Audio, January 1986]
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 86 02:43:28 est
From: nessus (Doug Alan)
Subject: Wall Street Journal 12/30/85
"Pop: Music for a New Year"
by Pam Lambert
Wall Street Journal 12/30/85
With "Hounds of Love" (EMI), Britain's Kate Bush compellingly stakes her claim as a major voice in pop music. On this album, her fifth, Bush's craft as a producer has blossomed to match her creative vision. The result is at once the artist's most accessible release -- and the brightest sound I've heard in quite a while.
Bush took two years to make the record. It shows. Her four-octave range and Fairlight synthesizer are the base for impressionistic aural landscapes that at times swell to orchestral complexity, at others simplify to the directness of a march.
Though the album opens with the exceptional "Running Up That Hill", whose loping rhythms made it a natural first single, the second side is the real showpiece. A phantasmagorical seven-song voyage through the ebbing consciousness of a drowning victim, it flows from dreamy numbness to terror to something approching euphoria. Which is just what Kate Bush is likely to leave you feeling.
Date: Sat 22 Feb 86 19:02:00-EST
From: Doug Alan <Nessus@DEEP-THOUGHT.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Melody Maker 22 Feb 86?
I decided to browse through the British music rags at the record store today to get my weekly dose of humour, and found a review of the HoL single and Suzanne Vega's new "Small Blue Thing" single....
From Melody Maker (22 Feb 86?):
The Jazz Butcher is joined at the altar by the extraordinary burning Kate Bush. At the age of 12 she translated the complete works of Alexei Sayle into English, and at 16 she was rumoured to be the first explorer to circumnavigate the M25. Bush has always strived to be different, but this quest has often led her astray -- an olive stone in the ashtray of life. `Hounds of Love' eschews the lentil nightmare as Bush reaches notes most groups never even dream of.
The lentil nightmare? Besides, what better to be than an olive stone in the ashtray of life?
I think I'm gonna be ill....
"Today I am a small blue thing"
Date: 5-JUN-1986 12:14:46
Subject: RM June 1986
The following is from the "Chartfile" section by Alan Jones:
"Now more than eight years into her chart career, Kate Bush has singlehandedly written all 15 of her hit singles, a figure unrivalled by any other female singer/songwriter in the world.
Kate Also shares the distinction of being one of only three women to pluck more than three top 40 hits off an album (Tina Turner and Madonna are the other two).
Kate's "Hounds of Love" has been raided for "Running Up That Hill" (#3) "Cloudbusting" (#20), "Hounds of Love" (#18) and "The Big Sky" (#37). In addition to spawning these hits, the "Hounds of Love" album has sold over 400,000 copies in its own right, and is the fourth best selling compact disc ever released in Britain, lining up behind Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms", and "Love Over Gold", and Phil Collins' "No Jacket Required".
Regarding the release of "the Dreaming" and "Never for Ever" on Compact disc, in view of the above information, it is almost certainly legal hassles between Kate and EMI (probably regarding royalty payments, like the Beatles) that are causing the delay in release, rather than pressing plant limitations. (After all, they managed to get repressings done of the first two albums...) After all, HoL, according to the above, is EMI's largest selling compact disc EVER, so they are probably dying to release the others on CD.
Date: 19-JUN-1986 12:16:30
Subject: Record Mirror June 21st 1986
Here's the latest news from today's new issue of RECORD MIRROR (June 21):
2) Well, I think I'l just copy down the section from "Chartfile" which has the rest of the Kate news:
"A fortnight ago I stated that Kate Bush, Madonna and Tina Turner were the only women to take more than three hit singles off an album. As I'm now reminded by David Ashton of East Molesey and Charles Chan of no stated abode, Donna Summer had four hits off her album, "I Remember Yesterday." We should note, too, that Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" album which I conservatively estimated as selling 400,000 copies, has in fact sold over 600,000 copies. Kates all-time best-seller remains the introductory "The Kick Inside," which sold over 930,000 copies. EMI will undoubtedly be hoping for Kate's first million seller from her forthcoming (November) greatest hits package, which will include a couple of new songs. Meanwhile, Bush's exquisite duet with Peter Gabriel, "Don't Give Up," has been confirmed as the next single from his platinum album, "So".
- Alan Jones, Chartfile (Record Mirror).
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 86 23:20:01 EDT
From: nessus (Doug Alan)
Subject: Reviews Blitz + MM 1986
Sometimes I think that someone should just off the entire British music press.
I just read two disgusting articles on Peter Gabriel and one on Kate Bush. The two articles on Peter Gabriel, one in Blitz and one in Melody Maker, were both written by this jerk named Jim Shelley. I realized they were by the same person by the inane writing style. In both the articles, he is extremely petty. He spends most of the time talking about how pathetic Peter is because when Peter talks he pauses and says "er..." a lot. The fact that he thinks Kate Bush is "our only genius" does not redeem him. In fact, his articles seem like parodies of all those awful articles several years back on Kate Bush, where they spent all their time attacking her because she'd say "wow" and "amazing" all the time.
The article on Kate Bush is just as bad. Richard Cook insults Peter Gabriel; defames all of art-rock, the Grimm stories and the excellent movie *The Company of Wolves*; and calls Pink Floyd "the most miserable group that ever existed" in the process of attacking Kate. But I think that these quotes from the article
... Like her underwear, her guard doesn't drop for a moment....
... The cosiness of Bush denies her any erotic standing in pop. She's a family girl, surrounded by the domestic glow of brothers and parents. If people fantasise about her, it must be as an elfin sprite, an immortal of love, not a flesh and blood thing with the smell of female. She's just too *nice* for that....
... And, somehow, we find it all fascinating. Then we knock; but she does not let us in-a-her window.
make it clear that Mr. Cook is just a pathetic lovelorn man who probably has an uncaring family and who is probably scared of any woman who is more than just a cunt. Is this supposed to be journalism? I almost feel sorry for the guy... I hope he can swim -- he's going to have to do a lot of that when the flood comes...
(More excerpts from the article Doug refers to, plus cover photo)
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 86 12:00:10 EDT
From: nessus (Doug Alan)
Subject: Sounds, MM Reviews 1986
And now for another little look at Kate Bush in the British press.... Curiously enough, that bozo Richard Cook, who wrote the wretched cover article on Kate Bush in Sounds, also wrote this review of "The Big Sky" for Sounds a short while back, which was the Single of the Week:
A curious choice, and perhaps the winner by default. In this big pile of records, the few good shots are content to pick over small pleasures and little details. This is the only giant record here, the only one to overreach and maintain honour. The rehabilitation of Bush is a bit much: she is still the sort of girl who pours all her books and beads into the pot and stirs it up until you come out with an opera. Most of her records smell of tarot cards, kitchen curtains, and lavender pillows to me. But bits of *Hounds of Love* make something mischievous or even demonic come out of he throat, and 'The Big Sky' is a moment of real mad bravado. It starts like it's going to be one of the digital warrior dances Bush puts together when she wants to be uptempo and then a whole planet seems to be swirling around her voice. The best and most threatening thing that this bizarre talent has ever done.
This is a review of "The Big Sky" by Stud Brothers for Melody Maker:
Kate Bush, like some lithe Russian gymnast who makes even the most difficult exercise appear easy, gracefully treads the uneasy tightrope of progression and integrity without ever falling into indulgence and elitism. She has in fact, with her every release, managed to maintain a uniqueness without ever losing her public, something Siouxsie was almost praised for. But unlike The Banshees, she always sounds like herself and never sounds the same, and that's a difficult task. "The Big Sky" sounds like Kate Bush, but more importantly, like Hipsway and The Young Gods, it sounds like 1986. Truly gymnastic.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Allyn Hardyck)
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 87 17:56:12 PST
Subject: KB review by Charles Faris Jan 1987?
KATE BUSH'S PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS
As the neo-psychedelic movement continues to gather steam (who would have thought that a British trio with a name like The Dream Academy could push an enigmatic song like "Life In A Northern Town" into the American top ten?), I am becoming more and more troubled by the relatively small boxes these bands have constructed to live in. I mean, where is it written that an eighties psychedelic band has to utilize the conventions of the sixties psychedelic bands? And of course, if it is written somewhere, since when did worthwhile musicians give a shit about what someone else thought they should sound like? Like, the thing that made all those bands exciting was that they were mining a new vein. If you study your history, you will see that the death of New Wave was its inability to go anywhere with the 64-66 Beatles/Mersey sound that they were using as a launchpad. Is psychedelia going to be content to do the same thing with the 67-69 sound that it is using? Just wondering.
One artist who is never linked with the psychedelic resurgence is Kate Bush. For my money, though, her music is organically psychedelic in a way that totally goes beyond surface aural appearances. No twelve-strings or jangly guitars, no Nico or Mouse vocals, and (My God!) she writes on a piano. But it isn't style that makes me think Kate the most psychedelic pop musician alive. It's the effect of the sound on my body.
Though I think her first album ( The Kick Inside ) is the most holy-ecstatic profoundly brain-changing album produced in the last fifteen years, her latest album, Hounds of Love is certainly more mature, and perhaps more importantly in this society, it is new. It is also the culmination of the efforts she has made on all the albums subsequent to the first, and side two makes her last album ( The Dreaming ) completely dispensable (except for those of you who love to program yourselves into really bummer realities).
Side one is poppy. Songs that work take from the context of the album. But then again, if you listen to them, you get deepened. The rhythms and tones put you in spaces that usually require meditation or Adam. [that's 3,4-methyldioxymethamphetamine right? Ed.] And what does she sing about? How about the non-spiteful twist on "Positively Fourth Street" in "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" - "Is there so much hate for the ones we love? ... If only I could/I'd make a deal with God/and I'd get him to swap our places/Be running up that road."
"Hounds of Love" chronicles fear of love, while the singer in "The Big Sky" spends all of her time watching; the clouds taking shape, Ireland, God telling Noah to build an Ark...
"Cloudbusting", based on Peter Reich's (I'm Wilhelm Reich's son) A Book Of Dreams, closes out side one with a moving account of father/son love and the societal forces that destroy that particular relationship.
Side two, subtitled "The Ninth Wave," utilizes a lot of aural patterns and tones of The Dreaming, but to a much different effect. Where that album was simply a season in hell, what we've got here is a descent into, and subsequent ascent out of, those particular spaces in our consciousness that seem determined to control us and make life as ugly as possible. And where the experience of The Dreaming seemed merely something any sane individual would want to avoid, the effect of "The Ninth Wave" is an understanding of the importance of utilizing all experience, pleasant and unpleasant alike, as opportunities for self-knowledge (is there any other kind?). It is a bit harrowing at times, but any trip for knowledge holds out that possibility. "Do you know what?" she asks in "The Morning Fog", "I love you better now." And then she's wrapping it up. "I'll tell my mother/I'll tell my father/... I'll tell my brothers/How much I love them." And who but the most disaffected wouldn't want to be able to do that?
From: Neil Calton <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 87 16:11:59 bst
Subject: MM article Dec. 1985
Unlike those worthy lovehounds IED and MarK T. I have not found any old interviews with Kate, so you will have to make do with this piece of archetypal Melody Maker writing from Dec. 1985 (author not named), which formed part of their review of the year (RUTH was 2nd best single).
Apparently adored beyond common reason by the more positively addled members of the Maker's legendary critical phalanx, Kate Bush beamed down from whatever peculiar orbit of inactivity that had possessed her for the past three years to deliver a new single in August. "Running Up That Hill" was lush, exotic, mysterious and almost singlehandedly justified Radio 1's perilous existence.
The success of the single set spines tingling with anticipation for the inevitable album, which duly followed in September. Disappointment, however, was in the air. "Hounds of Love" was unfortunately dogged by the otherworldly Kate's determination to extend her musical vocabulary and produce something impressively significant. Thus, the second side of the LP was devoted to an elaborate conceptual piece, "The Ninth Wave". Even her most ardent critical paramours were forced to admit that this unwieldy epic stretched both the patience and credibility of the listener. [the MM bozos obviously did not consult any real fans for their opinion - nbc] "A blurred metaphysical overview of the meaning of life," was Colin Irwin's [who?] kindly description of a work that took as its principal themes magic, death, spiritual existence and reincarnation but failed, eventually, to make much sense of anything.
Happy enough, however, in her hippy nirvana [Eh!], Kate made plans to translate her musical extravaganza in to a full-blown video production, but with no plans to take the show on the road, it would come as no overwhelming surprise to the committed Bush-observer if she suddenly beamed back out of sight again. If this proves to be the case it would leave the multitudes bewailing her absence and the hearts of the majority of Maker males cracking like old bones.
Obviously an attempt by someone not very familiar with Kate's work to write a "clever" piece but having to resort to all the old cliches and stereotyped ideas about her e.g. hippy, sex symbol, otherworldly et cetera.
Be seeing you.
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 88 09:44 EST
Subject: Hounds of Love CD, Village Voice, October 20, 1987
Village Voice, October 20, 1987:
"Best Sounding CD of the Month: The Magical Mystery Tour (EMI/Parlophone) probably ought to be here, but it's been bumped by a disk that's filtering into this county unofficially: Kate Bush's Hounds of Love on British EMI. The import, unlike the American version, was remixed from the multi-tracks into an entirely new recording, adding a Mahler-like orchestral vastness to Bush's folk/art-song sensibilities (which derive from Delius and Vaughan Williams). The songs' psychic intimacy is terrifying amid the enormously expanded production, and the entire work is a modern "mystery tour", emptied of its druggy ambience and smug idealism and filled instead with Bush's touching, mordant feminist vision."
From: Doug Alan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 89 18:34:11 EST
Subject: Some mini-reviews from '85
I recently dug up the following minireviews that I copied out of magazines onto tiny scraps of paper while standing at newstands back in '85. I don't think I ever typed them in and posted them to Love-Hounds. Here they are now -- better late than never. The first two are reviews of the *Hounds of Love* album. The rest are reviews of the "Cloudbusting" single.
Reviews of *Hounds of Love* album...
*Smash Hits*, 11-24 Sep 1985
If you for a moment imagined that "Running Up That Hill" was a fluke, then one listen to this will put you right. Side one is crammed with songs that are just as good, and even side two's ambitious concept piece about a drowning girl ("The Ninth Wave") is surprisingly successful. In fact, the only possible draw-back is that it's the sort of record your parents will probably like too and pinch off you to play. (9 out of 10) -- Chris Heath
Source forgotten -- some British music rag in Sep '85 (No. 1 VM)
If "Running Up That Hill" crept up on you from behind, then *Hounds of Love* is an essential purchase. Three years in the making, it's a haunting collection of musical images. Each track has been assembled with loving care and although the lyrics drift into Hippy Dippy Land, you'd have to be a supreme cynic to deny the beauty of the finished product. One for Marillion fans everywhere.
Reviews of "Cloudbusting"...
*The Hit*, 26 October 1985
In pop, Authenticity is what counts. Singing what you want to sing, no matter how stupid, instead of pandering to image or fashion. Kate Bush is an Authentic. An authentic hippy perhaps, but the public are now so hungry for that honesty that the very uncommercial *Hounds of Love* entered the charts at No. 1, whereas, just three years before, its equally off-the wall predecessor, *The Dreaming*, languished in the cold.
"Running Up That Hill" was *Hounds* most obvious single. "Cloudbusting" -- the story of a man who invents a rain machine -- is blatantly an album track. Kate's luscious melodies are underpinned by a strident and remorseless chop of violins.
But in a world of pretend groups like Eighth Wonder, even Kate's most indulgent honesty is refreshing. A No. 1. -- Martin Townsend
*Smash Hits*, 23 October 1985 - 5 November 1985
Kate reminds me of those "astral" acquaintances I used to meet as a teenager on camping holidays -- unusual, unpredictable, but with a charm that always attracted me. Listen out for the stirring string section, an electric groove of Navajo red Indian drums and some British pomp rock. I'm a fan. -- Paul King
*No. 1*, 19 October 1985
After the magnificent "Running Up That Hill", Kate returns with another dreamy breeze of a song. There's chugging strings, that soaring voice and a wonderfully evocative melody. Add to that a fascinating story line video and you've got another massive hit. Music to swoon by. -- Karen Swayne.
Source forgotten -- some British music rag in Oct '85
"Fortress Around Your Heart", "Cloudbusting"
Sting dreams of turtles, Kate dreams of sheep -- call it an early winter, but both of these singles make me shiver. Sounding vaguely like Steely Dan, Sting's lush escapade combines the obsession/passion of EBYT with snapshots of war and devistation.
Meanwhile, the string sextet on "Cloudbusting" will wrap themselves round your nervous system and start to beat like a pulse, irresitibly. Kate's lyrics shift from harmless observations on weather conditions to glow in the dark yo-yos and hiding people from the government. The video apparently explains it all, but I really think she does this kind of thing deliberately, to be honest.
Source forgotten, but definitely from a British music rag in Oct '85:
Miss Bush's frighteningly intense fans will already know that the second single from *Hounds of Love* is a dreamy, gentle intense, Sousa-esque marching tune chockablock with the usual whimsy.
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 90 14:15 PST
From: Dave Armstrong <8548222@wwu.EDU>
Subject: HoL presskit
The following was included in the press kit for the album Hounds Of Love.
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Since the last album (THE DREAMING - released towards the end of 1982) KATE BUSH has achieved the long-held ambition of designing, building, and equiping her own recording studio. Upon its completion, six months of songwriting was followed by nearly a year of recording. The result, the album - HOUNDS OF LOVE, shows KATE at a new creative peak both musically and lyrically. It also displays her increasing prowess as a producer.
HOUNDS OF LOVE divides neatly into two seperate sections. Side 1 comprises of five tracks including the first single - RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD) - a song about the fundamental differences between the sexes and how these differences lead to misunderstanding in relationships. The four remaining songs touch on similarly universal themes matching music which surpasses even her previous standards of romance, rhythm and power.
Side 2 is equally dramatic. It is a conceptual piece entitled THE NINTH WAVE. The seven songs combine to tell the story of someone who has been alone in the water for some time and who is in danger of drowning. His past, present and future manifest themselves in the struggle to keep him awake.
The abstract lyrical ideas perfectly complement the atmosphere evoked by the music. In many ways this balance has always been inherent in KATE'S work and the signs can be traced back to her first album THE KICK INSIDE - which was released in 1978, two years after she signed to EMI at the age of 16.
That debut contained the atmosphere-laden WUTHERING HEIGHTS which introduced KATE to the world and which topped the singles chart for four weeks. The hits continued with THE MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES, HAMMER HORROR and WOW, the last two taken from the second album - LIONHEART.
The next project was KATE'S only tour to date but one which remains a milestone in the live presentation of popular music. A dazzling combination of music, theatre and dance, she was involved in every aspect of its elaborate staging from the choreography and costumes to the lighting and sound.
The single BREATHING (released in April, 1980) marked a dramatic departure from her previous material, one which was consolidated with the release of the album NEVER FOR EVER in the late summer. It crashed into the charts at No. 1 and spawned two further hit singles, BABOOSHKA and ARMY DREAMERS.
With NEVER FOR EVER, KATE was co-producing for the first time and by the next album, THE DREAMING (released in September 1982), she had complete involvment in the production. With the benefit of hindsight THE DREAMING can be seen as having set the scene for HOUNDS OF LOVE, both musically and from a production point of view.
With the accompanying promotional activities precluding the possibility of another tour in the immediate future, KATE is currently working on an idea to present Side 2 of HOUNDS OF LOVE through another medium to which she has already made a notable contribution - video. This is planned as a visual interpretation of THE NINTH WAVE.
Wendy.Collinson@olsy.co.uk (Collinson, Wendy)
Date: 1 Aug 1997
Subject: HOL Re-Release Reviewed
I was hoping they'd feature this review in their website version but alas no. So here it is, the Q Magazine review of the re-release of HOL, entitled: KIND, THE MOMENT KATE BUSH JOINED MUSIC'S ARISTOCRACY.
"The early 1980's were not the happiest of times for Kate Bush. Following the Number 1 success of her third album Never For Ever in 1980, the reclusive singer, songwriter and producer, amazingly still only 22, took advantage of her hugely agreeable non-touring arrangement by getting to work on what - in her mind - would likely prove her masterpiece.
Self-arranged, self-produced, and released in 1982, The Dreaming was an accomplished and heady affair, bursting with sonic trickery, ambitious songwriting and a guest slot from Rolf Harris. The only snag was, it effectively killed her run of British hits. Even if her ever-loyal legion of followers ensured that the album debuted at Number 3, each single pulled from the album would stiff. The title track stalled at Number 48. Its follow-up, the bank-robbing fantasy, There Goes a Tenner, failed even to register in the Top 75.
EMI, who seven years before had signed the 15-year-old school girl Catherine Bush to a recording and publishing deal on the recommendation of Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour - for the princely sum of ?3,500 - understandably grew twitchy. Particularly since the experimental nature of the Dreaming and its endless hours of studio time in London's top studios had resulted in her most costly album to date. A rethink, it seemed, was drastically necessary.
Early in 1983, in one of her sporadic missives to her fan club's newsletter, Bush wrote: "This year has been very positive so far. It doesn't have the same air of doom and gloom that '81 and '82 seemed to hold. The problem is that if I don't make an album this year, there will be at least another two-year gap, and the way business and politics are, it would be a negative situation. I seem to have hit another quiet period. I intend just to keep on writing for the first part of the year, so yet again I slip away from the eyeball of the media to my home.
Retreating to here 17th Century farmhouse tucked away in the leafy calm of Kent, Bush once again turned to the protective bosom of her remarkably close-knit family, and on her father's advice began to remodel her creative operation as a cottage industry, outlining the design plans for a state-of-the-art 48-track studio to be built in the barn. Even if there was a certain sense of urgency surrounding this fifth album, Kate Bush had clearly grown weary of watching the studio clock as it ticked off anything up to ?100 an hour. As it turned out, the dreaded two-year gap would come to pass, and in her prolonged absence there were dark mutterings that the publicly svelte, dance-fit songstress had begun bingeing on junk food and ballooned to an elephantine 18 stone.
The truth, however, was somewhat less dramatic. Already carrying a reputation as an artist with a temperamental muse, Kate Bush had spent much of this time re-organising her working methods. Past albums had been written on piano and then arranged during the laborious studio stints. Now, with her expensive acquisition of the Fairlight - that Rolls-Royce of '80's sampling technology - she was composing directly onto hard disk and master tape. Having been something of a production pioneer in her Floyd-like treatment of the stereo spectrum as a broad, blank musical canvas (a helicopter sample appears "by kind permission of Pink Floyd/"The Wall"), from now on her songwriting and keen attention to aural detail would work in tandem, with many of the elements of the original demo sketches for Hounds of Love making it all the way.
Seeking a closeted, intimate atmosphere in her workplace, most of the sessions involved only Bush, her long-time beau and bassist Del Palmer and an engineer. And although there would be a lengthy procession of musicians through the studio during the album's leisurely recording period, it was perhaps this sense of intimacy that helped the peak-and-trough mood shifts of Hounds of Love seem all the more convincing and emotive.
Tellingly, when a change of location was required to break up the sessions, the unit decamped to Dublin, a city which unarguably favours the slow-lane approach. Most of the lyrics were written here, so it's perhaps significant that in this deceptively peaceful setting, Kate Bush's head was burning with thoughts of "a crowd rioting inside", of persecution and possession, of being hunted and haunted. At some points, the atmosphere is claustrophobic and suffocating. At others, it's manic and euphoric.
For the most part, time has been kind to Hounds of Love. Only the clanking, robotic omnipresence of Palmer's Linn drum machine (the pulse of ever over-produced record of its decade) dates the sound, its size tens trampling all over the insistent opener Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God). Overall though, the album's use of a pristinely recorded array of acoustic instruments - the woody warmth of Danny Thompson's double bass, the clipped precision of the Medicci Sextet, with many balalaikas, bodhrans and bouzoukis besides - lends it a certain timelessness. On top of this, Bush's wonderfully expressive vocals, whether in breathy close-up, or heavily effected and cooing, or shrieking in the background, serve to provide the focus, even if they remain too characteristically mannered for some tastes.
Side 1, in the old money - titled Hounds of Love - resides firmly in the pop camp, and four of its five tracks, save the hushed balladry of Mother Stands for Comfort, became singles. But this, musically and lyrically, is surely some of the most obtuse pop music to have graced a chart rundown: the taut industrial rhythms and nightmarish, moonlit chase of the title track; the hyperventilating highs and driving, thunderous bass (provided by Killing Joke's Youth) in The Big Sky.
And then, of course, there's Cloudbusting - not by an stretch of imagination the stuff of the typical pop single. For a start, its inspiration lay in A Book of Dreams, the childhood memories of Peter Reich, son of socialist Austrian psychologist Wilhelm "The Function of the Orgasm" Reich, who believed that with his invention, The Orgone Accumulator, he could alter the earth's climate and create rain on command. For the song's suitably cinematic video, in which Reich is eventually arrested by US authorities for transporting his contraption over state lines, Donald Sutherland played the scientist and Bush, in boyish drag, his son, adding knowing twist to the closing refrain of "Your son's coming out". More remarkably, by this point Bush's commercial fortunes had turned. In October, 1985, Cloudbusting went straight into the Top 20 and Top of the Pops screened the strange promo in its entirety.
Even the six extra tracks included on this reissue (as part of EMI's centenary celebrations; there's also a useless free EMI booklet) suggest that Kate Bush was on something of a creative roll during this time. Remixes of Running Up That Hill and The Big Sky betray a perhaps harebrained marketing plot to make Bush's records a big hit in discos. Be kind to My Mistakes, a soundtrack contribution to Nic Roeg's Castaway is filmic in a meandering way, while Under the Ivy and Burning Bridge, both album offcuts, were quite probably only left on the cutting-room floor owing to vinyl album length.
And that length, undoubtedly, is down to The Ninth Wave, the ominously conceptual song cycle that swallowed up the original Side 2. The recurring theme - water - finds our narrator falling into a gentle sleep to Radio 4's shipping forecast ) And Dream Of Sheep), only to wake up scratching at the underbelly of a frozen lake (the frantic Under Ice), and being drowned as a witch (*the frighteningly demonic Waking the Witch). En route, she becomes a communication-frustrated ghost (the mumbled Watching You Without Me), before eventually waking or being reborn (The Morning Fog), depending on which way you interpret it. What's more, aside from the heavy-handed traditional Irish passage Jig of Life (featuring the spoken poetry of brother John Carder Bush), it actually works, even with the heavy brogue of Robbie Coltrane sharply interrupting the proceedings.
Against all reasonable odds, Hounds of Love proved an enormous artistic and commercial success for Kate Bush, even reaching Number 30 in America. Its follow-ups, the Sensual World (disappointing) and The Red Shoes (had its moments) would reveal a horrible truth. Kate Bush would always have her work cut out to top this. "
Reviewer: Tom Doyle.
Rating: ***** (Top "Q" rating: Indispensable. Truly exceptional.)
There is also a review of Maxwell's Unplugged album, making reference to his "quiveringly beautiful cover of Kate Bush's This Woman's Work". The review accords Maxwell four stars and considers him a "virtuoso in the making".
Also a short article about Paula Cole: "After replacing Sinead O'Connor on Peter Gabriel's 10-month Secret World Tour in 1995, Cole returned to Massachusetts to work on This Fire, which combines the drama of Kate Bush with the esoteric musing of Tori Amos."
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 23:29:28 -0500
Subject: This week in 1986... by Ian Dooley
The following piece was sent by a British penfriend. It was written by Ian Dooley, and was not identified as to source. Perhaps a fellow Brit love-hound could fill me in on this point. I will in any event obtain the relevant info within the month. IED and Chris Williams will doubtless have a field day picking apart the various inaccuracies in the piece, but I've taken a non-judgmental approach in posting the following item for general consumption.
This week in 1986
At No. 12
KATE BUSH--Hounds of Love
Following the critical mauling and disappointing sales returns for her fourth album The Dreaming (1982), Kate Bush was ready to quit the music business.
But after a six month sabbatical, she returned to the fray, initially by upgrading the home studio at the South London farmhouse she shared with longtime boyfriend/backing musician Del Palmer.
Shortly afterwards she began work on Hounds of Love, utilising the rhythm-based writing structure she'd developed after working with Peter Gabriel.
Given Kate's perfectionist attitude, progress was slow. It wasn't unusual for her to record up to six slightly different vocal tracks or create string arrangements on a Fairlight synthesiser only to replace them with 'real' strings on a final take. Even the sound of waves between And Dream Of Sheep and Under Ice had to be recorded repeatedly because EMI's FX library didn't have 'the right kind of sea.'
Much of Kate's lyrical inspiration came from books and films. The title track was contrived from the 1957 horror movie, Night Of Demons, Cloudbusting from Peter Reich's novel about his inventor father and the decidedly unfashionable 'concept' track, The Ninth Wave, was based on a surrealist painting called The Hogsmith Ophelia which depicts a doll drowning in the sea.
On 5 September 1985, Hounds Of Love was launched with a party at the Planetarium in London. Seven days later, it debuted at Number One where it stayed for the next four weeks.
Despite record company opposition, Running Up That Hill was chosen as the first single cull. In Britain, it would hit No 3 to become Kate's second biggest- selling single behind Wuthering Heights. The song's orignal title, Deal With God, had been jettisoned because of anticipated problems in countries such as America, Spain and Italy. Ironically, the song would give Kate her highest US chart position to date--No 30.
Further lifts, Hounds Of Love, The Big Sky and Cloudbusting would also make the UK Top 40. The latter named track also boasted an excellent promo which featured Donald Sutherland and was later ingenuously sampled by the Utah Stints...
On to The Sensual World reviews
"The pull and the push of it all..." - Kate Bush
Marvick - Hill
Willker - Mapes
Grepel - Love-Hounds