The Reviews

The Red Shoes Reviews
Part 1

Gavin - "Eat the Music"
Billboard - "Eat the Music"
The American Music Press

To the Reaching Out (Reviews) Table of Contents

Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1993 22:46:24 +1000
From: GRAHAM.G.R.DOMBKINS@BHPMELMSM.BHP.bhpmel04.telememo.au
Subject: Kate in ICE Aug. 1993

On another point, I got my latest ICE mag (#77, the August 93 issue) anyway they have the following artical!! ...

KATE BUSH/STEVIE NICKS: No, they're not recording together, but these two rock divas have separate new albums scheduled for mid-September release. Penciled in first, on September 7, is Stevie Nicks' new 'Street Angel'. ... [stuff about Stevie deleted to keep this a KaTe review]

Presently slated to arrive a week later, on September 14 from Columbia, Kate Bush's new 'The Red Shoes' album is being called her most accessable, commercial album to date by all who have heard it. On board to help out are guest luminaries Eric Clapton, Prince, Jeff Beck and David Gilmore, generally appearing on one track apiece. The albums 12 original compositions were recorded primarily at Bush's home studio, making it a self-produced effort, with strings and bass reportedly overdubbed at Abbey Road studios in London.

"It's more commercial than anything I've heard Kate do," says one insider who's heard the album. "There are certainly two - if not more - top ten singles on it, certainly for the U.K., and that's based on a few people's opinions." Another closely involved source tells ICE, "Certainly the two lead cuts, 'Eat The Music' and 'Rubberband Girl,' are as accessible as anything she's done in ... well, maybe forever."

The complete track listing for 'THe Red Shoes' consists of: "Rubberband Girl," "And So Is Love," "Eat The Music," "Moments Of Pleasure," "The Song Of Solomon," "Lilly," "The Red Shoes," "Top Of The City," "Constellation Of The Heart," "Why Should I Love You?" and "You're The One." The first single planned is "Eat The Music," with the CD single also containing a remix of the song plus another track. The cover of 'The Red Shoes' depicts, appropriately, ballet shoes up on points, hand-tinted red, with a "stormy background" behind them. Bush is also working on what's being called a "movie" in support of the album.


From: Gord Locke <glocke@morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 93 17:33:39 GMT-3:30
Subject: CoverStory Aug. 1993

I got this from "CoverStory", some entertainment rag that comes with my local paper:

`Red Shoes' on disc

"The Red Shoes" is the title of Kate Bush's latest album, scheduled for release Oct. 5. It's a tribute to the late film director Michael Powell, who the English singer met a few years before his death. However, the first single, "Eat the Music," will hit alternative radio stations a month before that. Bush is also directing, singing and starring in a one-hour film based on the album. Co-starring with Bush are "The Crying Games's" Miranda Richardson and mime artist Lindsay Kemp.

I never heard the bit about Lindsay Kemp on here before! That should be great!


Date: Fri, 10 Sep 93 12:12:11 -0700
From: ed@wente.llnl.gov (Ed Suranyi)
Subject: Billboard Mag. Sept. 1993

The interest in Kate Bush's new album has started -- maybe. The latest news about Columbia seemingly postponing the album until January is certainly very depressing. However, for what it's worth, here's something from Billboard magazine's current issue (Sept. 11). It's from the column "The Beat", by Melinda Newman:

"Kate Bush serves up her usual sensual sounds on 'The Red Shoes,' her first album in four years. With a voice that could make angels cry, Bush plays the role of willing but woeful supplicant on the bouncy 'Rubberband Girl,' and the hopeful romantic on the dreamy 'Top Of The City.' Her girlish voice, heavy with passion, drips all over 'And So Is Love," while the organ-drenched, throbbing ballad 'You're The One' sounds like the kind of song Prince would die for. The Columbia Records release arrives Oct. 5"

Well, maybe that last sentence is no longer true. We'll see.



From: dreaming@nevada.edu (SUZANNE S WEISS)
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1993 09:56:37 GMT
Subject: Gavin Sept. 1993

from Gavin, Sept. 17 -under AAA new releases....

"Eat The Music" (Columbia)

Anyone remember the scene from the film "Women In Love", where Rupert (Alan Bates) equates the eating of a raw fig to the sexual act? Kate Bush, always one to analyze the tumultuous roles of men and women, draws a similar analogy. With the whole album delayed until January, this EP will have to tide us over until the new year, I like the modern Celtic bounce.

under alternative new releases (and entered the Gavin alt. chart @ #42 - most added w/ 24 adds)

"Eat The Music" (Columbia)

Kate Bush returns after a rather long absence w/ the calypso-flavored "ETM". Although the calendar says summer is just about over, this breezy number inspores vivid memories of those warm, relaxing days on the beach, and is the perfect antidote to the back-to-the-grind-blues many of us experience this time of year. Kate's album has been pushed back until the end of January in order to synchronize its release w/ her new movie, so don't wait for a retail street date to start playing this one. - Linda Ryan

in this weeks CMJ (page 4??) full color add for ETM - the cover of the single w/ wording.. ETM the 1st song from her long-awaited new album "TRS". See the music come to life in her new short film "The Line, The Cross, The Curve". The fast is over.

these are the most recent reviews I've seen in the trades.

our rock music director said that his Sony rep said that they were reconsidering moving the release date to Nov. (pushed back due to the video). so, I'd say that it looks like Nov. for a release date.

we just received another copy of TRS on cassette @ the station (in a mass mailing). any of U lucky enough to work @ a radio station... start looking (came in Tuesday). = ) IMHO the best tracks are TRS (like playing this one @ full blast & bop around the rm), MOP (makes me cry - my mom always says "every pot has a lid" kind of like KaTe's mom but different ; ) ), and Top of the City. it's a different release (again).

Oh, one of the lines in TRS is.. "And this curve... it's your smile... and this cross... it's your heart... and this line... it's your path".


Date: Sat, 25 Sep 93 17:02:04 -0700
From: ed@wente.llnl.gov (Ed Suranyi)
Subject: Review of Eat the Music in Billboard Sept. 1993

This week's Billboard (Sept. 25) has a review of "Eat the Music":

KATE BUSH Eat The Music (5:08)

Producer: Kate Bush

Writer: K. Bush

Publisher: Kate Bush, BMI

Columbia 77165 (c/o Sony) (cassette single)

Glimpse into "The Red Shoes" is a kooky blend of delicate Celtic melodies and breezy Caribbean rhythms. Fleshed out by swooping support vocals and a glistening horn section, track shows Bush at her most vocally relaxed. She has, gratefully, put her brooding poetry on temporary hold, in favor of more playful verbiage. Track is excellent for alternative and album rock formats, with solid potential for an AC [adult contemporary] crossover. Check out the non-album cover of Elton John's "Candle In The Wind" on the flipside.


Date: Fri, 1 Oct 93 15:05:23 BST
From: nbc@inf.rl.ac.uk
Subject: Q Magazine review of The Red Shoes Nov. 1993

The November issue of Q Magazine has a review of The Red Shoes. For those interested it is shown below. Elsewhere in the mag they also have a copy of a clipping from an unnamed British newspaper which claimed that Kate was provisionally booked to appear at the Savoy nightclub in Clacton depending on how well Rubberband Girl did! For those in the US who don't know where Clacton is - don't worry neither do most people in the UK! Unlikely to have any substance.

There is also a full page ad in Q for the new album featuring part of the front cover and thumbnail pics of all the other albums.



Kate Bush balancing precariously between spiritual and flossy-headed.

Initially somewhat shrill and unimpressive, The Red Shoes improves immeasurably after repeated plays over a long period of time, gaining solidity at odds with disparate musical strategies. Though it opens with the unassuming, direct singleRubberband Girl - Bush lamenting her inelasticity and finding some compensation in vocal bungee-jumping on the coda - it soons finds its natural centre with And So Is Love, the first of several tracks dealing, in an unfocussed, woolly-mystical manner, with the connections between love and the abstract, spiritual nature of creativity. Eric Clapton chips in a few taut guitar stabs over a gentle keyboard pulse, while Bush asks vague rhetorical questions: "And whatever happens/What really matters?/It's all we've got/Isn't that enough?", that sort of thing.

It's her most religious album: "Your name is being called by sacred things/That are not addressed nor listened to/Sometimes they blow trumpets," she claims on Big Stripey Lie, a rhythmic sound-collage on which the fiddling poltroon Nigel Kennedy contributes deft strokes. He's also on Top of the City, where Bush's Achilles heel, her sheltered sensitivity, is paradoxically her greatest strength: "I don't know if I'm closer to heaven, but it looks like hell down there". From anyone else this would seem a blandly cynical acknowledgement of supposed urban spiritual barrenness but her very unworldliness gives it an odd authenticity.

The same is almost true of Moments Of Pleasure, the closest the album comes to old-style Kate Bush, with solo piano, string arrangement and whimsy overload carrrying a private lyric whose impenetrable references to "Teddy, spinning in the chair at Abbey Road" and her mother's contention that "Every old sock finds an old shoe", renders the song too solipsistic to transmit beyond her immediate circle.

Eat The Music is a jolly trifle which blends South American flavours, courtesy of Justin Vali and Paddy Bush's rhythmic valiha guitars, with a general township-jive bounce, as Kate stretches a frankly baffling fruit/sex/music metaphor to snapping point. The ethnic style seems corny here, as opposed to the title track, which uses the valiha as the hypnotic heart of an insistent rolling rhythm in which Paddy's "musical bow" adds didgeridoo-like reverberation, and his whistles a celtic jig flavour.

It's the album's most fulfilled piece, and a more convincing application of the spiritual theme than the flossier-headed notions - mainly courtesy of George Gurdjieff - which litter Lily and The Song Of Solomon. Bush says in the latter, "Don't want your bullshit/Just want your sexuality" - though she seems to have an apparently boundless appetite for the former.

Along with Clapton and Kennedy, there is a distinguished cast adding their signatures to selected trakcs. As before, The Trio Bulgarka add their open-throat harmonic poignance to a number of songs, including the closing You're The One, on which Jeff Beck, tense as ever solos and Procol Harum organist Gary Brooker pours waves of whiter-shade-of-Hammond organ into the chorus - so effectively that Bush is driven to quote a line from that most evocative song.

The most full-bloodied collaboration of all is Why Should I Love You? -co-arranged with Prince, who does most of the rhythm section and chips in backing vocals along with The Trio Bulgarka and, er, Lenny Henry. In an album dominated by the idea of "soul" as a creative force, this track comes closest to the actuality of soul as a musical style.

As a whole, The Red Shoes is more musically varied than thematically, as Bush's constant returning to the links between love, spirituality and creativity become wearing. In compensation, there's a rich pan-global tapestry woven here in which the textures and designs from distant cultures are being used not for effect, but for the way they express an emotional truth beyond mere words.

Andy Gill


From: smith drt <p0070421@cs3.oxford-brookes.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 93 12:46:47 BST
Subject: VOX Review Of TRS Oct. 1993 (?)

I know that the VOX review of the new KaTe album has already being mentioned but here it is typed out in full.

The review appeared below a picture of KaTe from the 'This Woman's Work' single.

(APOLOGIES IF SOMEONE HAS ALREADY BEATEN TO THIS). I'll try and type in the interview as well.


KATE BUSH The Red Shoes (EMI EMD 1047)

Think of the most unlikely pop collaborators you can imagine. Now double them. Forget it, because Ms Bush got there before you: Lenny Henry, Prince, Eric Clapton, the Trio Bulgarka, Nigel Kennedy, Jeff Beck... wot no Michael Gorbachev then? Four years after 'The Sensual World', Kate's musical vision is reassuringly bonkers and ambitious as ever. Why else record a concept album loosely based around Michael Powell's classic 1948 ballett movie of the same name?

This mad-scientist approach has consistently staved off the mid-life crisis afflicting so many of her contemporaries, but this time Kate dances dangerously close to the tranquil cul-de-sac inhabited by Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox. Indeed, mid-tempo session-funk like 'Rubberband Girl' or 'Constellation Of The Heart' are rigid and sterile enough not to sit happily on recent Gabriel albums, only saved by odd flashes of that distinctively flinty, heart stopping warble.

While previous outings harnessed studio technology to Kate's maverick whims, much of 'The Red Shoes' sounds imprisoned by it. Most engaging and sparse piano-and-string ballads like 'You're The One', a lovelorn blow-out, with a desperate edge. Earthly synthetic calypso 'Eat The Music' suggests splitting men open like a pomegranates, the beautifully breathy confessional 'Why Should I Love You' finds Lenny Henry mimicking co-author Prince, while the stomping title track bashes out a jarring cousin of Bowie's 'Jean Jeanie' riff, but any Grand Plan is conspicuously absent. Considering Kate may just be our last remaining pop genius, 'The Red Shoes' ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its unorthodox parts. (7 out of 10).


Date: Sat, 9 Oct 1993 16:49:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: King o' Pain <labspm@emoryu1.cc.emory.edu>
Subject: Details Review Nov. 1993

Since everyone else is typing in Kate reviews/articles, I thought I would do the same. So, here's the review of The Red Shoes from the Nov. issue of Details (Nirvana's on the cover):

With her last two albums, 1985's The Hounds of Love and 1989's The Sensual World , Kate Bush gradually cast off her established image. Remember that dippy English ingenue who said "wow" too often and who launched her career in her teens by rewriting Wuthering Heights as an overblown three-minute pop operetta? She went on to create her own serene pop dimension, where subtle melodies and sure rhythms stabilize the personal obsessions and psychodramas. Much of TRS is an unexpected return to Earth. There are terrestrial guests galore (including Prince, Eric Clapton, and classical violinist Nigel Kennedy), but their contributions tend to be unobtrusive.

More importantly, Bush avoids setting an overall tone for TRS : Instead, she skips freely through musical idioms. "Rubberband Girl" is playful funk; "Eat the Music" is frothy calypso; "Constellation of the Heart" feeds off a pure 1979 Chic Organization groove. And for those who think Kate is at her best when sounding as though she's sorting through secrets in a dusty attic, there is the moving private scrapbook "Moments of Pleasure" and the elegiac "You're the One." All this weaving to and fro leaves her frisky: "Eat the Music" is also an extended sexual metaphor. "Split the banana/ Crush the sultana," she unsympathetically concludes. Then on "The Song of Solomon" she announces: "Don't want your bullshit, yeah/ Just want your sexuality." Perhaps. But anyone who has followed Kate Bush's exquisite, precious conceits for the last fifteen years may find it hard to believe that she wouldn't like a little bit of lovingly crafted bullshit thrown in-just for good measure.

Chris Heath


Date: Sat, 09 Oct 93 12:34:20 EST
From: UK04160@ukpr.uky.edu
Subject: TRS review in Nov. "Musician" 1993

The November issue of "Musician" has a short review of THE RED SHOES. The article features a small photo of the cover, but no matrix numbers or other such info. Here's the transcription:

If you've pegged Kate Bush as a dreamy cosmic spirit, don't miss the climax of THE RED SHOES, where the stunning "You're the One" renews the tradition of brazenly pitiful love songs. Though this torchy ballad features some of her most powerful singing, not to mention vintage Jeff Beck, who contributes the sort of passionate lead work rarely found on his own records anymore, all pales next to Bush's gut-wrenching sign-off, a strangled shriek of pain that might prompt calls to 911.

The rest of this fevered meditation on the meaning of it all isn't as wonderfully raw or direct, but desperate impulses abound. Exploring the terrain of the heart in her hyperdramatic way, Bush argues that romance is all we have, even if life stinks ("And So Is Love"), so there's no reason to hold back ("Eat the Music"), that being true to your emotions provides the one sure defense against the darkness ("Lily"), so don't be scared ("Constellation of the Heart"); and follow those desires ("Big Stripey Lie") even if they lead to perdition ("The Red Shoes").

Between the theatrical arrangements and aggressively intimate vocals, Bush has clearly labored to do justice to the soul's storms. Mostly, she succeeds. "The Song of Solomon" finds Bush imitating a crazed angel, shrilly singing, "Don't want your bullshit/Just want your sexuality" in a memorable collision of the carnal and holy. Just when preciousness threatens to overflow, she tests a more conventional alternative that validates her wacky extremism: "Why Should I Love You?", a funky little rocker, featuring heavy Prince involvement. It's fun and catchy, but it's not Kate Bush.

Thus, let us hail this woman who stops at nothing in pursuit of inner truths, even to point of imitating the sound of a stretching rubberband in "Rubberband Girl." And, above all, unleashes that dreadful howl at the end of "You're the One". Awesome!

-Jon Young


Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 17:46:22 PDT
From: steve.b@TQS.COM (Steve Berlin)
Subject: The American Music Press Review Oct. 1993

Hello, Earth,

In a Bay Area newspaper, "The American Music Press" (issue 13, with the Revolting Cocks on the cover. I only mention that because that's my favorite band name) comes the following review:

Kate Bush: Eat the Music

(by Tony Mulligan)

After four years since her excellent "Sensual World" album, 'Eat the Music,' the first track from her as yet unreleased new album "The Red Shoes" is something of an uneventful foray into radio friendly nonsense that is thankfully a rarity in her otherwise innovative career. All is not lost however as track three on this single, 'Big Stripey Lie' re-affirms my faith in her songwriting prowess. A brooding mood landscape reminscent of her "Hounds of Love" period it is certainly the highlight of this otherwise mediocre product. All the same I eagerly await the release of "The Red Shoes" as I think Kate needs at least forty minutes to get her beautiful sublime message across. I'm sure that it will yield some classic moments as each of her seven previous albums have.


From: josh@phoenix.lehman.com (Josh Whitehouse)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1993 19:41:26 GMT
Subject: THE RED SHOES review in REQUEST Nov. 1993

Picked up a complimentary copy of "REQUEST, the new music magazine" in a Sam Goody's record store while shopping today. In the November 1993 issue they included a review of "The Red Shoes", which I include in this post w/o permission.


Over her 15-year career, Kate Bush has maintained a high level of artistry in an increasingly rugged music world. An extraordinary vocal range and grand songwriting ambition are her trademarks, and she's combined them with a passion for dance and drama to become a serious filmmaker as well.

Although she's widely admired, Bush has not always been well-liked or understood outside her native England. Her success at creating a surreal artistic refuge means she could thrive indefinitely as a precious cult figure. But to attain a stature in line with her estimable range and talent, she needs to break out of h er own world and enter ours.

On The Red Shoes , she crashes through that barrier with grace and distinction. Without abandoning her distinct style, Bush has matured from a fuzzy opera dro pout into a stepsister of American soul music. Accordingly, her new lyrics are less daunting, more emotionally stimulating. Oh, she's still trying to take us to other worlds through her words and music, but this time she's begun her journey from a point where listeners can follow along.

The finest example of this may be "Top of the City", and update of the Drifters' "Up on the Roof": "I don't know if I'm closer to heaven, but it looks like Hel l down there/Take me up to the top of the city, and put me up on the angel's shoulders". From the screaming buildup to the pleading chorus, the song's romantic yearning and suicidal symbolism offer vocal drama as it's rarely done anymore. It's the kind of love and anger Bush merely sang about on 1989's The Sensual W orld .

On the very next track, "The Song of Solomon", she raises the heat even more. In the past, Bush has projected a strange virginal persona that seemed slightly u nreal and untouchable. But here, over the thrumming of a classical harp, she puts her desires in no uncertain terms: "Don't want your bullshit, yeah/Just want your sexuality/Don't want excuses/Write me your poetry in motion/Write it just for me, yeah/And sign it with a kiss."

The way Bush can take something primal and give it a sublime quality is just another aspect of her regained compositional strength. In the '80s, after Bush dis covered synthesizers and retreated to her country home studio, she seemed to overthink her songs, piling up layers of synths that obscured her personality and m essage. The Red Shoes is a complete reawakening: colorful, uplifting, dynamic, and pulsing with sensuality. Though there's a harder surface to much of the album, Bush stands out front sm oothing the edges. And in the quieter moments, she allows a point-blank view of her own complexity and expressive dexterity that's simply breathtaking.

That combination of delicacy and assertiveness works wonders on the house-music hymn, "Why Should I Love You", a smashing collaboration with [Symbol that is Pri nce's new name: JW]. Though the two might seem like stylistic opposites, the results show they're made for each other. She has the artistic and spiritual inte grity he craves, but he gives her the physical strength she needs to get her message over. Bush's previous forays in ballet may have something to do with it, b ut this song really moves.

Interesting enough, the [Prince Symbol] collaboration is followed by the weary heartbreak of "You're the One", which features the lead guitar of Jeff Beck. Any resemblence to "Nothing Compares 2 U" is probably intentional, but Bush and Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" made unadorned devotion fashionable years before Si nead O'Connor. And any resemblence to "Whiter Shade of Pale" is due to the presence of Procol Harem keyboardist Gary Brooker.

Believe it or not, those three highlights are all secondary tracks on a bountiful disc that opens with four eclectic pop songs, ranging from bright synth-rock t o the bounce mock-mariachi beat of "Eat the Music". They're balanced by two gorgeous slow numbers, "And So Is Love", and "Moments of Pleasure", which are among the six songs that accompany Bush's new film, The Line, The Cross, The Curve , a movie about a ballerina torn between a struggling composer and a tyrannical d ance impressario. But only the two middle cuts--the conversational "Lily" and the title track--seem at all dependent on the film's context.

Watching an established artist break through to new heights is always a thrill. At this point, Bush wants to be heard loud and clear, and she should be. It co uld be a very long time before an artist of such strength and beauty enters our world again.


Though I at times disagree with the authors opinion about Kate and her previous work, or his interpretations, it is good that a reviewer recognizes Kate's talent as much more than pop music. He makes no attempt to review the album on the level of ordinary musisians work, but treats it as an more than an bunch of tunes--the mistake so many reviewers make. This is, of course exactly how Kate's albums should be treated!

PS I like all the new stuff - Even CITW! Of course with Kate's songs, I'm going to have to listen another twenty times before I grasp them. These are more difficult, especially "Big Stripey Lie", because she is still digging deeper into the soul and taking the music with her. But it took several listenings to ALL her songs before they really showed themselves to be the products of a TRUE genius.

Hope every enjoyed this review


On to The Red Shoes Reviews, Part 2

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

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