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Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

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Kate Bush picture
Kate Bush biography
A demo of Kate Bush reached David Gilmour in 1975. Being impressed by her true original talent, the PINK FLOYD guitar player financed her fist proper recording session before introducing the result to EMI. In 1978 her debut album was issued but two songs were written years before that. "The Kick inside" must have been one of the most passionate albums ever written. In 1978 Bush' talents were an amazing revelation : a rare talent for melody and poetic imagery but especially the sound of her voice was something which was never heard before at the time. On the debut album her innocent sounding voice is in full helium mode and reaches ear ear-splitting frequencies. The songs are piano driven but the colourful arrangements are unmistakable in the vein of progressive rock. Similarities can be found in the sound of Gerry Rafferty at the time or the first albums from The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. No wonder the full TAPP-line-up was in charge as the backing band on this record. Unlike the aforementioned bands, Bush's music is very feminine and reveals more light & playful pop & rock tunes. The hits "Wuthering heights" and "The man with the child in his eyes" introduced her to a large pop audience. Within months following the release of her debut album, she was already recording a successor album. Even though "Lionheart" contained another hit single, the compositions were less sparkling. On "Never for ever" her sound is enriched with traditional folk influences provided by more session musicians. Moving further away from the standard pop format, Bush challenged her audience with more experimentation with a most refreshing result. This album gave her the confidence to take full control of her music. She co-produced her next album "The Dreaming" on which she explored the fairytale weirdness even more. With it's haunting rhythm's this album could be described as manic and fearsome, one of Bush' strangest efforts. On the musical side her sound got innovated by the use of computer and fairlight, also the influence of an artist like Peter Gabriel was heavy felt. In 1985 Bush released her magnum opus and most successful album to date. "Hounds of love" is divided in a pop side and a progressive side. On the pop side it seemed the controversial influences from the previous album were incorporated in accessible pop songs. The epic side consists of one fascinating suite : "The ninth wave", divided in several sections that hold different atmospheres. Two years later "The whole more

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Before The Dawn [3 CD][Live]Before The Dawn [3 CD][Live]
Concord Records 2016
Audio CD$21.15
$18.40 (used)
Hounds of LoveHounds of Love
Emi 2011
Audio CD$8.85
$12.01 (used)
The Whole StoryThe Whole Story
EMI 1989
Audio CD$4.48
$0.54 (used)
The Sensual WorldThe Sensual World
Audio CD$3.73
$2.99 (used)
Never For EverNever For Ever
Parlophone 1990
Audio CD$5.35
$4.08 (used)
The DreamingThe Dreaming
Fish People 2011
Audio CD$8.76
$11.77 (used)
Director's CutDirector's Cut
Import · Limited Edition · Remastered
Fish People 2011
Audio CD$22.27
$19.00 (used)
The Kick InsideThe Kick Inside
Parlophone 1994
Audio CD$5.19
$2.14 (used)
Sensual World / Be Kind to My Mistakes / Im StillSensual World / Be Kind to My Mistakes / Im Still
EP · Single
Sony 1991
Audio CD$45.95
$3.22 (used)
Before The DawnBefore The Dawn
Audio CD$14.44
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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18m 18s
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5h 7m
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7h 32m
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9h 6m
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9h 29m
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9h 41m
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9h 42m
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11h 7m
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11h 9m
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11h 36m
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12h 5m
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12h 12m
Kate Bush........Running Up That Hill.........45rpm USD $1.25 [0 bids]
12h 26m
12h 41m

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KATE BUSH discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

KATE BUSH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 267 ratings
The Kick Inside
3.36 | 187 ratings
3.96 | 238 ratings
Never For Ever
4.10 | 251 ratings
The Dreaming
4.11 | 359 ratings
Hounds Of Love
3.50 | 164 ratings
The Sensual World
2.68 | 128 ratings
The Red Shoes
3.77 | 216 ratings
2.79 | 69 ratings
Director's Cut
3.71 | 132 ratings
50 Words For Snow

KATE BUSH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 34 ratings
Live At The Hammersmith Odeon
5.00 | 1 ratings
1979 Television Special
4.12 | 22 ratings
Before The Dawn

KATE BUSH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.84 | 16 ratings
Live At The Hammersmith Odeon (Video)
3.51 | 9 ratings
The Single File (VHS)
3.84 | 16 ratings
The Whole Story VHS
2.37 | 8 ratings
The Sensual World, The Videos (VHS)
3.04 | 8 ratings
The Line, The Cross & The Curve (VHS)
2.88 | 6 ratings
Hounds of Love: A Classic Album Under Review
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Only Girl in the World
3.04 | 4 ratings
1979 Television Special

KATE BUSH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 59 ratings
The Whole Story
3.70 | 22 ratings
This Woman's Work

KATE BUSH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
The Man With The Child In His Eyes
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wow / Fullhouse
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hammer Horror / Coffee Homeground
3.00 | 2 ratings
Wuthering Heights
2.52 | 10 ratings
On Stage
0.00 | 0 ratings
Babooshka / Ran Tan Waltz
5.00 | 1 ratings
Breathing / The Empty Bullring
0.00 | 0 ratings
Army Dreamers
4.00 | 3 ratings
December Will Be Magic Again
4.00 | 2 ratings
There Goes a Tenner
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Dreaming
3.00 | 1 ratings
Suspended in Gaffa
4.05 | 3 ratings
Night of the Swallow
3.00 | 1 ratings
Running Up That Hill
3.33 | 3 ratings
3.85 | 7 ratings
Experiment IV
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man With The Child In His Eyes / Sat In Your Lap
2.05 | 2 ratings
Love and Anger
2.09 | 6 ratings
Aspects of the Sensual World
2.09 | 7 ratings
Rocket Man / Candle in the Wind
2.09 | 3 ratings
And So Is Love
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rubberband Girl
4.00 | 5 ratings
Wild Man
2.09 | 2 ratings
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (2012 Remix)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Before The Dawn by BUSH, KATE album cover Live, 2016
4.12 | 22 ratings

Before The Dawn
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Vinyl Connection

4 stars Ms Bush's 2014 concerts sold out so quickly it broke the internet. The luckies who scored a ticket received a lavishly produced and impeccably staged conceptual art rock-theatre piece. This huge set records the concerts over eight sides of vinyl. It is a lot of music. The repertoire is drawn from Kate's later albums'no Wuthering or Babooshkering here'and features lots from 2005's Ariel. Given how strong that album was, the selections are no bad thing. Short segments of spoken work add drama and make the theatre overt. Playing is outstanding throughout, the sound is extraordinary for a live recording and the album packaging is lavish and interesting. Immersing yourself in the Bush of live ghosts is a mesmerizing experience.
 Before The Dawn by BUSH, KATE album cover Live, 2016
4.12 | 22 ratings

Before The Dawn
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm surprised to be only the second reviewer for this, considering the huge news value of Kate Bush having gone on stage again. One thing is sure: the fans are anxiously hoping and waiting for the DVD release of this three-act concert. (I've said this before, but I strongly prefer DVD's over live albums. And no, I didn't buy this 3-CD, just borrowed it from my library.) Even if Kate's vocals are in a good form and not notably aged, my initial reception was slightly disappointed. The first disc [39:34], or Act One, contains seven unrelated tracks from the albums Red Shoes, Aerial and Hounds of Love ('Never Be Mine' from The Sensual World was recorded when the show was being filmed without the audience). The selection is not very good IMHO, and it's sad that many great albums in her discography were totally excluded. The other reason for my negative feelings was the way the performances are mostly just uninspired replicas of the studio versions.

Act Two: an extended version of "The Ninth Wave" suite that originally formed the B side of the Hounds of Love album. I can imagine the spoken-oriented extensions increase the drama level on the concert when you are/were there (I wasn't, sadly), but on audio-only they become a mere nuisance. And for the music itself, the arrangement here follows very closely the original form, meaning that a lot of sounds and vocals are not real live at all. As a listening experience this theatre-oriented performance is a bit frustrating in several ways, hopelessly losing to the superb original without really adding new MUSICAL ideas. The happy final part, 'Morning Fog', offers the band a good opportunity to blow some extra life into the playing, but, even if it's the one that differs most clearly from the original, it sounds somewhat lame here. The line-up is top-notch: David Rhodes, John Giblin, Jon Carin, Omar Hakim, etc. After listening to two CD's I felt disillusioned.

Act Three: "A Sky of Honey", ie. the suite of the 2nd disc of the 2005 Aerial album. During this 73-minute disc my reception turned for the positive. Maybe it's because the music of this suite is airier, softer -- less "artificial" if you know what I mean -- , the live performance of it functions extremely well. Finally the band finds its real strength. Already the 'Prologue' part contains extensions that are musically inspired, and the suite becomes a cathartic listening experience, even more so than it was on the album. The new song 'Tawny Moon' is sung by Kate's son Bertie (whose name I fail to find from the booklet?) and it's a very good addition to the suite. From the 2011 album 50 Words for Snow comes 'Among Angels', a beautiful melancholic piano song of the purest Kate Bush touch. And the encore piece 'Cloudbusting' is gorgeous.

The weakest part is the first act, especially being a missed opportunity in a discographical sense. Act Two made me only crave for the visual side of the performance (the pictures reveal it's awesome). Act Three finally made an impression on me, but I guess I have to rate this with "only" three stars. Hopefully the DVD will be released some day.

 Breathing / The Empty Bullring by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
5.00 | 1 ratings

Breathing / The Empty Bullring
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars Kate Bush's third album Never For Ever (1980) marked a transitional stage in her career, a logical link between the first two albums of a young singer-songwriter backed by a band and producers with their own wills, and The Dreaming (1982) in which she took control firmly in her own hands and produced a difficult "she's gone mad" album that was a nightmare to the record company. I love them all. One of the best songs on Never For Ever is the closing track, 'Breathing'. As a composition, it's a magnificent leap in artistic depth compared to naïve, starry-eyed balladry of songs such as 'In Search of Peter Pan' or 'Oh England My Lionheart'. And technically it's a perfect example of the way Kate strived for new soundscapes with the aid of modern devices, especially Fairlight.

I bet there aren't many Kate Bush fans that fail to be moved by this dystopic and mysterious song. One doesn't even need to be aware that the protagonist is an unborn child inside the mother's womb. The outside world has faced disaster: "Chips of Plutonium are twinkling in every lung". Here Kate starts to show her real capacity as a widely expressionistic vocalist instead of a high-pitched pop sensation so easy to make fun of. 'Breathing' is simultaneously both soft, beautiful, and haunting, dark-toned. Worth noticing is the goosebump effect of the mid-section featuring the male voice-over, and the increase of the tension. Also the silent, extended ending is bravely against the pop norms. This definitely is a five-star song for me.

'The Empty Bullring' on the B side is a fairly good non-album song, so no need to lower my rating! It's just Kate and her piano, a bit like 'In the Warm Room' (on Lionheart) but slightly livelier and brighter -- at first it may bring 'Oh To Be in Love' in mind, only without band-backing or a clear chorus -- and the piano work is more decorative. Not so far from the classical lied, actually. Funnily I originally mistook the white mushroom on the cover for a figure of a lady wearing a large white hat, before having a closer look...

 Love and Anger by BUSH, KATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
2.05 | 2 ratings

Love and Anger
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars [Just added a bunch of Kate Bush singles.] This is probably her worst single ever (hopefully there aren't others as bad). 'Love and Anger' is an outtake from the album The Sensual World (1989). I bought the CD when it was just released, and I used to enjoy it quite a lot, despite some disliking for a couple of songs. Over the years it has become clearer that the album as a whole is a bit of a let-down and surprisingly average on her artistic scale (only the follower, Red Shoes from 1993, is notably worse). Especially considering that Kate worked on it for a long time, the results were not as good as they should have been. The listener simply doesn't feel the passion and inspiration so strongly felt on the previous album Hounds of Love (1985) which I cherish as a pop masterpiece. But yes, The Sensual World surely contains some very fine songs.

'Love and Anger' is among its weakest tracks. The song became quite popular in the States, where her stardom was notably smaller, and practically based on a handful of separate songs more than on complete albums. It is a decent, fairly listenable pop song if one compares it to the pop music of the time in general. But one really expects more from this individual art-pop artist. The vocals are all right, but the composition is among the least inspiring or original she has ever written. The single version is the same as the album version, only the end laughter has been cut off.

However, it's the B-sider that makes this single so bad. 'Ken' is an awfully noisy (supposed to be uplifting and joyous) pop song in the ugliest in-your-face production of the 80's, in the vein of Cyndi Lauper and other commercial mainstream pop featuring programmed drums. Not only the sharp brass sounds are nasty, also Kate's vocals get awfully screamy on this song that is a torture of nearly four minutes. The song was made for a comic strip film G.L.C. "Ken Livingstone, former leader of the GLC, Member of Parliament and the first democratically-elected Mayor of London is the official Labour candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as London Mayor in 2012", informs the YouTube page. The cover design is the best part of this release.

 Before The Dawn by BUSH, KATE album cover Live, 2016
4.12 | 22 ratings

Before The Dawn
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by chopper
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars WOT NO DVD?

Finally we get to see a release of the 2014 Kate Bush concerts, but it's the audio recordings not the film that a lot of people were hoping for. There are various rumours as to why the DVD is not being released but Kate says it's been archived and may be released at some point, so we have to make do with this for now. It's the whole show in 3 acts - act one is various Kate songs, perhaps not the ones some people were hoping for with a few favourites (Running Up That Hill, Hounds of Love) and one or two surprises (Lily, Joanni and Never Be Mine which was not included in the final show), act two is the complete Ninth Wave suite with the addition of a couple of spoken monologues, act three is A Sky of Honey (with new song Tawny Moon sung by Bertie) plus the two encores of Among Angels and Cloudbusting. For those of you who were lucky enough to get tickets for the shows (like me) may still be yearning to see the show again as it was such a visual treat (and there was a lot going on with little surprises here and there which you could easily miss) but we'll have to make do with this. The sound quality is brilliant, audience participation is kept to a minimum, the band (including David Rhodes and John Giblin) are brilliant and Kate's vocals are spot on, no sign of ageing. I'm not going to review every song as fans will already know them. Of special note is a brilliant version of "The Morning Fog" which has been slowed down and was the highlight of the concert for me. The previously mentioned "Tawny Moon" is a new song - Bertie's vocals are already being slated on various forums but to me he does a fine job for his first live performance. To sing in front of a packed Odeon must have been daunting for him. OK, the song is a bit long and it worked better in the context of the show but it's not as bad as some people are making out. Overall this is the audio document of the greatest musical show I have ever witnessed and as such it has to be 5 stars.

 Lionheart by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.36 | 187 ratings

Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars I was born in 1977 so I can't recall the impact that the first albums of la Bush made on the world of recorded music.

But I must say that her second full-lenght is way ahead of most music I know. It even rivals her debut. The songs have a certain urgency, the production is warmer and more coherent. The same musicians are deployed for this record (plus the talented Francis Monkman), and all of these musicians are accomplished progrockers, and one can definately hear that in the sublime album.

The songs seemingly flow into one another. So when playing this album, the first three songs already seem like an prog-epic. I can't understand why some people would rate this album so low.

Just listen to Wow, and one would immediately go Wow! Kate Bush is the un crowned queen of progressive art-pop, undeniably!

 The Kick Inside by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 267 ratings

The Kick Inside
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars Some albums are a blueprint to wich albums, I'd yet have to discover in the expanded and wonderful universe of recorded music, have to comply.

Night at the Opera (Queen), Mirage (Camel), Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull), Octoberon (BJH), Planets (Eloy), Red (King Crimson) and Heads or Tales (Saga) are one of the many albums that were the starting point of my journey (regarding progressive music).

A Kick Inside and Hounds of Love are also albums, that have a huge influence on me. The music of Bush have always been in my life, but the young me (as teenager) could not really sit though entire albums. As a white male I wanted things to rock out. Kate Bush never really rocked. I guess that's why not a lof males will choose Kate Bush as favourite artist.

Now it's 2016 and sexism is a relic of the past. Also I'm almost 40 years old. Rock music has an irritating effect on me (most of the time). Enter Kate Bush. Guess I'm really ready to dive into her extensive oeuvre. I always rated this album 4 stars, but I changed it to 5 stars.

Because if there's such a thing as a quintessential art-pop album, than surely this one takes the cake. Maybe Bush is not as much progrock as some want it to be. But progressive it surely is, and arty and lyrically it's outstanding, esoteric and philosophical. Great stuff, indeed. By the way; James and Cold Gun rocks out real nice.

The musicians contributing to this records have played with Al Stewart, Camel, Alan Parsons Project etc., do an outstanding job. The piano-playing of Kate is awe-inspiring and of course her voice: one of the best and character-full voices ever to be recorded.

 Never For Ever by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.96 | 238 ratings

Never For Ever
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars NEVER FOR EVER is the third release by KATE BUSH and this is the album that began to expand her sound after the progressive piano ballads and occasional rockers that graced the first two albums. Here she hit the mark in many ways. This was her first #1 album in the UK and she was also the first British female solo artist to top the album chart and also this album entered the charts at #1. This is very much a transition album between the first two albums that were practically identical in sound and approach and the following two albums that would lead to some of the best albums the 80s had to offer.

The first noticeable difference between the previous albums and this one is the huge expansion of instrumentation, sounds and song structures. It seems that everything was expanded in the KATE BUSH universe but yet there is something oh so familiar that ties the rhythms and melodies to her origins. The romanticism has retained its core feel but expansion into other lyrical arenas such as nuclear war in "Breathing" also makes its way into this first 80s album.

I can't find one bad track on this one but "Violin" really stands out for me since it not only takes KATE's unique vocal style to a more acrobatic level but is one of the most rocking tracks she has performed on at this point in her career. A really catchy and brilliant track that just rocks my freakin' socks. Songs like "The Infant Kiss" definitely bring previous endeavors such as "Wuthering Heights" to mind, thus connecting this leap of innovation to the past offerings of this brilliant vocalist turned producer (her first effort as such.)

NEVER FOR EVER sees KATE BUSH evolving into the next phase of her career which is transitionally as pleasant as the first phase and the second. Equally embracing both sides of the equation, this is simply an album filled with the brilliant progressive pop melodies she created started with "The Kick Inside" and ratcheted up the interesting developments that would lead to her upcoming pinnacle of progressive pop paradise. As pianist, composer, vocalist and producer, she really struts her stuff on this one and gains the momentum to push her limits to unforeseeable heights.

 Hounds Of Love by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.11 | 359 ratings

Hounds Of Love
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is not only Kate Bush's masterpiece, it is also on my list of perfect albums. It is one of those rare albums that I consider a 6 star recording. This is an amazing album with a wide variety of moods, styles and dynamics. It's one thing that KB has one of the most versatile and unique voices in music and that makes her music original and interesting. But to add to that the genius that so very few artists can do so well as what Kate did on this album and that is to mix the perfect blend of pop, experimentation and prog to make not only a successful album, but also one that is so amazing and that keeps it's timelessness over the years to still remain so great and not ever get stale. This is one album that I still enjoy as much as I did in it's day. If anything, my appreciation for it has grown.

The album is divided into two suites. The first 5 tracks are more individual, but have an underlying theme of different aspects of love. "Running Up That Hill" is the classic KB song full of mystery and lushness that is unbeaten. It reminds one of a foggy morning, so beautiful and strange. That feeling continues with "Hounds of Love". Both of these tracks carry with them the love of life that exists even with the limitations that humans have, the 2nd one being more carefree, while the 1st is more of a yearning for the impossible. "The Big Sky" also continues the poppish sound, but through these songs, you hear a constant beat, but there is an underlying current that makes the music so very un-typical of pop music that hasn't been copied or never will be. There is that air of mystery always apparent, yet almost with a childish attitude of happiness that comes with human nature, especially when it comes to love. "Mother Stands for Comfort" is probably the most inaccessible song on this side of the album. It is a moody slower song with some strange sounds and atmospheres. It includes a lot of vocal tricks of which Kate always has plenty of up her sleeve. This is one thing that has kept her from being completely pop fodder, her voice is unconventional, yet so beautiful and acrobatic. The music that accompanies her voice is not just backup sounds either, it is always important and interesting, just as interesting as the voice and the lyrics. Even on this album, it's still unconventional even with it's vicinity to pop. I hate calling this album pop by the way, because it is so much better than that genre. The last song on this side is "Cloudbursting" which is based on a relationship with a scientist and the work they are experimenting with. This returns to a consistent beat that was evident in different forms throughout the first side except for the 4th track.

The 2nd half of the album is even more interesting, beautiful and amazing. This suite is called "The Ninth Wave" and consists of tracks 6 - 11. Even with the greatness of the first half, this side is even better, mainly because there are a lot more prog elements in the music and because it is so original. The vocals and lyrics still retain their importance, but the instruments now are even more important and are used so well. There is an underlying story to the concept of this part of the album that has to do with dreaming, drowning and dying but living afterwards in a different realm. "And Dream of Sleep" is one of the most beautiful songs ever sung, so peaceful, yet so powerful. "Under the Ice" is so mysterious and uses strings to build tension and work together with the voices here to add suspense. The very strange yet wonderful "Waking the Witch" utilizes some amazing recording tricks that continue with the tension building, and this almost seems to be inspired by Pink Floyd's "The Trial" off of The Wall album. The music isn't copied, but the idea is similar with a dramatic ending. The helicopter sound effect is actually taken from The Wall and credit is given. "Watching You" is more of a floating piece with some cool percussive sounds and more of a minimalistic approach but Kate's vocals soar and flow around the instruments. "Jig of Life" is based on celtic music but starts off in minor key to build more tension and drama, but the tension is released as suddenly the jig takes on a major key and becomes very traditional sounding Irish dance tune for a short while after which Kate interrupts and starts putting moments in their proper places....suddenly the jig is minor again and a male voice builds tension again as poetry is recited. Quite an amazing song. "Hello Earth" closes out the suite in a beautifully sung quieter piece that is interrupted a few times by a Gregorian style chant with minimal strings or syth is played in the background. This is surprisingly effective especially with the release of the tension, even though she is free floating above the earth and all seems perfect, the chanting is done in minor key and reminds you that not all is as great as it seems. Simply amazing music, I can't describe how much I love this album. The last song is actually not part of the suite, but is more of a stand-alone song called "The Morning Fog" which brings everything back to earth again. This is a short piece that is reminiscent of Kate's earlier works and it actually fits in well with the rest of the album.

I can't help but love this album, I think it is probably my favorite album of that decade when it was released, in the 80s. If it isn't my favorite, then it is definitely up there with the best. Perfect musicianship, so many little inticricies and little nuances that keep it constantly fresh and interesting to listen to. No doubt I have to call this one of the most important recordings of it's time and even still to this day. Like I said before, this is a 6 star album in my own book, but I only have 5 to work with here. This is a masterpiece.

 1979 Television Special by BUSH, KATE album cover DVD/Video, 2014
3.04 | 4 ratings

1979 Television Special
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars To the question who is my all-time favourite of female musicians, the answer is KATE BUSH without any hesitation. I have enjoyed her music since my teens. But like it is the case with all of my long-time favourites (GENESIS of the 70's being the most important), I have never felt I should like everything - or, for God's sake, to have every available music - by those favourites. This fact was brought to my mind with this DVD release. The 1979 Christmastime television special starts with 'Violin', a wild, actually punkish song from the then upcoming third album Never For Ever. I simply can't stand it! I have forced myself to listen to it less than five times in my entire life, and having it now served with an artistic visual performance didn't make it any better musically. If I had been originally introduced to her music with this song, I would have needed to win a deep prejudice first before letting her to become my favourite.

Sorry for that long introduction not quite up to the point. On the other hand this speculation about the liking or disliking of one's favourites gets very poignant with this DVD. You see, first I thought: "Wow, this is Kate Bush! This is rare! This is something special indeed!" And then, after viewing it, I thought "well, naturally it was interesting to see, but I won't miss it at all after I have returned the DVD to a friend." In one word, the television performance (it's not a live concert in the truest sense) is terribly UNEVEN. Enjoyable at its best, an embarassing nuisance at its worst.

After Kate has danced in bat-like clothes and screamed all the horrible high notes of 'Violin', she gets a spare moment to change costumes while two faceless men dressed up like gigantic violins - or cellos or whatever - move slowly to Erik Satie's tiny and pretty piece 'Gymnopédie No. 1'. Next Kate sings and plays piano on 'Symphony in Blue', a fine and too forgotten track from Lionheart. In the end, I prefer this kind of honest live performance of a good song over the arty-farty coreographics for silly songs. I know, 'Them Heavy People' enjoyed success at the time and was a live favourite in her tour of '79. Kate and two men in large trench coats keep pushing each other as if they were rubberballs. It gets slightly irritating before the naive ear-worm song is over.

A choir-like introduction of "angel Gabriel" is amusing. PETER GABRIEL plays his 'Here Comes the Flood' all by himself on keyboards. We remember how he prefers that ripped-down version (also heard on the ROBERT FRIPP album Exposure, 1979) over the heavily overproduced 1977 album version. Kate's non-album track 'Ran Tan Waltz' is among her poorest songs, and the amateurish coreography (for three again) featuring Kate dressed as a man is equally silly and annoying. 'December Will Be Magic Again' appeared as a single almost a year later; here its live performance, Kate back on piano, is among highlights.

'The Wedding List' and 'Egypt' are also tracks to be released in 1980's album Never For Ever. Here the television performances are totally made up; the former song features acted scenes of the bloody wedding and the female rage with a gun, while the latter sees Kate miming the song with a veil covering her nose and her round eyes almost popping out, against various Egyptian sceneries. This kind of a cheap and half-baked music video stands time much worse than a real concert. (And when you're listening to an album, you can direct your own inner videos!) Then comes a sad ballad 'Another Day' written by Roy Harper, performed with Peter Gabriel, though probably just miming instead of real live. They sit apathically looking very tired (of each other), visualizing a dead relationship. Gabe has short hair like in the covers of his 3rd "peter gabriel" album. This song is the most valuable rarity on the whole DVD. The 45-minute set ends with 'Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake', in my opinion one of the weakest Lionheart songs. I can't say I much enjoy the semi- dance performance (again accompanied by two men); the whole thing looks somehow very gayish, a bad slice of phoney cabaret.

All in all the song selection is interestingly very unexpectable, and that certainly has its pros and cons. I would have rather chosen other songs from The Kick Inside and Lionheart. A minus comes also from the shaky end credits, totally missing the band?! Still, to give only two stars would feel too heartless. I don't recommend you to buy this DVD but it's worth seeing once. At least parts of it can be found on YouTube.

Thanks to fishy for the artist addition. and to kev rowland for the last updates

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