The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kate Bush



3-27-08 Kate Bush

7" ARMY DREAMERS / DELIUS / PASSING THROUGH AIR EMI UK EMI 5106

7" BABOOSHKA / RAN TAN WALTZ TOSHIBA JPN EMR-17047

7" BREATHING / EMPTY BULLRING, THE TOSHIBA JPN EMS-17007

7" DECEMBER WILL BE MAGIC AGAIN / WARM AND SOOTHING EMI UK EMI 5121

LP DREAMING, THE EMI AMERICA US ST-17084

7" HAMMER HORROR / COFFEE HOMEGROUND TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20530

12" KATE BUSH (EP) EMI AMERICA US MLP-19004

CD KICK INSIDE, THE EMI UK CDP 746012.2

LP KICK INSIDE, THE alt. cover TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81042

LP KICK INSIDE, THE pic disc EMI UK EMCP 3223

CD LIONHEART EMI UK CDP 746065.2

LP LIONHEART EMI UK EMA 787

7" MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES / MOVING EMI DE 1C 006-06712

7" MOVING / WUTHERING HEIGHTS TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20417

7" NE T'ENFUIS PAS / UN BAISER D'ENFANT EMI PATHE FR 165152.7

CD NEVER FOR EVER EMI UK CDP 746360.2

12" ON STAGE TOSHIBA JPN EMS-10001

7" ROCKET MAN / CANDLE IN THE WIND MERCURY UK TRIBO 2

7" RUNNING UP THAT HILL / UNDER THE IVY TOSHIBA JPN EMS-17535

7" SAT IN YOUR LAP / LORD OF THE REEDY RIVER EMI UK EMI 5201

7" SYMPHONY IN BLUE / FULLHOUSE TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20567

7" THEM HEAVY PEOPLE / MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20490

CD WHOLE STORY, THE (Collection) EMI AMERICA US CDP 546414

7" WOW / FULL HOUSE EMI DE 1C 006-06949

7" WUTHERING HEIGHTS / KITE EMI DE 1C 006-06596

Somehow, me & my friends found out about Kate Bush all about the same time, right around the time of the first album, “The Kick Inside”. I collected her stuff in much the same way that I did many British artists of the day – buying picture sleeves, picture discs, foreign variant pressings etc. I went great guns up to and including her “Sat In Your Lap” 45. After that…I didn’t know what to make of her excessive use of a ‘gated vocal track’ – it sounded weird to me, and I liked the sound of her voice.

Of course, she played in the U.S. at Saturday Night Live – a friend of mine was who gave her the flowers that were on the piano top with her. But she never made it to L.A. for any shows. I got a Beta hi-fi video of all of her clips from Japan – and it seemed like I was done with her. Of course, she didn’t make very many records, after the 80’s – and I still haven’t found myself ready to listen to any of her 90’s (and after) records.

I really hope everyone reading this is familiar with her debut album, “The Kick Inside” – a very charming record. Some people have told me that they don’t care for her voice – but I urge you to listen to the entire package – Alan Parsons production, musicians from Pilot playing the backing etc. It was always interesting to see where she turned up, as a guest artist – on albums by Roy Harper and Zaine Griff. I remember seeing a copy of her British fanzine – and it seemed…odd to me. It was obvious that people were taking her music very personally and seriously. Perhaps too seriously?

So, face value – I still dig “The Kick Inside”, and I own the next several albums, but…never could go along with “Running Up That Hill”, “Cloudbusting” or anything thereafter – apart from her “Rocket Man” single from the Elton John Tribute album, “Two Rooms”.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

I was fine with Hounds of Love but as of the next album, bang! I'm right there with you on the worthlessness of the rest of her catalog! I got the Japanese boxed set when it came out to get the b-sides on CD [and cannibalized my copy of The Single File to get it at the time - stupid] but the downside was that it had a copy of her 1989 album, the name even escapes me right now. I liked "Love and Anger" from it , but the album was lifeless apart from that.

The next album was The Red Shoes. A friend asked me to dupe the video she made for that. I had heard the singles/saw the videos and considered them worthless! But I did like the title cut after duping the video, also a single. I picked the CD of Red Shoes up cheaply but got rid of it since the title cut was it for me. Even $3 was too much for this album! I also picked up a Netherlands CD single of The Red Shoes dance mix which was awful 90s dance crap!

Her last album, Aerial, came out a few years ago. I saw the video on her website and was unmoved as usual. There was only one single from that album in these, the end times.

But In the early 90s it was disgusting/amusing to note that Tori Amos wasted no time in cannibalizing Kate's devoted fanbase after her stab at chick metal didn't pan out! Overnight it seemed like Tori Amos had wholly appropriated Kate fans who couldn't wait 7 years for that next album. I wasn't buying that bill of goods!

But around the same time that Kate went off course, I discovered another interesting female singer who I thought carried on for Kate Bush without sounding much like her. There are parallels, but Sam Brown has filled the Kate Bush spot in my listening very well since Kate went off the rails for me.

I first heard of Sam by her backing vocals on the great Spandau Ballet video Live Over Britain. Really! When I saw her debut album, Stop! 5 years later I picked it up, remembering her name. A&M was selling it for a new artist price as I recall.

Like Kate, Sam comes from a musical family. Her dad is Joe Brown, who rose to fame during Britain's skiffle era and still sings and performs. He was a friend and collaborator of George Harrison. Her brother Pete Brown [not THE Pete Brown] co- writes/plays/produces. And Sam was patronized by Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, who plays guitar on the first 2 albums. April Moon, her wonderful 2nd album actually has the only picture I've ever seen of Gilmour smiling!

Her debut album was a sizable hit outside the US. It's slick, mainstream pop with a slight jazzy feel and some pleasing eccentricities showing. The great 0:43 long Song "Tea" would make anyone a fan, I think! see it here:

http://www.youtube.com/v/kymGYuMa_k0&hl=en

Not a bad debut at all, but April Moon, her 2nd album was a huge leap forward to me. I though, wow! This is sort of like a great Kate Bush album. Sam sounds nothing like Kate at all, but the types of songs and artistic thrust I found similar. Her vocals are far grittier and she's not afraid of a "good mistake."

Her 3rd album was refused by A&M so she put it out herself in 1993. It's a very intimate album about her mother's death. The next album, Box, was released 4 years later. I only found a copy [its OOP] last weekend! It's a move back to fuller arrangements with more great songs, ala April Moon. After that came Reboot [2001] 4 more years later. Another strong, personable album. Her latest just came out late last year - I don't have it yet. But in terms of years between releases, there is another Kate Bush parallel!

So Sam Brown has ably stepped in for Kate Bush for the last 20 years for me! Considering that I was only a real Kate Bush Fan from 1982-85, I'd say Sam takes the prize.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Oh, and I do have her nifty Japanese laserdisc of all of her clips from the first 2 albums, as well. And Sam often plays with Jools Holland's big band as well as having recorded 2 albums with ex-Beautiful South member Dave Rotheray's band Homespun.

9:29 AM  

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