Ok ... I was rugged up in bed with a copy of Uncut reading about how Kate Bush's Hounds of Love changed the world, and marvelling at the advent of the Fairlight and that Linden (hugh padgham/phil collins rubbishness still abounds) gated drum sound. I'm still puzzled as to why The Dreaming was such a resounding flop. Its a brillinat album. And weren't we all looking for something different at the time? Maybe we were too into the cold war/utilitarian teutonic electro beats and frowned upon anything remotely organic (take that fretless bass and shove it!) or dare I say it ... hippy ... I mean the vietnam war and friends of the earth allusions ... over!!!
But from the opening pounding frenzied drumming and stabbing piano riffs to the closing drumtalk and hammer horror guitar motif, The Dreaming is still a flash of uncommon brilliance after all these years. And no-one else can lay a claim to such an individual and distinct vision as hers. Go ahead, find me a precedent!!
If I was pressed, I would have to say that of all the Artists that have made an impact of my music education, Kate Bush has to be at the very top of the list. Her music opened my ears to sound and melismatic cacophony and allowed me to celebrate individualtity or at least to take strength in the fact that no matter whatever taunts, slaps, slams, slips and setbacks life threw at me, inside me was a warrior woman in ripped organza railing at a wind machine with a theatrical sword. More importantly, Kate Bush has been the foundation of many a rewarding friendship that I have had and continue to have over the years ... the musical bond as it were and it has proven to be A-grade quality cement time and time again.
So why am I waffling on? Well I think its time to put my Bush memories down ... to try to encapsulate and thereby preserve this sense of what it is to be a Kate Bush fan.
I think the first time I ever heard of la bush was in a Chris Ho review of Never for Ever talking about how her vocals swooped from octavial heights right down to the growling depths in a single riff. Then I saw her floucing around to Wow on an Abba in Switzerland (blogged about this previously) special. And I can't remember being as excited by music before. I finally scrounged enough pocket money to buy Never for Ever on cassette. I remember thinking about it all through a cross country run I did that morning. I was fair bursting with anticipation replenishing my fluids under a flame of the forest tree talking a mile a minute with my friend Edwin. And when I finally placed the cassette in its carriage and pressed play ... I'm sure I must have passed out for a few seconds before realizing even then in my pre-pubescent heart that music would play a special part in my life keeping me safe and rocking me gently through trial and jubilation alike.
My love affair soon spiralled across the Kick Inside and Lionheart - 2 albums that I only came to love much later in the piece. It proposed to and married The Dreaming after the fierce and torrid courtship of Never for Ever and gained blissful validation through the Hounds of Love. Things took a rocky turn with A Sensual World and we had to call it quits with The Red Shoes. But we're sitting comfortably on the porch with Aerial, sipping mull wine and contemplating the sunset.
Aah Kate, there's no one like you and I don't think there'll ever be.