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Kate Bush

Kate Bush (born Catherine Bush on 30 July 1958 in Bexleyheath, Kent, now part of Greater London) is an English singer-songwriter with an expressive four-octave voice. She is known for her eccentric, idiosyncratic literary lyrics, and eclectic and meticulous musical and production style. She debuted in 1978 with the surprise hit "Wuthering Heights", which was number one in the British music charts for four weeks. While this was the height of her UK singles chart success, she has achieved considerable album sales throughout her career and has retained substantial popularity and critical acclaim.



While still attending St. Joseph's Convent Grammar school in Abbey Wood, South East London where she studied the piano and violin, Kate Bush caught the attention of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who helped fund her first demo sessions. She signed a contract with EMI when she was 16. However, in the first two years of her contract, Bush did not release an album, but instead completed her time at school through to her O Levels (the precursors to today's GCSEs) and took lessons in dancing, mime, and music. She finished school with 10 O Levels.

In 2005, Bush stated in an interview with Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio Two that she felt that EMI did not let her release an album until later not so that she could hone her talents, as they would continually perpetualise, but rather in order that no other record company could offer her a contract. Nonetheless, EMI did forward her a sizeable amount of start-up money which she used to buy a synthesizer and enroll in Lindsey Kemp's interpretive dance classes.

During this time, Bush wrote and made demos of close to 200 songs, which today can be found on bootleg recordings (often known as the Phoenix Recordings). She also performed at various small venues in and near London under the name KT Bush Band.

Her first album, The Kick Inside, was released in 1978, and featured songs she had written during the previous two years, including the single "Wuthering Heights", which topped the UK and Australian charts and became an international hit. In doing so, Bush became the first woman to reach Number 1 in the UK with a self-penned song. A period of intense work followed. A second album, Lionheart was quickly recorded; Bush has often expressed dissatisfaction with it, feeling she needed more time to get it right. Following its release, she was required to undertake heavy promotional work and an exhausting tour, the only one of her career. Bush disliked the exposure and the celebrity lifestyle, feeling it was taking her away from her main priority: making music. A slow and steady withdrawal from public life began as she moved into producing her own work with Never for Ever and developed a perfectionistic, painstaking approach to making music which would see her ensconced in the studio for long periods and only needing to face the glare of the press when the subsequent albums were released. Wild rumours would fly while she was engaged in her work - usually that she had ballooned in weight or had gone mad. Then she would re-emerge for a brief period, slim and seemingly sane, before retreating to the studio once more.

A pattern began to form in the 1980s, in which Bush would disappear for up to four years while she honed her new material until it was ready for release. After the release of The Red Shoes in 1993 there was no reason to suppose that she would not reappear in three or four years with another set of songs. But the period of silence that followed her seventh studio album was much longer than anyone had anticipated.

Bush dropped out of the public eye for many years, although her name occasionally cropped up in the media in connection with rumours of a new album release. The press continued to speculate wildly about what she was up to; they viewed her as an eccentric recluse, sometimes drawing a comparison with Miss Havisham, from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. In fact she was trying to give her young son a normal childhood, away from the world of show business. Bush gave birth to Albert, known as Bertie, fathered by her guitarist and current partner Danny McIntosh, in 1998. She did not release the news of his birth to the press and it was over two years before the story broke. On the few occasions she has spoken to the press since, she has made it clear that motherhood has made her very happy.

Bush's eighth studio album, Aerial, was released on double CD and vinyl on 7 November 2005 internationally (8th November in the USA), following the release of the single "King of the Mountain" on 24 October.

In an interview with Weekend Australian published in December 2005, Bush stated that Aerial was not meant to be her last work and that she wished to continue writing and recording music.

The studio albums

The Kick Inside (1978)

Kate Bush's debut album was released when she was 19 years old; she had written some of the songs when she was only 15. The album opens with whale song, which leads into the first track, "Moving", inspired by her dance teacher, Lindsey Kemp. The album contains her biggest hit to date, Wuthering Heights, which went to number one in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere and became a Top 10 hit in many other territories.

Bush's work would mature and develop, but The Kick Inside remains a startlingly precocious debut and many of her trademark qualities were already firmly in place. Her cinematic and literary influences were most obvious in "Wuthering Heights". The song was not initially inspired by Emily Brontë's novel, but by a television adaptation, although she did read the novel later to, in her own words, "get the research right". She namechecks Gurdjieff in both "Strange Phenomena" and "Them Heavy People," while the title song is based on the ballad of Lizzie Wan, the story of a girl who kills herself after being impregnated by her brother. The album is also very open about sexual matters, particularly on the erotic "Feel It" and "L'Amour Looks Something Like You." A second single, "The Man With The Child In His Eyes," was released to another warm reception, and even made it onto the American Hot 100 Billboard Charts, Bush's only single to do so until 1985.

As part of her preparation for entering the studio, Bush toured pubs with the KT Bush Band, supported by her brother Paddy and close friends, but for the album she was persuaded to use established session musicians, some of whom she would retain even after she had brought her bandmates back on board. Paddy Bush was the only member of the KT Bush Band to play on The Kick Inside. Unlike on later albums where he would play more exotic instruments such as Balalaika and Didgeridoo, here he played the more standard Harmonica and Mandolin. Stuart Elliot played some of the drums and would become her main percussionist on subsequent albums, along with session drummer Charlie Morgan, who later went on to be a regular with Elton John. Preston Heyman was credited with some subsequent studio work but mostly performed on the live tour of 1979.

The album was produced by Bush's mentor David Gilmour and Andrew Powell.

The Kick Inside is Bush's only album to have a different cover in the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Japan.

Lionheart (1978)

Lionheart was rushed out of the studio (in Nice on the French Riviera), making this Bush's only album to be wholly recorded outside the UK. While it has its share of hits, most notably "Wow", it did not receive the same reception as her first album, reaching number six in the UK album charts.

The album takes its title from the track, "Oh, England, My Lionheart", in which a pilot who has been shot down contemplates his homeland as his plane hurtles towards the ground, and to his death. It is a song that Bush has disparaged in later years despite it being a firm favourite with many listeners. Literary references include J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan in In Search of Peter Pan (a song which also quotes When You Wish Upon A Star from the classic Disney film, Pinocchio), as well as a nod towards Arsenic and Old Lace in the song "Coffee Homeground", which despite being similar in plot to the play, was reportedly inspired by a taxi driver who drove Bush once. Film references include "Hammer Horror", inspired by the Hammer Film studio, known for their gothic horror films. The British television show The Sweeney, a popular police drama, was mentioned in the lyrics of the song "Wow".

Notable for his work on all subsequent recordings by Bush, Lionheart is the first record on which Del Palmer worked as a bassist. Palmer went on to play bass, or to engineer and record every album since.

Lionheart was produced by Andrew Powell, assisted by Kate Bush, so clearly she was asserting her influence on album production at this stage.

Never For Ever (1980)

Never for Ever saw Bush's second foray into production (her first was for the Live On Stage EP earlier in the year), aided by the engineer of Lionheart, Jon Kelly. The first two albums had resulted in a definite sound which was evident in every track, with lush orchestral arrangements supporting the live band sound. The range of styles on Never for Ever is much more diverse, veering from the straightforward rocker, "The Wedding List", to the sad, wistful waltz of hit single, "Army Dreamers". Never for Ever was the first Kate Bush album to be composed on synthesizers and drum machines (in particular, the Fairlight CMI), her earlier albums being composed on the piano.

Never for Ever proved to be Bush's first record to reach the top position in the UK album charts, also making her the first female Briton ever to achieve that status.

Bush's literary and cinematic influences were at work once more. "The Infant Kiss" was inspired by the 1961 film The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave, which in turn had been inspired by The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, while "The Wedding List" drew from François Truffaut's 1968 film La mariée était en noir.

Never for Ever is, to date, the only album by Kate Bush not to share a title with one of its own tracks.

The Dreaming (1982)

The Dreaming was the first album Bush produced herself. With her newfound freedom, she experimented with production techniques, creating an album that features a very diverse blend of musical styles.

The Dreaming met with a mixed critical reception at first. Many were baffled by the dense soundscapes she had created. The album was not considered to be a financial success, although it still reached number three in the UK album charts. However, with the exceptions of the first track to be released, "Sat In Your Lap", which predated the album by several months, the following three singles fared poorly in the charts. "The Dreaming", the album's title track, stalled at number 48, whilst the next single, "There Goes A Tenner", failed to chart at all, despite promotion from EMI and Bush.

Bush was in her early twenties when making the album and tended to look outside herself for sources of inspiration. She drew on old crime films ("There Goes A Tenner"), a documentary about the war in Vietnam ("Pull Out The Pin"), the plight of Indigenous Australians ("The Dreaming"), the life of Houdini ("Houdini") and Stanley Kubrick's film of Stephen King's novel The Shining ("Get Out Of My House"). There are a few more personal tracks, though: the lead single, "Sat In Your Lap", examines feelings of self-doubt versus burning self-confidence and the search for a balance between the two, while "Leave It Open" speaks of the need to acknowledge and express the darker sides of one's personality.

Hounds of Love (1985)

Hounds of Love is no less experimental from a production standpoint. Not only did she produce it herself, but for this album, stung by the huge costs she had run up hiring studio space for The Dreaming, she built a private 48 track studio near her home where she could work at her own pace, unhurried by thoughts of cost. Bush has admitted that this was a very happy period in her life and this is reflected by a newfound maturity and confidence to her lyrics, which were often more personal. She writes about the challenges of communication in "Running Up That Hill", a song that some consider to be her masterpiece. Bush originally intended this song to be titled "A Deal With God", but EMI felt that this was too controversial. "Hounds of Love" concerns the fear of being overwhelmed by love (the spoken beginning 'It's in the trees, it's coming' comes from the 1957 horror film Night of the demon, one of several horror references during her career.) With its breathless beat, it could arguably be said to be reminiscent of the tight songs produced in the 1960s, the punk period and later by the likes of The Smiths. The song was covered by Sunderland band The Futureheads in 2005. "The Big Sky" deals with the frustration of an artist continually questioned by critics with no understanding of the creative process. There was yet another song with a clear literary source: the hit single "Cloudbusting" was based on A Book Of Dreams by Peter Reich, son of the radical Freudian psychoanalyst and "orgone energy" researcher Wilhelm Reich, who built a "cloudbuster" machine in an attempt to control weather.

The album is split into two parts which, on its original vinyl release, formed the two sides of the record. The first side, 'Hounds of Love', features the four singles, "Running Up That Hill", "Hounds of Love", "The Big Sky" and "Cloudbusting" as well as "Mother Stands For Comfort", a darkly haunting track about a murderer who seeks refuge with his mother, knowing she will always protect him, come what may. The second side is entitled 'The Ninth Wave', whose title is taken from a poem by Tennyson, although the suite of songs it describes has no real connection to his verse. They tell of a woman who is lost at sea, facing death by drowning, and the tortured night she spends in the water after falling 'Under ice'. 'Waking the witch' may refer to the ducking of suspected witches in medieval times- if they floated it was thought that the devil had saved them. If they drowned, they were innocent. 'Watching you without me' seems to be about her imagining herself as a ghost. 'Jig of life' has an Irish flavour, which would be most prevalent on the following album 'The Sensual World' with the help of The Trio Bulgarka. The album ends with 'Hello earth' and 'The morning fog'. Unlike "The Dreaming", which was experimental throughout, for "The Hounds of Love" Bush balanced the conceptual Ninth Wave side with the strongly melodic Hounds side. In "Hello Earth", a song written from the point of view of the woman who imagines herself looking down from space and seeing the stars reflected in the sea and also herself as a tiny speck bobbing on the ocean - she is also able to watch the 'gathering storm' that sends her and her shipmates to their potential death. On this track Bush is experimenting with Georgian folk tune "Tsintskaro", adapted and performed by the Richard Hickox’s choir. A 1997 re-release of the album included 6 bonus tracks- new mixes of The Big Sky and Running Up That Hill, Be Kind To My Mistakes (which featured on the opening to the film Castaway starring Oliver Reed and Amanda Donohoe), Under The Ivy, Burning Bridge and My Lagan Love.

The Sensual World (1989)

The increasingly personal tone of her writing continued on The Sensual World, with songs about unrequited love ("Love And Anger", "Never Be Mine"), the pressures on modern relationships ("Between A Man And A Woman"), and self-doubt ("The Fog"). "Deeper Understanding" showed a remarkable prescience in its portrait of a lonely person who finds solace in the company of a computer. "Rocket's Tail" (dedicated to her pet cat, Rocket) invoked the joys of indulging in another's fantasy. The quirkiest track on the album, touched by Bush's trademark black humour, was "Heads We're Dancing", about a woman who dances all night with a charming stranger only to find out that he is Adolf Hitler. The title track drew its inspiration from Ulysses by James Joyce. Bush realised that the closing passage of the novel, a monologue by Molly Bloom, fitted the music she had created. When the Joyce estate refused to release the text, Bush wrote original lyrics that echo the original passage, as Molly steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. She also alluded to Jerusalem by William Blake in a cheeky reference to the song's gestation ("And my arrows of desire rewrite the speech"). The songs "Deeper Understanding", "Never Be Mine" and "Rocket's Tail" all feature backing vocals by the Bulgarian vocal ensemble the Trio Bulgarka. The Sensual World went on to become her biggest-selling album in the U.S., receiving a Gold award four years after its release for 500,000 copies sold.

The song "This Woman's Work," from the movie She's Having a Baby (1988), was re-edited for this album. On November 27, 2005, it was featured in the British TV drama Walk Away and I Stumble. Due to that broadcast, the song reached the number three position on the UK download chart. It is also used in a long-running television advert for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, broadcast in 2005-06.

The Red Shoes (1993)

The Red Shoes takes its title from the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; the story of the film, and the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen which in turn inspired it, concerns a dancer possessed by her art who cannot shake off the eponymous shoes and find peace. The album sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.

The musical style was far more simple and direct than on any album since Never For Ever. The initial plan had been to take the songs out on the road and so Bush deliberately aimed for a live band feel, with less of the studio trickery that had typified her last three albums and which would be difficult to recreate on stage. The result alienated some of her fan base who enjoyed the intricacy of her earlier compositions, but others found a new complexity in the lyrics and the emotions they expressed. Gone were the stories and character pieces of her earlier work to be replaced by a set of songs that are almost like a diary. This was a troubled time for Bush. She had suffered a series of bereavements, including the loss of her favoured guitarist, Alan Murphy, and, most painfully, her mother, Hannah. Many of the people she lost are honoured on the ballad, "Moments Of Pleasure", as well as Douglas Fairbanks, who she has said got in the same lift as her once. Her long-term relationship with Del Palmer had also broken down, although the pair continued to work together and many of the songs on the album are about the break-up, most searingly "You're The One". Despite the fact that her pain and grief are obvious throughout the album, Bush's trademark sense of humour was still in place, notably on the quirky disco-shanty "Constellation Of The Heart" and the lead single "Rubberband Girl (her voice stretches like a rubberband towards the end of the song, as if she is playing up to her popular image and saying `Prepare yourself for another eccentric Kate Bush moment') Comedian Lenny Henry also provided guest vocals on "Why Should I Love You?", a track that featured significant contributions from Prince and has a church music feel in parts as does 'Big stripey lie'. The heavy track "And So Is Love" also features guitar work by Eric Clapton. A film, The Line, the Cross and the Curve, starring Kate Bush and Miranda Richardson, was released the same year, featuring 6 of the songs on the album and the fruit imagery from the 'Eat the music' section (similar kind of joyous folk pop to Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al) is used in the artwork of the album's interior sleeve and the back of the exterior sleeve.

Aerial (2005)

Kate Bush's eighth studio album, Aerial, is a two-disc set released in November 2005. The first single from the album was "King of the Mountain". The song makes references to Elvis Presley and the film Citizen Kane. The track was played for the first time on BBC Radio 2 on September 21, 2005, and was made available for download as of September 27.

Aerial is one of Bush's most critically acclaimed albums.[1] Musically, the album is an ambitious and multi-layered work, incorporating elements of folk, Renaissance, classical, reggae, and samba into an adventurous pop style. As on 1985's Hounds of Love, the double album is split into two sections. The first disc, subtitled A Sea of Honey, features a set of thematically unrelated songs including the first single "King of the Mountain", a Renaissance-style ode to her son "Bertie", and "Joanni", based on the story of Joan of Arc. In the song "π", Bush sings the number to its 137th decimal place (though she omits, for an unknown reason, the 79th to 100th decimal places). In the simple piano and vocal piece "A Coral Room", which deals with the loss of Kate's mother and the passage of time, there appear to be allusions to Atlantis, Shakespeare's "Tempest" and, interestingly, to themes of drowning, which apparently interested Bush in the 1980s on "Hounds of Love/The Ninth Wave". "A Coral Room" has been hailed by commercial media reviewers as "stunning" in its simplicity, "profoundly moving" and the "one of the most beautiful" pieces Bush has ever recorded. The second disc, subtitled A Sky of Honey, features thematically related songs linked by the presence of birdsong (the album's cover art, which seems to show a mountain range at sunset over a sea is in fact a waveform which represents birdsong). The second disc features Rolf Harris playing the didgeridoo on a couple of tracks as he had done on her earlier single "The Dreaming" and its instrumental follow-up, "Dreamtime" (Harris also provides vocals as "The Artist" on the disc). Other artists guesting on the album include Peter Erskine, Eberhard Weber, Lol Creme and Procol Harum's Gary Brooker. Two tracks feature string arrangements by Michael Kamen, performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

On October 17, 2005, "King of the Mountain" entered the UK Downloads Chart at number six and by 30 October, it became her third highest charting single ever in the UK, peaking at number four on the full chart.

On November 13, 2005, Aerial entered the UK Albums Chart at number three, selling more than 90,000 copies in its first week on release. On the same day in Australia, Aerial entered the Australian ARIA Album chart at number twenty-five. Within five months of its release, the album had sold more than 1.1 million copies worldwide.

Aerial earned Bush two nominations at the 2006 Brit Awards, in the Best British Female Solo Artist and Best British Album categories.

On March 13, 2006, EMI released all of Bush's previous catalogue through The Red Shoes, including The Whole Story, on compact disc with cardboard cases made to look like the original vinyl prints.

Musical style

In terms of genre, Kate Bush is clearly part of the same British progressive rock movement that also gave rise to Genesis and Pink Floyd, although her musical style is a later manifestation of this school. Even in her earliest works where the piano was a primary instrument, Bush wove together many diverse influences, melding classical music, rock, and a wide range of ethnic and folk sources, to produce a uniquely impressive amalgam, and this has continued throughout her career. More than one reviewer has used the term "surreal" to describe much of her music, for many of the songs have a melodramatic emotional and musical surrealism that defies easy categorization. It has been observed that even the more joyous pieces are often tinged with traces of melancholy, and even the most sorrowful have elements of a unique vitality struggling against all that would oppress it. The unapologetic use of her voice as an instrument to convey a broad range of emotional intensity and subtlety is one thing that characterizes nearly all that she does.

Kate Bush has tackled sensitive and taboo subjects long before it has become fashionable to do so; "Kashka From Baghdad" is a song about a gay male couple; "Breathing" explores the results of nuclear fallout. Her lyrics are highly literate and reference a wide array of subject-matter, often relatively obscure, such as Wilhelm Reich in "Cloudbusting", or G. I. Gurdjieff in "Them Heavy People" while 'Deeper Understanding' from The Sensual World portrays a near-future world where people stay indoors, talking to their computers to the point of obsession.

The lush arrangements, complex production and intelligent, thoughtful lyrics can sometimes mask the fact that Kate Bush is a peculiarly witty writer and that comedy is not only a big influence on her — she has cited Monty Python, Woody Allen, Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones as particular favourites — but also a significant component of her work.

Live performances

Bush's only tour took place in early 1979 (3 April–13 May see details below), after which she gave only the occasional live performance. A number of reasons have been suggested as to why she abandoned touring, among them her reputed need to be in total control of the final product, which is incompatible with live stage performance, a rumour of a crippling fear of flying, and the suggestion that the death of 21 year old Bill Duffield severely affected her. Duffield, her lighting director, was killed in an accident during her 2 April concert at Poole Arts Centre, when he fell twenty feet through an open trap door on the stage. Bush held a benefit concert on 12 May, with Peter Gabriel and Steve Harley at London's Hammersmith Odeon for his family. Bill would be honoured in two later songs: "Blow Away" on Never for Ever and "Moments Of Pleasure" on The Red Shoes. Bush explained in a BBC Radio 2 interview with Mark Radcliffe that she actually enjoyed the tour, but was consumed with producing her subsequent records (being more involved with the recording process than most artists).

During the same period as her tour, she made numerous television appearances around the world. She appeared in Germany: Bio's Bahnhof on 9 February 1978; in the United Kingdom: Top of the Pops on 16 February, 1978; in the United States: Saturday Night Live on 9th December, 1978 (with Paul Shaffer on piano). She also made appearances on Japanese television.

In March 1987, Bush sang "Running Up That Hill" at The Secret Policeman's Third Ball, with David Gilmour on guitar.

In January 2002, Bush appeared with David Gilmour singing "Comfortably Numb" at Festival Hall In London, England.

Video projects

Kate Bush was one of the first musicians to utilise the burgeoning music video industry, creating videos for many of her singles, and even some album tracks that were not issued as singles. EMI Records has released a few collections of Bush's videos, including, Live at Hammersmith Odeon, The Single File, Hair of the Hound, The Whole Story, and The Sensual World.

Kate Bush appeared in many innovative music videos, designed to accompany her singles releases. Among the best known are those for "Cloudbusting" (featuring actor Donald Sutherland, who made time during the filming of another project to take part in the video), "Running Up That Hill", "Babooshka", "Breathing", and "Wuthering Heights".

In 1993, Bush directed and starred in the short film, The Line, The Cross and The Curve, a musical co-starring Miranda Richardson featuring music from Bush's album The Red Shoes which was inspired by the classic movie of the same name.

In 1994, Kate Bush provided the music used in series of psychedelic-themed television commercials for the soft drink Fruitopia that appeared in the United States. The same company aired the ads in the United Kingdom, but the British version featured Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins instead of Bush.

Movie projects

Bush starred in a movie called Les Dogs, produced by Comic Strip for BBC television. She also wrote the original music score for another Comic Strip production, called GLC: The Carnage Continues....

Beginning in 1982 on the UK's Channel 4, Comic Strip Presents offered a series of comedy movies featuring comedians including Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Robbie Coltrane, and others. The movies are usually written and produced by Peter Richardson, who also usually stars.

In Les Dogs, which aired on 8 March 1990, Bush plays the bride Angela at a wedding set in a post-apocalyptic version of Britain. Whilst Bush's is a silent presence in a wedding dress throughout most of the film, she does have several lines of dialogue with Peter Richardson in two dream sequences.

For GLC, she produced the theme song "Ken" which includes a vocal performance by Bush. She also produced all the incidental music, which is synthesizer based.

In 1985 Bush contributed a darkly melancholic version of the song "Brazil" to the soundtrack of the Terry Gilliam film of the same name. The track was scored and arranged by Michael Kamen.

In 1986, she wrote and recorded "Be Kind To My Mistakes" for the Nicholas Roeg film, Castaway. Subsequently, in 1990, a remixed version was included in an album of B-sides in her box set "This Woman's Work".

In 1999, Bush wrote and recorded a song for the Disney film, Dinosaur, but due to complications the track was ultimately not included on the soundtrack. According to HomeGround, a Kate Bush fanzine, it was scrapped when Disney asked Bush to rewrite the song and Bush refused; however, according to Disney, the song was cut from the film when preview audiences did not respond well to the track.



A wide diversity of respected artists have worked with Kate Bush on some of her more recent albums ranging from the rock guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour and Ian Bairnson, bassists Mick Karn and John Giblin, jazz/rock drummer Stuart Elliot, jazz bassist Eberhard Weber, violinist Nigel Kennedy, the classical guitarist John Williams, folk artists The Trio Bulgarka, Gary Brooker, Prince as well as numerous Irish trad/folk musicians such as various members of Planxty.

Kate Bush provided vocals on two of Peter Gabriel's albums, most notably on the hits "Games Without Frontiers" and "Don't Give Up" (the latter a duet). He also appeared on her 1979 television special. Their duet of Roy Harper's "Another Day" was discussed for release as a single, but this never came to pass.

Harper is another frequent collaborator, appearing on her song "Breathing" and she on his albums HQ, Once (both also featuring David Gilmour) and The Unknown Soldier.

In 1986, Bush provided backing vocals for the title track of the Big Country album "The Seer".

In 1987, Kate Bush sang a verse on the charity single "Let it be" by Ferry Aid.

In 1988, Bush sang on the Midge Ure song "Sister and brother" on his album "Answers to nothing".

In 1989, Bush sang a line on the charity single "Spirit of the forest" by Spirit of the forest.

In 1989, Bush sang on the Go West single "The King is Dead"

In 1990, Loopzone sampled "Night scented stock" for their track "Les enfants du paradis".

In 1992, the British dance act Utah Saints sampled a line from "Cloudbusting" for their hit single "Something good".

In 1996, Kate Bush contributed a version of "Mná Na hÉireann" ("Women of Ireland") to the compilation "Common Ground". She sang in the original Irish. The instrumental of this tune, as performed by the Chieftains, was included in the film "Barry Lyndon". The music for this film won the Oscar in 1976.

In 1996, Kate Bush provided backing vocals for the song "My Computer" of the Prince album "Emancipation".

In 2003, Ayla presents Yel sampled "Cloudbusting" for their track "Sun is Coming Out".

Kate Bush as an inspiration for other artists

Bush has been noted as an influence and inspiration by artists as diverse as Milla Jovovich, Polly Jean Harvey, Charlotte Martin, Jane Siberry, Kele Okereke, KT Tunstall, Placebo (who have covered Running Up That Hill), Fiona Apple, Liv Kristine, Jewel, Emilie Simon, Coldplay, Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Mylène Farmer, Nolwenn Leroy, Tori Amos (who has covered "Running up that Hill" and "And Dream Of Sheep" in live performances), Björk, The Tiny, Sarah McLachlan, Suede, Paula Cole, Sinéad O'Connor (who covered "Don't Give Up" with Willie Nelson), Pat Benatar, Happy Rhodes (who covered "And Dream Of Sheep" in live performances), Maxwell, The Utah Saints, Utada Hikaru, Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast, Tupac Shakur, The Futureheads, Goldfrapp, The Decemberists, Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright, Terry Taylor, Prince, Ariel Pink, Within Temptation, Dido and others. In fact, in the 1980s and 1990s it became almost standard for individualistic female singer-songwriters to be compared to Bush by the media. The trip hop artist Tricky has stated her work has been a significant influence on him and that she should be treasured more than the Beatles. Though many outside Europe remain unfamiliar with her work and its profound intensity, others in her profession are willing to declare her works as those of great genius. Even the iconoclastic punk rocker John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) has declared her work to be "fucking brilliant" and has labelled her "a true original." Suede front-man Brett Anderson has stated that "Wuthering Heights" was the first single he ever bought.

Kate Bush covered by other artists

Many artists around the world have recorded cover versions of Kate Bush songs, including Pat Benatar, Charlotte Church, The Decemberists, The Futureheads, Hayley Westenra, Christine Collister, and other musicians ranging from pop and rock to dance and metal versions.



Year Album UK US AUS albums Additional Information
1978 The Kick Inside 3 - 3 debut album. One of EMI's first CD releases, in 1983
1978 Lionheart 6 - 12 -
1980 Never for Ever 1 - 7 -
1982 The Dreaming 3 157 22 -
1985 Hounds of Love 1 30 6 First album to be released directly on CD. CD re-issued in 1997, remastered and with six bonus tracks
1986 The Whole Story 1 78 28 hits compilation album, includes a new rendition of "Wuthering Heights"
1989 The Sensual World 2 43 25 -
1993 The Red Shoes 2 28 17 -
1994 Live at Hammersmith Odeon - - - live recording, released as a CD/video combination
2005 Aerial 3 48 25 double album


Year Song UK singles US Hot 100 US Modern Rock AUS singles NZ singles Album Notes
1978 "Wuthering Heights" 1 (108) - 1 1 The Kick Inside Kate Bush's debut single
1978 "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" 6 85 - 22 36 The Kick Inside -
1978 "Them Heavy People" - - - - - The Kick Inside released in Japan only
1978 "Hammer Horror" 44 - - 17 21 Lionheart -
1979 "Wow" 14 - - - - Lionheart -
1979 "Live On Stage" EP 10 - - - - - recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon
1979 "Symphony in Blue" - - - - - Lionheart released in Japan only
1980 "Breathing" 16 - - - - Never For Ever -
1980 "Babooshka" 5 - - 2 8 Never For Ever -
1980 "Army Dreamers" 12 - - - - Never For Ever -
1980 "December Will Be Magic Again" 29 - - - - - non-album Christmas song
1981 "Sat In Your Lap" 11 - - 93 - The Dreaming -
1982 "The Dreaming" 48 - - 91 - The Dreaming -
1982 "There Goes a Tenner" - - - - - The Dreaming -
1982 "Suspended in Gaffa" - - - - - The Dreaming -
1983 "Night of The Swallow - - - - - The Dreaming released in Ireland only
1985 "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" 3 30 - 6 26 Hounds Of Love -
1985 "Cloudbusting" 20 - - - - Hounds Of Love -
1986 "Hounds Of Love" 18 - - - - Hounds Of Love -
1986 "The Big Sky" 37 - - - - Hounds Of Love -
1986 "Experiment IV" 20 - - - - The Whole Story -
1987 "Don't Give Up" 9 72 - 5 16 Peter Gabriel - So Duet with Peter Gabriel
1989 "The Sensual World" 12 - 6 44 - The Sensual World -
1989 "This Woman's Work" 25 - - 89 - The Sensual World -
1990 "Love and Anger" 38 - 1 - - The Sensual World -
1991 "Rocket Man" 12 - 11 2 - Two Rooms Elton John tribute album
1993 "Rubberband Girl" 12 88 7 39 34 The Red Shoes -
1993 "Eat the Music" - - 10 - - The Red Shoes -
1993 "Moments Of Pleasure" 26 - - - - The Red Shoes -
1994 "The Red Shoes" 21 - - - - The Red Shoes -
1994 "And So Is Love" 26 - - - - The Red Shoes -
1994 "The Man I Love" 27 - - - - The Glory of Gershwin George Gershwin tribute album
2005 "King of the Mountain" 4 - - - - Aerial -
2005 "This Woman's Work" * 8 - - - - The Sensual World not an official single release; was available only as a download. (*UK Downloads chart)



  • 1981 Live at the Hammersmith Odeon

  • 1983 The Single File

  • 1986 Hair of the Hound

  • 1986 The Whole Story

  • 1989 The Sensual World: The Videos

  • 1993 The Line, the Cross and the Curve


  • Kate Bush: A Visual Documentary

by Kevin Cann, Sean Mayes

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