Monday, 19 January 2015

My Week with Kate Bush begins

I have chosen Kate Bush as the artist I am going to spend my week with. By spending my week with, what I mean is finding out more about her, looking back at her career and generally learning more about her.

Then, I shall choose just 7 of her songs, one per day aka a week. I shall review each song and then decide at the end of my week which is my top song.

So without further ado lets get started and get to know more about this great British artist.

I grew up with Kate Bush. My dad was a huge fan, and as a 70's child, she was at her prime when I was young. Even then I realised she was something out of the norm and quite extraordinary.

Catherine Bush was born in Kent in 1958. She was signed at the unbelievably young age of 16, but it took a couple of years before her debut album was produced and launched. That album was 'The Kick Inside', and was released in 1977 when she was 19 years old.

Its fair to say that Kate Bush was destined for fame. She had penned some of the songs on the debut album when she was in her early teens, along with literally hundreds of other songs. No shortage of talent here.

She was signed to EMI, but so the story goes even then Kate had the final say in which song would be the lead single from her debut album. 'Wuthering Heights' was released in 1978 and it was a number hit in the UK charts. What a song it was - her high pitched and haunting vocals soared over the powerful music.

'Lionheart' was her second album, released in 1978. The 'Kick Inside' had reached number 3 in the UK album chart. 'Lionheart' reached number 6.

'Never for Ever' followed in 1980. Being the 80's, this album sounded a bit more electronic and clearly us Brits loved it. This was her first album to hit the number 1 spot. By this point she was co-producing and had set up her own company Kate Bush Music.

Her next album was produced by Kate herself. Her 1982 album 'The Dreaming' is I think best described as eccentric. It was a number 3 hit in the album chart, but didn't sell as well as most of her work.

'Hounds of Love' was her next album in 1985. She had continued with her tendency to want to be in control, having had her own studio built. 'Hounds of Love' was a massive hit reaching the number 1 spot in the UK album chart, earning her lots of accolades.

EMI released her greatest hits album in 1986, called 'The Whole Story'. She also released a duet with Peter Gabriel the same year, 'Don't Give Up'.

1989 saw her released the album 'The Sensual World'. This album hit number 2 in the UK singles chart. She followed it with 'This Woman's Work' box set in 1990, which included all her previous albums, B-sides to date.

1990 saw her release her own cover version of Elton John's 'Rocket Man'. In 1993 she released 'The Red Shoes'. This one reached number 2 in the UK album chart.

Between 1993, she took some time out. From what I gather, it was never her intention to stay away from the spotlight for so light, but nevertheless it was 2005 before she released her next album, 'Aerial'. It reached number 3 in the UK album chart and was quite the comeback album.

In 2011 she released her next album 'Director's Cut'. In short, it was kind of a revamped version of some of her earlier songs. Next came '50 words for snow'. It features Stephen Fry reading 50 words for snow as one collaboration. Her son appears on the song called 'Snowflake'. Well, I did start by saying Ms Bush has a leaning towards eccentric did I not?

Kate Bush has been around for a very long time, which in itself is an achievement. She's released 10 studio albums, over 30 singles. She has received and been nominated for practically every music award, including Grammy's, Brits and Ivor Novello, and a CBE.

She has the most distinctive voice I have ever heard. She was much higher and a bit more screechy in her earlier stuff, and seems to have deepened over the years in both voice and topic. Her songs are not pop, not folk, not jazz, not anything in particular, at times mixing all influences together. She is someone who is not afraid to try new things and to experiment.

Visually she is striking. Dark hair, petite features, porcelain complexion. She is a natural beauty, but has that quirky style that makes her unique.

I'm looking forward to spending the week with Kate Bush. Its going to be an adventure.

Check back soon for Day 1's choice. You can check out my previous artists to keep you entertained whilst you wait over at My Music page - just click here :)

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