Tuesday, May 10, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 27)

Kate Bush takes up very little space on the shelf. I didn't really know of her work before the 1985 single "Running Up That Hill." That might be surprising to European readers, but she didn't have all that much success here in America. Bush has had 25 singles crack the top 40 in the UK, while today's pick remains the only one to do that over here. In fact, in the mid-80s, I knew her more for her work with Michael Kamen on the soundtrack to Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil,' the duet with Peter Gabriel on his song "Don't Give Up" or even her appearance on the title track to Big Country's 'The Seer' than just about any of her own material. I liked "Running Up That Hill" enough to get the album 'Hounds of Love,' and I still enjoy that one from beginning to end. Yet, other than a used copy of the compilation 'The Whole Story' bought around 1989, I never acquired anything else by Bush until 2014.

Why 2014? That's when Bush announced her big London residency at the Hammersmith Apollo. I seem to recall my blogging peers being split on her discography at the time, but what I remember for sure is that seemingly everyone was reading, writing or talking about her for a while there. On this side of the world, I'm guessing I wasn't alone in scratching my head at the level of excitement surrounding her return to the stage, but I tried to get into the spirit of the spectacle. I bought my first Bush album in 25 years when I picked up 'The Dreaming.' I found it to be pretty out there and certainly not as accessible as 'Hounds of Love.' After that I came to the conclusion I respect her art much more than I actually like listening to it. Weird, I know. I'll never tire of "Running Up That Hill," though. Let's listen to the 12". This was the first record I bought by her.

"Running Up That Hill" (Extended Version)

9 comments:

TheRobster said...

You know abut my love of Kate, especially The Dreaming. Have to say that Running Up That Hill isn't just one of Kate's best songs, it's one of the best British songs of all time.

Brian said...

I do remember, Robster. The recommendation came from you and, I believe, Friend of Rachel Worth. I'm aware I'm listening to something brilliant. Perhaps as someone who spends copious amounts of time taking in simplistic indie pop, 'The Dreaming' challenged me too much. I do plan to give it another go today. Running Up That Hill is so good even Americans couldn't ignore it.

friend of rachel worth said...

Genius is an over used word - but she is one.
I think the early stuff is a bit patchy - but from the Dreaming on it is all a joy even in the misfires . The 9th wave is up there in my top 10 bits of music.

The Swede said...

My favourite Kate Bush LP is 'Never For Ever', which was on constant rotation during much of my first year of working in a record shop. When I listen to the album these days I'm instantly transported back to the cramped space behind the counter, the claustrophobic kitchen area and the dank toilet facilities. I can recall all of my fellow staff members and many of our regular customers. The fun, the laughter and the music. And the innocence.

It was all a long time ago. Probably the happiest days of my life.

George said...

Superb comment from The Robster "one of the best British songs of all time", great hyperbole. Not as good as Fox On The Run, though!!!!!

Echorich said...

Not sure I can add anything more here, but Running Up That Hill is just on another level. There's so much tension, mystery and beauty realized in the song. Kate tapped into something that very few pop artists have - Bowie did - where art enhanced the song allowing it to transcend the genre without loosing its roots.

Brian said...

FORW, Not musically, but in a way kind of like Don't Get Weird on Me, Babe. The hits were on side one, but side two of Hounds of Love is where you are left with your jaw open.

Swede, I love memories like that. You're gonna make me grab for the tissues like you did with some of those record shop posts. Don't you want to talk to that young Swede behind the counter?

George, I agree with you about the Robster's comment. Best British songs could be quite a series. I might start with Waterloo Sunset though.

Echorich, Running Up That Hill and Heroes often made a great pairing during my mix tape years.

charity chic said...

She does divide opinion Brian doesn't she? I quite like her

The Swede said...

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there didn't I? I should add that I continued to thoroughly enjoy Kate's music, right up to, and including, 'Aerial', though the last couple of releases passed me by.