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Kate Bush

One of the most successful and popular solo female performers to come out of England during the last several decades of the 20th century, Kate Bush was also one of the most unusual, with her keening vocals and unusually literate and complex body of songs. As a girl, Catherine Bush studied piano and violin while attending the St. Joseph's Convent Grammar School in Abbey Wood in South London. She also amused herself playing an organ in the barn behind her parents' house. By the time she was a teenager, Bush was writing songs of her own. A family friend, Ricky Hopper, heard her music and brought Bush to the attention of Pink Floyd lead guitarist David Gilmour, who arranged for the 15-year-old Bush to record her first demo. With Gilmour's help, Bush was signed to EMI Records at age 16, though the company made the decision to bring her along slowly. She studied dance, mime, and voice, and continued writing. She also began thinking in terms of which of the 200 or so songs she'd written would be part of her first recording, and by 1977, she was ready to begin her formal career, which she did with an original song, "Wuthering Heights," based on material from Emily Bronte's novel (and more directly inspired by Bush's seeing the 1970 film directed by Robert Fuest and starring Timothy Dalton and Anna Caulder Marshall).

The song would set a pattern for much of her future work, which was filled with literary and other external thematic allusions, and sometimes made even fans feel as though her lyrics ideally would come with footnotes -- heady stuff for a teenage rock singer in the late '70s. Her precocity was demonstrated by the approach she took to the song, deliberately affecting what she felt -- in her mid-teens -- was the voice of a ghostly Cathy, whom she regarded as a dangerous, grasping figure, reaching out to her lover even from the grave. "Wuthering Heights" rose to number one on the British charts when it was released in 1978, and Bush became an overnight sensation at the age of 19. Her debut album, The Kick Inside, a collection of material that she had written from 15 onward, some of it displaying extremely provocative and sophisticated sexual references and images, reached number three and sold over a million copies in the U.K.

Bush's second album, Lionheart, reached number six but didn't achieve anything like the sales totals or critical acclaim of its predecessor, and in later years Bush regretted the rush involved in planning and recording that album to capitalize on the success of her debut. In England during the spring of 1979, Bush embarked on what proved to be the only concert tour of her career to date, playing a series of shows highlighted by 17 costume changes, lots of dancing, and complex lighting. Bush was also apparently the first rock performer (at least since the days in the early '60s when Sweden's Spotnicks experimented with a more primitive version of the technology) to make use of a wireless voice microphone, which freed her up to move around the stage as few singers before her had been capable of doing. The tour proved both exhausting and financially disastrous, and ever since then Bush has avoided any but the most limited live concert appearances, primarily in support of certain charitable causes. This absence from the concert stage, the extended periods -- often as much as three to five years -- between albums, and the dense, reference-filled nature of her songs and lyrics have also resulted in Bush becoming one of the more enigmatic pop artists in England since the Beatles; her relatively private personal life has only added to the mystique surrounding her. But her relative aloofness and her unusual sound and approach to pop music also made it more difficult to "explain" or encapsulate her work in a few words to the uninitiated, especially in America, where radio play and television exposure proved much harder to come by during the first few years of her career.

By the start of the 1980s, Bush was established as one of the most challenging and eccentric artists ever to have achieved success in rock music, with a range of sounds and interests that constantly challenged listeners, encompassing literature, art, poetry, cinema, history, and all manner of other subjects. "Babooshka" (1980) became her first Top Five single since "Wuthering Heights," and her subsequent album, Never for Ever, entered the British charts at number one in September of 1980. During this period, Bush began co-producing her own work, a decisive step toward refining her sound and also establishing her independence from her record company. Although 1982's The Dreaming reached number three, the single "There Goes a Tenner" failed to reach the charts, and most observers felt that Bush had lost her audience. Bush was unfazed by the criticism, and even began taking steps to make herself more independent of her record label by establishing a home studio, this partly in response to EMI's huge studio charges on her previous records -- from the mid-'80s onward, Bush was free to spend her time at her leisure working out her sound, and it seemed to pay off with her next release.

After two years' absence, Bush re-emerged in August of 1985 with "Running Up That Hill," which became her second biggest-selling single. The accompanying album, Hounds of Love, the first record made at her 48-track home studio, debuted on the British charts at the number one position in September of 1985 and remained there for a full month, and soon after "Running Up That Hill" gave Bush her long-awaited American breakthrough, reaching number 30 on Billboard's charts. By this time, in England Bush was ranked alongside Madonna in terms of her musical impact, "Running Up That Hill" having bumped "Like a Virgin" out of the number one chart position. The changes in her sound and her development as a writer/performer were showcased in the January 1987 best-of collection The Whole Story, for which she also re-recorded the lead vocal for "Wuthering Heights" to bring the song more in line with her sound as it was in her twenties (she later admitted that she would have liked to have done something similar with several of her other early recordings done when she was in her teens). The album also featured her latest single, "Experiment IV," whose lyrics were built on a science fiction story line that was echoed in the video, which Bush directed with a cast of familiar movie performers, and which came out like a miniaturized musical version of a Quatermass-like chiller. That same year, Bush won the Best British Female Artist award at the sixth-annual BRIT Awards in London.

In October of 1989, Bush's first new album in almost four years, The Sensual World, reached the British number two spot, and received an unprecedented promotional push in America, where she signed with Columbia Records for her future releases. Bush's next album, The Red Shoes (1993), inspired by the 1948 film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, debuted in the American Top 30, the first time one of her albums had ever charted that high -- Bush made a rare personal appearance in New York that December, an autograph signing at Tower Records on the Lower East Side, and the resulting line of admirers stretched almost six blocks, and required her to extend her appearance by several hours (she was still delighted and amazed by the procession five hours into the event).

It would be another 12 years before Bush would resume her recording career. Rumors of a new album began circulating in the late '90s. During this time, Bush became a mother and quietly retreated to her countryside home in Berkshire, Reading, England. In 2005, Bush finally released her follow-up to The Red Shoes, the double-disc set Aerial. After another six-year silence, Bush released The Director's Cut in 2011. It was a collection of 11 redone songs taken from 1989's The Sensual World and 1993's The Red Shoes. Bush claimed she was never quite satisfied with what was released, and therefore decided to rework elements in the chosen songs -- she recut all of her vocals and drums, and left virtually everything else unchanged. That said, the title of the song "The Sensual World" was renamed "Flower of the Mountain," because there, Bush also changed the words. Bush proved somewhat prolific in 2011 when she released 50 Words for Snow on Anti in November, an all new concept recording containing seven long tracks. Jazz drummer Steve Gadd plays throughout, with Bush's son Bertie guesting on one track and Sir Elton John duetting with Bush on "Snowed in at Wheeler Street."

In March 2014, Bush shocked her fans by announcing she would be returning to the stage for the first time in 35 years. Bush revealed she would perform a series of concerts at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in August and September of that year. Bush initially booked 15 shows, all of which sold out after just 15 minutes on sale. Another seven nights were soon added, which were also immediate sellouts. Bush's concerts, featuring an ambitious blend of music, dance, and drama, received enthusiastic reviews, and the show received the Editor's Award at the London Theatre Awards. In late 2016, Bush released an album drawn from the London performances. Titled Before the Dawn, the live album was released by Bush's own Fish People label, distributed by Rhino Records in Europe and the U.K. and by Concord Music in the United States. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Before The Dawn (Live)

Disc 1

1. Act One - Lily (Live)

2. Act One - Hounds Of Love (Live)

3. Act One - Joanni (Live)

4. Act One - Top Of The City (Live)

5. Act One - Never Be Mine (Live)

6. Act One - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Live)

7. Act One - King Of The Mountain (Live)

Disc 2

1. Act Two - Astronomer's Call (Feat. Kevin Doyle) (Spoken Monologue / Live)

2. Act Two - And Dream Of Sheep (Live)

3. Act Two - Under Ice (Live)

4. Act Two - Waking The Witch (Feat. Jo Servi & Paddy Bush) (Live)

5. Act Two - Watching Them Without Her (Feat. Albert McIntosh & Bob Harms) (Dialogue / Live)

6. Act Two - Watching You Without Me (Live)

7. Act Two - Little Light (Live)

8. Act Two - Jig Of Life (Feat. John Carder Bush) (Live)

9. Act Two - Hello Earth (Live)

10. Act Two - The Morning Fog (Live)

Disc 3

1. Act Three - Prelude (Feat. Albert McIntosh) (Live)

2. Act Three - Prologue (Live)

3. Act Three - An Architect's Dream (Live)

4. Act Three - The Painter's Link (Feat. Albert McIntosh) (Live)

5. Act Three - Sunset (Live)

6. Act Three - Aerial Tal (Live)

7. Act Three - Somewhere In Between (Live)

8. Act Three - Tawny Moon (Feat. Albert McIntosh) (Live)

9. Act Three - Nocturn (Live)

10. Act Three - Aerial (Live)

11. Act Three - Among Angels (Live)

12. Act Three - Cloudbusting (Live)


Track List: Act Two - And Dream Of Sheep (Single)


Track List: Act One - King Of The Mountain (Single)


Track List: 50 Words For Snow

1. Snowflake

2. Lake Tahoe

3. Misty

4. Wildman

5. Snowed-In At Wheeler Street

6. 50 Words For Snow

7. Among Angels


Track List: Wild Man (Single)

1. Wild Man


Track List: Director's Cut

2. Song Of Solomon

3. Deeper Understanding

4. Lily

5. The Red Shoes

6. This Woman's Work

7. Moments Of Pleasure

8. Never Be Mine

9. Top Of The City

10. And So Is Love

11. Rubberband Girl


Track List: Deeper Understanding (Radio Single)


Track List: King Of The Mountain

1. King Of The Mountain

2. Sexual Healing


Track List: King Of The Mountain (Single)

1. King Of The Mountain


Track List: Aerial

Disc 1

1. King Of The Mountain

2. Pi

3. Bertie

4. Mrs. Bartolozzi

5. How To Be Invisible

6. Joanni

7. A Coral Room

Disc 2

Track List: The Red Shoes

1. Rubberband Girl

2. And So is Love

3. Eat The Music

4. Moments Of Pleasure

5. The Song Of Solomon

6. Lily

7. The Red Shoes

8. Top Of The City

9. Constellation Of The Heart

10. Big Stripey Lie

11. Why Should I Love You?

12. You're The One


Track List: The Sensual World

1. The Sensual World

2. Love And Anger

3. The Fog

4. Reaching Out

5. Heads We're Dancing

6. Deeper Understanding

7. Between a Man and a Woman

8. Never Be Mine

9. Rocket's Tail

10. This Woman's Work

11. Walk Straight Down The Middle


Track List: The Whole Story

1. Wuthering Heights (New Vocal)

2. Cloudbusting

3. The Man With The Child In His Eyes

4. Breathing

5. Wow

6. Hounds Of Love

7. Running Up That Hill

8. Army Dreamers

9. Sat In Your Lap

10. Experiment IV

11. The Dreaming

12. Babooshka


Track List: Hounds Of Love

1. Running Up That Hill

2. Hounds Of Love

3. The Big Sky

4. Mother Stands For Comfort

5. Cloudbusting

6. And Dream Of Sheep

7. Under Ice

8. Waking The Witch

9. Watching You Without Me

10. Jig Of Life

11. Hello Earth

12. The Morning Fog


Track List: The Dreaming

1. Sat In Your Lap

2. There Goes A Tenner

3. Pull Out The Pin

4. Suspended In Gaffa

5. Leave It Open

6. The Dreaming

7. Night Of The Swallow

8. All The Love

9. Houdini

10. Get Out Of My House


Track List: Never For Ever

1. Babooshka

2. Delius (Song Of Summer)

3. Blow Away (For Bill)

4. All We Ever Look For

5. Egypt

6. The Wedding List

7. Violin

8. The Infant Kiss

9. Night Scented Stock

10. Army Dreamers

11. Breathing


Track List: Lionheart

1. Symphony In Blue

2. In Search Of Peter Pan

3. Wow

4. Don't Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake

5. Oh England My Lionheart

6. Fullhouse

7. In The Warm Room

8. Kashka From Baghdad

9. Coffee Homeground

10. Hammer Horror


Track List: The Kick Inside

1. Moving

2. The Saxophone Song

3. Strange Phenomena

4. Kite

5. The Man With The Child In His Eyes

6. Wuthering Heights

7. James And The Cold Gun

8. Feel It

9. Oh To Be In Love

10. L'Amour Looks Something Like You

11. Them Heavy People

12. Room For The Life

13. The Kick Inside


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Kate Bush, I've loved your music right from the beginning. Each album tells a story. One of the best storytellers of all time. Haunting lyrics matched with a haunting and unique voice.
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Oh love to the world
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kelleylinda8 4 0
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Always Kate Bush, since I was 18 and now 52.........
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She's Having A Baby brought me here.
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@trlauer6 No s**t?
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contarinifam i l y
What a beautiful soul this woman has.
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Of all the music artists/grou p s I love, Kate Bush is still #1 over all on having a strange yet hypnotic sound that still lulls and stirs within me.
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what an outstanding artist she is indeed
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My whole life has been inspired by her music.... she's like the air that I breathe.... she sounds like something out of this world.... completely touches my feelings in every sense.
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This song makes me cry sometimes.
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I agree, Awesome!!!
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one totally awesome artist!!!. I was listing to her before she ever made it to the US
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jeromepaulmc g
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Reminds me of the female singers from the 80s.
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Heard this song in She's Having A Baby.
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Love Kate Bush. So...differe n t .
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She's annoying. So much so that I had to stop what I was doing to give her a thumbs down
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Love. This. Song
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My body feels alive!!! Listening to Kate Bush sing "running up that hill! I love her almost as much as Joni Mitchell!!
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Love this song
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Do you wanna hear about the deal? Love you Kate.
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walksinwater 7
The 80's Joni Mitchell but, Kate Bush is a great artist by all means. I'm still running up that hill. BRAVA!!!!
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michaelrocks 6 8
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The best way yof to us all a**hole
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I'm up to a lot youtube playlist and a lot more than the first one was injured up and I don't have a lot to be able the same thing to be say I don't use the term in office for a
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She was one of a kind! I love her and Tori Amos.
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I spent my youth in love with this woman from afar.
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Finally you played Hounds of love by
Kate Bush!! This was one of my favorite songs she ever did!!
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Kate's got a lot of heart!! She really gets into her songs as if that's her main form of communicatio n ! She is literally OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I have loved her for 25 years or so!! Hope she continues to express her soul!!
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Kate Bush is the Best of the Best. An unbelievably talented artist with a very diverse body of work spanning 35 years. She has a beautiful voice and is a superb piano player. Kate has worked on many projects with other fantastic artists as well. I saw her in concert in London last year and she put one hell of a showl!!!
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Say iPhone five times pick a color look under your pillow
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He suck because I hate you
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Ive listen to this song like many times and still I love it
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I have always liked Kates Bush great Dancer as well. Kate studied for it from memory. Everyone should look that up, to appreciate this great Artist.
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Lassie is Idks jdgj
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Sdhdajsjddit s u t t s u t s j d s j f ��������
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find the The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill' Documentary on youtube - WOW
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only PG comes close, but not really.
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Appreciated her music long before her popularity!! !
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all of my pieces thank you, kate!
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Love Maxwell's version too
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i love this girl.
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missjessiede e 1 3
I am in love...never had heard before .... Thank you Kate for changing my life
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The greatest artist across all mediums of the last 50 years.. one of her lines can change your life
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Normally I don't care for music like this, but I make an exception for Kate Bush..
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Her song writing really makes you feel what she's feeling when she wrote it, and her voice is angelic.
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1977 college radio. Brilliant and one helluva voice.
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