Kate’s stellar debut album
Kate Bush is one of the most impressive artists out there. Her voice is her most magnificent instrument, there is talk about four-octave range which would be very impressive indeed. She may not be able to go all the way with her voice anymore, and yet I love it more and more the older she gets. But singing aside, it’s her personality I really love, or is it maybe her artist persona? To me I see a powerful will with a strong individual self. She’s like a witch, but the good kind. I get the feeling that she will only have it her way, and I admire that. Her story started in the seventies…
Legend has it that David Gilmour discovered Kate Bush at a very young age, around fourteen years old. It was around 1973 and her first album was still to be released five years later. In 1975 Gilmour produced two songs that also ended up on the debut, “The man with the child in his eyes” and “The saxophone song”.
The debut album is great. It’s unique and Kate can’t be compared to anyone. The music is theatrical and complex, true art pop with influences from baroque music as well as progressive rock from the seventies. Even though she has released several singles from each album I don’t see her music as focused on hit singles. The music is part of a bigger unit – the album, and it should be enjoyed in that format.
The remastered vinyl from 2018 is quite nice. I hear some background noise in a few places, most notably between songs on the second side. But the overall quality is great, and the music is clear and separated.
The artwork, an excellent replica of the original LP cover from the seventies, is glossy and colourful. It is more interesting than beautiful. It’s like a picture from a dream.
“Moving” is a perfect first song with focus on Kates voice quite soft with clear drums and some interesting turns musically. It gets you in the mood for the album, one of many songs that are very theatrical. The album starts with sounds of whales similar to what Crosby, Stills & Nash used to use.
The second song “The saxophone song” is the first one Gilmour produced and sure enough it starts off with pigs grunting. Also, the forceful saxophone gets us Pink Floyd fans to feel home. Thinking about Us and them or why not Shine on?
“Strange phenomena” is straight forward but very nice. The production is really good where you hear the voice, drums, piano and bass clearly.
“The man with child in his eyes” is beautiful. It starts out simple, Kate’s voice and an orchestra with piano and flutes in the forefront. Very, very nice indeed.
The albums magnus opus is of course “Wuthering heights”. It is sung in a high tone, a youngster’s voice. It starts with the iconic first lines, but when the drums kick in I got goose bumps running up my arms. Clearly influenced by the book or the movies, the song is about what you would expect. It is nearly perfect, even though the guitar solo in the end doesn’t do that much for me.
“Them heavy people” is quite fun with the male backing vocals. The song makes me think about “circus music” or maybe it’s a little vaudeville. “James and the cold gun” is a wonderful up-tempo song. “Feel it” seems very sincere. Well, all songs on the second side is fun to listen to.
As a first album this is great. It may not be my favourite of hers, but it has such an unique identity that makes it not only beautiful but also important… Yes!
My rating: 7/10
- The saxophone song
- Strange phenomena
- The man with the child in his eyes
- Wuthering heights
- James and the cold gun
- Feel it
- Oh to be in love
- L’amour looks something like you
- Them heavy people
- Room for the life
- The kick inside
Best songs: “Wuthering heights”, “Moving”
Produced by: Andrew Powell and David Gilmour (two songs)
Released: February 17, 1978