Kate Bush – Never for ever (1980)

I’m coming, coming, coming honey

The cover of “Never for ever” shows us Kate standing on a hill. Cascades of magical beings are shot out from under her skirt. There is a swan, a goblin, an angry bat, monkeys, a toad, a cat and many many more fantastic creatures. Where do they come from? How long have they lived there? Why did they leave?

Her third album is the darkest yet. Any album ending with such a dark song as “Breathing” is not a very light album. As taken pointers from Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, “Breathing” is an angry cry from a little child inside her mother’s womb for clean air to breath. It’s about the fallout from nuclear bombs, but the song may have a new meaning today with the pollution all around us, in the oceans and on the lands.

By this third album Kate has taken over the main responsibility as the producer and she hasn’t left it since. It is glorious.

The lyrics are dark and often inspired by films. The fantastic “The infant kiss” is inspired by the 1961 film “The innocents”. A governess suspects that the boy child in her care is possessed by a dead man. A fan-made film of shots from the film to the song was appreciated by Kate who said it was exactly those scenes she thought of when she wrote the song.

Almost as great, “The wedding list” is inspired by Truffaut’s 1968 film “The bride wore black” about a bride that avenge the murder of her dead groom. A very sad and dark song. Chilling.

“Delius (song of summer)” is inspired by 1968 tv movie “Song of summer”. The song is not the strongest on the album.

The single “Babooshka” is a nice intro to the album. I love the singing, and the story in the lyrics is ironic and dark. The wife is sad and afraid that her husband is unfaithful. She sends him letters to prove he is in the wrong. He is attracted by the anonymous woman sending him letters, as she is so like his wife was before she got sad. In the end the relationship is destroyed by the paranoia.

“Blow away (for Bill)” and “All we ever look for” are very dark. “Egypt” is dreamy and a nice tune, one of the better songs on side A.

The first side of the LP is soft and gloomy, but it is the second side of the LP that makes this album one of her greatest; four favourites “The wedding list”, “The infant kiss”, “Army dreamers” and “Breathing”.

I am not a big of the rocker “Violin”, I am not sure what she was thinking there. The sixth track is a short instrumental that prepare the listener for the majestic ending of the album. A nice touch.

The two last songs are very strong, “Army dreamers”, a sad lament over a dead son and the nightmarish “Breathing”.  Strong indeed.

Could this be Kate’s best album, all time? Only time will tell…

My rating: 8/10

Side A:

  1. Babooshka
  2. Delius (song of summer)
  3. Blow away (for Bill)
  4. All we ever look for
  5. Egypt

Side B:

  1. The wedding list
  2. Violin
  3. The infant kiss
  4. Night scented stock
  5. Army dreamers
  6. Breathing

Best songs: “Babooshka”, “Breathing”, “The infant kiss”, “The wedding list” and “Army dreamers”

Produced by: Kate Bush, Jon Kelly

Media: Remastered 180 gram vinyl, gatefold, reissued in 2018 (part of Remastered In Vinyl I)

 

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