Kate Bush – The Dreaming (1982)

And though pigs can fly

I really thought that I really liked “The Dreaming” but now I find it quite harsh. She still draws a lot of influences from movies, but the music and the overall feeling of the album is of an experimental nature.

Yes, the album is experimental. Kate took the reigns of the production and tried many different unusual instruments and techniques. She also experimented with vocoders for the singing, which I am not exactly sure I think is the best thing. It surely makes the album interesting at least.

“Sat in your lap” is busy and “There goes a tenner” is silly in a not so funny way. For the third song, the anti-war hymn, “Pull out the pin”, Kate collaborated with David Gilmour who is singing backing vocals. Kate’s singing is interesting, her voice is breaking again and again in the chorus… I love life.

“Suspended in gaffa” is totally crazy, but strangely entertaining. “Leave it open” is truly experimental with the sounds and different effects on her voice. The ending is powerful. Must have been interesting in the studio, it feels like her creative mind must have run amok.

From the first side I like “Pull out the pin” and “Suspended in gaffa” the most. But clearly the second side of the LP is the stronger one…

The song “The dreaming” is more interesting than good, but then we get “Night of the swallow” that really picks the album up, I love her mixing it up with the Irish folk music style. The song is a very clear pre-vision of her next album “Hounds of love”. “All the love” is a beautiful ballad, filled with feelings of something… lost? Curious, there is an angelic voice joining Kate in the background.

“Houdini” is summing up the album, it’s a theatrical music piece, flowing musically and strange voices in different corners of my mind. The last song “Get out of my house” could be influenced by a movie like “Alien”. I am engaged, following the girl who is fighting all through the song. The lyrics is strange, apparently influenced by Stephen King’s “The shining”. The book was made into another movie, but not as good as “Alien” of course. Kate sounds very angry. I would not want to be the one she shouts at! Get out of my house!

In conclusion this album is experimental and challenging. I love the ambition and balls of Kate. I think the album should be seen as one piece. The album is the unit, not the individual tracks. I also think that the album will benefit from frequent playing, some of the best albums I know were hard in the beginning. I am undecided, swaying between a feeling that it is better than, and that it’s not. I am stuck in the middle, feeling lost.

The cover of the LP is however spectacular, maybe the best thing with the whole thing.

My rating: 6/10

Side A:

  1. Sat in your lap
  2. There goes a tenner
  3. Pull out the pin
  4. Suspended in gaffa
  5. Leave it open

Side B:

  1. The dreaming
  2. Night of the swallow
  3. All the love
  4. Houdini
  5. Get out of my house

Best songs: “Night of the swallow”

Produced by: Kate Bush

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

Released: September 13, 1982

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