Kate Bush – Before the dawn (2016)

Looks like Hell down there

The first thing I think of is the great sound quality and the full and rich soundscape of this live recording. This is taken from Kate’s second ever tour, the “Before the dawn” show. 22 shows were performed at Hammersmith Odeon in London in the autumn of 2014. This was Kate’s second tour and the first one was in 1979! This lady is surely not giving us fans many opportunities to see her live. I regret I did not fly to London as it was the only stop of the 2014 “World” tour. Of course, I didn’t know about the shows when the tickets went up for sale, but I can feel regret anyway, can’t I?

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Kate Bush – 50 words for snow (2011)

Melting in my hand

Kate Bush is never still, she has previously done concept albums, “The Hounds of Love” and “Aerial”, and now she has somewhat surprising turned a corner again. Gone are the 4-minute pop songs from her earliest phase. Albeit high class, they are still pop songs. “50 words for snow” includes influences from classical music like renaissance choir music and experimental jazz, and it has long complex songs that make me think about the seventies progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd and Genesis. How exciting!

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Kate Bush – Aerial (2005)

And a diamond sky

Damn, what a relief! Already the first song and I feel calm. The opening song “King of the mountain” is majestic, and I feel it in my bones that this album is superior to the last two efforts. The feeling is totally different. Twelve years of waiting, the previous studio album “The red shoes” came out in 1993, but now Kate is back in more ways than one.

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Kate Bush – The red shoes (1993)

Don’t want your bullshit

Inspired by the movie “The red shoes” by British masters Powell & Pressburger this album was the last in many years to come. The album is quite nice, sort of “okeyish”, but it lack her distinct signature mark from the first four albums. I get the same feeling from this album as from “The sensual world”, something that is over-produced and “too polished”. Sure, Kate is playing with different types of instruments and vocals, and that may be fun for some, but it feels too stuffed to me.

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Neil Young – Live at the Fillmore East (2006)

Purple words on a grey background

This is the very first Performance Series to see the light of day. It was released back in 2006, and it’s a glorious vinyl record. Neil and Crazy Horse live at Fillmore East, New York, in March 1970. Neil is joined by the second line-up of Crazy Horse with Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina and added Jack Nitzsche on piano. This brief early 1970 tour was the last tour with Danny Whitten who tragically died in 1972.

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David Bowie – The man who sold the world (1970)

Newly wed, oh Angie

The width of a circle can be very long indeed. David had some success with the folky dreamy Space oddity and sure enough right away he changed his style completely. David Bowie, the chameleon ever for ever. “The man who sold the world” is like a very early grunge album. It must have been David’s tentacles that picked up the trend of guitar-based rock à la Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. This could be his forte, but alas it was only to be for one lone album.

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David Bowie – Space Oddity (1969)

Floating in a most peculiar way

David Bowie was a trend setter, he was a true influencer. Yes. He saw trends early and adapted fast, but I don’t think he invented them. But all that came later, at the earliest stages of his career he was almost rudderless. From the crazy vaudeville and music hall theatrics of the debut album in 1967 to his second self-titled album in 1969 he was a follower. Quite talented, but still a follower.

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