Release Date: February 1978
Achievements: A top 5 album in the UK, Portugal, Norway, New Zealand, France, Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Australia; plus a couple of successful singles including the number 1 record, Wuthering Heights. Add in a Best Female Singer award at the NME Awards and an Ivor Novello Outstanding British Lyric Award for The Man With The Child In His Eyes, it was a successful debut album!
Rating: Pretty unanimously positive reviews for this album, averaging a solid 4/5 across the board.
I want to start by pointing out that this album was an amalgamation of songs Kate Bush had been writing since she was 11. That’s not a typo, she was ELEVEN. The Man with the Child in His Eyes was recorded as a demo when she was 15. It was written when she was 13. At thirteen, I could barely write a birthday card without some level of instruction, much less a song which would feature in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Irish and Dutch charts.
It sounds like a cliché, but this album really does show a lot of wisdom and experience for someone who had been knocking around for less than two decades. Bush has a spectacular storytelling ability in her lyrics, and while no-one can accuse her of being a monotonous singer, she still lets you hear every word.
Certain songs, such as The Man with the Child in His Eyes and a little gem called Wuthering Heights are songs that even someone who would refer to themselves as “not that much of a music lover” would recognise. This speaks to Bush’s ability as a performer as much as her singing ability.
Speaking of performance, Bush’s iconic interpretive dancing, specifically in the Wuthering Heights video, is down to her dance instructor Lindsay Kemp. Kemp had such an influence on Bush that she even credited him on the album. Goes to show how much Bush considered not just the music and lyrics, but the overall performance of her songs.
It sounds critical for me to say this isn’t an album full of the greatest hits, but I think a lot of these songs deserve to be more well known. You wouldn’t listen to any of the songs of off the album out of context and not be aware that they’re a Kate Bush song. James and the Gold Gun, Moving and Feel It are all songs which are just as brilliant an example of Bush’s talent.
In short, chuck the album on. You won’t regret it. Maybe just make sure you have some room to do a bit of Kate Bush style dancing to Wuthering Heights.
Get the dry ice machine out too. Go on. You deserve it.
Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview