Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kate!

Kate Bush is 53 years young today.  In tribute to her the video of the week will feature material from each of her albums.  First up is her first hit single from 1978's The Kick Inside, Wuthering Heights:

Next is from '79's Lionheart, Wow(!).

Now we head to 1980 and Babooshka:

Kate shot a lot of videos where she used her dance experience to great effect, but it did not stop her from doing more conceptual stuff like Army Dreamers:

And now on to 1982 and The Dreaming, where things

At this point in her career Kate had become her own albums' sole producer.  Collaboration with Peter Gabriel had introduced her to the fairlight synthesizer, which she used extensively on this album.  She butted heads with record company execs and her desire to take time and experiment warred with booking studio time.  The result was an album that did not do well perhaps because it was too experimental, too much of a departure from her earlier work.  Deciding she was fed up with struggling for studio time, Kate spent time and money in creating one of her own.  What followed then was Hounds of Love/The Ninth Wave, an album where side A consisted of commercially accessible tracks, while the second side was very much a concept album.

Sadly, the man dancing with Kate in this video died just a few weeks ago:

This is to me Kate's greatest album, the high water mark of her career.  It was her most successful album and some of her best music videos were being made at this time.  See if you can recognize the father/professor in Cloudbusting:

The following year Kate released a greatest hits album, The Whole Story, it contained two new singles.  One was a remake of Wuthering Heights, the second was Experiment IV, guest starring a very young Hugh Laurie:

In '89 Kate produced another album full of new music.  By now it was obvious it was taking longer and longer for her to general new material.  Where before it only took one year, then two, there was a three year gap between The Dreaming and Hounds of Love.  Now we see a four year gap between Hounds and The Sensual World.  It gets worse.

The Sensual World was one of her most beautiful videos, but what rivals it with Love And Anger are the cameos.  We see two dancers who toured with her, her brother Paddy, and the most awesome Dave Gilmour, who had helped her early in her career.

Another four year gap brought us '93's The Red Shoes:

That is Miranda Richardson playing the heavy, with a cameo from Lindsey Kemp.

And now the drought began, the twelve year famine we Kate Bush fans suffered through.  Along the way she got herself pregnant, gave birth to her son Bertie.  In an interview years earlier Kate had said if she ever became a mother she would make her career second to that, something she stuck to.  But finally after twelve years we got Aeriel:

Most recently Kate has released a new album called The Director's Cut, a re-imagining of her earlier songs.  Honestly...I am not thrilled with it.  I realize that sometimes revisiting an earlier work is a good thing; her new vocal of Wuthering Heights is superior to the original.  But I gave this album a listen and, well...

Well, the album has received critical acclaim so I am very, very happy for Kate, and I am grateful for what has been for me twenty five years of joy.

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