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Saturday Deluxe: Happy Birthday to Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is arguably one of the most iconic British singles of the 1970s. It was released by EMI 40 years ago today, as the first 45 from The Kick Inside and introduced the world to the singular talents of Kate Bush.

Unknown to the public at that time, was the fact that Kate had been working towards her first album for over two years and had been ‘discovered’ by David Gilmour. He recalled that she was “a sister of a friend of mine’s friend” and the Pink Floyd guitarist met her in 1975 when she was just fifteen. She’d already amassed around 50 songs and Gilmour picked three from her demos and set up a session to record masters (not more demos) with Andrew Powell, an arranger/producer that he knew. Two of those songs ended up unchanged on her first album, A Kick Inside.

So Kate was signed to EMI while still at school. The regularly accepted story of EMI giving Kate a chance develop as a artist is somewhat debunked by Gilmour. In an interview in 1987, he speaks of how the label thought they’d been “sold a dud” because their attempts to get her to work with other producers weren’t going well. Gilmour suggested they go back to Powell, which is what happened and this got things back on track. But in David’s opinion, the label “wasted two years pissing around with the wrong producers… and claimed it was waiting for her to mature and all that sort of bullshit”. It’s an interesting insight, although whatever the reasoning, it surely worked in Kate’s favour to wait a few years before being thrust into the glare of the public’s eye.

In late 1977, EMI wanted to release the more conventional rock/pop of James and the Cold Gun as the first single from Kate’s debut album but the then 19-year old dug her heels in and insisted the Wuthering Heights was the one. That single was eventually issued on this day in 1978.

I would have been eight years old when the single was released, but with Top of the Pops a family institution at that time and watched by a large percentage of the population, I remember seeing Kate Bush perform the song quite clearly. And what a performance. Check out the clip below… Kate sings the song LIVE on national TV and has to put up with a frankly awful backing track (some convoluted ‘rules’ to do with musicians union) which is being played too slowly, in places. Incredible composure and maturity – this was how the British public were introduced to Kate Bush.

The song was number one for four weeks in the UK and hit the top in Australia, Ireland and Italy, too. Kate was on Top of the Pops many times as a result and here’s another clip where she’s sitting at the piano (still singing live)

Perhaps Kate’s greatest achievement wasn’t having a bit number one hit with her first single, but rather not letting it derail her career and become known as a ‘one hit wonder’. The Man With The Child In His Eyes (the master version was recorded when she was 15) was a strong follow-up and apart from the piano accompaniment, it was completely different in style. It reached number six in the UK charts and would win an Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding British Lyric” in 1979. Further hits like 1979’s Wow, and 1980’s Babooshka proved that Kate was the real deal.

It did take her a while to move on from the public’s perception of her as the rather hippy girl with the very high voice who wrote unusual songs and this wasn’t helped by EMI who – perhaps wondering how long she could sustain a successful career in music – rushed her into releasing her second album, Lionheart, that very same year, 1978. Here’s a Kate spoof from BBC TV comedy show Not The Nine O’Clock News shown in 1980 called England, My Leotard which rather demonstrates the point!

By 1986 Kate had established her credentials as an experimental pop artist and producer of the highest order, with 1982’s The Dreaming and 1985’s Hounds of Love. After the latter – which unlike the former was a considerable commercial success – EMI wanted to put out Kate’s first greatest hits compilation. For reasons that have never been clearly explained, on 1986’s The Whole Story (still Kate’s only ‘hits’ set) Wuthering Heights features a new vocal and is also remixed. As a 16-year old in 1986, the year 1978 seemed like a lifetime away to me, but of course it had only been eight years since the original was released. Kate’s songs had moved on from the vocal gymnastics of earlier compositions and she probably fell foul of the artists’ opinion that something could be ‘improved’ or needed ‘fixing’. Here is the 1986 ‘new vocal’ version synced to the original video

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who thinks this improves on the original. There’s nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with it, but there’s definitely some charm and innocence missing.

When Kate undertook her run of Before The Dawn shows in 2014, the oldest material she performed was from 1985, thus a whole generation of fans will likely never hear Wuthering Heights performed live by Kate Bush. It would certainly be a challenge and Kate would undoubtedly have to change the key and rearrange it a little bit. But the song could take it. It’s a solid gold classic and is quite unique. We live in hope, in the meantime, happy 40th birthday to Wuthering Heights!


Below is the full interview with David Gilmour that I referenced at the beginning of this post.

100 responses to Saturday Deluxe: Happy Birthday to Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights

  1. Pingback:Saturday Deluxe / 17 February 2018 | superdeluxeedition

  2. Andrew B says:

    Myself and I think countless others would love a deluxe remaster campaign, Come on Kate please, or dare I say, one would have to wait for Kate to shuffle off (ala Prince) to ever see this happen. A thought.

  3. Tom Elliot says:

    By the way, to mark this great occasion I implore fans of Kate to treat yourselves by listening to this truly astonishing version of Wuthering Heights from the 1978 Top of the Pops album. It’s really… something.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2rw0IC2Y6o

    Usually my step/parents would only play music in the car. But they had a few TOTP albums, bafflingly popular in the UK during the 70’s. I’m still not sure if they ever realised that the songs weren’t actually being sung by the original artists. There had to be at least some people who heard the above and assumed that it was actually Kate. I wonder if it’s too late to sue?.

    But I like to think of Kate listening to this back then, a look of horror on her face… and then laughing, hopefully.

  4. Tom Elliot says:

    I’m on a Bush-binge this week and I was just thinking about Kate becoming the only living solo artist to have 8 albums in the UK top 40 simultaneously (and her entire catalogue of 11 albums in the top 50 together), what an accomplishment!. I hope she sticks around for another 40 years at least, which is perhap’s ‘just’ enough time to see a super-deluxe reissue of The Kick Inside!.

    The Kick Inside was the first ‘grown-up’ album I owned. For a music-loving child with little money, having my very own copy of an album was quite special (the few others I had were borrowed or ‘appropriated’).

    I soon learned every note, word and vocal inflection. My sister had the adjoining bedroom and after months of enjoying my quite spectacular renditions of ‘Mah-Nà Mah-Nà’ from The Muppet Show album and ‘Money, Money, Money’, she then had the pleasure of hearing me accompany Kate singing her tales of doomed romance, sexual rapture, incestuous love and suicide, stars climbing from bowels (making towers on vowels!), and my quite uncanny impression of a whale.

    My sister was a teenage Ozzy-loving metalhead, but her puny tape recorder was no match for my record player and 9-year-old soprano. I’m not sure if it was the whale impression that pushed her over the edge, but one evening she threw a shoe hard enough to dislodge one of my teeth (how we laugh about it now!).

    But the years of exquisite aural torture must have planted a seed in her subconscious because eventually she came to appreciate The Bush too, and attended Before the Dawn with me in 2014.

    As time went by I came to adore some other artists, but Kate will always remain #1 to me. *cheesy heart emoji*

    • Andrew B says:

      Can’t remember last time I had a bush binge, probably years ago, after a few one to many pints and a curry and found myself in a strange bed.

  5. memoryboy says:

    I am a Kate Bush fan. First heard her on the radio here in California (USA) back in 1985 or 1986, they played ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), and I think I just remember hearing it once and remembered liking it.I eventually bought the cassette tape ‘Hounds Of Love’, and it ended up being one of my favorite albums ever. Then eventually I bought “The Whole Story” on cassette and instantly fell in love with her earlier music. The version of ‘Wuthering Heights’ that appears on ‘The Whole Story’ was the version I have always known. And I fell in love with it instantly. I remember playing it for my mother and she hated it. She made fun of Kate’s voice, she did not like the high pitched vocals I guess, LOL, she was always more of a Stevie Nicks fan.

    ‘Hounds Of Love’ was the album that introduced us here in the U.S. to Kate Bush. Going back and listening to her earlier work was interesting for me, I can’t say I like all of it. I definitely prefer the re-recording of ‘Wuthering Heights’ over the original. The original sounds almost like a Demo compared to the re-recording. The 1986 re-recording sounds more polished and the vocals are way better in my opinion. Because of the type of music I like and style, Kate Bush has always fit right in with what I like. She’s different, unique, at times bizarre.

    I really love the b-side ‘Under The Ivy’ that appears on the ‘Running Up That Hill” 12″.

    I think my favorite song by Kate Bush might be ‘This Woman’s Work”, but it’s hard to choose because she has such a great catalog of music. I remember when ‘The Sensual World’ came out and it was big here in the U.S., I had friends who had the poster on their walls. I personally was not as in to that album as much as I was ‘Hounds Of Love’, but it’s still enjoying to listen to. Ican listen to ‘Hounds Of Love’ from beginning to end and I just find that album excellent through and through. So much creativity running through that collection of songs.

    I do find it frustrating when artists like Madonna and Kate Bush and others hold on to their music and refuse to re-release it, remaster it and include bonus material. I find it, a little… snobby, hahaha, but I am sure they have their reasons. If I were to meet either ladies I would grab them by the leg, by the ankle and scream and whine “Please PLEASE release everything you ever recording”!!! That’s how much I adore Kate Bush’s music.

    But I will say, I am not a big fan of that original version of ‘Wuthering Heights’, hearing it kinda hurts my ears. Not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, dying cat might be accurate as some have mentioned, but I enjoyed the videos. And the live versions.

  6. LMTR14 says:

    wuthering heights is unbearable (!) yowling! the ONLY thing I’ll ever need of bush is hounds of love, which is amazing despite the lack of guitars. no need to even try to listen to anything else of hers if wuthering heights is the benchmark title. LOL

    • Chris Squires says:

      And there you go. Opinion. I get she’s not for everyone.

      I couldn’t go a week without listening to something by Kate and would consider her one of maybe three artists that have totally made my life for the better amongst many others who have added a bit here and there. She is a bedrock foundation. I would say “Cornerstone” but my maths is good enough to realize I would need four artists for that to work and I only have three.

      She is like one of those magic eye things…some get it straight away, some take time but once you see it you never lose it and some just don’t ever get it.

    • Duncan Day says:

      Despite the lack of guitars

      Funniest post of 2018.

  7. Neil Young says:

    Of all her albums Hounds of Love is by far the best in my opinion. Closely followed by The Dreaming, which though really weird has great warmth to it.

    ‘All the Love’ from that album is number 2 in my top 10 favourite songs list. Perfect! And ‘Lord Of The Reedy River’ b side to ‘Sat In Your Lap’ is stunning too.

    Oh and I do prefer the New Vocal version of WH. It fits in perfectly with her mid 80s style, which hasn’t been surpassed since the release of the Whole Story.

  8. Great piece, Paul. Though Kate did give an interview to promote The Whole Story in 1986 and described the original WH as “It sounded dated” – http://stevepafford.com/40-years-ago-today-kate-bushs-windy-wuthering-heights/

    • Duncan Day says:

      Ironically for me I find the updated WH sounds a lot more dated than the original. The rework is a bit too 80s for me. I’ve not been keen on any of the re-workings of old songs she’s done over the years (Directors Cut) but I do really really like the update of Moments of Pleasure. More so than the original. That eerie choir humming in the background really adds to the wistfulness (and sadness) of it.
      I’m not expecting deluxe editions of any of her albums ever. Think that’s it. She releases them to the world and leaves them to reach whoever and that’s it. I kinda respect her for that
      Now I’ve said all this Paul will be on here next week with details of the 15 disk TKI/L/NFE BOXSETS complete with locks of her hair and models of all the freaky creatures coming out of her skirt on the NFE sleeve. And marbles ;)

  9. Duncan Day says:

    I’ve still got my diary from 1978 and the entry for that TOTP reads “Crazy woman on tonight. Sounded like one of our cats. Not sure I liked it” !!!!!

  10. Mark Franklin says:

    I actually prefer the New Vocal version of WH to the original. It has a much fuller sound IMO.

  11. Kevin M says:

    I really love Never Forever, The Dreaming and Hounds of Love, and some additional other songs. I don’t much like The Sensual World but love its track Heads We’re Dancing, with its lengthy Mich Karn led outro.

    I wouldn’t want have wanted her to sing Wuthering Heights live, either at Before the Dawn or for any future performances, as she obviously didn’t want to. She’s not the type of artist or person who you’re gonna get the best from if they’re doing stuff under duress, as the rushed 2nd album showed all those years ago.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Oh I love Lionheart. It was always going to suffer slightly in the very recent wake of The Kick Inside but it is still a terrific album. It’s one of those albums that suffered from lazy journalism. There are 4 or 5 of her best songs on there admittedly it’s deeper cuts are not as strong as TKI but it’s first team is every bit as enchanting.
      If you enjoy vinyl and want to hear the best possible sounding Kate album search out Lionheart as the ATR mastercuts version. It oozes class and sounds better than any other piece of vinyl I have.

    • Duncan Day says:

      I agree. The only old song I really wish she had played was Breathing

  12. Brian Stanley says:

    As a Yank visiting the site, I always wonder who is the American equivalent of Kate Bush in the UK ? Really popular in the homeland but absolutely unknown across the pond.
    Aerosmith? Bob Seger?
    i am NOT criticizing her artistry or speculating why, I’m just wondering which artists haven’t translated back from the other shore.

    • Duncan Day says:

      Dave Matthews maybe ???

    • poptones says:

      I’d say most country music icons aren’t very popular outside the US. They’re mainstream in the US but kinda classified underground/alternative/world music in Europe. Singers like Garth Brooks or Randy Travis for example.

      • Chris Squires says:

        Agreed.

        We went to Nashville for our honeymoon (1995) as my wife was such a country fan (and hates just about every other type of music). I had no country experience but was so in love that I did the honourable thing. I did what any so-called music lover would do and immersed myself in her world to see what it was about. And, it was fantastic.

        I absolutely love Dwight Yoakam, Randy Travis, the brilliant Hal Ketchum, Travis Tritt, Marty Stewart, Suzy Bogguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Radney Foster, Martina McBride and the inimitable Shelby Lynne.

        At the time there was CMT Europe on Sky, it disappeared in about 1997, which killed any real UK interest in Country. I have written to the franchise owners about half-a-dozen times in the last 20 years to ask if it is coming back and every reply is the same, no, no interest. I have also never in the last 22 years had a single decent conversation with anybody here about country, it’s still lost in Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers and Willy Nelson, and not to any depth either, just the singles that charted.

        Outside the Mavericks for a short while (I knew them when they were thin-ish) and a little bit of Trish Yearwood and Garth Brooks nothing has penetrated the UK in that time. Oh there was that young blonde girl who’s name escapes me for the moment. So sad and a real missed opportunity for some great music.

        • poptones says:

          Good list. I love Dwight Yoakam and Mary Chapin Carpenter,

          To answer your question, I guess the blond girl is Lucinda Williams ? I love the albums she made in the 90s and 2000s. This decade, not so much. Elvis Costello’s been a big fan of her all these years and called her the female equivalent of Hank Williams. In 1988, Rough Trade released her 3rd album and that’s how I discovered her.

          A new genre called “alternative country” surfaced 25 years ago (at the beginning of the 90s). Bands like Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Son Volt, Whiskeytown or Lambchop had success in Europe and basically eclipsed traditional country music. Then they shifted towards more traditional rock music as they started selling lots of albums. Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams or Tift Merritt are in that vein too. Other than that, traditional country music tends to remain on the other side of the Atlantic unless a movie or an artist suddenly becomes “trendy” and a subject of media attention.

          Some friends of mine started to listen to country music after watching the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and Johnny Cash started his American Recordings series with Rick Rubin producing and covered the likes of Nick Cave, Depeche Mode or Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

        • Hans Jörg says:

          @chris squires: check out Thomas rhett and justin moore. Also here in Germany the interest in country music is very low. I listen to it even if my main genre is all kind of hard rock to metal. Btw kate bush is awesome.

  13. O(+> Peter B says:

    The late 70s and early 80s was a great period for unusual songs becoming hit singles, like Wuthering Heights, Rock Lobster and Cool For Cats to name a few. It was number one for 3 weeks in Australia (5 weeks in NZ). The following link shows that it is celebrated annually in Canberra, for a good cause: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-15/wuthering-heights-day-event-prompts-men-to-swap-beanies-for-wigs/8711530

  14. Andrew McMichael says:

    Kate Bush is the real deal. An artist who has things to say.. If one compares her to the current crop of female artists then it’s just laughable. There’ll never be another like her.

    • Wes says:

      Really? I don’t think so. Lana Del Rey and Bjork come to mind immediately, but i could name many more. This feeling that “they don’t make ’em like that anymore” usually indicates to me that one is living too much in the past. The music business today is a mess and the odds of making it today are vastly worse than say thirty years ago– but that has not kept dozens and dozens of extremely talented artists from producing fantastic music all the way through to the present day.

  15. Adam says:

    I loved her first three albums, hated ‘The Dreaming’, loved ‘Hounds of Love’, then after that didn’t like anything she did, it just didn’t connect with me at all.

    • Duncan Day says:

      Hated The Dreaming ??!!!!!!!? Shame on you :)
      The only album I don’t like is The Sensual World which sounds plodding and MOR and tired. Terrible follow-up to one of the greatest albums of the 80s

  16. Mikko Suhonen says:

    Does anyone know why the Spotify version of WH is about 30 seconds shorter than the original missing the lovely string finale of the song?

  17. Robert says:

    It’s probably not going to happen, but I hope that Kate Bush will release an SDE of “The Kick Inside” this year. This album celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. It would be the perfect moment to do this.

    I am also waiting for the DVD / Blue-ray of “Before the dawn”. I bought the CD, but I really would like to see this concert.

  18. Scott says:

    I will be controversial and admit that I thought the re-recorded vocal greatly improved the song. I find the first two albums a bit shrill and felt her voice had matured beautifully by 1986. I wanted her to re-record the first two albums’ vocals in full. But being in the U.S., my first exposure to Wuthering Heights was on Pat Benatar’s album Crimes of Passion, which my sister had at the time in 1980. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Pat original until my other sister brought over a VHS copy of The Whole Story in 1986 and wanted me to watch it, thus began my Kate interest.

  19. Ben says:

    Hi Paul,

    Please see your SDE email inbox urgently.

    Kind regards,

    Ben.

  20. Jase says:

    I didn’t really read the ‘headline’ and I thought the album had finally been given the Steven Wilson treatment, disappointed! Ms Bush’s first clutch of albums are long overdue the deluxe makeover.

  21. MARK LEVY says:

    It would be nice if there was a new best of. Bringing the Kate Bush story up to date and including the original version of Wuthering Heights.

  22. don cooper says:

    Echo all the positive points above , with the observation that nobody has helped me with my Bowie/Bolan Berlin era query on the other thread.
    Is it because they were blokes?
    fnarr fnarr.

    • JohnR says:

      The “other thread”? This isn’t a forum.
      Paul posts articles of interest and we comment on them, eg. “Why are they releasing a Pepsi & Shirley box set when (a) I don’t like them and (b) they still haven’t released that obscure Lieutenant Pigeon b-side I really love?”
      That aside, Kate Bush is a goddess.

      • Chris Squires says:

        I’ve often wondered what to call these things, maybe it’s a Birmingham thing :-) I am guilty of calling them “threads”, The “Recent Bob Marley thread” etc. I just don’t see them as articles even though you are right they are Paul’s articles. It sits easier in my mind as a thread.

        Kate, being a beautiful contrary Mary. Will probably astonish us all with a comprehensive re-issue campaign, a la 2014, A McCartney PLUS type thing…. books, demos, vinyl, DVDs and so on. More than we can shake a stick at.

        • don cooper says:

          “Threads!”
          “By order of the Sinclair Blinders!”
          ;-)

          • Chris Squires says:

            Cue: Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand…. (Peaky Blinders if anyone was wondering – or caring!)
            Off topic I know but I always feel they could have found a better choice of theme music / musician for a program about Birmingham and the Black Country than an Australian (absolutely no disrespect to any Aussies – love you guys) … but then I always come back to Slade and that just wouldn’t work.
            It’s just like doing Flying Doctors or Walkabout and choosing Duran Duran or Dexy’s to do it over Men at Work or Midnight Oil.

  23. Alan says:

    I think the real reason for the New [1986] Vocal of Wuthering Heights was to give her some ownership of that recording. The Whole Story included six tracks with rights owned by her company, and five owned solely by EMI. The New Vocal tipped it in her favour as presumably rights were shared.

    Also, she didn’t really like her first two albums so it meant there was only one true representative from each of them.

  24. Alan says:

    Having just googled it, there seem to be a fair few sources giving the 20 Jan date. Kate’s site must be wrong, and I’ve never seen 5 Jan anywhere else. Guessing there was no standard day of the week to release singles then? Or just certain ones not released on Mondays? I think charts still ran Mon-Sun (or Sat as no record shops open on Saturdays then?!) but not actually unveiled until the Tuesday.

  25. Alan says:

    Are you sure you have the date right, Paul? 20 January 1978 was a Friday. Were any singles released on Fridays in those days?

    Kate’s own site (see http://www.katebush.com/discography/wuthering-heights ) has it at 5th Jan, and this is referenced by Wikipedia. That was a Thursday though.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes, fairly sure the 20th is correct. Been referenced on a number of other sites, also.

      • Normand says:

        That sounds right, Paul! Here in Canada, in those days, Friday was the day to go to your favorite record store to buy new 45 or new 33 1/3 of the week. And the same is true nowadays…

    • SimonH says:

      In those days record were released on Friday, later (can’t recall when) it changed to Mondays and then a few years back it reverted to Fridays!

    • Leslie Hanagan says:

      20th January is the right date. The promos were sent out to radio stations for the original planned release date of 4th November 1977, but the release was put back to January 1978.

  26. Aubrey says:

    That backing track on her first TOTP performance is… insane. It’s like she’s singing at a karaoke bar…

    • Aubrey says:

      (great article by the way… I wonder how many people immediately dug out a Kate Bush album… and which one… I went withThe Dreaming – forgot how much I liked Suspended in Gaffa…)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I know. I read that because she wasn’t a ‘band’ and rather a solo artist, union rules decreed that BBC musicians had the right to play the music, above her own band!

  27. Michael says:

    Cannot imagine music without her. She’s a genre unto herself.
    Wuthering Heights, Strange Phenomena, Oh To Be In Love, The Kick Inside, Symphony In Blue, In Search Of Peter Pan, Kashka From Baghdad, Coffee Homeground, Babooshka, Blow Away, Egypt, Breathing, Sat In Your Lap, Pull Out The Pin, Leave It Open, Get Out Of My House… She’s been the soundtrack to my life.

  28. Kevin Galliford says:

    This song really takes me back. I too was 8 & even then I remember thinking it was far out & great with it!, It was a few years before I bought her debut on cassette & even later the “Whole Story “on record, which for me had a better vocal. It’s all amazing & I hope we get a new album sooner rather than later.

  29. Joe Pecorino says:

    How amazing! 40 years! I was one of the lucky ones who saw her on SNL and i was hooked from the get go ! Thankfully had a few shops in Greenwich Village that carried all her imports so I proudly have just about everything.
    And then to finally see her,not once but TWICE (i sat behind Sir Paul too !) with the Before The Dawn shows…I’m still buzzed from those !
    She’s the greatest!! Thanks,Paul for great article!
    And thank you,Kate !!!!!

  30. Pingback:Media Celebrates 40 years of Kate’s “Wuthering Heights” |

  31. Jeremy says:

    Thanks Paul for a great piece on this unique song. My great wish now is for a re-release of all Kate’s albums on new vinyl (even better coloured vinyl). Above all for a re-release of Aerial which did, I know, come out on vinyl when it was first released but is now almost impossible to buy without robbing a bank first. Surely this is the year!

  32. colinthebruce says:

    When you see the last two articles on this wonderful site one after the other (Kylie then Kate) the contrast could not be more stark! How I wish we could have had as much and as regularly from Kate as the ultimately talentless other one. come on Kate, something new in your 60th year and if not that then give us a Before the Dawn DVD or a special ed Kick Inside. (To this day the title track being not only my all time fave Kate, but amongst my top ten tracks ever.

  33. Amanda says:

    Another fan of the Whole Story version. The original is brilliant, the revised, more mature interpretation another level again.

  34. Renaud says:

    I was 13 when I first heard Wuthering Heights on the French radio in early 1978. It was clearly the musical and emotional stock of my teens.
    40 years later Kate still stands out as one of the most unique, talented and respectful artists on this planet.

  35. RJS says:

    The Hounds of Love is a fabulous album but I can take or leave most of her other music.

  36. Howard says:

    I think we can thank Saturday Night Live over here in the states for first exposure. I can still see her on top of the piano. Pretty much bought everything since including early fanzines which I still have. I give her credit for not cranking out a bunch of stuff though not so great for fans

  37. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Love LevBush! Lionheart is a very underrated album..Forty years have flown by, wow do feel old!!!

  38. AdamW says:

    As an American whose first listen to Kate would be “Running Up That Hill” (an incredible song in its own right), I feel like I kinda missed out on the “discovery” part of her career. I did fill in the back catalogue eventually, and of course the original “Wuthering Heights” still stands out today as something that commands your full attention.

    I try to make time to “listen” fully to the music I love, but there’s a lot of music and very little time. I will make time for this recording today. Thanks for the reminder.

  39. WILLIAM ENGLAND says:

    I can still clearly remember that all that RECORD MIRROR wanted to focus on at the time were her nipples in the pink leotard – even printing it on the front cover in full colour!

    • Alan says:

      The nipples in pink leotard pic was meant to be the cover photo for the single, but the story goes that Kate vetoed it. She started as she carried on throughout her career – in charge. What other artist could choose their first single and its cover artwork?

  40. David says:

    She is the most amazing wonderful artist I have ever discovered. I first heard her on tv in 1978 and was amazed but it took till Running Up That Hill for me become hooked for life. I was in London and in the shower. Hearing this really great beat I got out and stood in front of the tv amazed at what I was hearing and seeing. Nothing came close in America. I ran out (after getting dressed) and went straight to HMV and Tower and got all I could find. I have loved her ever since and yes Wayne Olsen, you are right. Nothing like seeing someones face the first time they really listen to Kate. They wonder where she has been all these years.

    We REALLY REALLY love you Kate Bush.

  41. CJ Feeney says:

    Someone’s arithmetic is wrong. Kate couldn’t have been 15 years old in 1975 and 19 years old in 1977.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      She was 19 in early 78 when WH was released, so in 1975 she was 16. “Passing Through Air” which was actually issued as the B-side to Army Dreamers was recorded in 1973 “on at sunny afternoon at Dave’s”. She was 14 in the first half of 1973 and 15 in the second half. I think the various remembrances are bit inaccurate, but she must have recorded The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Passing Through Air and one other at some point in the the second half of 1973. Amazing.

      • Chris Squires says:

        The one other, I think, was The Saxophone Song and is my absolute favourite KTB song. It oozes sensuality. Cold shower time.

      • Philip Cohen says:

        The other song is “The Saxophone Song”, and on that song, she really does sound like a little girl.

      • Kevin M says:

        At that age 14 in 1973, she’s in the crowd at Bowie’s legendary Hammersmith Ziggy Stardust farewell show, as widely released later as Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture. But sadly nobody has ever been able to spot her in the film.

        • Chris Squires says:

          That would be like the Phil Collins bit that they always pull out on these “When they were young” or “Before they were famous” shows. The bit where he’s seen in the crowd on one of the Beatles films.

          • Kevin M says:

            @Chris Squires

            That Collins footage rings a bell now you mention it. I wonder how many others there are. Pre big fame Boy George is clearly in the studio audience on a Bauhaus BBC TV appearance from the early 1980s.

            Maybe the ultimate is if someone had pointed a camera at the crowd in the Sex Pistols meagre audience at Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1976 there’d be footage of young future members of The Fall, Joy Division, Bauhaus, New Order and goodness knows who else :)

  42. Ben Williams says:

    Great article. It’s inspired to find out Kate Bush albums again. Let’s hope this year sees some reissues from Kate..

  43. Wayne Olsen says:

    The most fun thing in the world is to turn on other Americans to the magic of Kate Bush. She never fails to astonish.

  44. Trash says:

    I was never a big fan at the time of the first few albums. A fact that I regret now as one of the boys at my school lived near Kate’s parents and seemed to be able to get all sorts of stuff signed. He may have even met her a couple of times (this was all around the time of The Kick Inside/Lionheart). From what I recall her parents were always very friendly and welcoming.

    Personally, although the original version is the one I grew up with (I remember seeing it on Top of the Pops and still recall all the spoofs that took place around that time), I *almost* prefer the re-voiced version as it is less strident (or as someone put it earlier ‘less overwrought’).

    40 years ago… gosh I feel old!

    • Philip Cohen says:

      In one interview (around the time of “Hounds of Love”, as I recall), Kate was asked why she no longer sings so high (I.E. such high notes). Her reply: “Joni Mitchell used to sing very high, but now she’s low and jazzy”

  45. David says:

    If you get a chance go and see the Kate Bush tribute band called Cloudbusting… saw them last year in Glasgow and the singer is incredible.

  46. Philip Cohen says:

    Not having enjoyed the material that she released after her ten year hiatus, I hadn’t listened to any Kate Bush music for a long time, but yesterday I played her video program “The Single File”(tranfered from Japanese VHS to DVD-R, since she won’t permit any DVD reissue of her video programs). It has the promo videos from her first four albums. I was reminded of how brilliant her early music was. In the near future, I may blow the dust off the 8-CD boxed set “This Woman’s Work” and listen to it.
    But, in the end, Ms.Bush has no more loyalty to her fans than does Kraftwerk. Years of reclusiveness, doing nothing and refusing to release the products that the fans would obviously enjoy. Time isn’t standing still. Ms.Bush will be 60 years old this year.

  47. Darren says:

    Nice read

  48. Robert Laversuch says:

    My all – time fave woman singer of all time. Got hooked when Hammer Horror came out Perfect

  49. Kevin says:

    The bridge where she sings “Let me drag your soul away” gives me chill.

  50. David says:

    Great article, thanks Paul!!

  51. Kevin says:

    I heard the version with the new vocal first, and prefer it to the original, which has always sounded overwrought to me.

    • pinkfloyd says:

      @Kevin
      after Hounds Of Love cassette, The Whole Story cassette was the exposure to KB back catalogue… & yes, 1986 re-recording is my favourite version also

      • Kevin M says:

        I had to buy Hounds on cassette too on release date, against my wishes. My record player was bust at that time, no imminent replacement (I was 14). I hated cassettes but was dying to hear Hounds, already adored The Dreaming and was obsessed by the Sat in Your Lap single. Which is still in my too ten songs by anyone ever.

  52. DaveM says:

    I was thirteen and in a charity shop my mother was working at and Wuthering Heights came on the radio. I went straight next door to Woolies and bought it with my pocket money and have been a fan ever since. Never would have thought back then it would be 36 years before I would see her live.

  53. ashleyplath says:

    Nice one, Paul! Many thanks for this and all your fine work.

  54. Martin Wedge says:

    I think my the time of Breathing in May 1980 I knew Kate was something very special and could do so much more than what we had this far seen.

  55. elliott buckingham says:

    unknown to the pubic lol

  56. Mark says:

    Don’t normally point out spelling mistakes Paul but I think you meant to use the word ‘public’ on the first line of the second paragraph. You’ve something quite different

  57. Chris Squires says:

    A moment’s silence please.

    What a wonderful album, what a wonderful talent.

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