Kate Bush: A Great British Icon

Today (30th July 2012) sees many a fan across the world dusting off the old Hounds Of Love vinyl and paying their little homage to birthday girl, Kate Bush. At 54-years-old and still producing stellar albums (such as 2011′s 50 Words for Snow), Bush has been the trailblazer that set a path for some of the biggest female acts of the past twenty years – Bjork, Alison Goldfrapp and Lily Allen to name three. Even obtuse punk legend John Lydon considers her to be “fucking brilliant”.

As many of you may have seen, the Olympic opening ceremony was a tumultuous celebration of all things peculiarly British – the quirky, the humourous and the opulent. It also featured a soundtrack of the great and the good of the United Kingdom’s back catalogue, but no Kate Bush could be heard over the bustle of cheers for Mr. Bean and JK Rowling. Trawling across many internet forums, there were a number people that both called for Kate to actually perform at the ceremony itself and express their disappointment when it became clear that that wasn’t actually the Queen descending from that helicopter.

So here’s my tribute to Kate Bush (granted, without the Danny Boyle touch) – a top five of her most stunning compositions.

5) Hello Earth (from Hounds of Love)

Part six in Bush’s ‘Ninth Wave’ from her flagship album Hounds of Love, the song is to her what ‘Space Oddity’ is to David Bowie – that is, a song of wonderful nihilism and catatonic beauty. It transports the listener to a world close to us, but far beyond what we can imagine.

4) All We Ever Look For (from Never for Ever)

A song that would sound out of place on a Final Fantasy soundtrack, you could be forgiven for mistaking this a Nobuo Uematsu ditty. In actual fact, it sits quietly in the middle of one of Kate’s more ‘forgotten’ albums – the tantalising Never for Ever, which has pleasure of being her first U.K. Number One album (lasting for one week, to be replaced by the classic Scary Monsters and Super Creeps by David Bowie).

3) Sat In Your Lap (from The Dreaming)

An epic bluster of heavy percussion and screaming vocals, Sat In Your Lap talks about knowledge and our unwillingness to attain it with effort. Yes. (Cue five minutes of beard stroking).

2) Army Dreamers (from Never for Ever)

One of her more controversial songs, Bush sings about the waste of human life that will inevitably happen during a war. A soldier is not just a soldier, which is what many people – particularly the people that send these troops to battle – are unaware of. The video also displays a stunning visage of Kate’s true creativity.

1) Moments of Pleasure (from The Red Shoes)

Few artists can produce such a song nearly twenty years into their career. A truly personal narration, detailing the people that have touched Kate’s life, the lyrics are some of the most poignant ever put to music:

just being alive, it can really hurt/these moments given, are a gift from time…”

It is a song like this that has the capability to change a person’s outlook on life, which is why I made it my number one Kate Bush song. What a beauty.

Now, all of you that read this: tell Lord Coe to get on the phone to Kate Bush and tell her to perform at the Olympics closing ceremony – it’s not too late!


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