16 September 2013

16th September - Kate Bush's Hounds of Love

Artist – Album: Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Released:  16th September 1985
Sounds Like:  Certifiably excellent

It may have been Cyndi Lauper who, back in 1983, released an album entitled She’s So Unusual, but the Eighties’ strangest siren – with an honourable doff of the cap to Laurie Anderson – has to be Kate Bush.

Bush was just a 19 year old waif when she announced herself to the world with the loopy ‘Wuthering Heights’ and she continued her rich form of doolally singles when she reached the UK top 5 with ‘Babooshka’ in 1980. Amongst other topics, her early songs covered subjects such as the death of Houdini, François Truffaut films and Peter Pan. Perhaps feeling that she was somehow constrained by her label (really Kate?!) and their choice of producers, she began producing her own albums in 1984, and then she finally wrested complete control of her art for herself when she built her own recording studio near her home. If I’d have been around at the time of 1985’s Hounds of Love release, I’d have been worried about the inevitable mess of an album.

You mustn’t forget, though, that Bush might be a bit weird but she’s also a certified genius. Hounds of Love turned out to be her most complete album to date, and, what’s more, it’s full of wholly accessible pop hits. ‘Running Up That Hill’, ‘Hounds of Love’ (not quite as good as the Futureheads’ cover, but still awesome), ‘The Big Sky’ and ‘Cloudbusting’ are all top rate rockers and make up the majority of the Hounds of Love half of the record. The Ninth Wave segment follows roughly the same formula and is heady progressive rock.

Since Kate Bush (and Lauper and Anderson) there’s been plenty in the way of headstrong, odd female artists, and each of Tori Amos, Björk and Lady Gaga et al owe a huge debt to the Kentish songstress.

Albumaday... rating:  8/10

1.       Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) – 5:03
2.       Hounds of Love – 3:02
3.       The Big Sky – 4:41
4.       Mother Stands for Comfort – 3:07
5.       Cloudbusting – 5:10
6.       And Dream of Sheep – 2:45
7.       Under Ice – 2:21
8.       Waking the Witch – 4:18
9.       Watching You Without Me – 4:06
10.   Jig of Life – 4:04
11.   Hello Earth – 6:13
12.   The Morning Fog – 2:34

Listen to ‘The Big Sky’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV7w5TaYjRA

Also released on 16th September:
1967: Scott Walker – Scott 
Also released on 16th September:
1977: Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77

Also released on 16th September:
1997: Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club

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