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Rock - Released September 12, 1994 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Kate Bush's first album, The Kick Inside, released when the singer/songwriter was only 19 years old (but featuring some songs written at 15 and recorded at 16), is her most unabashedly romantic, the sound of an impressionable and highly precocious teenager spreading her wings for the first time. The centerpiece is "Wuthering Heights," which was a hit everywhere except the United States (and propelled the Emily Brontë novel back onto the best-seller lists in England), but there is a lot else here to enjoy: The disturbing "Man with the Child in His Eyes," the catchy rocker "James and the Cold Gun," and "Feel It," an early manifestation of Bush's explorations of sexual experience in song, which would culminate with "Hounds of Love." As those familiar with the latter well know, she would do better work in the future, but this is still a mightily impressive debut. ~ Bruce Eder
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Pop - Released May 16, 2011 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Kate Bush's strongest album to date also marked her breakthrough into the American charts, and yielded a set of dazzling videos as well as an enviable body of hits, spearheaded by "Running Up That Hill," her biggest single since "Wuthering Heights." Strangely enough, Hounds of Love was no less complicated in its structure, imagery, and extra-musical references (even lifting a line of dialogue from Jacques Tourneur's Curse of the Demon for the intro of the title song) than The Dreaming, which had been roundly criticized for being too ambitious and complex. But Hounds of Love was more carefully crafted as a pop record, and it abounded in memorable melodies and arrangements, the latter reflecting idioms ranging from orchestrated progressive pop to high-wattage traditional folk; and at the center of it all was Bush in the best album-length vocal performance of her career, extending her range and also drawing expressiveness from deep inside of herself, so much so that one almost feels as though he's eavesdropping at moments during "Running Up That Hill." Hounds of Love is actually a two-part album (the two sides of the original LP release being the now-lost natural dividing line), consisting of the suites "Hounds of Love" and "The Ninth Wave." The former is steeped in lyrical and sonic sensuality that tends to wash over the listener, while the latter is about the experiences of birth and rebirth. If this sounds like heady stuff, it could be, but Bush never lets the material get too far from its pop trappings and purpose. In some respects, this was also Bush's first fully realized album, done completely on her own terms, made entirely at her own 48-track home studio, to her schedule and preferences, and delivered whole to EMI as a finished work; that history is important, helping to explain the sheer presence of the album's most striking element -- the spirit of experimentation at every turn, in the little details of the sound. That vastly divergent grasp, from the minutiae of each song to the broad sweeping arc of the two suites, all heavily ornamented with layered instrumentation, makes this record wonderfully overpowering as a piece of pop music. Indeed, this reviewer hadn't had so much fun and such a challenge listening to a new album from the U.K. since Abbey Road, and it's pretty plain that Bush listened to (and learned from) a lot of the Beatles' output in her youth. ~ Bruce Eder
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Rock - Released April 5, 1988 | Parlophone UK

Proving that the English admired Kate Bush's work, 1978's Lionheart album managed to reach the number six spot in her homeland while failing to make a substantial impact in North America. The single "Hammer Horror" went to number 44 on the U.K. singles chart, but the remaining tracks from the album spin, leap, and pirouette with Bush's vocal dramatics, most of them dissipating into a mist rather than hovering around long enough to be memorable. Her fairytale essence wraps itself around tracks like "In Search of Peter Pan," "Kashka From Baghdad," and "Oh England My Lionheart," but unravels before any substance can be heard. "Wow" does the best job at expressing her voice as it waves and flutters through the chorus, with a melody that shimmers in a peculiar but compatible manner. Some of the tracks, such as "Coffee Homeground" or "In the Warm Room," bask in their own subtle obscurity, a trait that Bush improved upon later in her career but couldn't secure on this album. Lionheart acts as a gauge more than a complete album, as Bush is trying to see how many different ways she can sound vocally colorful, even enigmatic, rather than focus on her material's content and fluidity. Hearing Lionheart after listening to Never for Ever or The Dreaming album, it's apparent how quickly Bush had progressed both vocally and in her writing in such a short time. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Rock - Released October 8, 1990 | Parlophone UK

Never for Ever has Kate Bush sounding vocally stable and more confident, taking what she had put into her debut single "Wuthering Heights" from 1978 and administering those facets into most of the album's content. Never for Ever went to number one in the U.K., on the strength of three singles that made her country's Top 20. Both "Breathing" and "Army Dreamers" went to number 16, while "Babooshka" was her first Top Five single since "Wuthering Heights." Bush's dramatics and theatrical approach to singing begin to solidify on Never for Ever, and her style brandishes avid seriousness without sounding flighty or absurd. "Breathing," about the repercussions of nuclear war, conveys enough passion and vocal curvatures to make her concern sound convincing, while "Army Dreamers" bounces her voice up and down without getting out of hand. "Babooshka"'s motherly charm and flexible chorus make it one of her best tracks, proving that she can make the simplest of lyrics work for her through her tailored vocal acrobatics. The rest of the album isn't quite as firm as her singles, but they all sport a more appeasing and accustomed sound than some of her past works, and she does manage to keep her identity and characteristics intact. She bettered this formula for 1985's Hounds of Love, making that album's "Running Up That Hill" her only Top 40 single in the U.S., peaking at number 30. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Pop - Released May 13, 2011 | Parlophone UK

Four albums into her burgeoning career, Kate Bush's The Dreaming is a theatrical and abstract piece of work, as well as Bush's first effort in the production seat. She throws herself in head first, incorporating various vocal loops, sometimes campy, but always romantic and inquisitive of emotion. She's angry and pensive throughout the entire album, typically poetic while pushing around the notions of a male-dominated world. However, Kate Bush is a daydreamer. Unfortunately, The Dreaming, with all it's intricate mystical beauty, isn't fully embraced compared to her later work. Album opener "Sat in Your Lap" is a frightening slight on individual intellect, with a booming chorus echoing over throbbing percussion and a butchered brass section. "Leave It Open" is goth-like with Bush's dark brooding, which is a suspending scale of vocalic laments, but it's the vivacious and moody "Get Out of My House" that truly brings Bush's many talents for art and music to the forefront. It prances with dripping piano drops and gritty guitar, and the violent rage felt as she screams "Slamming," sparking a fury similar to what Tori Amos later ignited during her inception throughout the '90s. Not one to be in fear of fear, The Dreaming is one of Kate Bush's underrated achievements in depicting her own visions of love, relationships, and role play, not to mention a brilliant predecessor to the charming beauty of 1985's Hounds of Love. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Rhino

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2010 | Columbia

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Pop - Released November 2, 1993 | Columbia

The album is a continuation of Bush's multi-layered and multiple musical pursuits and interests. If not her strongest work -- a number of songs sound okay without being particularly stellar, especially given Bush's past heights -- Red Shoes is still an enjoyable listen with a number of diversions. The guest performer list is worthy of note alone, ranging from Procol Harum pianist Gary Brooker and Eric Clapton to Prince, but this is very much a Kate Bush album straight up as opposed to a collaborative work like, say, Santana's Supernatural. Opening song "Rubberband Girl" is actually one of her strongest singles in years, a big and punchy song served well with a horn section, though slightly let down by the stiff percussion. "Eat the Music," another smart choice for a single, mixes calypso and other Caribbean musical touches with a great, classically Bush lyric mixing up sexuality, romance, and various earthy food-based metaphors. Another highlight of Bush's frank embrace of the lustier side of life is "The Song of Solomon," a celebratory piece about the Bible's openly erotic piece. Those who prefer her predominantly piano and vocal pieces will enjoy "Moments of Pleasure" with a strong string arrangement courtesy of Michael Kamen. Other standouts include "Why Should I Love You?" with Prince creating a very Prince-like arrangement and backing chorus for Bush (and doing quite well at that) and the concluding "You're the One," featuring Brooker. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released November 30, 2018 | Rhino

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During her early career, Kate Bush released albums regularly despite her reputation as a perfectionist in the studio. Her first five were released within seven years. After The Hounds of Love in 1985, however, the breaks between got longer: The Sensual World appeared in 1989 and The Red Shoes in 1993. Then, nothing before Aerial, a double album issued in 2005. It's taken six more years to get The Director's Cut, an album whose material isn't new, though its presentation is. Four of this set's 11 tracks first appeared on The Sensual World, while the other seven come from The Red Shoes. Bush's reasons for re-recording these songs is a mystery. She does have her own world-class recording studio, and given the sounds here, she's kept up with technology. Some of these songs are merely tweaked, and pleasantly so, while others are radically altered. The two most glaring examples are "Flower of the Mountain" (previously known as "The Sensual World") and "This Woman's Work." The former intended to use Molly Bloom's soliloquy from James Joyce's novel Ulysses as its lyric; Bush was refused permission by his estate. That decision was eventually reversed; hence she re-recorded the originally intended lyrics. And while the arrangement is similar, there are added layers of synth and percussion. Her voice is absent the wails and hiccupy gasps of her youthful incarnation. These have been replaced by somewhat huskier, even more luxuriant and elegant tones. On the latter song, the arrangement of a full band and Michael Nyman's strings are replaced by a sparse, reverbed electric piano which pans between speakers. This skeletal arrangement frames Bush's more prominent vocal which has grown into these lyrics and inhabits them in full: their regrets, disappointments, and heartbreaks with real acceptance. She lets that voice rip on "Lilly," supported by a tougher, punchier bassline, skittering guitar efx, and a hypnotic drum loop. Bush's son Bertie makes an appearance as the voice of the computer (with Auto-Tune) on "Deeper Understanding." On "RubberBand Girl," Bush pays homage to the Rolling Stones' opening riff from "Street Fighting Man" in all its garagey glory (which one suspects was always there and has now been uncovered). The experience of The Director's Cut, encountering all this familiar material in its new dressing, is more than occasionally unsettling, but simultaneously, it is deeply engaging and satisfying. ~ Thom Jurek
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Pop - Released October 1, 1989 | Columbia

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 21, 2011 | Anti - Epitaph

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 21, 2011 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2016 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

Pop - Released September 27, 2005 | Columbia

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 21, 2016 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)