My Kate Bush Top 30: #20 – 11

I was surprised to see the #30-21 post racking up so many views, so I figured I should press on and continue my countdown. It’s a bit tricky to pick out particular songs by Kate, whose catalogue varies massively in style, but I’ve tried my best, you don’t have to agree! (does that sound standoff-ish?)

Oh before we start, here’s a quick interlude. Kate’s done some rather lovely mini-tracks over the course of her back catalogue, so I will give honourable mention to a few of them during this countdown:

From Aerial

Just a little interlude, and something I really love from Aerial. The whole birdsong theme was very evocative, and every time I hear it now I feel rather calm and wonderful. The opening intro for the second disc of Aerial begins with some pigeons, it just really reminds me of home, I love it.


20. All the love
From The Dreaming

Bit of a morose moment now, this feels like a bit of an odd one in my selection. It’s not particularly catchy, but it’s just got these strange moments in it that make me really forget what I was doing and just listen.

There’s the rather depressing piano moments, the choirboy, just the overwhelming depressed feeling there is… it just does the job, even if that’s not the sort of job I normally want doing. That telephone section at the end is just fascinating… TOODLE-OO!


19. Reaching out
From The Sensual World

OK, a little more upbeat now. Starts out like the Carpenters or the Cheers theme tune, but I do like her vocals on this a lot. The bit with the church bells really fits in well, as well as some of her backing vocals that – I know this is weird – sound like bellringing … do you know what I mean?

The chorus is great, it sticks in my head, I just think everything comes together really well.


18. The Big Sky
From Hounds of Love

It’s difficult not to be cheered up a little by this, it’s a totally cheerful uptempo track that’s full of fun. I love that video too. I often think she would have been a little more famous for her videos if she had just started out a little later in the MTV age.

Not much to say about this song, if I’m totally honest it is a bit lightweight, but it’s just so LOVELY I can’t really get too critical.


17. Coffee homeground
From Lionheart

Oh my… well if you were missing Mad Old Kate, here is an extra grande crackaccino of a song. I’m a little unsure what this still is about, something about being poisoned at afternoon tea? Whatever it’s about, it results in some of the most unhinged lyrics and delivery, twinned with some rather dizzy instrumentation more suited to a Wallace and Gromit feature. The lyrics almost feel like an old Harry Hill sketch too.

Offer me a chocolate.. “no thanks, you’ll SPOIL my DIET” … I don’t know what it is about this, but it’s jam-packed full of weird moments and there is never a bad time to hear it.


16. Get out of my house
From The Dreaming

Mad old Kate really loses her shit now, NOT the sort of person you want to put in a corner. So there appears to be some home invasion twinned with a bit of shape-shifting here, how can you go wrong? (don’t even ask…)

I do like The Dreaming for some of the tribal-sounding beats she started adding to her music. It would be easy to focus on the mental moments later in the song but musically it’s quite a powerful track.


15. Nocturn
From Aerial

OK another slowie from Aerial that you might not instantly remember, and a LONG one too at over 8 minutes. But how bloody gorgeous is this? Starts like a bit of ambient relaxation music, you half expect the dolphin song to kick in.

Once it finally gets going though, it’s just such a great chillout track (I can’t think of a less awful description sadly). The instrumentation is just so immersive and wonderful, a tribute to the night-time. LOVE IT.


14. Wuthering Heights
From The Kick Inside

So from a bit of an unknown track to this, possibly her most famous song. Her debut hit, a #1 no less, that pretty much set out her stand as a banshee to be reckoned with.

I must admit I never QUITE loved this as much as I feel I should, but it’s got a lot going for it. That chorus is still pretty amazing 30 years on (!), and just reassures me that there was a time when she was appreciated for her oddness rather than shyed away from as she would be today, unless she went VIRAL or something.


13. Saxophone song
From The Kick Inside

Perhaps this is controversial, with an album track from her first album outdoing its centrepiece. I always felt this was a bit easier to get into, without sounding too plain (certainly it’s easy to sound plain if you have Wuthering Heights to compete with).

I’ve never been a big fan of the saxophone, but it really fits in here. I love the feel of this song, I can’t find a good word to describe it, but it gives me a strange feeling. The whalesong at the start is a rather startling addition, and I love the dated-sounding electronic flourishes at the end.


12. Deeper Understanding
From The Sensual World

A rather disarming moment now, from the uneven Sensual World album. I found it difficult to get on board with her 90s albums, but then there’s this little gem buried in there.

I suppose I have a rather pathetic feeling that I relate to this song, feeling a bit adrift and taking solace in the computer world. Maybe not in the sci-fi sense Kate is going on about, but that computer voice just makes me a bit sad. It might as well be saying “Hello David, I know that you’ve been feeling tired..”

I need to get out more.


11. There goes a Tenner
From The Dreaming

Well after THAT little moment, let me distract you with this utter lunacy. OH-KAY REMEMBURRR. This song really just delivers every time, a good story, weird lyrics and accent, stranger instrumentation.

The Dreaming probably wasn’t a hotbed of sanity to begin with, but this really worked its way into my head. Unhinged backing vocals, tales of a botched bank robbery ending with Mad Old Kate doing time in Strangeways, with some spazzy accordion thrown in. What more could you ask for?


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