Monday, December 26, 2005


So who got Kate Bush's new album Aerial for christmas? Actually not me, I got it when it came out. I remember putting it in my cd player with a mixture of excitement and fear. You never know, Kate is Kate but it was still 12 years since the last one... I probably would get the old cliche out and say she's one of those artists who you either love or hate. People make a point of having an opinion about her and opinions I'd say aren't really based on proper thoughts. I'd love to see Kate Bush escape the frame of pop and rock chit chat since what she does has been so oblivious of the whole structure that the music industry (her own record label EMI included for sure) has built since the sixties. She's never played the game in the same way than other recording artists of her stature are meant to. Therefore, people think she's weird, abnormal, depressed or a recluse. And she's probably laughing.
A few years back, I got hold of a bootleg cd of songs which she had recorded as demos, just her and a piano. That was before the release of her first album, she must have been 15 or 16. I'm very fond of this collection, the recording sounds old (the cd I have was ripped from a vinyl), the songwriting is naive, pure and just lovely. And yet what a maturity, in the voice as in her piano skills. It's almost like you get to have her come play her piano in your bedroom, intimacy with Kate? Wow! The tracks are a bit like a lo-fi version of her first two albums and strangely very relevant now especially since people like Catpower have demonstrated brilliantly that sometimes less is more. Don't get me wrong, the lady has put so much of herself into shaping a sound which cannot be mistaken for anything but her own, she diserves most credits for that. The crazy arrangements and sampling madness of Kate's "The Dreaming" LP are amongst my favourite Bush moments.
So on this post, you get a bit of both, 4 songs from the demos and 1 song from the dreaming era, a cover version of Donovan's Lord of the Reedy River where la Bush just takes you to that place with sound effects and eerie harmonies. This was the B side of the Sat in your Lap 7". The demos are 4 of my favourites, they're all songs which never appeared on albums apart from Oh to be in Love which was on "the Kick Inside" in a very different version.

Kate Bush - oh to be in love
Kate Bush - on fire inside a snowball
Kate Bush - where are the lionhearts
Kate Bush - frightened eyes

Kate Bush - lord of the reedy river


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