Kate Bush: A Legend Returns to the Stage
For the first time in 35 years, enigmatic legend Kate Bush has returned to the stage.
An infamous recluse, the lauded British singer-songwriter is in the midst of a 22-date run at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. If there was any doubt in Bush’s relevancy in 2014, the residency – titled Before the Dawn - sold out all 22 shows in less than 15 minutes, with tickets going for thousands of dollars a piece.
But for being introduced to this mysterious talent for the first time, who is Kate Bush really? And why is she perennially hailed as one of the greatest artists of her time?
Kate Bush is an icon. One-of-a-kind. Queen of Artpop. An unquestioned talent in voice and pen.
She’s a pioneer and a role model – without Kate Bush there is no Björk, no Joanna Newsom, no Bat For Lashes, no Antony and the Johnsons.
In 1978, a 19-year-old Bush made her debut with the album The Kick Inside, which included songs she had written since she was 13. Her record company wanted to release the more rock-oriented “James and the Cold Gun” as her first single, to which Bush famously contested, opting instead for the less commercial-friendly “Wuthering Heights”. The fantastically catchy and mysterious song – based on Emily Brontë’s famous novel of the same name - became a chart-topping force of nature, her best selling single to date, and perhaps her defining song. Bush would go on to form a habit of fighting her label in favor of artistic freedom.
Since then Kate Bush has released nine albums, reaching a high-water mark with Hounds of Love in 1985, a pop masterpiece. The album toppled Madonna’s Like a Virgin from the number one spot on the U.K. charts, where it would remain for three months. It would also mark Bush’s breakthrough on the American charts, bolstered by her single “Running Up a Hill”.
Kate Bush has built an uncompromising and curious artpop universe around herself, walking a fascinating line between beauty and madness.
Her mythological persona has been ever fueled by her eccentric nature and penchant for dismantling pop music templates. From the starting gate, she has repeatedly steered pop music into uncharted territory.
We salute the British singer with 20 of her best songs. From the wonderful and plaintive “Wuthering Heights,” to the Joanna Newsom-inspiring “Army Dreamers,” to the sparkling piano show “Snowflake” from Bush’s most recent album, 5o Words for Snow.
Whatever her next move may be, and however long it takes her to get there, Kate Bush has proved it’ll be worth the wait.
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