Something good is gonna happen: the best of Kate Bush

My first experience with Kate Bush was listening to “Don’t Give Up,” her duet with Peter Gabriel: a top ten in the UK and a lesser one in America. My second experience was the Utah Saints’ ebullient sample in 1992, adapting the best lyric of her career (“I just know that something good is gonna hap-PEN!”) for lubricious ends. 1993 was not a good time for English eccentrics who peaked with concepts and Fairlights six years earlier, which is why I overrate The Red Shoes. A finalist in my top ten that year, 2005’s Aerial suffers from muddled execution on its song side; “Pi” and “Joanni” sound like B-sides in search of a home and context (I love’em anyway). The second disk — a depiction of aesthetic and sexual actualization set like Virginia Woolf’s The Waves to the chronology of the tides — dawdles for fifteen minutes before “Nocturne” and the title track demonstrate how much Bush has learned about dynamics; her mastery of pitch and song form find their correlative in compositions that churn with a palpable sense of relief and release. “I feel I want to be up on the roof,” accompanied by rhythm guitar chugging, is as weird a hook as the one in “Cloudbusting,” ranking just below the part in “Get Out of My House” in which she mimics a donkey. Too bad 50 Words For Snow lacked songs for a concept. No matter: Kate Bush is worth the wait.

Here are my favorite Kate Bush tracks. I wish I owned The Kick Inside and Lionheart. Her induction into Stylus’ Hall of fame inspired a few excellent appreciations, not least of which is Thomas Inskeep’s of “Experiment IV,” one of the best songs recorded expressly for a compilation (The Whole Story). I also recommend Single Jukebox colleague Katherine St. Asaph’s One Week One Band omnibus.

1. Hounds of Love
2. A Coral Room
3. Breathing
4. Get Out of My House
5. Cloudbusting
6. The Big Sky (The Meterological Mix)
7. Experiment IV
8. The Sensual World
9. Rubberband Girl
10. King of the Mountain
11. Army Dreamers
12. Nocturne
13. Running Up That Hill
14. Big Stripey Lie
15. Under the Ivy
16. Suspended in Gaffa
17. Violin
18. Sat in Your Lap
19. The Man with the Child in His Eyes
20. And So Is Love
21. Joanni
22. Heads We’re Dancing
23. This Woman’s Work
24. Wuthering Heights (New Vocal)
25. And Dream of Sleep

2 thoughts on “Something good is gonna happen: the best of Kate Bush

  1. Federico

    LOVE HER. I discovered her music a short time ago and I’ve already devoured the kick inside and hounds of love, simply amazing music, amazing lyrics and amazing execution.


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