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13 July 2011 @ 08:53 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #122: Kate Bush "Wuthering Heights" (live)  
Kate Bush
“Wuthering Heights” (live 1979)




Blame, in part, Mike Kraft for this one. I was minding my own business the other day happily in my musical world of live Matt Nathanson and David Ford shows (via archive.org – an awesome place to treat your ears to sanctioned live recordings) when he asked if I had heard the new Kate Bush CD (new yes, but a compilation of songs from The Sensual World & The Red Shoes that were re-tooled with new vocals, drums, and arrangement), which in turn sent me on a Kate trip. The new album was so jarring, she has dropped the vocal range down to match her voice which is some 15 years on from the original versions, and it had me so thrown that I needed to revisit some favorites of mine.

Again, I’m sounding like a broken record, but the combination of my brother, Mark’s influence and this time I believe an audio recording off the TV from Night Flight (and then later on a VHS) was the genesis of my introduction to Kate. With shame and regret I remember teasing Mark in conjunction with his friend Brian, about the three dogs on the cover of the Hounds of Love marbleized cassette when he purchased it. Obviously I was just going for the cruel factor and I hadn’t seen the back photo of the alluring and beautiful Ms. Kate. What do you want, I was only 11 and still more interested in guitars and wiffle ball instead of girls. I think I was also reacting to Mark’s slow and steady move away from the hard rock and metal roots that he helped sow into my musical upbringing.

But there was something magical about “Running Up that Hill” and I remember being into that and then the live clip of “Wuthering Heights” here. Within a couple months time Kate was gaining success in America (after four high charting albums in the U.K.) and was a staple on MTV for a couple of years with “Running…,” “Cloudbusting,” “The Big Sky,” and “Hounds of Love.” As with most of the artists Mark listened to, I became a fan myself.

I distinctly remember listening on my walkman to the first side of the Lionheart cassette to fall asleep to on numerous occasions while at my grandparents in Florida, NY. “Symphony in Blue,” “In Search of Peter Pan,” “Wow,” “Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake,” and “Oh England My Lionheart” will always hold a special place for me lying trying to fall asleep, yet stay awake so I could hear the next song. I don’t remember listening to music to fall asleep with at any other time, other than when we stayed with them, but I have strong memories of listening to Lionheart.

So it’s hard to pick one song this week as I’m tripping through memory lane with Kate. It could very easily be:

Running Up that Hill

Wow (live 1979)

Symphony in Blue – a wonderful clip

Cloudbusting – starring Donald Sutherland

Jig of Life

But it has to be “Wuthering Heights.” Kind of cliché, I know, going with the big hit and all, but I remember watching the end of the VHS we taped off Night Flight from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, over and over and over again to watch and be drawn into this. The triple camera angles, her dancing, that simply divine guitar solo outro, the wild excitement and hand waving at the end, and the crowd roaring in rapture. If only they knew at the time she would never properly tour again, the roars would have been deafening.