Thursday, 5 January 2012

When I was a child, running in the night

After an amazing Christmas with the majority of my close family and a chilled but fun New Year, I am back with a new post. 

It is my Mum's birthday tomorrow (which is another excuse to have a big get together with lots of wine) and this is a celebration of that, as my Mum is and always has been a massive fan. If you are not familiar with her music, you should definitely listen to some of what she has created over the years. I give my own recommendations.

Happy New Year to everyone and enjoy the post. Do let me know what you think.

Kate Bush is just as much part of my childhood playlist as the Spice Girls (is this not the case for any girl born in the 90s?), M People and Robin S. Show Me Love has got to be one of the best dance songs ever to be produced. I will always remember listening to Bush when either my Mum was cleaning or when I was standing in the centre of the living-room singing my heart out into a hairbrush. Babooshka (its literal definition is Russian for ‘grandmother’, according to the Urban Dictionary) is the one song I remember learning all the words to at such a young age. I recall the huge amount of fascination and curiosity over the album cover for Never For Ever, in which this song was released, with the floating animals and ugly looking sea creatures swirling out from underneath Bush’s dress. It is probably one of her most memorable songs- the lyrical verses tapping into the ideologies of revenge, paranoia and ambush, as it tells the story of a woman’s yearning for the faithfulness of her husband.


My Mum was thirteen years old when Bush was signed aged 19 in 1978 and surprisingly has only ever had one number one single in the UK with Wuthering Heights, despite having released 10 studio albums with a maximum of 12 years between releases – The Red Shoes released in 1993 and Aerial in 2005- throughout her massively successful career spanning over an impressive 36 years. Her musical style has altered somewhat over the years, newer material edging more towards her earlier folk style with a fairly vast emphasis on instrumental segments. Wuthering Heights, to those of you who are not familiar with the song but have read the book or watched a film adaptation (I myself really need to soon), is aptly startling, moving and varying in tempo and pitch. It begins with piano beats and ends with amazing electric guitar, amidst the high-pitched, menacing voice of Bush and the drop of drum beat with which you cannot help but move your head in time to.

What I love so much about Bush is the incredibly unique tone and the trembling characteristic to her voice- unusual voices are always the best I find. Not only that, the aptitude at which she reaches when altering her voice from deep to very high, powerful, almost screaming at times, is an ability for which she should be admired. Adapting it from each song to the next to suit the melodies and musical choices, ensures that what you are listening to is certainly interesting and grasps you as a listener. Cloudbusting is my personal favourite because of this and the song of the moment (the opeining lyrics of which forms the title) has to be Hounds of Love, inspired by Hitchcock's film The 39 Steps

She is undeniably, a fantastic songwriter- completely powerful, startling and I feel there is always a story to her songs, which she maintains throughout from the beginning to the very last note. As for her look, she was always in tight Lycra dance leotards and leggings at the height of her fame during the late 70s, early 80s (who wasn’t?), floating floor length, long-sleeved sheer gowns or futuristic two pieces, as the header picture shows, worn on her one and only tour aged just 20. That large mane of hair, which I vividly remember as the artwork for Lionheart was her trademark, as well as her big brown eyes, porcelain skin and rosy lips. She is one beautiful, talented lady whose niche style of music has gained her a huge, dedicated fan base, one of whom is my mum- a massive one at that. The fact that she vows never to tour again as she claims to be ‘shy’ is something I find hard to understand but it certainly doesn’t lessen her triumph as the most successful solo female artist the UK has ever seen.


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