“I’m sure this new Prog Talk article is worth the wai- oh bloody hell, it’s another ‘Beyond the Wall’ post isn’t it?..”
Now hear me out:
In between binging Kayo Dot records, Cerpin’s latest addiction has been none other than the queen of art pop herself – quite fitting given that my last review was of Iceland’s answer to Kate Bush. Since it’s been so long since the last installment, too, I thought the best way to celebrate this woman’s work would be via a new ‘Beginner’s Guide To’ flowchart.
Not only do I implore you explore Kate Bush‘s discography – I demand it.
Many progressive rock fans would look more towards Kate Bush‘s colleagues David Gilmour or Peter Gabriel as their idols in the genre, but Kate Bush’s groundbreaking experimental approach to pop music and artistry in music is far more ‘prog’ than people care to admit.
Though she’s most famous for the buck wild song ‘Wuthering Heights’, her breakthrough single at only 19 years old in 1978, Kate Bush was the first female to top the UK charts with her debut The Kick Inside and the only female artist to release chart topping records in every decade since the 70’s.
Kate Bush‘s success is a testament to her proficiency as a pop artist, but her artistry is what has immortalized her in the public and critical eye – defiant against the fickle hand of popularity and celebrity worship in the pop music industry. Musically, her wild vocals; unorthodox instrumentation and odd song structures are intriguing enough to be an experimental take on pop, but it’s each song’s concepts and theatrics that are woven into their music videos and stage performances which make Kate Bush‘s art so superb and enticing.
Her extensive discography also shows the evolution of Kate as an artist – tracks like ‘Babooshka’ and ‘The Wedding List’ from 1980’s Never for Ever display a fiery feminist empowerment that’s poles apart from the motherliness of songs from Aerial or 50 Words for Snow in the 21st century. Between the two ends of her career lies Kate‘s most celebrated records, The Dreaming and Hounds of Love, containing some of her most conceptually and musically exciting songs; a personal favourite being the former’s closer, ‘Get Out of My House’, where Kate Bush shrieks and brays like a donkey. Even decades later, the idea of this track being in a ‘pop’ record is mind-boggling.
There isn’t enough time in the day for me to talk about my love for Kate Bush – it may be borderline fanaticism, yes, but Kate Bush as a pop artist so ahead of her time is about as progressive as you can get. I’ll shortly be following up this article with a review of her latest studio album released in 2011, 50 Words for Snow – but in the meantime, enjoy the ‘Beginner’s Guide to Kate Bush’ flowchart below, and if you have time, check out The Kate Bush Story documentary linked above!
This is by far the most enjoyable guide I’ve had the pleasure of working on – and I hope you have the same enjoyment out of exploring her records as I have.