S03E05 – Egypt

Are you ready for a traveling episode? We sure hope so!

For this week’s song, the ethereal Egypt, we make a call to Serbia to chat with a young fan named Uroš about his love for this song, the fifth track from Never For Ever. Uroš is a young Kate fan from Serbia who has always loved this song, so he has a lot to say about why this is one of his favorite Kate tunes!

While we get to talk about why we like this song, we also discuss the theme of the lyrics, which remind both of us of the earlier Kashka from Baghdad from Lionheart. Much is discussed about the issue of stereotyping and romanticizing a place you don’t know much about. We also get into the version of this song performed on the Tour of Life in 1979, before this song was even recorded in a studio, and the first time this song was performed on a TV audience, during the Kate Bush Christmas special later that year!

We hope you’ll be in love with this episode like Kate was with Egypt!

Song clips used:

Egypt (live at the Manchester Apollo, April 1979) (footage of Kate performing the song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXbTak2InhI

Egypt (live at the Manchester Apollo, April 1979) (pictures of her performing the song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG9gKW1Y9bo

S03E04 – All We Ever Look For

All we ever want for you is to listen to this new episode of Strange Phenomena!

All We Ever Look For doesn’t seem to be a song that is discussed much in the Kate Bush canon, and it’s really quite a shame! Because we found not one but TWO fans of this song to discuss it this week, and they have a lot to say.

This week, we’re joined by two guests who both love this week’s song, All We Ever Look For, the fourth track from Never For Ever: Keith DeWeese, who joined us on Oh England My Lionheart, and Zoey P, a favorite guest on our show last season and this season! With both of our guests, we dig into the complex psychology in the lyrics (especially from Zoey!), the sweet-sounding-but-not-quite arrangement (what Keith called “Kate Bush fairy music”), and one of Zoey’s favorite Kate Bush vocal moments, among many!

Not bad for a song that doesn’t seem to get discussed very much!

Also in this episode, hear a clip of a live orchestral rendition of All We Ever Look For performed by the Göthenberg Symphony Orchestra for their special Kate Bush tribute show, This Woman’s Work: A Tribute to Kate Bush, which is available to watch here:

https://vimeo.com/269167293

Song clips used:

All We Ever Look For, sung by Jennie Abrahamson and the Göthenberg Symphony Orchestra

S03E03 – Blow Away (For Bill)

One of the band told us last night that we’d be coming out with a new episode of Strange Phenomena this week! In this episode, we get to fly away with the third track from Never For EverBlow Away (For Bill). This week, Cecilee is joined by Alex Dale, a writer from London who considers this song to be one of his favorite pieces of music ever.

In this episode, Cecilee and Alex discuss the song at length, from its inspiration (the death of Bill Duffield, the lighting engineer for Kate’s tour) to its intriguing musical structure and arrangement, to the leaked piano demo showing different lyrics and the exclusion of a third verse that hadn’t been written yet. Cecilee and Alex also discuss the deceased rock stars mentioned in the song, what it means to “put out the light,” their own personal histories with the song and how this song grew on both of them!

We promise not to thump you!

Song clips used:

Blow Away (For Bill) demo version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Vcpk2sMsk

 

S03E02 – Delius (Song of Summer)

We promise we won’t be moody in this episode all about the beautiful song Delius (Song of Summer), the second track from Never For Ever. As a matter of fact, this episode will be cheery as the summer, since this is Cecilee’s favorite song on Never For Ever, so she has a lot to say!

And so does our guest, Keith DeWeese, who was the guest on Oh England My Lionheart last season! Listen as Keith and Cecilee discuss the production of this song as well as the song’s inspiration, the 1968 BBC movie Song of Summer, a movie about the British composer Frederick Delius. They also discuss who Fenby is, why it’s important that he’s being told “in B,” and the intriguing music video for this song, filmed in early 1980.

It’ll all make sense in this episode!

Movie clips used:

Song of Summer, 1968 BBC film

Song clips used:

Two Songs to Be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water by Frederick Delius

Hymn of the Fayth by Masashi Hamauzu and Nobuo Uematsu, featuring lyrics by scenario writer Kazushige Nojima

Interview clips used:

Russell Harty Show, November 25, 1980

Dr. Hook, April 7, 1980

S03E01 – Babooshka

Welcome to the first song episode of the Never For Ever season.

And we’re starting it with the album opener, Babooshka.

What a way to start an album!

Babooshka is not just the album opener, but it was also the second single released from Never For Ever. It was a huge hit everywhere it was released, going to #5 in the UK, where it spent ten weeks on the chart. The fact that it’s not just a catchy-as-hell song but it also was accompanied by a sexy, famous video certainly didn’t hurt the success of this song on the charts!

This week, we get to hear from three fans of Babooshka, who have come on the show to talk about what this song means to them and the history of the song. We have Elizabeth Anne from western Pennsylvania, Vanessa from Toronto, and FreezingInferno from Newfoundland. We get to hear how they all came across this song (and Kate’s music in general!), why this song is one of their favorites, and also the theme of the song: a woman testing her husband’s fidelity. We also get to talk about the music video and the origins of that famous warrior outfit.

Song clips used:

  • Babooshka (beatbox demo)
  • Babooshka (piano demo)

Live performances of Babooshka:

  • Live in Venice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB1ySF0_KQ8
  • Live in Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCk9v2gdAEA
  • Dr. Hook special: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSx8beWmFYY
  • Christmas show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APwU54tswp0

S03E00 – Never For Ever Album Introduction

Welcome to a special Album Introduction episode! Before we start Season 3 of the show, we’re going to start with an Introduction episode where we get to talk about the history of the album to come and general personal thoughts on it. We’ll also talk about where this album fits into Kate Bush’s canon and what to expect from the themes we’ll be discussing in each episode!

Recorded from September 1979 to May 1980, Never For Ever, Kate Bush’s third album, was released on September 7, 1980, almost two years after her previous album Lionheart. Never For Ever was Kate Bush’s first full-length album as a co-producer (her first production effort was the On Stage EP). Also, Never For Ever went to #1 in the UK mere weeks after its release, becoming the first album by a British female solo artist to top the UK chart (how did it take THAT long??). The famous Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument), an expensive electronic instrument used to sample and create music from non-traditional sounds, which would be used far more extensively on The Dreaming, Kate’s next album, was used for the first time on a Kate Bush album.

To introduce this season, we have a special guest, who you’ll remember from the Lionheart introduction episode and other song episodes from last season: Zoey P, who, like Cecilee, considers this one of her top favorite Kate Bush albums. Zoey and Cecilee talk about the convivial environment in which Never For Ever was recorded, what the album means to them and why it’s an underrated classic, in their opinion, and much more!

S02E12 – Lionheart Era Tracks – Another Day

Another day, and another episode, the last one of the Lionheart season! We’re closing out the Lionheart era tracks with a song that, like last week’s song, has never been officially released in any capacity.

Another Day, a Roy Harper song, was performed by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush for her 1979 Christmas special, an experience that has never been repeated. There was talk of releasing their version as a single, but it never happened. What we do have is Peter and Kate lip-syncing this song at a table, not facing each other, and acting out the fractured relationship in the song.

For this episode, Andrew Linke, Cecilee’s husband and resident Peter Gabriel fan, makes an appearance to talk about this song. Andrew and Cecilee talk about which version of the song they like better, the overall theme of the lyrics, and what was so special about that Kate Bush Christmas special anyway.

With that, we conclude a second season of the show. See everyone in a few weeks for the start of season 3, all about the album Never For Ever!

Song clips used:

Roy Harper – Another Day

This Mortal Coil featuring Elizabeth Fraser – Another Day

Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel – Another Day (live on the 1979 Kate Bush Christmas special)

S02E11 – Lionheart Era Tracks – The Magician

Now that we’re done talking about all the album tracks from Lionheart, it’s time to dig into the Lionheart era tracks. The first of two tracks for this season is the ultra-rare song The Magician. Written by big-time film composer Maurice Jarre and Paul Webster, this song was written for the obscure 1979 film The Magician of Lublin, a movie that never got a wide release and has yet to be released on DVD. Also of note: the only way to hear this song is in the movie itself, since the song, like the movie, has never been widely released either!

We said this was an ultra-rare song, and we weren’t kidding!

Kate herself said that recording this song was a “most enjoyable experience,” and that’s all we know about her own thoughts on this short and very carnival-like song.

Our guest for this week is Zoey P, who you’ll remember from several of the Lionheart episodes. This week, we talk about the film this song was used in, the other music that Maurice Jarre wrote (you know you’ve heard his music!), the Italian movie whose theme reminded Zoey very much of this song, and also the very Kate-like lyrics, which reminded both of us of one of Kate’s demo songs. Kate may not have written this song, but it sounds like she very well could have!

So follow us and you’ll learn just what life’s all about, or rather, what this song is all about!

Song clips used:

Maurice Jarre – Theme from Lawrence of Arabia

Maurice Jarre – Witness (Main Title)

Maurice Jarre – Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago

Nino Rota – La Passerella Di Otto E Mezzo from 8 1/2

Kate Bush – Stranded at the Moonbase (demo)

S02E10 – Hammer Horror

If you know all the signs of Notre Dame, then come join us for a discussion of the final track on Lionheart, the theatrical Hammer Horror. Zoey P joins us again to talk about one of her top ten favorite Kate songs, and tells us why this is one of her go-to Kate songs. Cecilee also mentions her own personal history with Hammer Horror and the memories of being in France that this song conjures for her. We also talk about the live versions done of this song (including one for Australian TV where she was looked over in favor of Leif Garrett) and the rather groundbreaking version from the Tour of Life (the only song not sung live due to the strenuous nature of the dance routine).

Listening to this episode will definitely be the right thing to do!

Song clips used:

Hammer Horror album version

Hammer Horror piano demo

 

S02E09 – Coffee Homeground

We promise we won’t be getting you with any Belladonna or arsenic in the pot of tea. Instead, we’ll just be serving up a rather harmless episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re talking about the very theatrical song Coffee Homeground, perhaps the most musical theater song that Kate Bush has ever done (and that’s saying something!). Our guest this week is Daniel Thomas, a long-time Kate fan who also spoke about Symphony in Blue earlier this season. We get into his personal connection with this song, the Roald Dahl story that probably inspired Kate, and also the fun live routine that Kate performed of this song for her Tour of Life. A routine that, sadly, has never been officially released (but which can be found easily, these days, on YouTube!).

Song clips used:

Coffee Homeground live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979