S04E00 – The Dreaming Album Introduction

Woohoo for the start of another album season! Welcome to the fourth season of the show, which will be all about the weirdly wonderful (and fan favorite) The Dreaming. Regarded by the artist herself as her “she’s gone mad” album, The Dreaming is the work of someone working in the explosive computer technology of the time to create her most dense and experimental work to date, her own self-contained world of darkness and deep exploration of human nature.

To discuss this album as a whole, we have a familiar voice on the show: Zoey from New York. Zoey and Cecilee both count The Dreaming as their favorite Kate Bush albums, so there is a LOT to say in this album introduction episode! There is the constant myth that The Dreaming is a warm-up to Hounds of Love. They also discuss how the album was received at the time and its impact on modern music. The cut-and-paste way it was recorded (revolutionary for 1982, commonplace in 2019). Who played on the album. And we rank our favorite songs from the album and why (despite it being a difficult task for both!).

It’s all here in this album discussion episode! Then next week, we’ll get to hear a fun discussion of the first track, and single, Sat In Your Lap.

Patreon Plug!

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon. If you’d like to support the show, visit www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast and become a subscriber today!

Interview clips used:

Paul Gambaccini Interview, Pebble Mill at One, October 29, 1982

Profiles in Rock, 1980

Bonus: Cathy/Phoenix Demos

This week, we’re not talking about just one song but rather a bunch of songs! Specifically, the sort of songs that Kate Bush doesn’t want us to hear, but which we’ve heard anyway.

This is the week of the Cathy/Phoenix Demos, which were recordings Kate made of her songs when she was a teenager before she became famous. The Cathy Demos refer to tape recordings made when Kate was probably about 15 (circa 1973) of some of her songs. These songs were going to be put out on a bootleg record in 1986, when Kate got wind of what was going on and stopped it from being released. However, they have leaked anyway (well, all but one song, Go Now While You Can).

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Demos refer to a group of almost two dozen previously unheard songs that a Phoenix, Arizona DJ and former EMI A&R man John Dixon played on the air in 1982. These songs were recorded around 1976, according to the tape reel he played that night, so Kate was a little older than those first Cathy demos in ’73. Either way, the songs have leaked and since the 80s, these songs have been endlessly bootlegged and have, of course, made their way to the Internet for an even wider audience to find.

Some of these demos even contain embryonic versions of songs that later made her albums (Violin, The Kick Inside, and Oh To Be In Love, to name a few). To talk about these little gems, we have a familiar voice, Zoey P, on the show. We go into the history of how these songs, which were recorded in the privacy of Kate’s home, were leaked to the general public and what we think of these recordings.

To listen to these demos, you can find them here. Also, check out Chris Kelley’s Kate Bush song-by-song blog, Dream of Orgonon, which you can find here.

Song clips used/mentioned:

On Fire Inside a Snowball

The Disbelieving Angel

Frightened Eyes

Sunsi

You Were the Star

It Hurts Me

Stranded At the Moonbase

Rinfy the Gypsy

Dali

Where Are the Lionhearts

The Gay Farewell

Nevertheless You’ll Do

Frightened Eyes (Alphan Remix)

Bonus: Humming

It started as an excerpt on a radio show called Personal Call in 1980. Only a verse and part of a chorus were ever played. “I was waiting for the flat note in the middle,” she said as the tape faded out. And for years, fans have wondered about this mysterious song. Is it called Maybe? Humming? Davy? No one knew. All anyone had was the clip she played on that radio show as well as an unreleased recording of a song called Davy that had a similar melody and chorus to what was played on Personal Call.

What was this song? And would it ever be released in full?

Apparently, yes!

Years later, in 2018, the full version of this mythical song finally appeared on the Kate Bush Remastered box set, under its official title: Humming. All of her albums have been rereleased and remastered along with two CDs of bonus tracks, called The Other Sides 1 and 2. Track 7 on The Other Sides 2 contains the first ever full release of that little song Kate shut her ears on.

This week, we’re talking about this little gem with Tomer Feiner, a Kate fan from Israel. We discuss the history of this song, what the song is about, and a little of Kate’s early history before getting signed!

Also, we couldn’t find that flat note in the middle.

Song clips used:

Humming/Davy and Personal Call clip

Humming

Bonus: Let the Weirdness In #1

Welcome to a special episode of Strange Phenomena. This week is the first “mailbag” episode. Over the last year and a half of this show, I’ve gotten messages from listeners about different episodes and their thoughts on some of the songs I’ve discussed so far, including some corrections (oops!). So this week, we get to hear from YOU, the listeners, AND…..

Strange Phenomena now has a Patreon page!

For just $5 a month, you can get a special parallel show called Deeper Understanding, which will include general Kate Bush chat and deeper discussions of her work, rather than focusing on a particular song. The main show will always be free, but for those who are subscribed to Patreon, you get a little something extra!

You can find said Patreon here:

http://www.patreon.com/katebushpodcast

S03E22 – Flowers (Zaine Griff song)

And now the end is here! Wrapping up this third season of the show, Cecilee is by herself to discuss a song from Zaine Griff’s 1982 album Figvres, called Flowers, which our lovely Kate Bush lent her vocals to! In this episode, Cecilee talks about the references in the song to French literature (who is Jean Genet and why is he important) and about the inspiration for this song, a certain mime/dance teacher named Lindsay Kemp, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 80.
Song clips used:
Other media:

S03E21 – You (The Game Part II) (Roy Harper song)

Ready to travel to new dimensions? Maybe even be a daring time traveler? Then you can be with a discussion of this week’s song, an album track from The Unknown Soldier, by British folk artist Roy Harper, called You (The Game Part II)! Kate and an old family friend, a certain David Gilmour, pop up on this song, her on vocals, and David on guitar. A champion of his music, Kate Bush lent her vocals to this album track after Roy sang on her song Breathing. Later she would contribute vocals to another album track, Once, from Roy’s album of the same name from 1989.

Never released as a single, You features Kate prominently on the first verse, background vocals on the choruses, and in the background on the fourth verse and singing the second to last line of that same verse. If you ever wanted to hear what Pink Floyd might’ve sounded like with Kate as the lead singer, then you’ll definitely want to listen to this song!

Song clips used:

You (The Game Part II)

S03E20 – Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel Song)

On to the last Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush song….. for now! Like the previous two Peter Gabriel songs we’ve talked about on the show, Games Without Frontiers is an album track. But unlike the previous ones, this was a successful single. In fact, it was Peter’s first top 10 hit in the UK and the biggest hit, to that point, that featured Kate and Peter singing together (until Don’t Give Up in 1986)! How cool is that?

To discuss this song, we have our resident PG fan, also known as Cecilee’s husband Andrew Linke. We get to talk about the lyrics, the interesting references in the song, and of course, our lovely Kate’s ghostly background vocals singing the title line in French (as if her voice could get any more beautiful!). We also get to talk about how this collaboration came to be and a funny story from Graeme Thomson’s book Under the Ivy about a record executive’s reaction to this song. We also talk about the title’s reference to a rather silly game show called Jeux sans frontières (French for “games without frontiers”) and the British equivalent, called It’s a Knockout.

Clips used:

It’s a Knockout Theme

Jeux Sans Frontières Full Show

Games Without Frontiers (official video from Melt)

S03E19 – No Self Control (Peter Gabriel Song)

Now on to Peter Collaboration #2, the UK top 40 hit No Self Control, track number 2 on his 1980 album Melt. Peter Gabriel may have written this song, but in the production and song theme, No Self Control shares some parallels with Kate’s music as we would come to know it on her upcoming album The Dreaming.

World instruments in a non-world context (marimbas are featured in this song).

Distorting the human voice even further with technology (Kate’s vocals on the bridge and title line).

The song’s overall theme (human psychology and someone losing their mind).

In short, some of the seeds of The Dreaming can be heard on this collaboration, and what an exciting thing to hear!

Cecilee’s husband Andrew Linke returns to discuss No Self Control. They discuss the inspiration of this song (a Steve Reich composition called Music for 18 Musicians), the lyrics, why Kate and Peter may not have actually written songs together beyond these few collaborations, Kate’s contributions to the song, and how it fits into the music that Kate would come to produce on The Dreaming.

Song clips used:

No Self Control (album version)

Music for 18 Musicians (performed February 5, 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago)

Further viewing:

No Self Control (promo video fan edit)

S03E18 – I Don’t Remember (Peter Gabriel Song)

And so now begins the collaborations portion of this third season of the show! There will be a total of five collaboration episodes this season, three of them with the same artist: Peter Gabriel.

I Don’t Remember was first sung by Peter and Kate together on stage for the Bill Duffield benefit concert in May 1979. Until then, I Don’t Remember was a Peter Gabriel only track, but during that show, Kate sang harmonies with Peter on this song and was even featured on the album version of said track (albeit in a very distorted manner such that her voice is unrecognizable unless you listen carefully!).

During Kate’s sessions for Never For Ever, Kate popped by Peter’s studio to sing background vocals with Peter on three of his songs: I Don’t Remember, No Self-Control (a UK top 40 hit that peaked at #33 in May 1980), and the top 20 hit Games Without Frontiers. All three of those songs ended up on Peter’s third album known as Peter Gabriel, a.k.a. Peter Gabriel 3 or Melt, due to the distinctive cover image. For this episode, and the two following Peter Gabriel collaboration episodes this season (and for Don’t Give Up next year in the Hounds of Love season), Cecilee gets to talk with her husband Andrew Linke, the resident Peter Gabriel fan (though Cecilee is becoming a fan too!). Cecilee and Andrew talk about the lyrics, Kate’s performance on this song, and the ways that she’s already starting to use her voice in a more experimental and very distorted way.

Song clips used:

S03E17 – Kidnapped on a Building Site

Ready to dive into a discussion of a rather obscure and strange little number? We hope so! Kidnapped On a Building Site is one of Kate’s most obscure songs, a raw piano/vocal unreleased demo of a song that was never fleshed out. In fact, we’re not even sure where this song came from, but a few years ago, it ended up on YouTube and, well, once it’s on the Internet, it’s hard to get rid of.

Given the style and her vocal, this was probably written around the time of Lionheart and Never For Ever, and was probably not meant for fans or anyone else to hear.

But we’ve heard it anyway!

To discuss this rather obscure little number, we have Dani Llamas, a fellow American Kate fan from Brooklyn, New York, who, when not working at Mute Records, does music in her spare time. Most notably, she is a huge fan of this song and even sampled the opening chords in one of her own songs! Very cool, we think! We think you’ll agree!

Dani joins us on the show to talk about the rather dark lyrics (at least, what we can make out, since it is a demo after all) and to speculate about when this song was probably written. And further speculation about where this song might have come from. We’ll probably never know!

But it’s fun to talk about!

Song clips used:

Kidnapped on a Building Site

Harrow Step by Dani Laundry