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

S02E08 – Kashka from Baghdad

Travel with us to the Middle East for a discussion of Kashka from Baghdad, an exotic-flavored song about a gay couple. Our guest for the show this week is Zoey P, who you will remember from several other episodes this season! We talk about the Oriental perspectives that Kate uses in this song, the live version from the Ask Aspel show (Zoey’s favorite!), the Tour of Life version, and the multi-layered lyrics. We also discuss the differences between the raw, Cathy demo version of this song (a rough recording done on a tape recorder when Kate was a teenager) and the fleshed-out album version.

Song clips used:

Kashka from Baghdad, live on Ask Aspel

Kashka from Baghdad, live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979

Kashka from Baghdad demo

S02E07 – In the Warm Room

Come with us to where the mellow wallows for a discussion of the seventh track on Lionheart, In the Warm Room. We get to make a long-distance call (our longest yet!) to Sydney, Australia to discuss this song with super fan Sarit Vandegraaff. Sarit tells us why this song means so much to her, why it should be better appreciated, and her own history of discovering Kate’s music while growing up in Israel. We also talk about the sensual lyrics, some of the similarities between In the Warm Room and Feel It, and the equally sensual live version from the Tour of Life, which was never officially released.

Song clips played:

In the Warm Room live at the Manchester Apollo

S02E06 – Fullhouse

Driving back in your car, you can listen to this discussion of a lesser-known Kate Bush album track, called Fullhouse. This week, we’re joined by Zoey P, who you might remember from the Lionheart album intro and Wow episodes. Zoey joins the discussion this week for a song that Cecilee admits isn’t a favorite, but which Zoey has a lot of personal connection with. Cecilee and Zoey dissect the lyrics, which are rather personal for a Kate Bush song. They go into the musical changes, which reflect the angst-ridden lyrics, and the only live performance ever done of this song, which was on the Tour of Life in 1979. Zoey also discusses the possible connections between this song and the Kate Bush demo song Frightened Eyes.

So remember yourself, and listen to our episode!

Song clips used:

Fullhouse live at the Manchester Apollo

Frightened Eyes (piano demo)

S02E05 – Oh England, My Lionheart

Kate may not like this song much these days, but we do here at Strange Phenomena! And so does Keith DeWeese, a super fan of Oh England My Lionheart, the fifth track from her second album Lionheart. This week, we talk about a song that Kate spoke about very positively when the album was released, but of which she now has actively voiced her disapproval. We get to talk about the many English references in this song (Spitfire planes, wassailing, London Bridge, Tower of London), what the song means to us, and why this song should be better appreciated. We also talk about the only live performance of this song, which was done as the first encore on Kate’s sprawling Tour of Life in 1979.

Song clips used:

Oh England My Lionheart live at the Hammersmith Odeon

Where Are the Lionhearts? (piano demo)