We hope you think this episode is just as wow and unbelievable as we think it is! This week’s song is the third song from Lionheart, and the most successful of the two songs released from the album for the radio, the iconic song Wow.
Our guest this week is Zoey, who you might remember from the Lionheart album introduction episode (and who will also be joining us later to discuss Fullhouse, Kashka from Baghdad, and Hammer Horror this season!). We get to discuss the history of this song, its massive success on the charts, and we delve into an extensive discussion of the lyrics. We talk about just what it means to not make the Sweeney (and for that matter, what a Sweeney is), that infamous vaseline line, as well as other queer elements present in the song, and its various live incarnations on the Tour of Life and on TV appearances around the world.
Very wow indeed!
Song clips used:
Theme from The Sweeney
Wow, live at the Hammersmith Odeon, May 1979
Wow, live on ABBA in Switzerland (Snowtime Special), 1979
Get ready to spend a lot of your time looking at blue as you listen to the first song episode of the Lionheart season! This week’s song is Symphony in Blue, the first track from Kate’s second album Lionheart, a rather jazzy sounding opening track that gives a great tone to the rest of the album.
We’ll get to talk with not one but THREE fans of the song for this episode! Daniel Thomas, calling in from Seattle, offers his thoughts and personal connection with this track. We’ll also get to hear from Bishakh Som, a fellow American fan from Brooklyn, New York, who has some wonderful insights and connections to this song. We’ll also get to hear from Danny McEvoy, a Kate fan from England who got to see Kate’s tour in 1979 and who also loves this song.
We’ll also dive into the history of this song, such as the Erik Satie piano piece that directly inspired Symphony in Blue, as well as extensively discussing the beautiful lyrics and the music and its realization on the Tour of Life and the Kate Bush Christmas Special!
Song clips used:
Symphony in Blue, live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979
Symphony in Blue, Kate Bush Christmas Special, 1979
Erik Satie – Gymnopédies No. 1
Welcome to a special Album Introduction episode! Before we start Season 2 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!
Lionheart was released on November 12, 1978, not even nine months after Kate put out her debut album The Kick Inside. In the years since its release, Lionheart, Kate Bush’s second full-length album, has become a rather maligned album. Lionheart is not discussed much, if at all, and tends to rank low on fan lists of favorite Kate Bush albums. If Lionheart is ever discussed, it’s usually dismissed as “rushed” and/or “a pale copy of The Kick Inside.” Though she spoke well of it at the time, Kate Bush herself later said that: “Considering how quickly we made it it’s a bloody good album, but I’m not really happy with it”.
In this episode, Cecilee gets to talk with a special guest: Zoey P, a fellow Kate Bush fanatic who has a lot to say about Lionheart. Lionheart is one of Zoey’s favorite Kate Bush albums, so she will be sharing her thoughts on the album as well as some of the recording history of Lionheart and how this album fits in Kate’s body of work. Zoey will also talk about the ways in which Kate slips into many different personas from one song to the next, from a gay man trying to make it in show business (Wow) to a World War II pilot plummeting to his death (Oh England My Lionheart) to a little boy trying to make sense of the world (In Search of Peter Pan).
Cecilee, a fan who also likes Lionheart and thinks it’s rather unjustly maligned, will also talk about what this album means to her and her opinions of this album. She will also dig into the history of Lionheart and how it was recorded in the south of France (the only Kate album to be recorded outside the UK).
Here in the studio, we discuss a rather obscure Kate Bush song, Scares Me Silly (But It Gets Me Going), a leaked studio track from The Kick Inside sessions. This song is the only leaked studio track from Kate’s entire career, an impressive feat for someone who’s written a lot of music (but who now owns her own studio, so who knows what other unreleased gems there might be!). In this episode, Cecilee and Andrew Linke discuss this interesting outtake, from the rather straightforward, not-terribly-Kate lyrics, to their own speculations about why this song might have been left off The Kick Inside and why this song was written in the first place.
Song clips played:
- Kevin Max – Return of the Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV6P7zqZoIk
- Scares Me Silly (But It Gets Me Going): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBJj5aV-PiM
At last, we come to the final track on The Kick Inside, the title track. This week’s episode features a very special guest: Graeme Thomson, the author of the music biography Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush. Cecilee and Graeme discuss the original Celtic murder ballad that this song comes from (whether you know it as the Lucy Wan, Lizzie Wan, Lizzie May, etc story). They also discuss its live incarnation on the stage in 1979 for the Tour of Life, the beautifully tragic lyrics and the mythological references Kate used in the song.
Live version used:
Live at the Manchester Apollo
Folk versions played:
- Raymond Crooke – Lizzie May – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D9bIUI2TgU
- threelegsoman – Lizzie Wan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCUMVVo-32M
- Hannah Sanders – Lucy Wan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeVQuPj5JAA
Hey there you listener in tears, it’s OK, we have another episode coming, so don’t be sad! We’re nearing the end of the first season of this podcast (already??!) and we’re now on the second to last song from The Kick Inside, Room for the Life. In this episode, Cecilee and Andrew Linke discuss the lyrics, the live performance from the Tour of Life (the only time this song was ever performed for a live audience), and their own thoughts on this deep album cut, which is not a favorite song for either of them.
Live version used:
Live at the Manchester Apollo
Cover version played:
Tom Pilch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsccryGeq0o (instrumental piano)
We’re about to hit you in a soft spot with this week’s episode, the eleventh track from The Kick Inside. Cecilee and Andrew Linke discuss the extensive history of this reggae-tinged track, which was not only released as a single in Japan (went to #3!) but it also was used in the only commercial that Kate Bush has ever done in her career. They also discuss the spirituality in the lyrics, the live versions from various British TV shows and the Tour of Life, and also that bizarre Japanese performance in late 1978 (disco Kate Bush??).
Live versions used:
Saturday Night at the Mill
Sound in S
Live at the Hammersmith Odeon
Kate Bush Christmas Special
Bill Duffield benefit concert
Cover versions played:
This week’s song will leave you hanging on the old goose moon as Cecilee and Andrew Linke discuss the tenth track on The Kick Inside: L’amour Looks Something Like You. They track the song’s beginnings as a full-band demo, the live (unreleased officially) version done for the Tour of Life, and the thoughtful lyrics. They also lament the exclusion of this song’s performance and about half of the show done for the Tour of Life from the official Live at the Hammersmith Odeon release from several years later.
Live version played:
L’amour Looks Something Like You from On Stage EP
Cover versions played:
Cecilee and Andrew Linke attempt to stop the swing of the pendulum and let this episode through to you. This week’s song is Oh to Be In Love, the only song from Kate’s first two albums to have never been performed live on tour or…. anywhere, for that matter. They discuss the song’s origins in the Cathy Demos, the rapturous lyrics, and a little of Kate’s history as a piano-based singer/songwriter.
Demo version played:
1976 piano/vocal demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPSXW2ibi00
Is it hot in here or is it this song? It’s coming on winter in this part of the world, so it’s definitely this song. In this week’s episode, Cecilee and Andrew Linke get to discuss one of Cecilee’s personal favorites from The Kick Inside. They examine the expression of female desire in the lyrics, various cover versions, and how Kate’s childhood shaped her writing and musical compositions. All the makings of a fun and wonderful episode to listen to.
Live clip used:
Feel It live at the Hammersmith Odeon, May 1979