Time to take a trip back in time to a track that was recorded well before Never For Ever: the lovely little song Passing Through Air. Released as the b-side to Never For Ever‘s final single Army Dreamers, Passing Through Air was recorded in 1973 at the age of fifteen, when Kate was still a teenager writing songs by herself in the comfort of the family home. Recorded with David Gilmour and his side project Unicorn, Passing Through Air is an interesting two-minute trip into what Kate’s music was like as a teenager.
To talk about this obscure song this week, we have the wonderful Christopher Kelley, the host of Dream of Orgonon, a blog that is going to detail every Kate song in order of release. Christopher wrote an extensive analysis of this song, so we’ve invited him to talk about this song on the show. We’ll talk about the history of the song, the demo version, and another rarity that was probably recorded at about the same time (and which will finally be released with Kate’s box sets in November: Humming).
Can you believe we’re now at the end of a third album? Of course there are still the b-sides and collaborations to go, but all the album tracks from Kate’s third album Never For Ever have now been discussed and dug into!
Our guests for this last song will be familiar to listeners: Zoey P and Christopher Kelley. Not only are they young fans like our host, but also, Breathing is one of their top 3 favorite Kate Bush songs ever. Not just because it’s one of their favorites but also, there is a lot to discuss in general with this epic song!
In this episode, Christopher and Zoey talk extensively about Breathing. There’s the prog-rock song structure. There’s Kate’s voice, beginning to morph into the raw, emotional instrument that would come into full bloom on The Dreaming. The unusual subject matter (nuclear war from the point of view of a fetus). The music video (of course).
After a short break, we’re back with another song episode!
And almost in time for the 38th anniversary of this single being released!
On September 22, 1980, the final single from Never For Ever was released: Army Dreamers. Compared to the previous two singles, Army Dreamers was quite a change of pace from Breathing (prog-rock, Kate’s “little symphony”) and Babooshka (upbeat piano rock). After the intensity of the previous two singles, what we have here is a quiet, folk sort of song in a waltz time (bum BUM BUM bum BUM BUM) with a sweet-sounding vocal delivery from Kate.
But as we all know with Kate, not everything that sounds sweet actually is!
Beneath the quiet atmosphere in this song, we have a tragic tale of a mother mourning the accidental death of her son. And to talk about the song this week, we have two fans: Christopher Kelley, who was featured on the Violin episode, and Gregory Chappell, a long-time fan from Virginia. With these two fans, we get into the history of the song, the folky instruments used in the song’s production, how well it did on the charts, our histories with this song, and, of course, the lyrics! What is a BFPO and, really, she’s saying “like a chicken with a fox”?
After the episode proper, keep listening for an outtake from our discussion with Gregory about what it was like to be a Kate fan in the pre-Internet era.
Are you ready to climb with Paganini up to the chimney to jig along with the fiddle-dee-diddle-dee-dee? If you are, then get ready for a rocking discussion of the violin-infused, well, Violin, the seventh track from Never For Ever.
We are joined by two guests for this episode: Wayne Henderson, who you’ll remember from last season’s episode In Search of Peter Pan, and Christopher Kelly, a young Kate fan who’s come on the show to talk about why he loves this song so much. We get into the history of this song, starting from its inception as a Cathy demo, the live version from Kate’s Tour of Life and her Christmas special, all the way to its inclusion on Never For Ever. Along the way, we talk about the numerous references in this song, such as banshees, Paganini, and Nero. And who can forget the live performances, where Kate hits some of her highest recorded notes ever?