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)

S03E16 – Warm and Soothing

For a song that was probably meant, like The Empty Bullring, as a quick runthrough as she acclimated herself to a new studio, Kate sure came up with something beautiful and criminally underrated. This week, we’re discussing a b-side featuring just Kate and her piano, the flip of December Will Be Magic Again, called Warm and Soothing, a song that is anything but when you dig into the lyrics. Keep in mind that a young woman in her early twenties wrote a song like this about a fading love. How could this be?

Only Kate!

To discuss one of Kate’s most underrated songs, we have a familiar voice on the show this week: Zoey P, who also agrees that this song should be better known and admired. Listen as we analyze Kate’s gorgeous vocal performance, the way she stretches out words, the gorgeous, plaintive melody, and the intriguing lyrics. Another one in only a couple of songs Kate has ever released officially that feature just her piano and voice.

Song clips used:

Warm and Soothing

S03E12 – The Empty Bullring

After a short break, we’re back with a new song episode. So come disappear through a window and out of your mind into our discussion of The Empty Bullring, the first released non-album track of Kate’s career so far and the first b-side of this season.

The Empty Bullring was the b-side to Never For Ever‘s lead single Breathing. Compared with the proggy, densely produced atmosphere of the A-side, Bullring is rather simple in its production. Just Kate and her piano, spinning a tale of a man trying to prove himself when he doesn’t need to, all in less than two and a half minutes. Short and sweet indeed.

For this episode, we’re joined by a great friend of the show, Zoey, who puts this as one of her most underrated Kate Bush songs. Cecilee and Zoey discuss the theme of the song, the way Kate uses her voice and her always intriguing vocal stylings, and when this song may have been recorded.

Song clips used:

The Empty Bullring

S03E11 – Breathing

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).

And this was a top 20 hit??

It’s all here in this episode!

Song clips used:

Breathing (album version)

Breathing (live in 1986)

S03E08 – The Infant Kiss

All our barriers are going. Time to bring you another episode of Strange Phenomena!

Can you believe we’re almost done with Never For Ever album songs? We can’t either.

Our song for discussion this week is a rather controversial Kate Bush song inspired by a movie (of course!) that was inspired by a story (of course again!): The Infant Kiss, a song that takes its inspiration from the 60s film The Innocents, an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw. In this episode, we talk with a super fan of the show and song, Zoey P, about this song’s inspiration, why Zoey loves this song, and why this song is so controversial among fans.

We also discuss the French adaptation Un baiser d’enfant, which was specially recorded for the Canadian market in 1982, two years after this song first appeared on an album!

Relevant videos:

Fan-made video for The Infant Kiss

Un baiser d’enfant

S03E06 – The Wedding List

We hope you can give the hunt up for another episode of Strange Phenomena! Because it’s here!

The Wedding List is the first song on Side B of Never For Ever, and what a way to start that side! We’ve gone from the ethereal Egypt to one of the most rocking songs that Kate has ever done. Only Kate!

A classic revenge tale of a widowed bride seeking vengeance on the man who killed her husband on their wedding day, The Wedding List was inspired by the François Truffaut movie The Bride Wore Black (itself the inspiration for the Kill Bill movies). On hand to discuss this song is Zoey P, a huge film buff and fan of this song. In this episode, we talk about the lyrics (of course!), speculate about who Rudi is, what a cherootie might be, and our favorite Kate vocal moments!

Oh and of course, we talk about the live performances too: Kate’s 1979 Christmas special performance, and her live rendition in 1982 with an all-star band at the Prince’s Trust charity event, a performance that’s famous for more than just hearing her sing live!

Lots of talk about in this episode!

Song clips used and discussed:

  • 1979 Christmas special: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ymxgS4XHRA
  • 1982 Prince’s Trust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJvXpvH2-Hk
  • 1990 Les Dogs episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og4h3EqxuDw
  • The Wedding List (demo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwTsif5CYOk

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

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!

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)