40th anniversary of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chris DeVoe, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. Avery Keen-Garde

    Avery Keen-Garde Forum Resident

    west London
    52 seconds, Bobby. Would have been less if I hadn't scrolled down the page. Sorry.
  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here's something I typed in from Graeme Thomson's excellent Kate biography Under The Ivy about her contract with EMI:

    After nearly a year of to-ing and fro-ing in the summer of 1976 Bush finally concluded a deal with EMI. Initially, it was a straight forward direct artist agreement: EMI paid for all the recordings upfront costs and owned the results. The deal included Europe and Canada and but not the United States of America, where EMI America had first options on Bush's albums but were under no obligation to release them.

    Bob Mercer insisted recording expenses would not be deducted from Bush's advanced on the grounds that such a practice was "immoral", concept not normally acknowledged within the industry. A straight-talking, humorous, larger-than-life figure, Mercer was widely regarded as a decent man, who after joining the company in 1971, had somewhat belatedly ushered in the era of t-shirts, long hair and growing artist power at Manchester Square following several decades of suits, ties and received pronunciation. He rapidly became a an avuncular figure in Bush's life, a role he happily fulfilled, from a distance, until his death in May 2010. He was another in the line of significantly older men who made up her extended musical "family".

    EMI offered a four-year contract paying an initial non-removable advance of £3000, with an additional £500 for publishing with options at the end of the second and third year. This last detail was crucial. It enabled Bush to renegotiate her contract from a position of strength following the huge success of "Wuthering Heights" and The Kick Inside, with the result that she was able to retain ownership of all recordings, only leasing them to EMI for agreed periods of time. This move allied to a stubborn adherence on her unflinching vision gave her real power and allowed her to retain tight control of her music throughout her career as well as protecting her image and her legacy.

    "It was renegotiated very early on so she owned her own music" recalls Brian Southall. "That was unheard of for an act that early on in their career. To their credit, when she started selling records they rewarded her, Bob was very fair in that respect, he was a good man. It was unusual for EMI to do a license deal. Many other acts wanted similar deals and they were turned down."

    How did she pull it off? The immediate success of Wuthering Heights afforded her enormous bargaining power, but even before then every move was made with deliberate and careful forethought...
  3. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    What do you mean?
  4. Avery Keen-Garde

    Avery Keen-Garde Forum Resident

    west London
    Sorry, Bobby, being snarky. Means I only lasted 52 seconds into the video before I had to stop it. Is that a threadcrap? I hope not.
  5. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Oh right.:D

    I quite like Pat’s version. Brave of her to attempt it!
  6. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    London UK
    Its not bad actually. I thought I would wouldn't like it as I loathed Pat Benatar back in the day.
    As you say it was very brave of her to attempt it...
    Bobby Morrow likes this.
  7. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    She’s a good singer. Great range. I think anyone who’s put off by Kate’s ‘eccentricities’ would find Pat’s version more palatable.

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