40th anniversary of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights

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

  1. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It was mentioned in the Album by Album thread, but it is significant enough to deserve it's own thread as the first UK number one by written by the woman singing the song.

    Here's my favorite of the many lip syncs:

    What I particularly love about this one is that it is a single shot. No cuts to other cameras, and she's dancing with the camera - which back in 1978 were huge wheeled devices.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This incredibly idiosyncratic song defined her subsequent career. According to former EMI chairman Tony Wadsworth:

    I don't know if outliers like her really change the way it is for everybody else. She earned her artistic freedom. It wasn't a given. She came in to EMI with a certain amount of privilege – being under David Gilmour's aegis. But she earned that by: 1) being massively talented before she released a record; and 2) in the nicest possible way, being completely uncompromising and a control freak. But that wouldn't be enough; it would be enough to get you dropped. The key thing, and the third thing, that made her was choosing her first single, Wuthering Heights, against everybody else's wishes. No one wanted that single but she said, “This is it!” and didn't budge. And it went to number one all over the world. At that point she had a creative blank cheque.​
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  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I hadn't heard Wuthering Heights until I bought the album. The first two Kate songs I heard were The Man With The Child In His Eyes followed by Them Heavy People on Saturday Night Live.

    I went out the next day to buy the album, and found it at the Peaches Records at 75th and Metcalf in Overland Park Kansas.
  4. manxman

    manxman Forum Resident

    Isle of Man
    Bush was indeed not merely hugely talented, but extremely astute: she picked absolutely the right song for her debut single. Had I been EMI, I might have been tempted to opt for "Them Heavy People", "Oh To Be In Love" or "The Man With The Child In His Eyes". But "James And The Cold Gun"? What were they thinking?
  5. I know this much.....I will never see another talent of the scale Kate is in my lifetime.
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  6. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    I was pretty young when Kate released Wuthering Heights and with no influence aside from SoCal radio, my first exposure to the song was the cover by Pat Benatar in that I bought Crimes of Passion on cassette. It really wasn't until Hounds of Love when I started listening to Kate and then moved backwards through her catalogue, surprised of course that WH was not a Pat Benatar cover (as if a child pays attention to silly details like who wrote the song :))!
  7. Merrick

    Merrick The return of the Thin White Duke

    “Wuthering Heights” is a really astonishing song. The sense of dynamic tension, the atmosphere, Kate’s vocal gymnastics, and of course the audacity of adapting a beloved English novel into a pop song—there’s nothing else quite like it.

    I first heard the redone vocal version and only later heard the original. At the time it was jarring and I preferred the re-recorded vocal, now I’m the opposite and think her younger self had it right the first time.
  8. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

    She's amazing! And what a song, at what an age. A perfect woman.

    My fav Wuthering Heights video is her in the white dress. Do the kids still say "schwing"? :)
  9. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    They wanted James And The Cold Gun. In their defense, it was a real crowd pleaser during the shows she had been doing with the KT Bush Band.
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  10. manxman

    manxman Forum Resident

    Isle of Man
    Great song live, I agree, but it sounds nothing like a hit single.
  11. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Wow.... 40 years? Sounds absurd. First appearance in German TV:righton:

    Always loved the song. It never got ruined through overexposure, no Bush song did.
  12. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Bio's Banhoff:

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  13. spintheblack72

    spintheblack72 Forum Resident

    I don't think there are many songs since that went to no. 1 that have such an original and extraordinary sound.

    Like @Neonbeam says it's never got ruined through overplay.

    Much prefer the original version to the one with the new vocal she did for The Whole Story, I'm not sure it was that she was embarrassed by the vocal or what but it sounds fine to me, she was young but her abilities to write and perform were astounding, that was evident back even then.

    The song still sounds alien and like nothing else by anyone else, a testament to what a piece of work it is.
  14. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Great song. It was so weird in 1978 and I’m sure many thought Kate was a novelty act. She proved them wrong with following it with The Man With The Child In His Eyes. The debut album is still my favourite of hers. Packed with strong songs with fantastic melodies.
  15. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I agree that this song will always be a classic and one of the best songs she's ever done.
  16. BSC

    BSC Forum Resident

    Glasgow, Scotland
    In the UK you couldn't avoid it-it was never off the radio and to be fair -strange and the UK charts was fairly common but it was clear she was unique with talent off the scale. An original.
  17. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Dublin, Ireland
    Delayed from November as EMI wanted to push Wings' Mull Of Kintyre. Age cannot wither it. I loved it then. I love it now. I even love New Vocal. I have a 7" of it in work that gets aired if I need a morale boost. My eight year old daughter loves it. She knows the red dress dance. Cross arms. So cold. Etc. She's Kate, too.
  18. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I see Kate dethroned Abba’s Take A Chance On Me when she went to #1 in March 1978...

    Alas, she was knocked off the top spot by Brian & Michael’s Matchstalk Men & Matchstalk Cats & Dogs a month later.
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  19. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Dublin, Ireland
    I'll take a Brontë novel over a Lowry painting any day!
  20. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Fortunately, Benny and Bjorn didn't hold a grudge:

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  21. Moshe V

    Moshe V Forum Resident

    An unbelievable debut album, by anyone.
    Especially for a young girl of her age.
    Wasn't she 17? I'm not sure of this, but she was very young.

    One of her best albums.
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  22. Kiss73

    Kiss73 Forum Resident

    As we are hitting special anniversaries for Ms Bush, is there any talk of deluxe re-issues of any of the early albums??
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  23. Moshe V

    Moshe V Forum Resident

    All of what you said and also I think because not only was she attractive , but very unusually so. Striking. (I think so anyway).
    Her beautiful eyes.
    You can see intelligence in them.
  24. Amazing!
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  25. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    She was 19 when Wuthering Heights hit #1. She’d turn 20 in July 1978.

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