THE KICK INSIDE: KATE BUSH Sunday 16 October, 2011

What did you do when you were 19? Anything of any great import? Me neither. Kate Bush released her stunning debut album. I’d feel sick about it if I wasn’t so grateful for the album.

So most of you will know very little about Kate Bush. You probably know the song Wuthering Heights (an Alan Partridge fave). You might know Running Up That Hill. ¬†Maybe you love The Futureheads cover of Hounds of Love. I expect that you’ve never sat down and listened to an album of hers though.

Well, don’t feel too bad. I was once the same. I have to be honest my initial reaction to The Kick Inside was that it sounded very dated and probably held very little of interest. I was urged by my then girlfriend to give it a few more listens. She assured me that greatness lay amongst it’s thirteen tracks. I was sceptical. I liked Wuthering Heights but I thought only because it reminded me of my childhood. What else was there to like? I’m glad that girl (who’s name I now cannot remember) was so determined that I would like Kate Bush. Had I shrugged it off as boring and dated rubbish I would have missed out on so much.

Let’s get this out of the way now. Kate bush is strange. Get over it. Embrace it. Love it. She is not your run of the mill singer. When I tried to get my sister to listen to The Kick Inside she said “isn’t Kate Bush that crazy bat lady?”. Accepting that she is strange is half of the battle won. You need to be aware that your normal expectations for evaluating music should be left at the door of any Kate Bush album. This is not normal pop music. There are many more things at play here.

What can you expect from The Kick Inside? Bewilderment? Yes. Musical beauty? Indeed. Excellently crafted songs? You bet. All of those things are what await you if you can let go of your expectations.  Alongside all of that I still marvel that this album was written by a teenager. This is grown up music.

Maybe it’s not to everyone’s taste but for me this album is not only one of the best debut albums ever but one of the best albums ever.

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