Making a Good Album
When Kate Bush embarked upon recording her fifth album, she wanted to produce it herself as she had her previous album, “The Dreaming”. But she had some convincing to do as she remembered, “For the first time I felt I was actually meeting resistance artistically. I felt the album [The Dreaming] had done very well to reach number three, but I felt under a lot of pressure and I wanted to stay as close to my work as possible. And everyone was saying, ‘Oh, she’s really gone mad now!’, but it was very important that it happened to me because it made me think, ‘Right, do I really want to produce my own stuff? Do I really care about being famous?’, and I was very please with myself that, no, it didn’t matter as much as making a good album.” *
A Room to Call Her Own
She also wanted to ease the time and financial pressures of hiring a studio so she had her own 24 Track studio built in a barn on her parents farm. This time there were no time pressures and Kate had full control. She could take as long as she wanted and she did, as it took 18 months to complete and 12 of those months were for mixing and overdubs alone.
The result of all the hard work was a highly structured song cycle where conceptual experimentation was married with pop conciseness balancing a variety of moods and a haunting beauty with incredible melodies. The album was produced as two suites which suited the vinyl LP format and of which she later stated on French television that she thought of the two sides as two separate albums.
The album has a cinematic quality and was both inspired by films and also spawned short film ideas itself. “Hello Earth” was inspired by Warner Herzog’s film version of “Nosferatu” and the title track opens with the line “It’s in the trees! It’s coming!” taken from the seance scene from the 1975 British Horror flick “Night of the Demon”. “Cloudbusting” was inspired by Peter Reich’s memoir of his father, Wilhelm Reich. While writing the song, Kate envision the video where she played Peter and Donald Sutherland played the controversial psychoanalyst and physician who discovered orgone energy.
“Hounds of Love” was released in 1985 and became Kate Bush’s biggest commercial success. It went to number one in the British album charts pushing out Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”. It also performed well in The States where college radio pushed it to number 30 in the American album charts. Kate has since inspired a host of artists including Bjork, Tori Amos, Bat for Lashes and Florence and the Machine. Cool male artists love her, too.
* Quotes taken from “The Biography: Kate Bush” by Rob Jovanovic