The entire 9th Wave suite I'm slightly iffy about, slightly. I won't turn it off or anything but I do cringe a bit during the spoken word parts (sometimes with dodgy stage Irish accents). And also at anyone calling a song "Jig of Life"... Christ no. The good points far outweigh anything I'm unsure about though.
And as for Big Sky.... man, it sounds like a thousand Kate Bush's all trying to shout over each other because they confused some clouds with seeing God. It's all my best days ever all rolled into one moment.
Couldn't agree more. Anyway the best albums always have some parts that don't quite sit or gel; it doesn't make them any less. The good stuff on this lp far outweighs any iffy moments.
I take your point too about the 80s production - it sounds of it's time yes, but mostly in a very good way (notwithstanding the parpy fretless bass); utilising al the latest studio gadgetry to make great (fuck it I'm gonna say it) ART. Surely that's what all artists in their own respective era's should be doing!
I was actually thinking it does sound a bit dated or more wondering what it would be like recorded with real instruments. Haven't really given this a proper listen yet but seems appropriate for the album club.
The drumming for instance it just goes on and on it is actually the exact same sound repeated over like a loop. A real life drummer then is not going to keep perfect time they are not going to hit the drum in same spot or with the same force all of which will give some variation in the sound...
But I guess retro sounding has it's own charm and they music itself is still there.
Have been listening to this as much as I can this week (10th or 11th listen since it came up in TAC). Its one of my favourite albums. Haven't had time to gather my thoughts yet though cos of work shit. I 100% will though. Hopefully tomorrow.
Thankfully we haven't gotten a new album yet so, technically, I'm getting in ahead of time. Despite listening to this over and over for the last week, I literally have not had a moment to gather my thoughts on it. I still haven't, but I've decided not to overthink things. Some of the comments I read on here, pretty much all of which I concur with, were focusing in on what's negative about the album. I don't really want todo that. Its not that the points are wrong or invalid. Its just - FUCK OFF - this album is great, end of story.
I've been familiar with the first half of this album dating back, almost as far as to when it was released. This is probably because, firstly, being made aware of its existence (and Kate Bush's - really, I had no clue who she was prior to 1985), and secondly, a cousin had a copy of it, and he only really liked side 1. I was happy to take other peoples' opinions as gospel back then.
The hits, Cloudbusting, Running Up That Hill, Hounds of Love, were everywhere really. 1985 was an age where TV shows that played music videos were still a big thing. It was probably a bit before we got peppered with stuff from satellite TV (Pat Sharp, Hotline, etc), but not by long. But there was Top of the Pops, The Tube (?), Old Grey Whistle Test, and the like. I tried to watch all of these. I remember thursday night being highlight of the week - looking forward to that half hour all week, and it not actually seeming like a let-down when it has come and gone. Thats either youthful naievity, or the music was actually good.
But those 3 songs in particular, thinking back on it now, I wouldn't have claimed I particualrly loved them, but I guess I did. I knew the words, I'd singalong, but if someone asked me who my favorite bands/singers were, Kate Bush would not have been among those I'd list.
I was young enough as well when Pink Floyd became a massive deal for me. And I never really made that connection between Pink Floyd and Kate Bush. I don't think I became aware of that until years later. When I was old enough to care a bit more.
It was only when the recent gigs were announced that I started paying a little more attention to her back-story. And honestly, even after watching the documentaries on BB4, I wouldn't claim to be any much more the wiser. And I think I decided I didn't really care that much. I'm aware that theres huge depth to Kate Bush's songs. But have never sat down to explore those depths. I listen to the songs, I enjoy them immensely, and I'm content with that.
I wouldn't be like that with other bands/singers though. So the only reason I can give to explain it is to go back to when I first heard this album, how I heard it, and the fact that we never really went near side 2.
'Cloudbusting' is one of the most perfect songs I've ever heard. I don't even want to consider anything negative that was said about this, because in my mind its completely flawless. Everything about it. Any album that has this song on it is amazing, regardless of anything else on it.
Side 1 is 'conventional' Kate Bush. Its wonderful, it really is. But, in more recent years, from listening to side 2 over and over, thats where the real magic is for me.
All of the accusations levelled at Jig Of Life are fair enough, but ultimately, wrong. Its great. And where the hell did it come from? It seems a bit out of place on the album? Or does it. The whole of that side of the album is be disconcerting enough for something as seemingly out-of-place as this, not to be noticed. Yes, its a bit twee and Temple-Bar-Diddley-Iidle-Ish, but so what. Its not like this was plucked out of the air. Is it this album she brought loads of Irish musicians over to play on (Donal Lunny, etc)? I could look it up but I'm rushing to get this typed before hometime. She genuinely loved and appreciated Irish music - its open to debate whether her version of 'Bean in Eireann' was a massacre or a compliment.
(BTW, the one negative thing I do agree with are the paddy accents on it - they give me the shivers - not in a good way).
I'm gonna go out on a limb here (and @Shaney is gonna kill me for saying it), but side 2 (or parts thereof) reminds me a bit of side 2 of The Wall by Pink Floyd. Come on, the percussion on Walking the Witch. Thats Run Like Hell, no? Even the grunts and shouts on it, The Trial, no? I never read any more into it to see if there was any connection between musicians, contributors, etc, but regardless, I don't think I'm wrong.
And I did have the pleasure and privelege of being at one of the recent Hammersmith Apollo gigs. I got to go on the last night (could have paid off my mortgage for what I was being offered for my ticket outside the venue). It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. And yes, some of the theatrics were a bit ridiculous, but I really appreciated the effort she went to. And the part of the show I enjoyed most was side 2 of this album. It made me love it even more.
I'm slightly ashamed I didn't have this on my album club list. Thank you to whoever did. It made me listen to it over and over for the past 7 days, and made me realise I like it a hell of a lot more than I thought I did.
On 'Jig of Life', one thing I was meant to write, but forgot. At the Hammersmith Apollo gigs, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the music on Jig of Life. I was hoping she'd have musicians playing it live. But she didn't. It was a backing track, and it was sooooo disappointing. I remember saying this to a Welsh lady I was speaking to at the interval. About how I was utterly blown away by the first half of the show, but how I really hoped that would be played life.