The new edition of Classic Rock Magazine (April 2021 with Pink Floyd cover) has a 6-page feature on Kate’s Tour of Life. It would seem to be the same article that appeared in the May 2014 issue of Prog magazine, also by Dave Everly, featuring interviews with Brian Southall of EMI and dancer/choreographer Stewart Avon Arnold.
The artwork from the Remastered in Vinyl box sets, previously displayed at the Remastered pop-up shop in December 2018, have finally been made available as lithographic prints on Kate’s official site. They include the covers of the vinyl box sets which featured album artwork from Aerial, The Sensual World and The Dreaming unadorned by any text. Also included are the beautiful portraits of Kate from the 12″ Mixes album and from the cover of the In Others’ Words collection. They can be ordered here: https://www.katebush.com/shop/Prints
Rather unexpectedly, no less than three Kate Bush books have already come along in rapid succession from smaller UK publishers in 2021. Hot on the heels of the “Kate Bush On Track: Every Album, Every Song” book by Bill Thomas (see news item and brief review here) there are two more slim paperback titles being released in March about Kate’s work.
First up is “The Kick Inside: In-depth” by Laura Shenton (Wymer Publishing). The press release states that “The Kick Inside is one of our first four titles in our In-depth series launched in March 2021. The book takes an in-depth look at the album; the history behind it; the story about its creation; the songs, as well as detailed discographies listing release variations around the world….author Laura Shenton MA LLCM DipRSL offers an in-depth perspective on The Kick Inside from a range of angles including how the album came to be, how it was presented and received at the time (live as well as on record), and what it means in terms of Kate Bush’s legacy today.“
The publishers were kind enough to send me on a review copy and the author sets out her approach in the preface – that no weighty personal opinions or analysis will be included from her, rather that “throughout this book you’re going to see lots of quotes from vintage articles.” And this 112 page book is indeed a rich smorgasbord of quotes; from interviews, articles, KBC fan club magazines, TV appearances and promotional materials – a resource writers and researchers now enjoy thanks to the vast archives of fan-curated info on the likes of Gaffaweb and the Kate Bush Encyclopedia site. All quotes are cited up front right there in the text.
In fact, the author relies so much on the quotes to do the heavy-lifting of narrating the story of Kate’s first album that perhaps she assumed they cover the whole album “in-depth”. This approach falls short of that; the songs L’Amour Looks Something Like You, Feel it and Room For The Life aren’t even discussed, which is a pity. There is a lot to be said for the tried and trusted track-by-track approach most other books take when considering albums. On the plus side, while I originally wondered why so much space was given to discussing Lionheart and that album’s singles, it actually feels very appropriate in the light of the later pages covering the Tour of Life – a big part in the story of The Kick Inside, after all. I only noticed a couple of factual errors in the text (not every song from The Kick Inside was performed in the 1979 shows – Oh To Be In Love wasn’t) and the 8-page photo section includes some nice photos of the various album cover and single cover variations from 1978/79. The book is published 12th March 2021 (priced at £14.99) and can be ordered direct from the publishers at the Wymer Publishing site here or on Amazon Kindle edition here.
The second book, “Kate Bush: Song by Song” by John Van Der Kiste, is one I have yet to see a copy of myself, but has already been delivered to some fans via Ebay and other sites. This is a 164 page paperback, that seems remarkably similar in structure and approach to the recent Bill Thomas book in that it “provides a thorough examination of the songs on all her singles, albums, and occasional recorded collaborations with other artists.” I’ll update this article with my thoughts about the book when I’ve seen a copy, but this again features a spread of 50 colour photographs and unlike the Thomas and Shenton books appears to include article citations in the endnotes section for those wanting to read further. Kate Bush: Song by Song by John Van Der Kiste (priced at £18.00) can be ordered from the publisher, Fonthill Media here or on Amazon UK here.
The latest episode of The Lyric Show podcast, which explores “the art and business of song”, presented by David Bailey features Kate Bush fans discussing what Kate’s powerful classic song, Running Up That Hill, means to them. So lovely to hear familiar voices like Paul Thomas, Thomas Dunning, Sky Boswell and Ben McGarvey on the show! The discussion about Kate happens 20 minutes in to this episode. Listen on Mixcloud here or below.
One of the most searingly affecting uses of Kate’s music on a television series in recent memory was on the phenomenally successful Channel 4 drama series, “It’s a Sin“. The acclaimed five-part miniseries, written by Russell T Davies, is set from 1981 to 1991 in London and depicts the lives of a group of gay men and their friends who lived during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United Kingdom. The drama was the most-watched in Channel 4’s history. In a feature in today’s Guardian newspaper, Davies and director Peter Hoar discuss the 80s music used in the soundtrack, and how Kate personally gave permission for the use of Running Up That Hill for the episode:
Peter Hoar: I knew I was being cheeky putting Kate Bush in. Russell had written [songs] in and everyone knew that as they were in the script and were going to be paid for. Others such as Kate Bush hadn’t. But this song felt right. We initially had it over the scene with them all sat around the table. I’m glad it’s not there now as the song is saying the same thing as that scene. They’re sat there just thinking: we don’t know what to do. Jill is taking responsibility, but what can they say? That song is about women and men swapping places, and certainly the idea of taking someone’s place is pertinent. It could have been any of them. Ritchie hasn’t been perfect, but he’s done nothing wrong. He’s behaved in a way that he had every right to. It just so happens that in this particular instance there was something else going on and he fell foul of it. He regrets it, as you can see, but he’s proud in lots of ways.
Russell T Davies: We took the song off at one point, do you remember? Someone said they weren’t sure about it and Peter very kindly took it off. The whole scene fell apart.
Peter Hoar: And then, of course, the wonderful Kate Bush gave Russell permission to use it directly.
Russell T Davies: You do have to ask permission and she doesn’t often give it.
It’s a Sin can be watched in the UK and Ireland on the All4 player.
As in 2018 Kate has once again made the list of nominees for the 2021 Induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the USA – a nice acknowledgement of her work of course, and there is an element of public voting (see fan vote here) BUT it’s probably unlikely Kate will receive the honour. The announcement has been widely reported across the music press this afternoon.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces the Nominees for #RockHall2021 Induction – and the Fan Vote is now open. Watch the official announcement here, then head to https://t.co/9DIz8WWd6Z pic.twitter.com/tGuSzyvEYT
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) February 10, 2021
Kate joins an eclectic short-list for the honour which also includes Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Rage Against The Machine, Iron Maiden, Carole King, Chaka Khan, Devo, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, New York Dolls, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige and Todd Rundgren.
In order to qualify for the honour, the Hall requires an individual artist or band to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before their first nomination.
The Class of 2021 will be announced in May, decided by a voting body comprised of more than 1,000 artists, historians, and music industry members, as well as a fan vote on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s website.
Next month Sonicbond Publishing in the UK publish the latest in their series of “On Track” books, this time about Kate’s recorded work, written by Bill Thomas. It gets a UK release on February 12th and is released in the US on March 26th. A handy paperback guide for the casual music listener as much as for Kate’s fans, the book is freed from the demands of a full-blown biography of the artist. From the press release: “With a string of platinum albums and hit singles to her credit, Kate’s is a fascinating journey. This book examines her entire recorded catalogue from The Kick Inside through to Before The Dawn, hoovering up all the B‐sides and the rarities along the way. It’s a comprehensive guide to the extraordinary music of Kate Bush.” The book can be ordered here.
I’ve read a preview copy and the author has clearly researched his short pieces on each album/song very well, making this book bang up to date for 2021 readers. He generously uses quotes from Kate’s interviews over the years to allow her to speak about the work but his own observations and commentary are considered and warmly engaged with Kate’s music – he writes as a clear fan of her work. He includes a wealth of information about chart positions and single formats as well as discussing b-sides and other tracks related to each album era. Factual errors are almost non-existent (always nice to see) and this slim 128 page volume additionally includes 16 colour photo pages in the centre. Selling for £14.99, overall this is a nice addition to your Kate Bush book shelf.
An alternate of the main publicity shot Kate took for the Aerial album has surfaced online, by photographer Trevor Leighton. How’s your lockdown hair game this morning? Mine…not quite as lustrous as Kate’s, I’m afraid!
December Will Be 40! Seán introduces another Christmas special from Bush Telegraph, covering all things ‘December Will Be Magic Again’, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. Paul and Darrell, chatting transatlantically, reminisce about the first time they heard and saw Kate perform this song on TV as a guest on the ‘Showtime Special’ in December 1979. This version (fondly known as the ‘Bongo Version’) was recorded at Abbey Road in November of that year. Its official release came a year later with a new arrangement and vocal. On this podcast we get to hear the first version, as well as a live version from the ‘Kate Show’ in 1979. The lads also reminisce about rushing out after school to get the single, and they discuss reviews and chart stats. There is also a great cover of this song on the podcast. For a Christmas ‘bonus’, we also get to hear the two jingles Kate sang for Capital One and Radio 1.
You can subscribe to the Kate Bush Fan Podcast on iTunes or on any podcast app you happen to use, such as Stitcher or Tunein or listen below on Soundcloud.
Kate has left a nice message on her official site this evening – wishing Kate and her family a wonderful Christmas!
There’s very little that hasn’t already been said about 2020… I just hope you’ve managed to cope and to stay safe through all the ins and outs of lockdown.
Without the key workers on the front line, this year would’ve been so very different. A huge thank you to them, especially those working in the health services.
Wishing you all the best possible Christmas in such difficult circumstances and hoping there’s a much happier and brighter year ahead.
The Instagram account of Abbey Road Studios has shared a snowy animation of the December Will Be Magic Again single cover along with one of the original recording sheets from the session! The song was recorded in 1979 but released for Christmas 1980. Fascinating to see the booked recording times for the track that day (from 2.30 in the afternoon to 10pm) and that the final mixing of this iconic Christmas tune carried on well into the early hours of the morning. (With thanks to Brian Cloughley for letting us know)
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One of the joys of working on this unique Kate Bush special edition magazine from Record Collector magazine was the fact that they agreed to donate the fee from the work done on selected collectable articles to a charity of our choice. The work on those beautiful illustrated features, involved the collected efforts of many fans around the world, and was a joy for me to manage and facilitate. I am so happy that we can instantly send £650 (much-needed funding) to the same charity that Kate Bush selected to be the pre-Christmas beneficiaries of her amazing Remastered Pop-Up Shop initiative in December 2018. Please consider also making a donation this Christmas to Crisis UK here if you’ve enjoyed reading this wonderful, fantastic fan-focused Kate Bush magazine! – Seán Twomey, with special thanks to the Record Collector Special editor Jamie Atkins from all us fans
Kate has worked with famed British photographer, Trevor Leighton, on a couple of occasions, most recently in 2014 to announce her Before the Dawn concerts with a memorable shot. Today on his instagram account he has posted a gorgeous backlight studio photo that looks to us like one from the 2005 Aerial sessions, based on Kate’s outfit. UPDATE: Trevor has confirmed to a fan that the photo was taken in 2005 as part of the Aerial sessions (thanks James). Suitably wintry for this time of year, thanks Trevor!
Well, we told you it was going to be a feast! Here’s just the barest sneak glimpse at some of the pages from the Record Collector full colour special devoted to Kate Bush. It hits the shops next week on December 3rd. Personally I’ve really enjoyed helping the editor to put this magazine together over the last few months – a LOT of hard work from a bigger team of genuine fans than you might have expected. Once again, this one is for us fans. This really is just a tiny fraction of the pages and pages of fully illustrated collector features as well as a comprehensive UK discography, in-depth guides to collectables and memorabilia, all of her studio albums revisited by some of RC’s finest writers, fans and musicians on what Kate means to them, unpublished photographs, the story of HomeGround the Kate Bush fan magazine, an evocative piece on her remarkable live comeback, and so much more. I even wrote an article in it! PRE-ORDER YOUR ISSUE HERE!
Something we’ve never seen before – an ENTIRE full colour issue of the legendary Record Collector magazine devoted to Kate Bush. It hits the shops December 3rd. This magazine has always taken Kate very seriously over the years as an artist who also happens to have a highly collectible body of work. As such they always put Kate’s fans front and centre. This “bookazine” is no exception, pages upon pages of content here illuminate just what Kate means to fans AND for the very first time is rich with illustrated features about collecting the music that we love – and there has been significant input from Kate’s fans to make this very special indeed. We’re excited. Do not miss! PRE-ORDER YOUR ISSUE HERE!
Here’s what Record Collector says: “This latest RC special gives fans the definitive guide to collecting one of the most extraordinary musicians of our times with a comprehensive UK discography, in-depth guides to collectables and memorabilia, all of her studio albums revisited by some of RC’s finest writers, fans and musicians on what Kate means to them, unpublished photographs, an evocative piece on her remarkable live comeback, and so much more. Available for pre-order: 5 November. Release date: 3 December – Note: Due to lockdown, there may be a slight delay with dispatch of your order.”