King Of The Mountain – Weekend news round-up

RADIO: King Of The Mountain has received numerous plays on BBC Radio 2 and, as hoped, even Radio 1 in the UK. Ken Bruce, who as we know got the world exclusive first play, told listeners that he knows that they will love it and that the song grows and grows on you after a few listens. Jonathan Ross said “That’s great! – it really grows on you!” on his morning show on the 22nd. Steve Wright said: “Kate Bush never ever disappoints. I’ve heard that 3 times lnow and I just love it. I’m not saying that just coz I’m trying to get her on the programme”. On the evening of the 21st the song was played on Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope programme – Neil McCormick, a reviewer from the Daily Telegraph, was underwhelmed by the single saying that it was an odd record, a poor single choice and that “it would need to be pop symphony in 3 octaves to please fans.” He did praise Kate’s voice however saying that she’d “obviously looked after it”. On the 22nd Rob Da Bank on Radio 1 ran a Listener’s Choice text poll between the latest releases from Kate and Paul MCartney, Kate won and it got its Radio 1 airplay debut – with a lot of positive feedback from listeners (listen here – about one hour into the show). The single has also been played on Radio 2 by Johnnie Walker, Sarah Kennedy, Janice Long and of course Mark Radcliffe – all gushing about how much they like it. Listeners have been posting their reviews on the BBC Radio 2 message board here.

The new single appeared on BBC Radio 6’s venerable review programme Roundtable with David Quantick giving it a 9 out of 10, a member of the public on the phone giving it a 7, but two other reviewers weren’t Kate fans at all so they gave it a 4 and a 3! (to be fair they only seemed to know about Wuthering Heights era Kate). Quantick is the presenter of the Radio 2 Blagger’s Guide programme which featured an hilarious (and highly complimentary) parody of Kate’s career. We particularly enjoyed hearing a young Kate being scolded by her headmistress, and an older Kate accepting an award by sending her speech via enchanted bluebird!.

PRESS: The Manchester Evening News has given the single 4 out of 5 stars. Mark Richardson writes: “After a 12-year absence Kate Bush is set to return to the airwaves with a new album, Ariel – and the first single will not disappoint her many fans. In these days of X Factor and Pop Idol it is almost a surprise to hear an artist construct a sound that is casually littered with musical ability. Ever since her breathe-taking debut release Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush has consistently brought a fresh approach to her music, blending styles and technology to produce a unique sound. Her latest single King Of The Mountain makes it clear that she has lost none of this ability. While King Of The Mountain is not ground breaking, it does offer all the dynamics that are integral to the Kate Bush sound, from unstructured electronics, to driving rhythm and soaring vocals. Welcome back, Kate.” Marc Lee in The Daily Telegraph also praises the track: “King of the Mountain had its first public airing yesterday on Radio 2…the song is vintage Bush, the operatic swoops and ethereal, vaguely troubled ambience as haunting as ever. Opening with a gently hypnotic rhythm track, chugging guitars, and blurry vocals, the song builds to a big, rocking finish, as Bush wonders at “the wind whistling through the house”. After more than a decade, what is striking is how little has changed in the Bush soundworld. She could almost be back on the storm-lashed moors pining for Heathcliff.” Stephen McKenna write’s for ICScotland: “It sounds really fresh. Opening with some delightful percussive synth noises, Kate’s idiosyncratic voice comes through and the whole track feels very atmospheric and nonchalant. The song still has the inimitable Kate Bush sound about it but is a little more modern than material from her 1993 album The Red Shoes.”

In the US, of huge significance considering its enormous readership is the feature in the brand new Entertainment Weekly (Sept. 30). It has listed Aerial at Number 3 in its 20 “Albums We’re Most Looking Forward To This Fall” The blurb says: “The bewitching British chanteuse returns from the world’s longest maternity leave with her first album in 12 years. A leadoff single – the beautifully whoosy “King of the Mountain” debuts online Sept. 27, but the main event will be a two-CD concept album that promises to be her most ambitious yet. Move over, Tori Amos – the real fairy queen is back to reclaim her throne.” The Globe & Mail in Canada lists King Of The Mountain in its Essential Tracks column. Carl Wilson writes: “This first single in 12 years from the vanishing white witch of British art rock finds her elemental atmospherics intact, plus a reggae-accented marimba beat and teasing references to those other elusive artistic spirits, Elvis and Citizen Kane.” The UK gay publication The Pink Paper has ran an article celebrating Kate’s “gay cult” – see scan here. And finally, Elvis Presley fan sites are buzzing with the news that King Of The Mountain refers to Elvis: “The new Kate Bush song “King of the Mountain” is about the legendary Elvis Presley! It is quite a hypnotic song with a driving musical beat which is sure to cause quite a commotion, and likely to become a major hit for the singer. Kate is one of the most original artists in the popular music world. Her very unusual songs are both imaginative and poetic. Her return to the charts will be welcomed by discerning listeners everywhere. Elvis fans will be delighted.” See www.elvisnews.com and http://www.elvisinfonet.com/. (with thanks to everyone on our site’s foum’s Medialog section for help compiling this news round-up).

About Seán

Seán Twomey has been running the Kate Bush News & Information site since January 1998.
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