Massive Single & Album News Round-up!

So anyone getting excited yet? Here’s a round-up of the latest news items – mostly taken from our forum’s busyMedialog section, which you should check out. Please note for anyone who is used to the site’s usual format that all other Kate-related news, known as “newsbits” are also being gathered and we will be posting updates of those over the coming weeks, but for now the site will be concentrating on bringing you the news directly relating to Kate’s new work. It’s so nice to be able to say that.

It’s looking like Channel 4 will have the exclusive first play of the King Of The Mountain video on Saturday October 15th at 10.40pm (thanks Charles). After only a few short days King Of The Mountain has been doing very well on the iTunes UK download chart, having rocketed to the number 4 most downloaded track as of today. The track continues to perform very well in Irish, Finnish and Swedish iTunes stores. EMI publicised the wider download release, see report by Reuters here. Kate’s single remains number 1 on the Amazon UK Hot 100 CD singles chart, outselling other upcoming new releases from Westlife and U2…Kate was discussed on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme during the week. You can hear the show here (Kate is featured about 40 mins into the broadcast). Generally a good news report, although author John Mendelsson (who wrote “Waiting For Kate Bush”) dismisses most of Kate’s output. King Of The Mountain is this week’s Single Of The Week on the Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2. So far it seems only Rob Da Bank has played the single on BBC Radio 1, calling it “vintage, vintage Kate Bush”. The single was one of only two new additions to the Virgin Radio playlist this week. Virgin Radio playlist this week.

The Guardian has ran two pieces by Patrick Barkham. One was simply a report about the single and album here. The second longer article, here, appeared on Friday 30th Sept. In it the writer talks to EMI and also singer Roy Harper to get a more balanced look at where Kate is now coming from: “Frustrated by her refusal to play the celebrity game, tabloids have compared her to Greta Garbo and Miss Havisham, suggesting she is obsessed with her privacy. EMI, her record company, says suggestions she is a tortured recluse are nonsense. “Kate’s one of those artists who records and makes music to her own timescale rather than meet a record company’s deadlines, which is fine by us,” said an EMI insider, with no hint of gritted teeth…contrary to reports, Bush will go on television to actively promote Aerial, released on November 7 between new offerings from Robbie Williams and Madonna. Paul Rees, editor of Q magazine, believes a comparison with Madonna is instructive. Both women are 47, both have played totally by their own rules, but their careers could not be more contrasting. “There’s nothing left that you don’t know about Madonna whereas with Kate Bush there is everything left to know,” he said. “She’s retained that sense of enigma. We don’t really know what has gone on in her life in the last 12 years. That’s the key to her longevity. There’s a lot held back.” The extraordinary voice of singer-songwriter Roy Harper was one of Bush’s formative influences and he collaborated with her in the 1980s and 1990s and is still a friend. He believes Bush has been more influenced by literary writers than songwriters. “She is lovely to work with, a true musician. There is no need to tell her what to do, she has already done it and she is ahead, making suggestions. She is very honest and very gentle, bright and full of creativity, the kind of girl you should’ve married, really. She is very private and family orientated now. When you are that good a person, the danger is that everybody takes the piss. The cure for that is to keep yourself out of the public eye.” Those who have heard Aerial are, typically, amazed and slightly baffled, with Bush addressing a pigeon on one of the two albums, said to be inspired by bird song. Bush told Harper that one was a concept album and, “to lessen the blow” the other was “just Kate songs”. Read even more discussion on Kate in The Guardian in their Culture Vulture blog spothere.

The Evening Standard has ran a review of King Of The Mountain by John Aizlewood:”This is a reminder of what we have been missing with Kate Bush’s absence. Tori Amos, Björk and others have attempted to eclipse Bush’s otherworldliness, musicality and sheer weirdness, but none has come close and King Of The Mountain shows why. It’s a brooding epic which begins with an ominous guitar riff before that instantly recognisable voice charges in…the allegorical lyrical mystery makes her music more alluring. Bush was always a uniquely physical writer, but the more this song progresses, the more she sounds buffeted by the elements atop a frozen mountain. Gales howl around her before she concludes: “The wind, it blows the door closed.” It is not easy listening, but it is a landmark work. I can’t wait for Aerial.” The Sunday Times on the 25th Sept highlighted Kate’s album as part of it’s “Rich Pickings” Autumn cultural preview: “The phease “eagerly awaited” scarcely does justice to Kate Bush’s Aerial, her first album in 12 years…still, to make up for lost time, it’s a double.” review of King Of The Mountain by John Aizlewood:”This is a reminder of what we have been missing with Kate Bush’s absence. Tori Amos, Björk and others have attempted to eclipse Bush’s otherworldliness, musicality and sheer weirdness, but none has come close and King Of The Mountain shows why. It’s a brooding epic which begins with an ominous guitar riff before that instantly recognisable voice charges in…the allegorical lyrical mystery makes her music more alluring. Bush was always a uniquely physical writer, but the more this song progresses, the more she sounds buffeted by the elements atop a frozen mountain. Gales howl around her before she concludes: “The wind, it blows the door closed.” It is not easy listening, but it is a landmark work. I can’t wait for Aerial.” The Sunday Times on the 25th Sept highlighted Kate’s album as part of it’s “Rich Pickings” Autumn cultural preview: “The phease “eagerly awaited” scarcely does justice to Kate Bush’s Aerial, her first album in 12 years…still, to make up for lost time, it’s a double.”

The Irish Times ran an article by Jim Carroll on the 30th Sept here. The piece examines how Kate’s first release in 12 years may be received by the music industry and the public. Also in Ireland, King Of The Mountain was reviewed on Radio channel 2FM. Two of the panel were expecting something more groundbreaking, one was very impressed and the presenter was keeping his ‘gunpowder dry’. It was still voted as a ‘hit’…The MusicOMH site has review King Of The Mountain here. Michael Hubbard writes: “Fans can breathe easily – it is everything that could have hoped for. If before she was Running Up That Hill, now she’s on top of her mountain, surveying the scene before her with a calm, contented gaze. A mysterious pulse of synth draws the listener in before Kate’s slurred, echo-laden vocals pipe up. Essentially nonsensical lyrics culminate in a chorus of “the wind is whistling”, but it’s the inclusion of precisely considered drums and rhythmic, almost reggae guitar under trancey warm pad synth that make for the track’s atmosphere. And it’s a heady mix. The perfect taster for new album Aerial, King Of The Mountain is a perfect introduction to Kate’s wistful style for anyone not familiar with her, and a timely reminder of her effortless talent to those who are. ” The Gigwise site muses on the meaning behind the album’s artwork here. Kate was the main feature in Joe Mott’s column in The Daily Star on Sept 30th, also wondering at the album art, see a scan here. The piece examines how Kate’s first release in 12 years may be received by the music industry and the public. Also in Ireland, King Of The Mountain was reviewed on Radio channel 2FM. Two of the panel were expecting something more groundbreaking, one was very impressed and the presenter was keeping his ‘gunpowder dry’. It was still voted as a ‘hit’…The MusicOMH site has review King Of The Mountain here. Michael Hubbard writes: “Fans can breathe easily – it is everything that could have hoped for. If before she was Running Up That Hill, now she’s on top of her mountain, surveying the scene before her with a calm, contented gaze. A mysterious pulse of synth draws the listener in before Kate’s slurred, echo-laden vocals pipe up. Essentially nonsensical lyrics culminate in a chorus of “the wind is whistling”, but it’s the inclusion of precisely considered drums and rhythmic, almost reggae guitar under trancey warm pad synth that make for the track’s atmosphere. And it’s a heady mix. The perfect taster for new album Aerial, King Of The Mountain is a perfect introduction to Kate’s wistful style for anyone not familiar with her, and a timely reminder of her effortless talent to those who are.” The Gigwise site muses on the meaning behind the album’s artwork here. Kate was the main feature in Joe Mott’s column in The Daily Star on Sept 30th, also wondering at the album art, see a scan here.

The Daily Mirror raves about the single here. Gavin Martin writes: “And from the atmospheric opening to its last eerie gasp, King of the Mountain is unmistakably the sound of one of pop music’s last great originals. ..and like some sonic sorceress locked away in her private lair Bush carries on from where she left off with The Red Shoes in 1993..but any thoughts that Bush is relishing a return to rough and tumble of celebrity life, or is preparing to tackle the pop world on its own terms, are cast aside by song itself. Lyrically, with an oblique reference to Orson Welles’ classic movie Citizen Kane and to Elvis Presley, it is Kate’s meditation on the perils of fame and power. Technology has allowed her to deepen and enrich the territory explored on her Wuthering Heights debut single back in 1978. Long-time fans will recognise the wildly romantic and foreboding landscape the song creates…the mood of the record is a masterful balance of opposites – cool reserve and sonic boldness, gothic gloom and sensual awakening. Oriental percussion, ghostly harmonies, synthesisers that whisper and howl accompany Kate’s fraught but tender vocals. Fittingly for a woman who has taken so long to make a comeback there is no hurry to reach a climax. King of the Mountain builds slowly and it is the entrance of a grimy low-slung offbeat reggae guitar provides the cue for the band to slowly come together. When they do so it is like they are making music in a dream, while wading through a field of honey… Magnificent.” The Bizarre column of The Sun newspaper on the 27th reviews the single: “The track is suitably odd – as you’d expect from Kate, who had a No1 with the haunting Wuthering Heights in 1978. This, out on October 24 is equally spooky and has the air of Massive Attack. After a slow, hypnotic start it builds into a glorious crescendo. The lyrics are so strange, its hard to work out what she’s on about.”The Daily Mail reviewed the single favourably on Sept 30th. See a scan of the article hereThe Daily Express ran a very tabloidy “Kate the recluse” type 2-page article on Sept 30th here. Gavin Martin writes: “And from the atmospheric opening to its last eerie gasp, King of the Mountain is unmistakably the sound of one of pop music’s last great originals. ..and like some sonic sorceress locked away in her private lair Bush carries on from where she left off with The Red Shoes in 1993..but any thoughts that Bush is relishing a return to rough and tumble of celebrity life, or is preparing to tackle the pop world on its own terms, are cast aside by song itself. Lyrically, with an oblique reference to Orson Welles’ classic movie Citizen Kane and to Elvis Presley, it is Kate’s meditation on the perils of fame and power. Technology has allowed her to deepen and enrich the territory explored on her Wuthering Heights debut single back in 1978. Long-time fans will recognise the wildly romantic and foreboding landscape the song creates…the mood of the record is a masterful balance of opposites – cool reserve and sonic boldness, gothic gloom and sensual awakening. Oriental percussion, ghostly harmonies, synthesisers that whisper and howl accompany Kate’s fraught but tender vocals. Fittingly for a woman who has taken so long to make a comeback there is no hurry to reach a climax. King of the Mountain builds slowly and it is the entrance of a grimy low-slung offbeat reggae guitar provides the cue for the band to slowly come together. When they do so it is like they are making music in a dream, while wading through a field of honey… Magnificent.” The Bizarre column of The Sun newspaper on the 27th reviews the single: “The track is suitably odd – as you’d expect from Kate, who had a No1 with the haunting Wuthering Heights in 1978. This, out on October 24 is equally spooky and has the air of Massive Attack. After a slow, hypnotic start it builds into a glorious crescendo. The lyrics are so strange, its hard to work out what she’s on about.”The Daily Mail reviewed the single favourably on Sept 30th. See a scan of the article hereThe Daily Express ran a very tabloidy “Kate the recluse” type 2-page article on Sept 30th.

Lots of mentions for Kate in the brochure to mark the first Bard Indie Conference in Birmingham. An EMI spokesperson says “There is a lot of optimism within the business compared to previous years. We have our Robbie album and a Kate Bush album, so it’s shaping up to be a really strong quarter for us.” The brochue states ” King of the Mountain is a blissfully melancholic addition to her catalogue, with a delicate electronic production that updates her sound for 2005 without betraying her roots.” Other news in brief: King Of The Mountain played on the KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic show in the US…in Germany the single is released Oct 21st and the album is released Nov 4th according to German EMI here…Japanese EMI are releasing all Kate’s albums repackaged in cardboard sleeves (these are NOT the awaited EMI remasters)…Billy Sloan on Scotland’s Radio Clyde has played “here…Japanese EMI are releasing all Kate’s albums repackaged in cardboard sleeves (these are NOT the awaited EMI remasters)…Billy Sloan on Scotland’s Radio Clyde has played “King Of The Mountain by Kate Bush, the killer single from Aerial”…Best Radio was the first radio station to introduce Kate’s new track in Greece, on Saturday the 24th. Listener reaction was said to be overwhelmingly positive.

About Seán

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