“Cannot discern what is so great about it”: Rock’s Backpages

Barney Hoskyns, the co-founder and editorial director of Rock’s Backpages:

As a staunch and loyal fan of Dame Katherine, I have to confess to some surprise at the plethora of 5-star reviews elicited by 50 TYPES OF SNOW. I’ve spent a week with the album and cannot discern what is so great about it. Even if you don’t miss the wild pop genius of the ’80s and love the mature piano melancholia of middle-aged Bush, she did the latter a lot better on AERIAL … Only on “Wild Man” does she pull off the kind of haunting pop classic we remember …. Or am I missing something?

About Peter

My Kate CV: Kate fan since 1978. Saw Tour of Life at the London Palladium 1979. Went to first KBC Convention 1980. Founded Homeground with Dave 1982. Worked on 1985, 1990, and 1994 Kate Bush Conventions, and the 1986 Video Party with Dave, Lisa of KBC and Krys. Appeared in videos for The Big Sky and Experiment IV. Wrote Introduction, Chronology and Discography for EMI Music Publishing's 1987 "Kate Bush Complete". Wrote the sleeve note for the remastered 1998 reissue of "Hounds of Love". Invited to write sleeve notes for other reissues which never happened. My other CV: born 1955 in Bermondsey London, educated at Galleywall Primary, Walworth Comprehensive, and London School of Economics BSc(Econ)(Hon) 1976. Currently an Officer of the Crown Court determining legal costs in crminal cases. Met Krys in 1982 through Homeground, we were engaged on Glastonbury Tor on Kate's birthday in 1983, and married in November 1984.
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6 Responses to “Cannot discern what is so great about it”: Rock’s Backpages

  1. Neil says:

    Yes you’re missing something

  2. Neil says:

    You are missing the correct title.

  3. Rod says:

    In his book ‘Interpretation and Overinterpretation’, Umberto Eco talks about the infinite number of interpretations public art, art created for an audience, will be open to. All these interpretations will be valid. Some will be more valid than others; and that will often be down to the critical faculties of the reader, viewer, listener, of the text (any text; art, a book, music), and the amount of effort they put into the act or reading – but everyone can, and will, have their own interpretation of the work.

    When someone says “I don’t get why other people get it”, that’s not the same as saying “I don’t get it”. What they are really saying is “there is only one way to interpret this, my way, and every other interpretation is wrong”. If I were writing this piece, and ’50 Words for Snow’ didn’t work for me, I’d say, “I don’t get it”, wouldn’t you? But I would never dream of attempting circumlocution to say “I don’t think it’s great, and I don’t know why anyone else thinks it’s great”. Is he missing something? Yes, I think the overwhelmingly positive reviews from across the world would suggest he is. Poor lamb.

  4. pip says:

    He’s certainly missing the correct title for the album.

  5. edov says:

    Yeah completely missing it Barney… and that’s okay!

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