Wuthering Heights is 35 years young today!

The extraordinary single that first introduced the world to Kate Bush was released 35 years ago today (6th January 1978). It changed everything. Where were you when you first heard it?

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Seán Twomey has been running the Kate Bush News & Information site since January 1998.
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25 Responses to Wuthering Heights is 35 years young today!

  1. karen says:

    I was 14 and vividly remember thinking this would probably be a one hit wonder because it was so unusual .. but then Man with the child in his eyes came out and I knew she would be a major force in music, two brilliant but totally different tracks.She original and wonderful and I still love her music after all these years

    • Alexander says:

      I would say exactly the same words! The only difference is that I was 21. All other feelings are similar. I’ve heard it first on BBC Top 20 Show. I was quite shocked.

  2. Mark says:

    Music would never be the same! I’m a 21 year old American and have been a Kate fan since October 2010. I got into Kate because Steve Harris, bassist of Iron Maiden, mentioned her in an interview. I typed her name into google, got some info, and wound up listening to the man with the child in his eyes on YouTube. “Pretty good”, I thought. I then listened to Wuthering Heights and thought it was one of the weirdest songs I had ever heard in my life. “How could she sing like that?” I then watched the white dress video. Watching that sealed the deal. I’ve been in love with her ever since.

  3. Nicola says:

    In the back of the car, driving back from my Nanna’s house after tea on Sunday. I was 6 years old and I can remember it like yesterday….I’d never heard anything like it and couldn’t quite comprehend the emotions that her voice and music stirred in me.

    It was the same feeling as when I first started to dance later on when I was about 7. It’s magical first discovering those primal things in you and sadly become increasingly rarer the older you get.

  4. “I was sitting in my bath…” No hang on, that’s someone else.

    I was too young, too gauche to understand in January ’78

    But by god, as soon as I grew up, I understood precisely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzFavOe4kZY

    • Nicola says:

      Yes, looking back all I knew was that she made me feel something when I listened to the song. But I had no real understanding of what it was i was feeling. I was far too young. Hounds of Love when I was 15 and studying contemporary dance just BLEW ME AWAY! Then I understood….a little more. When Aerial was released, well that was when Kate made perfect sense to me…..she is a force of nature. WH was only the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship with her music and visual art.

  5. Tears streaming watching that just now, typical. I was introduced without realizing it, growing up in the country in Stevensville, Montana. This song was among the must record, while making a mix tape from the radio. It was the 80′s and it had been realeased for a while I guess, along with running up that hill. Then my brother gave me the whole story when I was 16 (1990). That tape accompanied me everywhere, to Germany, Lake Placid, New York, Taiwan and all over the United States, while doing Freestyle Aerial Skiing.

  6. I was in college lodgings at Norwich City College studying an OND In Automobile Engineering in ’78. It was Saturday afternoon and I was listing to the legendary “Fluff” on his afternoon radio show and on came this song. I remember thinking “WHAT is that?” and turning round to give it my full attention. I think I was hooked by the end of the song and then when I saw the video at my parents I was blown away. I think even my mum took ashore to her there and then. One of my fondest memories is me and another very “butch” classmate running down opposite sides of Newmarket road in Norwich, both screeching “Out on the wiley, windy moors …” hilarious, special and unforgettable.

    Kate is a lasting link to those original happy times for me and has been there in all the intervening years and remains a total joy to this day.

  7. Davie says:

    I was 11 and watching “Look North” with my sister Jo. The intro to Kate said “what is the connection between the Bronte sisters and pop music? here is a young lady called Kate Bush”. So we watched the performance and I said to Jo ” She’s brilliant isn’t she?!” and Jo said: “she’s really good but I still prefer Blondie”. All these years later I listen to Kate every day and Jo listens to Blondie every day. Congrats Kate: I am massively happy that my first memory of Wuthering Heights has created such a legacy. Thanks for the years of moments of pleasure.

  8. Millais says:

    It was early July 1978. I was doing my morning show on Radio EST, a local radio I worked at for just one summer, and I was just 14.
    One day, this guy came into the studio and opened up a folder that was full of 7″ vinyls. He had just come back from London, where he had bought a huge number of records. He picked up “Wuthering Heights”, and told me that the single was a huge international success (it was still relatively unknown in Italy, but it was destined to reach #1 in a matter of weeks) and that I had to play it, because that record would have changed my life.
    When I put it on the turntable, I was instantly hooked. It really changed my life, and 35 years later, I am still in love with Kate’s music as I was at that time…

  9. Del Palmer says:

    Sitting in our front room whilst she wrote it!!!….

  10. Sharka says:

    I was at home and my mother was vacuum-cleaning when “Wuthering Heights” got one of its first airplays on German radio. Must have been February 1978 – I was 13. I yelled at her to turn off the vacuum cleaner because I wanted to listen to it. (I am still so strongly affected by music that I will stop talking in mid-sentence at a party & forget everything if sth. intriguing is playing in the background!)

    To my surprise, she did turn it off, and then I was like “Hmmm, is this really cool or really bad?” When I heard WH the second time, my mind was made up, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The first concert I ever visited was Kate live in Hamburg (thankgod I only learned years later that this was one of the shorter concerts of the tour due to Kate’s health problems).

  11. Joel says:

    I was 8. It’s was a sunday morning and I was listening to the radio with my sister. Her second album was out already and the radio program was about playing 5 tracks of an artist if people voted “yes”. I suppose Kate was famous already in France but not for an 8 year old and my family never was fond of music. She would be my first (and last?) musical love. The first track they played was “Wow” and I loved it right away; her voice… then I recorded the 4 next songs. The last one was Wuthering Heights. I couldn’t get the title right and my older sister neither but I was so crazy about this song I wanted to buy the record or tape. It took me 2 years in my country to find it, I had no idea what to look for; even Kate’s name I wasn’t sure of !
    Meanwhile, I played the tape I recorded that day so much that it broke…

  12. M H Kershaw says:

    I was too young to remember, the first memory of Kate for me was the release of the single “Sat in Your Lap” I remember seeing a record promo display in my local shop of dunce caps etc,… and it had just as much impact on me as when I eventually revisited “Wuthering Heights”. Two of my favourite “early” Kate singles.

  13. Rod says:

    Ha. Del’s answer there would just kind of stun the room into awed silence. I do remember really liking the song and really, really, liking Kate Bush, she looked very like someone I knew, but it would be a few years before I grew enough as a person to fully appreciate the music and the creative force behind it.

  14. Renaud says:

    I think it was late winter or early spring 1978….I was 13, listening to some French radio station in my bedroom when Wuthering Heights was played. I was instantly hooked by the melody and that incredible voice…..At the time I had no idea what the song was about but I was sure it was the most beautiful, haunting and moving piece of music I had ever heard. 35 years later it remains one of my all time favourites ! Unique and priceless, as is Kate Bush.

  15. André says:

    So many wonderful comments here! Alright, my turn: Back in 1978 I was 5 years old, and I don’t remember hearing anything from Kate, although I must have, because the radio in the kitchen was turned on all the time. The first time I remember must have been 1981, when I rent a tape in a library-bus (I don’t know if these things exist outside of Germany) because of its interesting cover: Never for ever. And and recognised “Babooshka” from the radio and loved it right away. But I was 8 years old, and in that age you just like music, but you don’t buy records. Next (big!) strike was when Cloudbusting came out. I always loved Cloudbusting more the Running up that hill and played that single all day long. And Kate finally got me with the 12″-version of “Experiment IV”. I immediately started to spent my money on her records.

  16. John V says:

    Would of been the version on The Whole Story, the more mature vocals of which I prefer although I think the original is the superior version overall due to it’s clearer sounding production and the sheer beauty of it’s arrangements, obviously THE version that did indeed subvert everything, but in a less obvious but I think broader way than punk did. First time I ever recall hearing Kate was in fact at the cinema, where the Cloudbusting video was being shown before the actual movies, in my case I think it was Rocky 4 or something. Anyway I was about 9 at the time and my dad bought the Hounds album after seeing the video at the cinema, and I remember that my au-pair actually ended up half-inching the tape after falling in love with RUTH, which she used to play down the phone to her friends, shouting ‘can you hear it, it’s amazing!’ Anyway, then we got The Whole Story which I absolutely loved to bits, as much as Pink Floyd’s The Wall, although my dad’s insecure second wife tried to get him into Elkie Brooks instead. No matter. I love Kate for the beautiful voice, arrangements and sonic soundscapes that she has created, for her uncompromising and unrelenting artistic integrity and for being unashamedly feminine in a world that preaches feminISM but seems to remain almost totally male-value centred. Her art does not seem to react; it just IS. Sorry to ramble, I’d finally like to say that I think Kate would like the idea of people first discovering her work through the medium of cinema, I think that would really appeal to her!

  17. giulio says:

    Oh… I was eight when this came out. I saw it when I was in the
    dining room, and almost fell to the floor. The music, her voice,
    her image. She simply got me…

  18. Anna says:

    I was 7 years old and sat at my nan’s watching Top of the Pops. Kate came on in her high heels and burst into Wuthering Heights, I was instantly under her spell. I clearly remember my nan saying “she sounds like a strangled cat” but I was mesmerized. She was so different, unique and beautiful. I had/have wild unruly hair so I immediately felt akin with her, she was the woman I wanted to grow up to be. I’ve been devoted ever since, I even cried when I first heard “50 Words for Snow” it was so ‘Kate.’ But WH will always be the epitome of Kate’s music. Long may she reign, Kate Bush CBE.

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