From Retracing the Scenes: Wuthering Heights and The Kick Inside : 1977 to 1978 Homeground Anthology Volume I – available on Amazon here
“… As far as we know, Kate Bush’s most famous song was written sometime in March 1977, late at night, with a full moon shining in at the window. It was the final exorcism of a presence that had haunted her since she had caught the scene with Cathy at the window in the 1967 black and white BBC adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel. Though not originally conceived as her début single, to Kate, as the recording session wound on in August 1977, it became both musically and vocally the obvious track to break through the hard shell of public indifference. EMI were not at first convinced. To them, James and the Cold Gun looked much more like the obvious lead − pause now and consider what might have happened if they had had their way. Would it have been so big? Would that have been better in the long-run for Kate’s career development? Would Kate have been perceived by the general public and the rock establishment and press in a totally different light?
EMI finally relented and allowed Kate her own choice, and a release date was set for November 4th 1977. The “demo” copies were pressed up and many were sent out. One of these landed on the desk used by Eddie Puma, then the producer of ‘The Late Show’ for the London commercial radio station Capital Radio. He was entranced on his first hearing and left the disc for the presenter of the show Tony Myatt. They were both convinced that it was a superb single of rare quality and began playing it right away. The other DJs on the station were not so certain.
Meanwhile back at EMI’s Manchester Square headquarters a dispute had broken out over the artwork of the sleeve. The company had conceived an integrated publicity campaign centred around a Gered Mankowitz photo of Kate in a pink dance leotard − which apart from being the centrepiece of the posters would also form the covers of both single and album. Kate wasn’t so sure she wanted a campaign built more around her body than her music, and began to argue for an album cover design featuring a concept of the song Kite which her boyfriend Del Palmer had originally put together. Though it was late in the day, EMI again relented and allowed Kate to have her way.
The release date of the single was put back, and put back again. Afraid that premature exposure of the song would ruin the publicity build-up, EMI wrote to the radio stations that had received their demo copies to ask them to hold airplay for the time being. Most agreed, but Tony Myatt and Eddie Puma did not, and on Capital Radio Wuthering Heights was played throughout November and December. In the north of England, Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio also kept it on the playlist, and BBC Radio 1 was finally obliged by public request to break its silence.
By the time the new artwork was ready, Christmas was upon the popular music world, and it was decided that it would not be a good idea to throw Kate into the Yuletide maelstrom. A new release date was therefore set for 20th January 1978.