In 1987, English pop duo, Go West, issued their second studio album which featured the single The King is Dead with Kate on backing vocals. The story goes that Kate’s guitarist, Alan Murphy, was working on the album with the band in Denmark and asked Kate if she could do some vocals on the track. Kate obliged by sending tapes over to them to work with. Apart from her repeatedly singing the song title behind much of the second half of the track, at 1 minute 45 seconds Kate belts out:
“You let me in behind the lies, but you’re no use to me life size…”
This month, Chrysalis Records have reissued the album in a deluxe package on CD/DVD and on vinyl record and it features a new previously unreleased version of the song, The King Is Dead (12″ Long Vibe Piano Mix). We can hear more Kate backing vocals, in particular a striking moment at the 4 minute 37 seconds mark! You can hear the track on Spotify here or on Youtube here. Album can be ordered here.
From vocalist Peter Cox on the band’s official site: “At one point Richard said that it would be great if we could get a female backing vocal on the song ..someone like Kate Bush’. Al (Murphy, guitarist) had played in Kate’s band for many years and said, ‘Why not just ask Kate?’ He called her – she graciously agreed, and we sent her the multitrack tape. It was quite the moment when we heard what she had done – we hadn’t given her any notes or guidance, just let her do her fabulous thing.” Richard Drummie of the band continues: “This song is about meeting a hero and your established perception of them being different from the reality. That’s not their fault.. ‘no one’s to blame.. but it immediately appeared as a poignant situation we could write about. We wrote the song really quickly.”