Kate’s official Youtube channel was announced today on her official Facebook page. We’ve seen this being put together over the last few months with good quality videos being constantly added – worth checking out here. Kate’s new Twitter profile can be viewed here. The latest tweet heralds the Youtube debut of King of the Mountain in hi-def!
Category: King of The Mountain Page 1 of 2
It’s official! Kate’s new single has entered the charts at number 4, it’s a smash hit folks. This is Kate’s 3rd most successful single ever after Running Up That Hill and Wuthering Heights. It is also now her 25th Top 40 hit. Warmest congratulations to Kate – welcome back to the highest reaches of the charts! And if we couldn’t stand any more excitement there’s still the matter of a certain double-album in just a few days time…
King Of The Mountain is today in at number 4 on the CD:UK chart on ITV…meanwhile the video has been discussed at Contact Music here…the single has entered theIrish charts at number 13…Kate’s new single has been a smash hit on alternative and college radio stations in the USA – The Filter Weekly Radio Chart is Filter Magazine’s compilation of their favorite college, indie and modern rock and Adult Album Alternative stations around the country. Kate is at number 1 in their Top Fifty Singles chart, which also includes the excellent Sigur Ros, Death Cab For Cutie, Iron & Wine and My Morning Jacket – great taste! See the chart here…
The Sun have made the single their Single Of The Week on 21st October, rating it 5 out of 5 and devoting a whole page to Kate, reviewing every single album also: “a magnum opus of almost five minutes filled with sophisticated beats, swirling synths and typically oblique lyrics. Happily Kate’s voice doesn’t sound the least bit rusty. It’s a ravishing comeback.” Top Of The Pops give the single a 4-star review here and a great review written to appeal to the show’s younger fanbase. “Right pop kids, get yer thinking caps on for a quick lesson in pop amazingness. Although Her Royal Bushness isn’t your usual quirky pop sproglett (in fact, in pop terms she’s positively ancient at 47!), she paved the way for pretty much every kooky and thoroughly unique female singer since. Without her, avante-garde pop a la Blur, Prince and The Killers would not have existed and Tori Amos, Christina Aguilera and Alison Goldfrapp would probably have been serving you chips over the nearest Spam-U-Like counter. And did we mention that she wrote the best elasticy-throated pop song ever, ‘Wuthering Heights’, when she was only 19? Anyhow, ‘King of The Mountain’ – her first single release in 12 years – has the usual Bush trademarks stomped all over it. Soaring fruity vocals, thought-provoking lyrics, a driving rhythm and gorgeous electronic twiddlings make this a gem of a song. But if jiggling your booty and punching the air is your thing, you’ll probably hate it!”
Heat magazine gives the single a 4 star review: “Great excitement awaits the first single in 12 years from eccentric icon Kate Bush. Fans won’t be disappointed with a song that flies from whispering electronic pulses to a finale of billowing melodies, edgy guitars and windswept choruses.” Gigwise also like the track here: “Now children you may think it’s a bit sad to like a track by an artist that your Dad fancied over twenty years ago, but Kate Bush deserves your attention. In a era of identikit pop stars we should thank our lucky stars that Bush has come back from the abyss to grace us with her presence and with ‘King of the Mountain’ she doesn’t disappoint. Five minutes of Bush’s eerily beautiful voice and a windswept ethereal melody proves truly mesmerising. Simplistic in the extreme it may be, but a great comeback it is also.”
Simon Donohue of The Manchester Evening News rates the single 4 out of 5 and says: “It sees her embarking on a slow ascent towards a suitable ethereal peak, synthesized wind, drums and gentle music providing a worthy companion for those familiar hanunted vocals. As the title also suggests, this is something more epic than the chart-friendly numbers which she was once known for. One way of summing it up is to say that it is one of those songs which had you turn out the lights, close the curtains and sit in the dark when testing out your early CD player, and it sets the scene for a towering comeback by one of the country’s finest talents” The UK’s Metro paper says: “With its references to Citizen Kane and Elvis, the first outing in 12 years by the mighty Bush is as strange, haunting and surreal as you’d expect. Hardly a karaoke fave but her three-octave warble is treat enough. 4 out of 5.” Rolling Stone gives King Of The Mountain their 4-star rating: “After twelve years of silence from influential U.K. eccentric Bush, her fans are setting the Internet aflame with their joy at hearing her airy proto-Tori Amos vocals again. But even newcomers can appreciate this grandiose comeback, which veers pleasurably from spooky electronic pop to majestic, reggae-inflected rock.”
Dotmusic rates the single 8 out of 10 here: “Built around a revolving, processed xylophone mantra and some spaced-out guitar FX, Bush’s enigmatic entrance from the fog is initially so vague and indecipherable as to conclude that she surely hasn’t been frantically scribbling lyrics for the past decade. However, the track soon shifts powerfully into billowing clarity in a thunder crack of atmospheric, elemental power, whispers of “the snow in Rosebud” and claims that we may in fact be talking about Elvis Presley here. While not exactly “Wuthering Heights” – but then, nothing is – “King Of The Mountain” marks the absurdly long-awaited return of a singular force.” Tired of all those amazing reviews yet? Here’s how The Guardian reviewed the single on 22nd Oct: “Looks a bit like Delia Smith these days, does Kate – you’re half expecting this single to start with a drunken cry of “Where are you?” In fact, this sets out promisingly, hoving in like a sea fret, as a Citizen Kane-inspired lyrical theme takes shape. But then, in comes the chorus, “The wind is whistling”, and it’s like the giant, corporate epic rock propeller has been trundled onstage and activated as in pile the session drums, like a drunken Phil Collins gatecrashing a pleasant soiree.” Well, we can’t have everything 😉
[For all the very latest news mentions check our forum’s Medialog section. The huge online Kate Bush resource Gaffaweb is now being continually updated with all Aerial-related articles etc, be sure to check it out. Note: Full International Aerial news round-up coming soon.]
Hoping that as many of you as possible are now (or soon to be) proud owners of the King Of The Mountain CD and/or vinyl picture disc record. Keep supporting the King Of The Mountain single! While Westlife are certain to easily claim the Number 1 slot in the singles charts this weekend Kate is battling it out with The Arctic Monkeys and The Sugababes for a number 3 position according to midweek sales predictions from the record business. This could be Kate’s highest singles chart entry position ever! So c’mon people! The single is a perfect early bet for a Christmas stocking filler. If you notice that stocks of the single have sold out in your local HMV etc get them to order more in pronto! Failing that have you downloaded the single yet? That counts for chart inclusion this week also.
The NME has reviewed the single in style: “Ok, so it was hardly worth waiting a decade and a bit for but then what is? Nothing that we can think of. What it is, mind, is an apt reminder of just how little everyone else is trying right now and just how Ms Bush has been missed. It’s five minutes of druggy acenes, has a mental breakdown in the middle, and sounds like Sade washing down lyrical razorblades with plummets of fizzy white wine nabbed from Massive Attacks rider. But with more heart than a Canadian AOR radio station or a passionate snog with a Care Bear. If we were excited about the album before we heard this (and we were, very), now we’re EXCITED IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS.” Eye Weekly in Toronto writes: “The famously melodramatic (some would say screechy) chanteuse’s influence on such singers as Björk and PJ Harvey has come full circle on “King of the Mountain,” currently available only as a download. The rumbling bass and propulsive drumming recalls Harvey’s “A Perfect Day, Elise,” while Bush takes her creepy torch-song vibe down a notch, mostly reining in her upper register to devastatingly intense effect. Learning how to smoulder is the final frontier for great singers, and Bush does it without giving up the vulnerability that made every teenage wallflower in the ’80s stare longingly at her LP jackets.”
…here’s an article on Peter Bochan’s Alternative Music Blog which reveals that King Of The Mountain is the 231st song about Elvis! “At least one of his white jump suits is in the video with Kate, along with a storyline that seems to be a throwback to the “Is Elvis Still Alive” period in tabloid journalism, mixed with some Citizen Kane “Rosebud” imagery and some dodgy shots of Kate that seem to hide her from any full-figure viewing–maybe she’s going through her own “later elvis” type period. Whatever the reason, this first sample from the upcoming “Aerial” is very encouraging, “King Of The Mountain” is vintage sounding and full of the usual “moments of pleasure” that Kate has been delivering since 1977’s “Wuthering Heights”. Read more here…BBC Radio 1 may be largely ignoring the single from it’s playlists (no, we can’t figure it out either) but one DJ, Rob Da Bank continues to rave about the single: “She makes us wait 12 years and then bam! She’s back and jeepers creepers the lady’s been busy if this, the first single from her new album Aerial is anything to go by. Wooshy wind noises – check! Mystical lyrics – check! Genius reggae guitar and bountiful production – check! Best pop song of the year so far and proud to be a Blue Room tune. Welcome back!” See it at the BBC Radio 1 website here…finally, need wheels to get to the record shop next week to buy the single? The “big black car” from the Cloudbusting video is up for sale – see here!
Seán says: Stunning! Talk about Kate’s triumphant return…it’s the perfect companion to the song. Was anyone else surprised to see so much warmth and humour injected into the subject matter? It gives the opening track of Aerial so many new aspects to explore. I remember a quote I read from Irish author Roddy Doyle when he reviewed Peter Guralnick’s unsurpassed biographies of Elvis Presley (‘Last Train To Memphis’ and ‘Careless Love’). Doyle said: “The book’s biggest achievment is that it gives back Elvis Presley his humanity”. I love that quote, it sums up Guralnick’s labour of love and it’s equally now true of Kate’s King Of The Mountain. My nose started to sting with emotion when I saw the Elvis suit flying back across a tranquil sky to be reuinted with his elderly but now childlike self.
Kate’s wonderfully expressive face seems to will this reunion to happen, far away from the lonely, ghostly confines of the windy house that the video opens with. Her mischievous, knowing performance makes us smile along with her. I finally, fully ‘get’ this song. The clip is also obviously littered with many clues and teasing hints about the Aerial album itself – no accident that Kate has feathers in her hair or that the washing on the line takes on a life of its own set against a painterly sky. I couldn’t be happier with this video. It’s a joy to see Kate looking so in command of her art, the video is uniquely her. Every frame is as appropriate to this meditative, hypnotic song as once a tutu, some rollerskates and a dunces cap somehow clinched everything she needed to say over two decades ago. I have to agree with BBC Radio 2’s Richard Allinson when yesterday he called this “a stunning, stunning video”. p.s. if the theory that a disguised Kate Bush plays the part of the pink-rinsed retired Elvis is true her genius will be confirmed utterly!
A description of the video (thanks Krys!), which received its world premiere on Channel 4 on Saturday 15th October at 10.40pm: Kate’s new video opens with an atmospheric black and white impression of Charles Kane’s empty mansion full of priceless junk, whilst newspaper headlines about Elvis swirl by. Kate is glimpsed until she is seen singing and swaying to the music. A ghostly Elvis suit dances with Kate before taking wing with the Canada Geese to Shangri-La where an elderly Elvis hides in the snowy mountains with Kane’s famous sledge Rosebud. The video can be seen at Kate’s official site www.katebush.com
King Of The Mountain has entered the official UK download chart this week at number 6, only the new single from Robbie Williams has had a higher new entry. See the chart here
As expected, a few mentions in this morning’s UK Sunday papers. The Observer has an article entitled “Comeback Kate” by Barbara Ellen: “We’ve had a sneak preview of her new album, and can assure you – it’s been worth the wait… I’m allowed to listen to one side – I choose the first – so long as I sit in a room at the EMI offices with a man guarding me, presumably in case I try running home with it, thereby committing the crime of trying to listen to an album properly. Despite these shenanigans, first impressions of Aerial are as good as one hoped. It is in fact vintage Bush: a melodic, organic sprawl of wind, sea, seasons, time passing, dreams, secrecy and revelation, all mixed up with a sound that seems to segue smoothly on from The Red Shoes and The Sensual World…Joan of Arc pops up in the stunning, atmospheric ‘Joanni‘. Most intriguingly, there is a song called ‘Bertie‘ where one hears a whole new Kate Bush – a mature, doting creature both energised and sucker-punched by mother love. ‘Where’s that son of mine?’ sings Kate, adding breathlessly, ‘Here comes that son of mine.’ I was ready to believe anything by the time I listened to Aerial. What I discovered is that nothing much has changed in Kate Bush’s world, except perhaps everything. She’s still seething with strangeness and brilliance. Even the fact that she’s a mother now isn’t likely to change anything. Bush has always written beautiful songs on all manner of themes including motherhood, and will doubtless continue to do so. It’s just kind of cute that far from being coy and privacy-obsessed, Bush can’t seem to shut up about it. As well as the song one of Bertie’s drawings graces the cover of ‘King of the Mountain’; he’s credited on the sleevenotes as ‘The Sun’.”
Also in The Observer, Carol McDaid explores what it is about Kate that inspires such undying loyalty: “I would never have heard about the conventions had I not subscribed to ‘the oldest established Kate Bush fanzine’. Homeground (the title borrowed from a track on Lionheart) was produced by three fans, in monochrome on shiny pages which seethed with love for Kate. It was illustrated with uncanny pencil sketches of her, often wreathed in ivy, by Homeground’s two resident artists, and, in the absence of any news, there were long features entitled ‘Five years ago’, ‘Ten years ago ‘. I flinched at some of the more intense letters; the reports of ‘Kate-mas’ 30 July, Kate’s birthday (the same day as Emily Bronte) – celebrated either on Glastonbury Tor or at Top Withens, site of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. But I didn’t cancel my subscription. My first convention was at Hammersmith Palais, November 1990, post-Sensual World; outside, a queue of geeky guys and gothic girls hunched against a cold Saturday morning. I went with a friend who was, like me, riven with curiosity yet anxious to appear only mildly excited. It was a surreal, quite long day. Wall-to-wall Kate Bush music; a quiz (Q: Who played didgeridoo on The Dreaming? A: Rolf Harris). People fresh off the plane from Japan and America swapped picture discs in dark corners. And Kate appeared from somewhere – it’s a bit of a blur – sitting on a sofa in grey, saying ‘You must be mad!’, before sweetly answering questions and singing a little thank you. In 1993 The Red Shoes was released, and a film, The Line, the Cross and the Curve, co-starring Miranda Richardson, which premiered at the London Film Festival in a double bill with Nick Park’s The Wrong Trousers, which I guiltily enjoyed more. Kate, in the audience with her partner and her father, left the cinema to rapturous applause. I have a memory of standing on my seat to get a better look. In 1994, at my second, and last, convention, Kate Bush rose through a hole in the floor of the Hippodrome, Leicester Square to a deafening roar, picked some raffle tickets out of a cardboard box, waved and fled. I can’t say I blamed her. I usually remember her birthday. And when the new Kate Bush single received its first airplay two weeks ago, on my way to work, I had to pull off the road.”
In Scotland On Sunday Nigel Williamson writes: “Bush’s record company, EMI, while keen not to over-hype her return and risk disappointing fans, can barely contain their excitement, and the buzz around the industry is that the album – entitled Aerial and due to reach shops on November 7 – is something very special indeed. “Everyone who’s heard it so far has proclaimed it an absolute masterpiece, quite possibly her career peak. It’s quite astonishing,” said one EMI executive. It’s a magnum opus of a double album, too, which is good news. King Of The Mountain is…a gloriously dense swirl of electronic pulses, synthesised beats and brooding guitars with a typically ominous vocal, it’s as epic and elemental as you could want…since her last album, British music has unearthed a rich seam of pretenders to Bush’s throne, including Dido, Goldfrapp, KT Tunstall and Joss Stone. They had all better look to their laurels: the queen of them all is back to claim her crown.” In The Independent On Sunday Adam Sweeting writes:”…happily, “King of the Mountain” is a sly and subtle piece of work, suggesting that Bush’s genre-defying musical intelligence burns undimmed.”
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 here. The 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 here. The 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.
EMI UK have let HomeGround know that King Of The Mountain, with Kate’s permission, is now available as a digital download to purchase from iTunes in their UK, Ireland and most other European iTunes stores. EMI are going to let us know where else it will be made available as soon as possible
NEWSFLASH! – Site visitors in the USA! The first single King Of The Mountain will be made available by Columbia Records in the US only as a digital download on September 27th. It will be available online at iTunes, Yahoo! Music Unlimited, Sony Connect, Walmart.com, Rhapsody, Napster, and MSN Music. Update: 29th Sept – download now also available on iTunes in UK & Ireland.
RADIO: King Of The Mountain has received numerous plays on BBC Radio 2 and, as hoped, even Radio 1 in the UK. Ken Bruce, who as we know got the world exclusive first play, told listeners that he knows that they will love it and that the song grows and grows on you after a few listens. Jonathan Ross said “That’s great! – it really grows on you!” on his morning show on the 22nd. Steve Wright said: “Kate Bush never ever disappoints. I’ve heard that 3 times lnow and I just love it. I’m not saying that just coz I’m trying to get her on the programme”. On the evening of the 21st the song was played on Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope programme – Neil McCormick, a reviewer from the Daily Telegraph, was underwhelmed by the single saying that it was an odd record, a poor single choice and that “it would need to be pop symphony in 3 octaves to please fans.” He did praise Kate’s voice however saying that she’d “obviously looked after it”. On the 22nd Rob Da Bank on Radio 1 ran a Listener’s Choice text poll between the latest releases from Kate and Paul MCartney, Kate won and it got its Radio 1 airplay debut – with a lot of positive feedback from listeners (listen here – about one hour into the show). The single has also been played on Radio 2 by Johnnie Walker, Sarah Kennedy, Janice Long and of course Mark Radcliffe – all gushing about how much they like it. Listeners have been posting their reviews on the BBC Radio 2 message board here.
The new single appeared on BBC Radio 6’s venerable review programme Roundtable with David Quantick giving it a 9 out of 10, a member of the public on the phone giving it a 7, but two other reviewers weren’t Kate fans at all so they gave it a 4 and a 3! (to be fair they only seemed to know about Wuthering Heights era Kate). Quantick is the presenter of the Radio 2 Blagger’s Guide programme which featured an hilarious (and highly complimentary) parody of Kate’s career. We particularly enjoyed hearing a young Kate being scolded by her headmistress, and an older Kate accepting an award by sending her speech via enchanted bluebird!.
PRESS: The Manchester Evening News has given the single 4 out of 5 stars. Mark Richardson writes: “After a 12-year absence Kate Bush is set to return to the airwaves with a new album, Ariel – and the first single will not disappoint her many fans. In these days of X Factor and Pop Idol it is almost a surprise to hear an artist construct a sound that is casually littered with musical ability. Ever since her breathe-taking debut release Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush has consistently brought a fresh approach to her music, blending styles and technology to produce a unique sound. Her latest single King Of The Mountain makes it clear that she has lost none of this ability. While King Of The Mountain is not ground breaking, it does offer all the dynamics that are integral to the Kate Bush sound, from unstructured electronics, to driving rhythm and soaring vocals. Welcome back, Kate.” Marc Lee in The Daily Telegraph also praises the track: “King of the Mountain had its first public airing yesterday on Radio 2…the song is vintage Bush, the operatic swoops and ethereal, vaguely troubled ambience as haunting as ever. Opening with a gently hypnotic rhythm track, chugging guitars, and blurry vocals, the song builds to a big, rocking finish, as Bush wonders at “the wind whistling through the house”. After more than a decade, what is striking is how little has changed in the Bush soundworld. She could almost be back on the storm-lashed moors pining for Heathcliff.” Stephen McKenna write’s for ICScotland: “It sounds really fresh. Opening with some delightful percussive synth noises, Kate’s idiosyncratic voice comes through and the whole track feels very atmospheric and nonchalant. The song still has the inimitable Kate Bush sound about it but is a little more modern than material from her 1993 album The Red Shoes.”
In the US, of huge significance considering its enormous readership is the feature in the brand new Entertainment Weekly (Sept. 30). It has listed Aerial at Number 3 in its 20 “Albums We’re Most Looking Forward To This Fall” The blurb says: “The bewitching British chanteuse returns from the world’s longest maternity leave with her first album in 12 years. A leadoff single – the beautifully whoosy “King of the Mountain” debuts online Sept. 27, but the main event will be a two-CD concept album that promises to be her most ambitious yet. Move over, Tori Amos – the real fairy queen is back to reclaim her throne.” The Globe & Mail in Canada lists King Of The Mountain in its Essential Tracks column. Carl Wilson writes: “This first single in 12 years from the vanishing white witch of British art rock finds her elemental atmospherics intact, plus a reggae-accented marimba beat and teasing references to those other elusive artistic spirits, Elvis and Citizen Kane.” The UK gay publication The Pink Paper has ran an article celebrating Kate’s “gay cult” – see scan here. And finally, Elvis Presley fan sites are buzzing with the news that King Of The Mountain refers to Elvis: “The new Kate Bush song “King of the Mountain” is about the legendary Elvis Presley! It is quite a hypnotic song with a driving musical beat which is sure to cause quite a commotion, and likely to become a major hit for the singer. Kate is one of the most original artists in the popular music world. Her very unusual songs are both imaginative and poetic. Her return to the charts will be welcomed by discerning listeners everywhere. Elvis fans will be delighted.” See www.elvisnews.com and http://www.elvisinfonet.com/. (with thanks to everyone on our site’s foum’s Medialog section for help compiling this news round-up).
Hi all, if you weren’t on our site’s forum this morning at 10am you won’t know that Kate’s new single has been received by fans with an overwhelmingly positive response. King Of The Mountain is today at Number 1 on the Amazon UK Hot 100 singles chart, which also gives some indication as to the interest.
Read the many threads currently running about King Of The Mountain to get a feel for the excitement that has been generated; from initial reactions to full reviews, discussions on Kate’s vocal stylings, thematic debates and analysis of the lyrics – it’s all happening! Remember that you can listen to the single on the BBC Radio site as often as you like for one week by using the “Listen Again” link for Ken Bruce’s Wednesday show here (Kate’s song happens about 38 mins into the show).
The promo single is now being distributed worldwide by EMI. As well as featuring the cover art below it contains the lyrics and some brief credits.
King of the Mountain
Could you see the aisles of women?
Could you see them screaming and weeping?
Could you see the storm rising?
Could you see the guy who was driving?
Could you climb higher and higher?
Could you climb right over the top?
Why does a multi-millionaire
Fill up his home with priceless junk?
The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house
Elvis are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain
Another Hollywood waitress
Is telling us she’s having your baby
And there’s a rumour that you’re on ice
And you will rise again someday
And that there’s a photograph
Where you’re dancing on your grave
The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house
Elvis are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain
The wind it blows
The wind it blows the door closed
Written and Produced by Kate
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Del Palmer
Mastered by James Guthrie
Drawing by Bertie
From the press release: “The first single from ‘Aerial’ is the hypnotic ‘King of the Mountain’. From its opening faint electronic pulses, to its crashing, driving climax, ‘King Of The Mountain’ is a unique piece of work that could only have come from Kate Bush. Featuring her instantly recognisable vocals, a loping dub-like rhythm and evocative, mysterious lyrics, ‘King Of The Mountain’ proves that the best things are worth the wait. ‘Aerial’, the double album that is released worldwide on November 7th, has already been hailed by those who have heard it as potentially Kate’s greatest work; an album of such scope, depth, emotion and wonder that it is easily one of the most important records of 2005, and certainly one of the most moving.”
Update – HomeGround Magazine and myself reckon we need to give this single and album release the best push we can, we reckon this can be played on Radio 1 & 2! So if after listening to King Of The Mountain on the radio tomorrow you’d like to let the BBC DJ’s know that you like it, we’ve compiled this contact info for you: Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Call – 0500 288 291 Text – 88291
20th Sept 2005: Hi all, if you want to be among the very first people to hear Kate’s new single be sure to listen to the Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2 tomorrow, Wednesday 21st Sept from 10am. Expect to hear King Of The Mountain sometime after the 10am news and before 10.30am GMT. If you do not receive BBC Radio over the airwaves or via satellite from where you live don’t worry! You can listen to the channel streaming live here. Note that the BBC site will also archive the show for a week if you miss it (the ‘Listen Again’ option). We also now expect Mark Radcliffe to play the track tomorrow evening on his BBC Radio 2 show from 10.30pm.