The latest news about the musician Kate Bush and her work

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Favourite Kate?

The Straight Dope polls for the most popular Kate album. Hounds of Love is way ahead.

Kate Highly Placed In VH1 Poll (and getting a lot of press coverage as a result)

For some reason the new poll by music channel VH1 of the 100 Greatest Women in music is getting more press coverage than one of these polls would normally get, after all they seem to come out every other month. Kate has been highly placed as usual at number 10, and various media reports are emphasising that she is the highest placed British female artist, a really incredible achievement when you consider that her last album was nine years ago. Madonna topped the poll, Kylie was second. The BBC website have a photo of Kate with their article here. Reuters said Kate was “forever famous for her 1978 debut single Wuthering Heights”, while Ananova also mentioned Kate’s placing as significant. Some of this mornings UK papers have photos of Kate too. 750,000 votes were cast, read more at the VH1 website. (thanks to Cynthia Conrad)

Lots of Newsbits!

Even More Newsbits!!: Michael Leitz has outdone himself this month, providing all of the following links and news: British comedienne Jo Brand did an interview for www.thisislondon.co.uk and was asked what song she associated with London: Q: “Name a song that you associate with London.” A: “‘Oh England, My Lionheart’ by Kate Bush, which has lyrics about Kensington Park, Peter Pan and ravens at the Tower of London.” Rock’s Backpages have a feature called “Girl Unafraid: Kate Bush 1978” with an introduction and three interviews by Harry Doherty that originally appeared in Melody Maker ’78, here. The BBC have a list with Kate’s appearances on TOTP (live appearances and showing of a video) here. Two of them you can watch by going to the “TOTP Video Gallery” (Wow March ’79 and HOL ’86) here. In the category “Rock And Pop Features 1978”, you’ll find an audio clip: “Wuthering Heights: Kate Bush talks about the problems of having a #1 with her first single “Wuthering Heights”, and the marketing of her sexual image. Suprisingly,”Wuthering Heights” was the first UK # 1 single written and performed by a woman. Kate also had further hits this year, with “The Man With The Child In His Eyes” and “Hammer Horror”. Listen to the clip here.  The Independent has an article about the music industry and the influence of the major labels on the business. Kate is also mentioned here.

Oliver on the guestbook reckons it may be worth checking out the second part of the BBC Radio 2 documentary on Peter Gabriel…it will look at his collaborations with other artists, so there will be a mention of Kate (Saturday 18th May, 20.00-21.00)….The Top 100 Favourite Hit Singles of all time, as voted for in a poll conducted by the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles places Kate at number 40 with Wuthering Heights, 31,000 people voted, see here. (Thanks to Michael Leitz, Stewart)…Charlie on the guestbook told us that on May 8th “There Liz Pearson as pictured in the 1978 tour programmewas a half page article in the Brighton Argus today about Liz Pearson, who toured with Kate as one of her two backing singers. Liz said: “Touring with Kate Bush was a great experience. She did her own backing vocals in the recording studios for songs such as Wuthering Heights but, of course, when she went on tour singing live she needed two singers with her on stage”. The article is illustrated with a nice picture of Kate, and one of Liz Pearson, who is now runnning opera workshops for children in the Arun District.” (thanks Charlie)…Sozo Yamamoto in Japan has succeeded in getting the clip of Kate on the Tokyo Song Contestfrom 1979 re-broadcast. He says: “The clip is a few seconds shorter than the original broadcast, circulating on the Kate-Topia tape, but it is far better in quality (digital broadcast). The announcers talk around the clip was rather dull, about Kate’s high notes and ‘strange’ dance. Some viewers, including myself, recorded the program in D-VHS. So, someday, all of us have a chance of seeing the clip.” (thanks Sozo)…Eddie in The Netherlands writes about a recent Dutch TV piece on 1978 on “Typisch 70“: “Wuthering Heights was shown (the red dress-clip in the forest). Unfortunately, it was laced with interviews of local dutch celebrities speaking of their memories of Kate, comments about her hair, eyes, strange dancing and the fact that her music was so different at the time.” (thanks also to Brigitte Breemerkamp for letting me know)…Mike has written about the Heather Nova quote (see April 22nd news): “it was an interview I conducted for the Leicester University student newspaper, “The Ripple” backstage at Manchester’s Hop ‘n’ Grape during Heather’s “South” tour.”

New Year newsbits!

Kate at the Q Awards Nov '01HAPPY NEW YEAR! Well, the lady to the left certainly intends to have a good one, do we feel it could be an album year? You just never know. In the meantime, don’t you think there’s been something missing from 2002 so far?…that’s right, the latest crop of Newsbits! (with apologies to people for the delays in getting some of these online).

Hounds Of Love was at #90 in a poll of more than a quarter of a million music fans by the channel VH1 in November, see here (thanks to Michael Leitz)…Victor writes: “I just wanted to let you know ahead of time thatWFUV 90.7 – Public Radio from Fordham University has a segment on Saturday January 19th from 4-5pm called “The WFUV Long Player” where they’ll play Kate Bush’s album, The Sensual World, in its entirety. They sometimes provide a few details and tidbits regarding the albums they play, so who knows, it could turn out to be interesting even for those who’ve already heard/own the album. You can listen to it live via the net (www.wfuv.com) if you don’t live within the broadcasting area….Sozo from Japan has unearthed a rare clip: “We now have a chance of seeing the ‘Moving‘ clip from the Tokyo Music Festival (June ’78) in much enhanced quality.” His friend Hideaki Nishihara has been requesting a Japanese digital station to show Kate’s performance of Moving, and it seems the clip is going to be broadcast soon according to one of the presenters…(thanks Sozo)

Herb Leonhard is showcasing his new Christmas Kate art among other new pieces at his gallery here…In the US VH-1 played the December Will Be Magic Again video to tie in with the release of the “Big ’80s Christmas” CD from Rhino records. They also used the song as the intro/outro music in the 30 min special when going to commericals (thanks to Collin Kelley)….Nicole Kidman is now known to be a high-profle Kate fan. Growing up in Sydney, Kidman sang with a band called Divine Madness when she was 17. John Roger from Australia found this quote in a feature in “In Style” magazine from June of last year: “Three girls and four guys. We did a lot of seventies stuff. I did Kate Bush, I did Blondie, I did Chaka Khan,” she says. “I don’t have the really raunchy voice for Tina Turner. I wish I had a Janis Joplin voice. We played at parties and one pub gig. We never got paid.”…Jon Bishop has let me know of a new CD “West End Girls” featuring loads of female artists singing songs from the shows, Kate’s on disc 2 with ”The Man I Love’‘.

Finally, some old news I’d meant to tell you about. Kate Bush sites have started winning awards! In Sept ’01 Q Magazine made Kate Bush In MP3 its “MP3 Site Of The Month.” It says of the site: “Breathtaking collection of rareties including the earliest demos from 1973. The site acknowledges that Bush may disown some of these early works, but provides them as an antidote to commercial bootleggers. Manna for fans”. Find the site here.

Kate at No.3 in Q Magazine’s Women In Rock Poll

As if recent events weren’t enough to confirm Kate’s status and influence in the world of music, she has made the number three spot in Q Magazine’s Women In Rock Poll, which will be published, along with a new interview with Kate, in next Friday’s January 2002 edition of the music publication. PJ Harvey has topped the poll, with Madonna beating Kate to the second position. 200,000 readers (!) are said to have voted in the poll. Tori Amos and Bjork were in fourth and fifth places respectively. Reuters report that: “Harvey beat off competition from classic artists including Janis Joplin (10th), Stevie Nicks (9th) and Aretha Franklin (11th). Big-selling pop idols who failed to make the top 20 included Britney Spears at 24th, Mariah Carey (46th) and Whitney Houston (71st).” (thanks to Boolbar, Brian and Stewart)

Newsbits…

Newsbits: The Right Stuff, distributed by EMI Music Distribution (USA), released “Hats Off” by Roy Harper on June 19, 2001, a 14-track set featuring a mix of Roy Harper’s solo work and all-star collaborations. It contains “You (The Game Part II)” with Kate, originally released in 1980. Roy says of the track “‘You’ is remarkable for Kate’s vocal. On the day, she picked the song up by the scruff of the neck and shook it up for me. It was quite an experience.” For more info, you can visit www.royharper.co.uk(click on the “Hats Off” banner – thanks to Michael Leitz)…more Q Magazine polls (!) Q asks for votes for the top 5 albums (no Greatest Hits) released during the magazines life, since September 1986, The Sensual World and The Red Shoes are thus eligible, email your Top 5 to q@emap.com (the magazine’s Women In Rock poll will be published before the end of the year)….a new Kate site detailing the “unofficial” & “bootleg” CD’s of Kate’s music & interviews from John Harper at www.ran-tan.co.uk.

Newsbits

The closing date for entries in the Q Magazine 100 Greatest Women In Music poll (see May 2nd 2001 news) has been extended to mid-June by the magazine, so I’d get any last minute nominations in before then if I were you. The email address to send entries to is: q@emap.com…a website verifying the truth or falsehood of so-called “urban legends” mentions Kate’s unusual UK 12″ release of The Sensual World in the section on double-grooved pressings, see www.snopes.com….the book “Rock Confidential“, (compiled) by Coral Amende, which is really a scrapbook of quotes, facts, trivia and the like associated with rock/pop stars includes one tongue-in-cheek quote from Kate which headlines the “Performing Rites” chapter. “Whenever I see the news, it’s about the same depressing things – wars, hostages, and people’s arms hanging off with all the tendons hanging out, you know. So I tend not to watch it much. I prefer to go and see a movie or something where it’s all done much more poetically. People getting their heads blown off in slow motion, very beautifully”. (thanks to David McInnes for all the above items)

This site featured by BBC!

This website is being featured as one of BBC Online’s three music website picks of the week. Thanks to Adam Slade at the BBC for letting me know, you can view the music listing by clicking the logo above and selecting “Entertainment” and then “Music”…

other newsbit: Bart writes: “Kate is 42nd (down from 37 last year) in Record Collector’s 2001 top 500 Collectable Artists (May edition of Record Collector)…

Newsbits

Boolbar writes: “Last night on BBC1 just before the News At 10, they had a few minutes to spare in the schedule so they stuck a 5 minute program about the Top Of The Pops albums that used to be around in the 70s (older UK people should remember those leggy models that adorned each cover). They mentioned that all the tracks on these albums were recorded with session musicians and showed a clip from the Wuthering Heights video followed by someone saying how completely unlike Kate the TOTP album version of Wuthering Heights was. They played a bit of the TOTP version saying that it sounds more like Olive Oyl from Popeye.” (thanks Boolbar)

Kate - no reason, just liked the piccy ;-) The recent issue of “Stereo“, one of the leading German magazines that deals with testing audio equipment and reviewing music, comes with an extra booklet called “Stereo CD Guide: 100 Audiophile Pop, Jazz and Classic CDs” and features Kate’s The Whole Story, “…this compilation of Kate Bush’s most important hits and tracks is impressive because of great variety and musical quality. And its sound quality is smashing too…”. (thanks to Michael Leitz)…Kate was voted No. 45 in the 100 Best Voices Of The Century by BBC Radio2 in a programme presented by Paul Gambicini over Easter. Frank Sinatra topped the poll. Read the full results here (thanks to Jane Blackley, John Lang and Simon O’Donovan)….Carlton Home Entertainment will re-release “The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball” VHS video on June 11th (update: video release now brought forward to May 21st), (cat# 3037051653). The video has been out of print in Europe for a long time. It features Kate’s 1987 live performance of Running Up That Hill with David Gilmour on guitar. (thanks to Michael Leitz)….fan reaction to Channel 4’s “Pop Princesses” programme (see April 10th news) has been largely unfavourable. Kate was listed at number 4 in the Top Ten chart and comments about her veered wildly from “weird white witch” and “jug-eared” (!) to “the one great English female singer-songwriter”. You can download a clip here. Also, as a result of the show, the UK magazine What’s On TV had an article “Where Did Kate Go?”. You can see a scan of the article by Chris Twomey (no relation/connection to me) here….John Lang sends a link to a CD by the late guitarist Alan Murphy here.

Gered Mankowitz, the famous rock photographer is to exhibit some of his works around the UK in the near future (no dates yet sorry). It will feature Kate photographs from the Lionheart cover (thanks to Claire)…two unauthorised Kate Bush remixes on Napster Moments of Pleasure (Speedbliss mix) and also Candle In The Wind (Speedbliss mix)…a new cover version of “Don’t Give Up” by the Canadian band Saga on their brand new CD single “Money Talks/Don’t Give Up”. You can listen to a 30 sec long MP3 at the record label’s website hereAlannah Myles is doing Kate’s vocal part. (thanks to Michael Leitz)

100 Greatest Women In Music

Q Magazine coverQ Magazine has announced that it is releasing a special issue on the 100 Greatest Women In Music. Readers are asked to submit their Top 5 nominations and state why you think your choices stand out above the rest of the competition. The voting details are listed in the June (Travis cover) edition of Q. The email address to send your votes to is: q@emap.com Entries must be received by mid-June…elsewhere in this issue Q also reviewed the new REM album ‘Reveal’ and describe one track thus: “Without a doubt, Saturn Return will be a highlight for most people. It’s in the musical neighbourhood of Nightswimming and Perfect Circle, but the haunting piano line may also remind you of early Kate Bush.” (5 stars for the album). They go on to review singer/songwriter Carina Round (album “The First Blood Mystery”) as “…like a darker, more sinuous Kate Bush…” (thanks to Ben Bishop & Boolbar)

The 100 Best Record Covers of All Time

Q cover bookDavid Sheasby sends in his report on Kate’s inclusion in the new book from Q magazine: “I’ve just been to my local newsagent and found a special limited-edition ‘Collectors Special’ glossy paperback by ‘Q‘ magazine called Never For Ever album art“The 100 Best Record Covers of All Time”, which features Never for Ever on pages 110-111. The article includes a photograph of the Never For Ever front cover, some extracted artwork (black bat, butterfly on bleeding rose…) and a summary of the various scary creatures issuing from Kate as she stands on the hill.

Nick Price, the artist, is quoted as saying, “She gave me a specific brief. Light and dark creatures coming out from under her skirt. I think the meaning is unequivocal, but I did ask her at the time. She just gave a big grin.” Elsewhere Kate has commented on the mixture of optimism (as personified by her white swan appearance on the record label) and despair (represented by the Kate as black bat) which is part of music and the creative process. On a different level entirely, it was therefore amusing to read of her dilemma when choosing a name for the album, after the artwork had been completed: “We had to be careful,” she says. “My skirt was blowing about but there couldn’t be anything about wind in the title or that would make the album one big fart.” (big thanks to David, also thanks to Orla Murphy)

Newsbits round-up…

Newsbits: Sozo has contacted the site to let us know that he has a listing of Kate-related news from Japan at his site here…Mark on the guestbook tells us that in a New Years message to her fans Chrissie Hynde says that she is listening to a lot of Kate Bush and Pearl Jam, but that they won’t be influencing her new record…Sky Movies used Wow recently in the trailer to their screening of Return to Oz (thanks to Jon Bishop)…Ofer Shinar from Israel writes: “Momus, the not so famous but very intelligent alternative musician, is now working on an album inspired, among other things, by Kate. Here’s what he writes on his website: “The theme for this record is ‘Kahimi goes Prog’. I have attempted to make a medieval-flavoured Prog Pop sound. My models are songs like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen and ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush.” Read more about Momus here

Kate painting by Herb LeonhardHerb Leonhard is exhibiting some of his Kate Bush-inspired art (such as “The Sensual World”, pictured) at his website hereUPDATE: Herb now has an excellent new gallery of oil paintings based on each song of The Ninth Wave cycle. (Which reminds me, a great new gallery of paintings will soon be debuting on the HomeGround Pages, watch this space).

Thanks to everyone who’s emailed to let me know that Channel 4 in the UK will be screening a programme presented by Graham Norton of the top 100 singles of all time, the TV trailer of which features Kate in the elusive “red dress” version of  Wuthering Heights...which may well be shown on the night…VCRs set for stun! It will be shown at 8pm on Saturday 6th January. Update: Kate’s track was voted in at number 49 out of a possible 900 singles, Michael Leitz has a low quality video download of the Kate segment of the show here (1min 50 secs, heavily compressed, approx 500kb). (Thanks to Darren Brown, Talia Nix, Simon O’Donovan and Big Stripey Brian in Dublin)

More millenium polls

More millenium polls: In the current edition of the UK gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, a poll voted for by their readers places Kate at No.2 in the best female singer of the millennium category (she was placed above Annie Lennox, Maria Callas or Ella Fitzgerald). First place was taken by Madonna. In the best album category Kate doesn’t make the top 5, but is one of the 4 listed that were “also in the running”. (the winner there was Madonna’s ”Like A Prayer”). (thanks to Jon Bishop)

The Greatest Rock N’ Roll Photographs Ever

The latest issue of Q magazine (issue 161, February 2000) features “The Greatest Rock N’ Roll Photographs Ever: Twenty-five pictures. Twenty-five icons and epiphanies. Proof positive that sometimes 1/100th of a second can tell you everything about an artist you could ever wish to know.” Gered Mankowitz talks about the featured Kate session in Soho 1978 (12 different black & white photos from the famous shoot accompany the article):

The British publics first look at Kate Bush“EMI asked me to come in and see the video for Wuthering Heights. It was the first time I’d heard it. Love it or hate it, you’re going to want to hear it again because you can’t believe your ears, so we needed a picture where you can’t believe your eyes. The video had a tremendous dance presence and she was incredibly beautiful, so I proposed a simple picture using dancers’ workout gear.  I think she was 17- very sweet, very serious about her music, lovely to work with. She was in complete control. EMI loved the images so much that they devised a campaign that included putting them on the front of buses. The impact was extraordinary. Buses were delayed because people were running around to the front to catch an eyeful.” (posted by Angela on rec.music.gaffa)

Newsbits

The major Dutch music magazine OOR has issued its list of the 100 most influential female artists of the last 100 years. The list was put together by critics and pop journalists. Kate ranks at number 3, with Aretha Franklin (2) and Madonna (1). An accompanying article mentions her “rich imagination” with “albums full of divine songs”. Chrissie Hynde was interviewed by OOR for this special poll and when asked about Kate’s very high showing she commented “I love Kate. I know she has influenced a lot of female singers, but not me. I like her, as a person, a lot.” (thanks to Marcel Nahapiet)

New Kate Dance Remix: Look out for a 12″ Single by ‘Beyond’, called ‘Still Dream’, a dance re-mix of Cloudbusting featuring Kate’s vocal. It has apparently already been played on BBC Radio 1. White label promo only – available in “good dance record stores”. (thanks to Sebastian who posted this on the guestbook)

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