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Just started re-listening to my old Kate tapes again... wow, you can hear how most of these new girl with piano/guitar types (tori amos,michelle branch, etc, ad nauseum) were influenced by her sound. I do like Tori, but the rest of them get on my nerves...but, then Kate and Tori can get on my nerves as well, too much high pitched drama, still I love Kates " The Dreaming" and "Hounds of Love"...classics both.
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As much as "Hounds Of Love" was her magnum opus, "The Dreaming" was a seminal work of a different nature. Before samplers and sequencers became commonplace, Kate composed and recorded this album using the then brand-new Fairlight CMI as its backbone in 1982 (!) while hovering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The Fairlight was a big clunky instrument that utilized a computer (CMI=Computer Musical Instrument) and GIANT floppy discs. It even had vocoder settings to run a mic through. Everyone who makes electronic music today owes Kate Bush an enormous debt. And what an album it was! From the cacaphony of "Sat In Your Lap," which she claims was inspired by seeing Stevie Wonder in concert, to the beautiful, chilling "Houdini," and closing with the bitterly insane "Get Out Of My House," it is a classic.

"Rosabel, believe,
Not even eternity
Can hold Houdini!
Rosabel, believe!"
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She is an amazing talent....
Just way ahead of her time... and when you realize that she released Wuthering Heights when she was about 15 (ish) its brilliant...
Her working with all sorts of new and unusual sounds and instruments.... inc. the amazing Bulgarian womens vocalists who do that layered harmony (can't remember the names of the track but all fabu)... Plus she had that pre raphaelite look that was so natural and beautiful.. yeah.. she is THE best...
From what I understand, Kate Bush will soon be releasing an album-- definitely something to look forward to...
I also read somewhere recently that last year she received something called "The Ivor Novello Award For Outstanding Contribution To British Music By A Songwriter." (Whew, what a title!)
I am not sure what that is or who awards it but I do know that Ivor Novello was the only non-fictitious character in Robert Altman's amazing Gosford Park and that many of the songs used in the film were written by him in the 1930's. Good company, Kate!
This from the Brit Tabloid the Daily Mirror

After 12 years hidden away from the limelight, Kate Bush is releasing a new album and single .. .. but can such a reclusive icon cope with a return to centre stage?
Exclusive By Kevin O'Sullivan
A FUGITIVE from fame, one of the world's most reclusive stars is steeling herself for something that fills her with dread - a return to the limelight.

The obsessively secretive singer Kate Bush is battling an almost crippling sense of apprehension as she prepares to release her first album in 12 years.

For she is still the extraordinarily shy woman who abruptly turned her back on fame a quarter of a century ago after hating the pressures of her first and only tour.

Yesterday, her record label EMI announced Kate's new offering - a double album called Aerial, set to hit the shops on November 7.

By then a single, King Of The Mountain, out on October 24, is expected to have rocketed to the top of the charts.

And Kate - who recently celebrated her 47th birthday - knows she will have to show her face to the loyal fans who have bought her records in sufficiently large numbers to make her remarkably rich.


With a £25million fortune, she is estimated to be the second wealthiest British female singer ever - and rewards herself with a "salary" of more than £1million a year.

Only Annie Lennox has earned more.

Timeless classics such as her No 1 debut single Wuthering Heights and her 1978 first album The Kick Inside - which spent 70 weeks in the charts - made Kate an icon and an enduring pop presence.

But for years she has kept out of the public gaze.

Her home, a £3million 200-year-old red-brick mansion on a secluded island in the Thames in Berkshire, is surrounded by high walls, forbidding wooden gates and dense forest.

It is a Dickensian setting that invites comparisons to Miss Havisham, the isolated character from Great Expectations who deliberately cuts herself off from the rest of humanity.

Few residents in the village nearby are aware that there is a superstar in their midst.

And if the heat should become too intense as her new CD propels her back into the spotlight, Kate has a carefully planned escape route - a secluded bolt-hole in Devon where locals are even more in the dark about her.

W ITH appealing understatement, the enigmatic singer tries to explain her withdrawal from the fame business. "The reclusive thing is because I don't go clubbing and I don't do a lot of publicity," she says.

"I'm a quiet, private person who has managed to hang around for a few years. Ridiculous, really. I didn't think it would be like this."

She certainly feels no obligation to share details of her very private life with her millions of admirers. When she ventures out, the former pop sensation hides behind huge dark glasses. Sharing Kate's splendid isolation are her partner, guitarist Danny MacIntosh, 49, and the couple's seven-year-old son. It was 18 months before outsiders learnt of little Bertie Bush's arrival. Not surprisingly, his mother has never allowed him to be photographed in public.

But Kate insists she has not shrouded Bertie with her cloak of secrecy.

"Far from being secretive, I am just trying to be a good, protective mother," she says. "I want to give him as normal a childhood as possible while preserving his privacy."

With the eagerly awaited new album in the offing, that privacy is in danger - and his worried mother knows it.

But she must have an outlet for the burning desire to write songs and make music that has driven her since her difficult schooldays, when she was bullied for being so skinny.

The agonies of her childhood go some way to explaining Kate's almost neurotic hatred of public scrutiny.

A doctor's daughter who grew up in Welling, Kent, she recalls: "My father has told me I used to dance to music on the telly.

"I was completely unselfconscious and I wasn't aware of people looking at me.

"One day some people came into the room, saw me and laughed - and from that moment on I stopped doing it.

"I think I've been trying to get back there ever since."

An intense youngster who spent hours playing an old organ kept in a barn on her family's farmhouse estate, Kate does not cherish fond memories of the classroom.

At St Joseph's convent grammar school she discovered what she suspects of herself to this day: that she simply didn't fit in.

As an oddball pupil, she withdrew into painful shyness, which still haunts her in middle age.

"School was a very cruel environment and I was a loner," she says.

"But I learnt to get hurt and I learnt to cope with it.

"My friends sometimes used to ignore me completely and that would upset me badly.

"I wasn't an easy, happy-go-lucky girl because I used to think about everything so much - and I think I probably still do.

"I was writing songs from the age of 10 and I was never really into going to discos and dances and stuff. I never told anyone at school that I did that, because I feared it would alienate me even more."

But the timid teenager's penchant for songwriting did not alienate a family friend, Ricky Hopper.

Ricky, a music business mover and shaker, was impressed by her talent and arranged for her to record a demo tape.

Hopper played it to his friend Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who stumped up more money for a comprehensive tape and provided an introduction to the power-brokers at EMI.

Kate was just 16 when she signed a £3,500 contract with the label and played her first concerts in South London pubs with her three-piece KT Bush Band.

But the transition from schoolkid to grown-up performer was difficult for one so young.

EMI executive Bob Mercer says: "On meeting her I realised how young she was mentally. We gave her some money to grow up with.

"EMI was like another family to her. She was the company's daughter for a few years."

Inspired by the plot of an Emily Bronte novel she had never actually read, Wuthering Heights showcased Kate's original singing voice and her genius for the unusual.

It was a sensation.

As her album The Kick Inside also raced up the charts, the overnight star embarked on her first major concert tour - a gruelling odyssey across Europe.

Lost in a whirl of TV appearances, promotional interviews and the champagne lifestyle expected of fast-rising celebrities, Kate realised to her horror that she was despising every moment.

That first tour was also her last.

Then, still only 21, she shocked the rock world by simply turning her back on fame.

Embittered by the pressure of it all and the distractions from making music, she blamed the record company which had once been her surrogate family.

"They took me away from everything familiar and I figured out then that music was a priority, not publicity, and that completely changed my life," she says.

"I stopped doing all the things that were expected."

More than a quarter of a century on, Kate is still defiantly sticking to her guns.

Even though a new generation of EMI bosses confidently predict that the new album - which few of them have been allowed to hear - will be an enormous hit, they're not expecting the singer to help boost sales with a round of publicity interviews.

Indeed, many suspect that the slow process of getting the Aerial CD on to the shelves is in part due to Kate's fear of an inevitable return to centre-stage stardom.

A friend says: "In her ideal world Kate would simply release the record, people would enjoy the music and never think about her at all.

"But she knows life is not like that. She utterly loathes the showbiz aspect, and to say she's not looking forward to it is the understatement of the century.

"But Kate still has a compulsion to make music. In some ways, she wishes she didn't."

The unworldly quality which shone through during her famous Wuthering Heights performances on Top Of The Pops gave the singer an ethereal image, and she is adored by New-Age hippies.

D EVOTEES still faithfully gather to celebrate what they call "Katemas" - their version of Christmas which they mark every year on their idol's birthday.

The festival is held all over the world, from the mystical Glastonbury Tor to the Australian Outback.

To the deeply embarrassed Ms Bush, such fanaticism is celebrity gone mad.

But she is not immune to the allure of very famous people herself.

Her most recent public appearance, in March, was distinguished by a toe-curling incident involving the Queen.

At the urging of guitarist Eric Clapton, who made a guest appearance on her last album The Red Shoes, Kate attended a star-studded reception at Buckingham Palace to honour the British music industry.

Sandie Shaw - who stood next to her when they met Her Majesty - witnessed a major breach of etiquette from a woman clearly unused to social interaction, especially with royals.

The 60s singer recalls: "Kate was rummaging in her handbag. Suddenly she produced a pen and some paper and said to the Queen: 'Would you mind signing this for my son?'

"The Queen looked lost for words. I mumbled: 'I think that's a pop-star thing, Kate.' And the Queen seemed pleased to be let off the hook.

"'Quite right,' she answered as an equerry quickly hustled her away."

The anecdote speaks volumes about a woman who critics say really should get out a bit more.

But if she wasn't shy, reclusive, eternally intriguing and - frankly - rather strange, she wouldn't be Kate Bush. And the world would be a poorer place.
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