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Timeless Debut From A Legend
on October 1, 2005
My exploration into the crazy world of Kate Bush began in December 2004 when I bought "Hounds Of Love." After quickly realising that it was one of the best albums I've ever heard, I set about buying more of her albums. However, I must have become distracted and it wasn't until August this year that I bought four of her albums in one go. One of these albums was her debut, 1978's "The Kick Inside." To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this album because I always assumed Kate Bush would be the kind of artist who got better with age. While this is still true, her debut album is absolutely flawless. A ground-breaking, melodic and joyous set that sounded like nothing else at the time it was released.
The album charted at No.3 when it was released and was a big hit for the then-19 year old pop star. The album was produced by David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd legend, who also discovered and financed Kate and got her a record deal after discovering her unique talent. Kate Bush had a relatively easy start to her phenomenal career, which inspired jealousy in many. However, the talent was there and despite your opinions on her, Kate Bush is one woman who cannot be ignored.
The album opens with "Moving." A whale song opens this song gently, which is quite haunting and indeed moving. A piano then plays and Kate sweeps in with her soaring vocals. This song is very beautiful and features such gorgeous lyrics as "You crush the lilly in my soul." The drums are awesome on this song, and build a real sense of atmosphere. "The Saxophone Song" opens with the whale song again, wailing through the deep ocean. This song is perhaps even stronger than the opener, and has a brilliant - if dated - saxophone solo in the chorus after Kate sings, "Tuning in on your saxophone." The next song, "Strange Phenomena," is one of my personal favourites. The piano intro is very eerie with Kate's vocals contrasting it perfectly. The switch between something more sinister to something soft and delicate is very appealing, the best part of the song being where Kate sings, "You pick up a paper, you read a name. You go out, it turns up again and again..."
I didn't like "Kite" when I first heard it but since then I've gone on to absolutely adore it! This song is really incredible and soars just like a kite. Kate's vocals are totally loopy and all over the place to represent a kite in the sky, light and free. I love it when Kate sings, "Come up and be a kite!" as her voice soars. "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" is the album's biggest ballad and was a huge hit for Kate in England. This song was written and composed entirely by Kate back when she was just 17 years old. The lyrics are very mature, being from such a young mind. The song shifts moods beautiful and the chorus is like a soft light coming through a dark room. "Wuthering Heights" is, and always will be, Kate's biggest and most famous song. This is one of the best-selling songs of all time and is a unique, classy, operatic and timeless piece of unclassifiable music. Her cinematic and literary influences were most obvious in this song. The song wasn't initially inspired by Emily Bronte's novel, but by a film or tv adaptation (Kate has never specifically identified which version it was) of the book, although she did read the novel later to, in her own words, 'get the research right'.
"James And The Cold Gun" is another great song but one of my least favourites on the album. The lyrics are a bit boring to me, but the music is quite interesting, especially the guitar. "Feel It" is a very sexual and passionate song in which Kate sings about making love to her lover. The male musicians on this song later admitted to being quite embarrassed during the recording of this song, which I find rather adorable because it was only 1978. "Oh To Be In Love" is another fantastic song, yet probably one of the strangest on the album. The verses are very light and airy with Kate's breathy vocals weaving in and out of the piano riff. The chorus, however, completely subverts this and brings in male vocals to deepen the sound. There is a bouncy quality to the vocals that is very appealing. "L'Amour Looks Something Like You" is rather short at two and a half minutes long, but it's still another great song. This is actually a very erotic song in which Kate flaunts her feminine sexuality, especially in the second verse. There is an uncorrupted innocence in her vocal delivery, though, because it's just so pure and unique.
"Them Heavy People" is another one of my favourite songs on this album, because it's just too catchy to express in words! I love how Kate sings "Rolling the ball, rolling the ball, rolling the ball to me!" in such a crazy yet adorable way. The chorus is very bouncy and catchy, and the song plays out with Kate unforgettably crying, "Rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling!" It's so catchy! "Room For The Life" is a bit below par in comparison to most of the album, but it's still a great song. The album closes with the title track, "The Kick Inside." This song is based on the ballad of Lizzie Wan, the story of a girl who kills herself after being made pregnant by her brother. It's quite a sad song and ends emotionally. Very poignant.
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
Kate Bush has inspired many, many artists over the past 30 years, including some of my own personal favourites, Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan inparticular. She is truly the original who inspired the rest, and it's a crying shame that she never made it big in America. This album is one of Kate's best and is a debut that stands alongside some of the all-time great albums. She has finally broken her 12-year long silence, with the release of "Aerial," her first album since 1993's "The Red Shoes." This new album is a two-disc set released on November 8th and will be absolutely huge in England because the hype is so big. I'm hoping Kate mania will sweep the nation over the next few months and cause a revival in her work, because she deserves nothing less. The woman is a genius, and this album is a testament to it.