Top Ten Songs by Kate Bush

I first learned of this English chanteuse while watching video “Wuthering Heights” on late-night TV. A wonderful singer, avant garde artist, and dancer, Bush has influenced everyone from Tori Amos to Maxwell. She’s also collaborated with such artists as David Gilmour of Pink Floyd (who also discovered her), Peter Gabriel, and Prince. Though she’s taken off from recording after having a child, she recently released a new album last year “Aerial.” Here’s my Top Ten list of Kate Bush’s great Songs!

1. “Cloudbusting” – I love this song. One of the things that makes Bush so distinctive is her ability to tell a story within her songs, and “Cloudbusting” is just one such example. With its synthesized strings, marching drums and the chorus, “Cloudbusting” paints pictures in your mind of English hillsides and rain-making machines. Great lyrics, too!

2. “This Woman’s Work” – This song originally appeared in the John Hughes film “She’s Having a Baby,” and was later covered by R&B singer Maxwell. A haunting study of love and regret, Bush delivers a beautiful and emotionally satisfying performance on this song.

3. “Running up that Hill” – A dance hit during its initial release, “Running up that Hill” again shows what a great storyteller Bush is.

4. “Hounds of Love” – Released on her influential album of the same title, “Hounds of Love” is a wildly romantic song that builds on layers of synthesized strings and pounding rhythms. As the song progresses, Bush’s singing gets more and more ecstatic, capturing the wild abandonment of unrestrained passion. One of her best performances on record!

5. “Wuthering Heights” – released on her first album “The Kick Inside” and later re-released with a new vocal for “The Whole Story” album, “Wuthering Heights” showed Bush at the early stages of her career (she wrote the song when she was a teen) and established her distinctive style. Based on the novel by Emily Bronte, “Wuthering Heights” is as lush and romantic as its inspiration and features some of Bush’s musical performances.

6. “Moments of Pleasure” – Released on “The Red Shoes” album, “Moments of Pleasure” is a lovely ballad that features Bush’s piano playing with strings to fill out the lushness of her performance. It also reveals some of artist Prince’s influence in her music (she collaborated with Prince on several songs on this album).

7. “The Sensual World” – From the album of the same title, “The Sensual World” was inspired by James Joyce’s Molly Bloom’s final speech (Bush had originally written the song for this speech, until Joyce’s estate turned down her request to use his work in her music). A wonderful example of Bush’s poetic and literate sensibilities.

8. “Jig of Life” – Also released on her “Hounds of Love” album, “Jig of Life” is a study in the Bush’s brilliance not only as a songwriter but her use of the studio to bring her songs to life. An Irish jig on her relationship with a maternal/grandmother figure, “Jig of Life” is one of her more soulful and poetic tunes.

9. “Suspended in Gaffa” – A balletic waltz, “Suspended in Gaffa,” like her earlier song “Room for the Life” on “Kick Inside” album, has a decidedly feminist bent. Catchy and memorable, “Suspended in Gaffa” is one of her best.

10. “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” – Released on “The Kick Inside” album, this song is the story of a young girl’s first experience of love. Bush’s lyrics and singing captures that feeling with the same child-like awe. Spare and haunting, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” is a great song to experience Bush’s work for the first time.

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