- 17 Feb 23
On this day 45 years ago, Kate Bush released her classic debut studio album, The Kick Inside, via EMI Records. To mark the occasion, we're revisiting some of our favourite quotes and comments about the iconic singer-songwriter – taken from a wide variety of interviews and features from the Hot Press Archives...
“Kate really was the strongest, yet most gentle presence in the studio and great fun. I did three albums worth of work with her. And we laughed as much as we worked. We had all these little private jokes and stuff that she did. She’s quite mischievous with her humour, but you know, the public image that you had didn’t appear.”
“We used to have a surround on the fireplace, which Kate was sitting on. And my son Brian, who was about four, came in and I introduced them. I said, ‘this is my son, Brian, this is Kate’. And she said, ‘Hello, Brian’. She was very sweet. And he said, ‘Who are you?’ And she said, ‘I’m Kate Bush’. And he said, ‘Hmm’. And then he went out that door. And we were still chatting at the fire when he came back in holding the Dreaming album. And he sat down beside Kate Bush again. And he looked at the photo on the Dreaming album, which is Kate, sort of, obviously in a kiss or about to, and she’s got a ring, like a wedding ring, on her tongue. She looks beautiful. And, here, she was in jeans and a jumper. And he looked at her and he looked at the sleeve. He looked at her again. And he said ‘You’re not Kate Bush’. And she was knocked out with that. She was great to work with.”
“Her mother was from Waterford. And her brother, Paddy Bush, was a great collector of music from all kinds of places and he was a big fan of The Bothy Band. So he certainly would have introduced her to a lot of Irish music. And, you know, an individual like him would have gone deep into Irish trad music and exposed her to quite a lot of stuff. So she felt a kinship with Irish music. She loved working with Donal Lunny as well.”
When I was about ten years old and living in Derry my sister Mary, who’s ten years older than me and also a singer, brought me into the sitting room. She’d lit some candles and she sat me down and read me a couple of passages from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, which I thought was hugely dramatic stuff. Then she played me ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush and I was completely blown away, even at that age. I had never heard anything like this sound before. The way in which the song mirrored the beauty and the mood of the book, the way her voice and the melody were so suited to the eerie quality of the story, I just thought, ‘Oh, my god…’
After that I was a confirmed Kate Bush fan, right through my teens. And this was at a time when it seemed to me at least that there weren’t a lot of credible female singer/songwriters around, it was mostly men. So Kate Bush in a way showed me that it was possible for a wee girl to really get into singing and make a go of it.
Another way in which she fascinated me was that she uses a piano to write, and her songs all feature piano prominently. And coming from a folk background I was always more familiar with the guitar. So she introduced me to the piano as an instrument I could utilise in my own music.
But it was The Hounds Of Love album that actually matched that initial experience for me, because coming from a background of trad and folk it was like the coming together of all my favourite types of music, strings, pipes and her voice. And she uses a strange type of chanting choir on songs like ‘Waking The Witch’ that’s really intense. She’s very open to experimentation and really just enjoying the music. And I’ve often thought that at some time in the future I might like to try the big production number.
And because it’s Hot Press’s 25 year anniversary and because I know Kate Bush spends time here and might even read this, please, please can she record another album soon? People like her shouldn’t be allowed to retire!
On listening Kate Bush's music while on morphine, following the emergency surgery he underwent for a heart condition.
I was kind of annoyed at first by the drips because it meant I couldn’t get up and go for a walk or anything for three hours. You were stuck in the one place. Eventually I thought, “Let’s just go with it” so I got my phone out, went on Apple, and streamed that re-issued Kate Bush album. It was the most pleasant, otherworldly experience of my life. Feeling the buzz. Brilliant music. Lost in my own thoughts, it was wonderful. I was just marvelling at ‘Sat In Your Lap’ and the fact that Kate was so young and confident and full of ideas. Just a major, major artist.
On the music he listens to on his phone...
'Mná na hÉireann'. Women of Ireland. Have you heard it before? It's one of the most beautiful tunes you could ever hear. It’s traditional Irish music, but if you want to hear a great version of it in song, listen to Kate Bush singing it in Irish.
"I had been drawn to ['Running Up That Hill'] for many years, and people were telling me that I reminded them of her. I didn't know a lot about her, but I was so in love with that song – listening to it gave me so much life. Around the time that I decided to cover it, I started doing more research on her. And I found that we have really similar experiences in the industry, and in general. It’s a relief – that some of these trailblazing women, Kate Bush being one of them, were like, ‘Fuck this – I’m doing things my way!’"
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke
“I’m a big Kate Bush fan. She’s one of the few artists that I have ever described as being a true pioneer. Listening to Hounds Of Love, which is probably my favourite record of all time, there are such fantastical elements to the sound, it really feels like you’re being completely immersed in someone else’s world. A track like ‘The Big Sky’ has this surreal quality that I don’t think much pop music really has. It seems that since the ‘90s there’s been a move towards making records sound ‘authentic’. There’s so much you can do in a studio now; why aren’t there more bands making records that sound 4D?
“I think why Kate Bush resonated so profoundly with me as an artist is that, growing up in the ‘90s, you didn’t hear records that were that emotive and theatrical. That theatricality is derided by some people, but I find it so intoxicating.”
"She was recording her Hounds of Love album in Windmill Lane with Bill Whelan and I was asked to play on it. She was a lovely girl. At the time I was interested in origami - the Japanese art of paper folding - and I was messing around with it in the studio while waiting around. A few weeks later I got a parcel from her in the post. It was special origami paper from Japan where she was touring. She still sends me cards every Christmas."
Listen to The Kick Inside below: