Catherine "Kate" Bush, CBE (born 30 July 1958) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, dancer and record producer renowned as one of the most influential female artists of all time. If Joni Mitchell paved the way for female musicians, then Bush (along with Stevie Nicks) paved the way for eccentric female musicians.
Besides her eccentric music, Bush is known for her unforgettable voice (high-pitched at first, but deepening and arguably improving over the years) and for making music that cannot be shoehorned into one category. Usually, people just label her as "art rock" or "alternative" and call it a day. She has touched many genres, including pop, electronic, jazz, flamenco, rock, waltz, Renaissance, and disco-funk. Her lyrics are another unique aspect of her music, often based on history, films and literature, such as her signature song "Wuthering Heights", which was inspired by the 1970 film and the book.
A musical prodigy, Bush was signed by EMI at the age of 16 after being recommended by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who was amazed by her voice and talent as a pianist after a Bush family friend gave him one of her demo tapes. In 1978, at age 19, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut, "Wuthering Heights", becoming the first woman to have a UK number-one with a self-written song. She later released her debut album The Kick Inside, which proved that teenagers are capable of releasing quality music.
The success of The Kick Inside forced Bush to make a quick follow-up album, Lionheart. It contains one of her most well-known songs, "Wow". She followed up with her first tour, called the Tour of Life, which she was very involved in creating. It was very theatrical, with Bush having a costume change after virtually every single song, dancing onstage and mostly forgoing playing piano. Even though it was filmed, only an edited version is available; one-and-a-half hours were left out, so it could be shown on TV. While it's highly unlikely that the full concert will be released, some performances can fortunately be found on YouTube.
While Bush liked the experience of touring, it was very exhausting to her, and it detracted from her making new music. Combined with the death of lighting engineer Bill Duffield in a stage accident during the tour, the experience led her to refrain from touring again for the next few decades.
When she was making her third album, Bush was exposed to drum machines & synthesizers (especially the Fairlight CMI), which became a part of her sound. In 1980, she released her third album Never for Ever, which included the hit "Babooshka" and was the first album she co-produced. She took complete control of the production in her next album The Dreaming, resulting in it being very loud, percussive, and aggressive, a drastic change from the relatively calm music she was known for. It was initially not well-received, but has been Vindicated by History as one of her masterpieces. Despite its failure, the album managed to establish a cult following in America through airplay on College Radio and MTV (her video for "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" was also one of the first to be aired on the channel).
In 1985, her most famous and revolutionary album Hounds of Love was released. It made her famous in America, and it is considered one of the best albums released by a solo female artist, with its lead single "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" being a major worldwide hit and now being deemed one of the greatest songs of its time. The next year, she released her Greatest Hits Album The Whole Story, which is her best-selling album. She also performed the duet "Don't Give Up" with Peter Gabriel on his own bestselling art pop album, So (1986), which also helped bring her to a wider stateside audience.
Bush continued to make unique music with the release of The Sensual World & The Red Shoes. The latter was accompanied with a short film called The Line, The Cross and the Curve. Kate then took a 12-year hiatus. She took that time to raise her son, and to record her comeback album Aerial, which was very well-received. It sold 1.5 million copies, despite little promotion from Kate. After a contribution to the soundtrack to The Golden Compass, Kate dropped out of the public eye yet again until May 2011, in which an album full of re-recorded songs originally on The Sensual World and The Red Shoes was released. An album of brand new material, entitled 50 Words for Snow, was released on November 21, 2011.
Bush has since passed the torch on to people like Tori Amos, Björk, Lady Gaga, and Florence + the Machine, ensuring that the world will always have creative, eccentric musicians. In 2002, her songwriting ability was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. She was also one of the first musicians to develop a following on the internet through the rec.music.gaffa newsgroup on Usenet.
In 2014, Bush announced she would be doing her first live shows since 1979 with a run of performances at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The twenty-two concerts, entitled Before The Dawn, sold-out in minutes of being made available to the public, and were critically acclaimed. The concert's live recordings were later made available on CD and vinyl in December 2016.
In 2018, she released the book How To Be Invisible, presenting her song lyrics (chosen by Bush herself) as a collection of poetry.
You can vote for your favourite Kate Bush studio album by heading over to the Best Album Crowner!
- The Kick Inside (1978)
- Lionheart (1978)
- Never for Ever (1980)
- The Dreaming (1982)
- Hounds of Love (1985, which includes the sidelong concept piece The Ninth Wave)
- The Sensual World (1989)
- The Red Shoes (1993)
- Aerial (2005, a double album)
- Director's Cut (2011, which consists of re-recordings of songs from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes)
- 50 Words for Snow (2011)
- On Stage (1979, EP containing tracks recorded live in London)
- The Whole Story (1986, a Greatest Hits Album that included two new tracks)
- This Woman's Work: Anthology 1978-1990 (1990, Boxed Set compiling her first six albums, plus two CDs of additional material)
- Before The Dawn (2016, a live album)
- The Other Sides (2018, a compellation of b-sides, mixes and covers that she's released throughout her career)
- Peter Gabriel (1980; better known as Melt) by Peter Gabriel (provides backing vocals for "No Self Control" and "Games Without Frontiers")
- So (1986) by Peter Gabriel (duets with Gabriel for "Don't Give Up" on this album)
- The Seer (1986) by Big Country (sings backing vocals on the title track)
- Emancipation (1996) by Prince (sings backing vocals on "My Computer"; Prince previously provided backing vocals for Bush's "Why Should I Love You?")
Tropes of Love:
- Album Closure: The last song on Never for Ever is "Breathing," which is from the perspective of a child in the womb during a nuclear apocalypse.
- Alternate Music Video: "Wuthering Heights" has two versions. The "White Dress" version released in the UK and Europe has Kate emphasizing Cathy's ghostly nature by wearing a white dress and dancing in a motion blur effect. The "Red Dress" version released in the US has Kate dancing in a grassy forest and wearing a red dress.
- Ambiguous Ending: Does the heroine at the end of The Ninth Wave (side B of Hounds of Love) survive her ordeal and get rescued? Kate has gone on record as strongly hinting that she does, but whether she's been rescued or is still awaiting rescue is unclear.
- Anti-Love Song: She once performed a duet with Rowan Atkinson, "Do Bears...?"He's an utter creep and he drives me 'round the bendTo alleviate the boredom, I sleep with his friends
- Artistic License History: She'll generally go with what makes a better story rather than the gospel truth:
- "Houdini" ends with the titular escapologist dying while performing a trick as his wife watches in horror and grief rather the truth of his death (which was due to peritonitis after being punched in the stomach).
- The video for "Cloudbusting", which dramatizes the arrest of psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich by the feds for practicing quackery. (The title refers to the cloudbuster, a machine Reich invented to harness an invisible energy he called orgone and control the weather, which was just one of his many kooky ideas.) In the video, as the government agents drive off with Reich in the back of their car, his son activates the cloudbuster and causes a rainstorm, and Reich is overjoyed to see the machine works. In real life, of course, the thing never worked, and Reich was just delusional (ironically, considering his profession, he may have had schizophrenia).
- Atomic Hate: "Breathing" is about the moment that follows a nuclear strike. "After the blast, chips of plutonium are twinkling in every lung...""After the flash a fireball can be seen to rise, sucking up under it the debris, dust and living things around the area of the explosion, and as this ascends, it soon becomes recognisable as the familiar mushroom cloud."
- Bargain with Heaven: Running Up That Hill essentially involves the singer to make a deal with God to swap places between women and men (according to an interview its because a deal with God is more powerful than one wth the devil). The song title was actually originally going to be "Deal with God" until the executives caught wind of that... and it's still listed as Running Up That Hill (Deal With God) in the album.
- Bitter Almonds: "Coffee Homeground," which seems to resemble the Roald Dahl story "The Landlady," has the singer-as-protagonist rejecting kindly offers of tea and sweets out of a conviction that it's a plot against them:Offer me a chocolate,
No thank you, spoil my diet, know your game!
But tell me just how come they smell of bitter almonds?
It's a no-no to your coffee homeground.
- Bookends: The whale song that appears at the beginning of "Moving" appears again as it fades into "The Saxophone Song".
- Brief Accent Imitation: She sings "The Dreaming" (the song, not the whole album, mind you) in a fake Australian accent, a reference to the song being about the Indigenous Australian concept of the Dream Time (that's also why there's a didjeridu in the song).
- BrotherSister Incest: "The Kick Inside"
- Brown Note: Experiment IV:But they told us
All they wanted
Was a sound that
Could kill someone from a distance.
- And in the video, the scientists deliver; although the sound does not manifest anything like what might have been expected.
- Call-and-Response Song: "Constellation of the Heart"
- Call-Back: Several over the course of the "Ninth Wave" suite; for example, the quiet "little light" in the beginning "Waking the Witch" is a call back to "And Dream of Sheep". It goes both ways though.
- Camp Gay: Gay characters feature in many of Kate's songs, in particular "Kashka from Baghdad" (and the even less subtle early demo, "Queen Eddie"). The song "Wow"—about theatre types—features the immortal line He's too busy hitting the vaseline... (in the video, Kate pats her backside while singing that line).
- The Caper: The video for "There Goes a Tenner" is a Bank Robbery with Kate as the mastermind behind the whole operation (also what the song is about).
- Chainmail Bikini: In the video for "Babooshka", during the choruses, she wears a sexy "female barbarian warrior" costume based around a Chainmail Bikini.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Kate has a reputation for being ... eccentric, let's say.
- The Coconut Effect: The train whistle at the end of "Cloudbusting", according to Kate herself, had to be created on a synthesizer because all the samples of real trains she found sounded wrong.We got so many tapes of steam trains, and they don't sound anything like what you'd expect steam trains to sound like. They sounded so pathetic. So we had to build up all this steam sound and big wheels and brakes, you know, coming to a halt and everything. We had to totally exaggerate what the real thing sounded like, so that people would realize what we meant.
- Concept Album:
- The Red Shoes was inspired by the famous ballet film of the same title; it was also a partial soundtrack album to the Bush-directed short film The Line, The Cross and the Curve.
- The second disc of 2005's Aerial "consists of a single piece of music reveling in the experience of outdoor adventures on a single summer day, beginning in the morning and ending twenty-four hours later with the next sunrise." According to That Other Wiki.
- 50 Words for Snow is, of course, centred around snowscapes, and the titular song features Stephen Fry listing fifty words for snow.
- Concept Video: Kate Bush used to love making weird mini-movies for her songs in the 80s. Notable examples include:
- "Army Dreamers", a harrowing wartime scenario befitting the song's anti-war lyrics.
- "There Goes a Tenner" depicts a bank robbery, following the song's lyrics directly.
- "Experiment IV", a horror movie pastiche in which a bunch of government scientists in a spooky military facility, including Dawn French and a pre-House Hugh Laurie, create an unstoppable sonic weapon. As you expected it might, the weapon, played by Kate Bush in a ghost outfit, rampages around and kills everyone horribly. Hoorah!
- "Cloudbusting"—this one is based on the life of Wilhelm Reich. The reclusive scientist pursued by naughty government types is played by Donald Sutherland, Kate Bush plays his eight-year old son (in a hilariously unconvincing child costume) and the design of the very cool rain machine (Cloudbuster) was inspired by H. R. Giger.
- "Hounds of Love", a pastiche Hitchcock thriller.
- The Line, The Cross, And The Curve, a 1993 short film based on her album The Red Shoes, starring herself, Miranda Richardson, and Bush's favorite choreographer, Lindsay Kemp.
- "Running Up That Hill": Largely an elaborate dance piece done as a Take That! at those critics who slammed the "Wuthering Heights" video.
- "This Woman's Work": A renarration of the Movie "She's Having a Baby"
- "Misty": an animation about a woman who sleeps with a snowman and wakes up to find that he's melted.
- Cover Version:
- Dance Party Ending: The videos for The Big Sky and arguably Hounds of Love, though that one's more a Dance Part Second Half.
- Darker and Edgier: "The Dreaming".
- Deadpan Snarker: For all her eccentricity, she'll politely snark in interviews occasionally, especially when the hosts ask her about being a sex symbol.
- Distinct Double Album: Bush did both a single-disc and a standard variant in her career, with both Hounds of Love and Aerial being split between a series of vignette songs and a unified conceptual suite. The former performs the split across two sides of a single record, while the latter does so across two discs.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She's often barefoot in photos and on stage.
- Downer Ending: Kate usually ends her albums with a negative song. Notable examples are:
- The Kick Inside: the title track. BrotherSister Incest + Driven to Suicide = Tear Jerker
- Never for Ever: "Breathing", a song about a fetus wanting to stay alive during a nuclear fallout.
- The music video ends with a nuclear blast taking place in the distance.
- The Dreaming: "Get Out of My House", a song based on The Shining, which according to Allmusic is "Part ghost story, part nervous breakdown, part rage in the face of violation."
- Aerial: A Sea of Honey: "A Coral Room", one of her most beautiful and poignant songs, about the death of her mother.
- Averted on Hounds of Love with the very upbeat "The Morning Fog."
- Driven to Suicide: "The Kick Inside", "The Wedding List".
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The heroine of The Ninth Wave on Hounds of Love is alone in the sea and is tempted to let herself go under, but her past, present and future come together to urge her not to give in.
- Ethereal Choir: The male choir from "Hello Earth". It's the chorus from the traditional Georgian (as in the country, not the state) folk song "Tsintskaro".
- Elvis Lives: "King of the Mountain" thematized the rumors around Elvis being alive, the music video has headlines like "Sightings of Elvis in Yeti Colony" on Spinning Papers.
- Epic Rocking: "Hello Earth", "Pi", "A Coral Room", "Nocturn" "Aerial", and every song on the album 50 Words For Snow.
- Some versions of Aerial sequence the A Sky Of Honey suite as one 42 minute track.
- Ethereal White Dress: The original UK/Europe music video for "Wuthering Heights" features Kate in a white dress dancing in a smoky room for a ghostly effect.
- Face on the Cover: All of her albums up to and including The Sensual World (though Never For Ever used a painting instead of a photograph) but none since (though if you look closely at the film strip pictured on Director's Cut you can see the close-up from The Sensual World again, but in negative). Notable examples include The Dreaming (as Houdini's wife Bess) and Hounds of Love (with a pair of dogs).
- Fading into the Next Song: Almost all songs in The Ninth Wave and A Sky Of Honey suites.
- From The Dreaming, the title track fades into "Night of the Swallow".
- Never For Ever has "Babooshka" transition into "Delius"
- Fish People: Her personal record label is called Fish People. Its mascot is a person whose head is a fish.
- Foreshadowing: Like mentioned above, this is very present in the "Ninth Wave" suite, one example being the short appearance of the distorted spoken word voice at the beginning of "Waking the Witch" before it's getting more prominently featured on "Watching You Without Me". Another example is the quiet "over here", also in the beginning of "Waking the Witch", which re-appears later in "Jig of Life" and leads into a particularly striking part of that song.
- Gainax Ending: "There Goes a Tenner". Possibly.
- Gaussian Girl: "The Man With the Child in his Eyes".
- Genre-Busting: Her music sounds so "out there" to most of the general public that the only genre most people can agree on is the very broad genre of "alternative rock", or "art rock". It becomes especially obvious on her album The Red Shoes with songs like "And So Is Love" "The Song of Solomon" and "Lily" practically sounding like their own genre.
- Greatest Hits Album: The 1986 collection The Whole Story remains her only official one.
- Haunted House: Get Out of my House, which was inspired by The Shining and a nasty breakup. Apparently, the specter liked Kate's boyfriend, because it only starts spooking the cat, slamming doors, and screaming "Get Out!!" when he left.
- I Know Karate: She studied at Goldsmiths College karate club. Her trainer, Dave Hazard, wrote in his book Born Fighter that some of her dance moves came from Karate.
- Iconic Outfit: Many, such as the red dress in "Wuthering Heights" and the Chainmail Bikini in "Babooshka".
- The grey hakamas from "Running Up That Hill" (they look purple because of the lighting).
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: In "Wuthering Heights", the refrain includes the words "I'm so cold." The narrator is a ghost.
- Improbable Age: Most teenagers wouldn't write a song based on a 19th-century novel ("Wuthering Heights"), or a song based on an 18th-century English/Irish folk ballad about a girl, Lizzie Wan, who falls in love with her brother and then kills herself while carrying his child ("The Kick Inside").
- In the Style of...: According to Kate herself...
- Indecipherable Lyrics: "Leave It Open", in which the vocals are distorted to the point of incomprehensibility because Kate played the original recording backwards, did her best to imitate the sounds she heard, and then played the resulting recording backwards for the final song.
- People claim that she's saying 'we let the weirdness in'.
- "The Dreaming" (the faux Australian accent doesn't help)
- Intercourse with You: "Feel It" reminds us that love & lust can go together - and it was released when she was only 19! Another song, "The Sensual World", has these lyrics:And at first with the charm around him, mmh, yes,
He loosened it so if it slipped between my breasts
He'd rescue it, mmh, yes,
And his spark took life in my hand...
- "Running up That Hill" involves the two lovers in question switching bodies and then finding out what sex is like for the other. Or, less magically, it may simply be an elliptical and metaphorical depiction of woman-on-man anal sex.
- Word Of God says it's actually just about the wish of women and men to gain a better understanding of each other's mindsets.
- "Symphony In Blue" doesn't even try to be implicit. "The more I think about sex, the better it gets!"
- "Wow", on the other hand, is entirely about stage actors. And that's all. It is not at all about ones reaction to having great sex, or about the expectation that you'll say these things even if the sex is only so-so.
- "Running up That Hill" involves the two lovers in question switching bodies and then finding out what sex is like for the other. Or, less magically, it may simply be an elliptical and metaphorical depiction of woman-on-man anal sex.
- Kangaroo Court: The voices in "Waking the Witch" who chant "Guilty!" in unison give this impression.
- Large Ham: Kate's vocals can be ... dramatic. Her facial expressions in her videos, even more so.
- Lighter and Softer: Hounds of Love and The Sensual World, compared to The Dreaming.
- List Song: "50 Words for Snow" mainly comprises a list of fifty words for snow.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The computer in "Deeper Understanding".
- Mile-High Club: From the song "Do Bears" by Rowan Atkinson and Kate Bush (originally performed at Comic Relief 1986):
- The Movie Buff: She seems to be one, since so many of her songs were inspired by films.
- Mouthful of Pi: She wrote a song called "π", about a mathematician who's fascinated with the number, and some verses consist of her singing a few hundred digits
- Ms. Fanservice: She didn't go there that often, but occasionally:
- The cover of Lionheart
- The Chainmail Bikini in the video for "Babooshka" (which is also featured on the cover of the 1983 EP Kate Bush)
- While she did sometimes use sexuality, according to this article she felt really uncomfortable at being objectified too early, and it was only at The Sensual World that she felt like she could be sexual on her own terms.
- My Beloved Smother: "Mother Stands for Comfort" is sung from the perspective of a murderer whose crimes are concealed by their protective mother. "Mother....will hide the murderer...mother...will stay mum"
- My Future Self and Me: "Jig of Life" from The Ninth Wave has the protagonist encounter her future self, who begs her to "let [her] live" by not dying.
- Near-Death Experience: "The Ninth Wave" (the B-side of Hounds Of Love) is about a woman's frightening night alone while lost at sea. Unable to sleep ("And Dream of Sheep") because she's freezing to death ("Under Ice"), she briefly becomes psychotic and starts hallucinating about demonic voices ("Waking the Witch"). She thinks about her lover while possibly having an out-of-body experience ("Watching You Without Me"). She contemplates dying until a vision of her future self tells her to pull herself together and live through it for the sake of her (possibly unborn) children ("Jig of Life"). She calms down and decides she wants to live ("Hello Earth") and then the sun comes up and she gets rescued ("The Morning Fog").
- New Sound Album: The Dreaming, which is more loud and aggressive than her previous albums.
- The Not-Remix: The version of "Wuthering Heights" on her Greatest Hits Album The Whole Story simply bills itself as having a re-recorded vocal. The backing track was remixed to include the "gated reverb" effect on the drums that was nigh-inescapable in the 1980s.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "Waking the Witch" has a chorus of female voices in the background praising God. And it is creepy.
- Orwellian Retcon: After Rolf Harris' conviction for indecent assualt, his vocals were removed from reissues of Aerial and replaced with Bush's son Bertie.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: The bride in "The Wedding List" tracks down the man who murdered her new husband at their wedding. In the end, she shoots him before turning the gun on herself. On top of everything, she was pregnant so her unborn child died as well.
- Reference Overdosed: The many, many references to film and literature in her work, as well as historical figures.
- Revenge Ballad: "The Wedding List" where a pregnant bride tracks down and kills the murderers of her husband before committing suicide.
- Sampling: One of the first artists to make heavy use of the technology with the Fairlight CMI.
- Scare Chord: "Waking the Witch".
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Many of her songs feature multiple overdubs of Kate's voice.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Hinted to be at least partly the case in "Babooshka". The wife who sets up the Two-Person Love Triangle to trap her husband in the act of infidelity is implied to have 'freezed on him' due to her suspicions that he was having an affair, leading to him being easily tempted by a woman who reminded him of her before the tension arose between them — essentially, her own paranoia and bitterness over her suspicions of his infidelity are the main thing that led to him contemplating infidelity in the first place.
- Shaped Like Itself: In "50 Words for Snow", the last of the fifty words is... "snow".
- Shout-Out: "Blow Away (For Bill)" name-checks some dead musicians: Minnie Riperton, Keith Moon, Sid Vicious, Buddy Holly and Sandy Denny.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In The Line, the Cross and the Curve, toward the end:Miranda Richardson: We have a lot in common, you and I. It took me years to be rid of those shoes! You are so weak. So stupid. So...Kate Bush: You're scared. You're scared, because you know you're losing your power over me.
- Sibling Team: Kate's brother Patrick (known as Paddy) has played on quite a few of her albums and was part of her backing band from the very beginning.
- Sleight of Tongue: Kate Bush depicted Houdini's trick in her song "Houdini" and on the cover of her album The Dreaming◊. Take a good look in her mouth.
- Snow Means Love: Used in the Flashback sections of the video for "This Woman's Work".
- Soprano and Gravel - Kate Bush used it in 1985 with "Waking The Witch". In this case she provided both voices: one track is her natural voice, the other is a drastically slowed down demonic growl.
- Also to some extent in "Don't Give Up", her duet with Peter Gabriel.
- Spoken Word in Music
''Oh thou, who givest sustenance to the universeFrom whom all things proceedTo whom all things returnUnveil to us the face of the true spiritual sunHidden by a disc of golden lightThat we may know the truthAnd do our whole dutyAs we journey to thy sacred feet''
- "Hounds of Love" opens with a sound clip from the film Night of the Demon: "It's in the trees... It's coming!" (Due to a longstanding fan/urban legend that she wrote an episode under a pseudonym, this is often mistakenly said to have come from an episode of Doctor Who.)
- There's a long, eerie instrumental break near the end of "Breathing" with a recording of a man describing the effects of a nuclear bomb.
- "Houdini:" "Rosabelle, believe!"
- "The Fog" opens with Kate Bush saying "You see, I'm all grown up now." Then her father says "Just put your feet down, child, 'cause you're all grown up now."
- "50 Words for Snow" also prominently features Stephen Fry reciting 50 words for snow.
- The 12" version of "The Big Sky" has a section of various voices discussing the shapes of clouds.
- Much of side B of Hounds of Love has it, which makes sense since it's a mini-concept album that tells a story.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Her duet with Elton John, Snowed In At Wheeler St. is about a couple who keep on running into each other throughout history, but for one reason or another are unable to stay with together.
- Summon Backup Dancers: In the video for "The Dreaming".
- Surreal Music Video: "Running Up That Hill" is mostly a interpretive dance routine, but has an element of surrealism to it, like when Kate and her partner get separated from each other in a sea of people wearing masks of their faces.
- The video for "The Dreaming" is pretty weird too, being mostly Kate dancing and singing outdoors in the moonlight in what we can assume is meant to be the Australian outback.
- The video for "The Big Sky" is probably the weirdest thing she's ever done, involving the following: Kate outside on top of a building looking through binoculars; falconry; Kate in a raincoat/dressed as a firefighter/as a pirate; Kate wearing a silver jumpsuit and goggles and dancing onstage while men in military uniforms play guitar; an astronaut; Superman; a bunch of people holding national flags, and a Dance Party Ending.
- "Sat In Your Lap" has a pretty weird video featuring Kate wearing a white dress and a Dunce Cap, roller-skating, jesters, and guys dressed as minotaurs. Also, the part where Kate stares unnervingly into the camera while she sings the bridge.
- Truer to the Text: The Line, The Cross and The Curve, though ostensibly based on the film The Red Shoes, is actually closer to the original Hans Christian Andersen short story.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: "Babooshka" is this gone very, very wrong.
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: "Never Be Mine".
- Vanilla Edition: The EMI Manhattan and EMI USA CDs of Bush's first five albums in the US and Canada are fairly barebones compared to other editions on the format, removing most of the liner notes in favor of just the tracklists and a standard blurb about the Compact Disc format.
- Vocal Evolution: Kate Bush had a tendency to use the upper range of her voice in her early work, but shifted to a more natural singing style later on. Compare the version of "Wuthering Heights" on her debut to the one on her Greatest Hits Album The Whole Story. Her voice is quite low in her more recent recordings, and come the 21st century she would also pick up a slight lisp (both being most noticeable when comparing her Director's Cut remakes with those from the original albums). Noticably, most likely because of this trope, a majority of the songs she chose for her live show Before The Dawn were songs that she had made, remade or re-recorded vocals for in the 21st century, leaving Wuthering Heights (and in fact anything before Hounds of Love) out entirely.
- War Is Hell: "Army Dreamers", concentrating on the grief of a mother who's son is killed in an overseas war and his body flown home.
- Wild Hair: Especially in the early years, a riotous mane of fiery red hair. Even now she still has very luxurious locks.
- Word Salad Title: "Suspended in Gaffa" (i.e. gaffer tape); "There Goes a Tenner" (i.e. a bank note); "Army Dreamers"; "Rubberband Girl"; probably many more.
- Working with the Ex: Kate broke up with longtime boyfriend and bassist Del Palmer in the '90s, but Palmer still plays on her albums.
Works, people, and other things that inspired Kate's songs:
- Wuthering Heights
- Hammer Horror
- The Innocents - "The Infant Kiss"
- Elvis Presley - "King of the Mountain"
- Joan of Arc - "Joanni"
- The Shining - "Get Out of My House" (sources vary as to whether it was specifically inspired by the book, the film, or both)
- Peter Pan - "In Search of Peter Pan"
- The Red Shoes (1948)
- Ulysses - "The Sensual World"
- The Vietnam War - "Pull Out the Pin"
- Harry Houdini - "Houdini"
- Houdini's most famous trick was the Chinese Water Torture Cell. In the song she is Houdini's wife/assistant, and she passes him the key to the locks via a kiss just before he goes into the tank. The line right before that one is, "With a kiss I'd pass the key, and feel your tongue teasing and deceiving..." The tone is foreshadowing Houdini's death during the trick later in the song, which unfortunately is not doing the research — Houdini died of peritonitis (assuming that Kate wasn't just taking artistic license for dramatic effect).
- The 1953 film Houdini starring Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, does however, end with Houdini dying in the Chinese Water Torture cell and not of peritonitis. If we assume that Kate saw the movie then she most definitely *did* do the research.
- The Bride Wore Black - "The Wedding List"
- The Abominable Snowman - "Wild Man"
- Wilhelm Reich - "Cloudbusting". Specifically, she read a biography by Reich's son, a copy of which appears as a Shout-Out in the music video. See Artistic License for the whole story.