Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bush Watch: The Good One

I've always been drawn to music that has the air of obscurity about it. The less likely someone is to appeal to a mainstream audience, the more likely it is that I will become a fan. In 1978 I became a fan of British singer/songwriter Kate Bush after seeing her only appearance on Saturday Night Live. It took me months to track down her album (I finally found it at the Budget Tapes and Records in Cross Lanes). I've been a follower ever since, even though she almost had a hit one time. Her only brush with mainstream success in America was the top-40 hit "Running Up That Hill" in 1986. Even when she didn't have a US record deal, I made it a point to get her albums. I, like many other Kate Kultists, am an obsessive Kate Bush fan and admirer. Tracking down all her music has been rather easy of late. Kate has taken more than a decade off to raise a family.

Now, after 12 years of her self-imposed exile, Kate Bush is finally releasing some new music. A double-CD collection titled "Aerial" will be released worldwide on November 7th. The lead single, "King Of The Mountain" debuted on BBC2 last week, and through the miracle of streaming audio, I was able to give it a listen.

It's pretty good, mellow and in the mold of her 1989 album "The Sensual World." My tastes run to her more experimental work, 1980's "Never For Ever" and 1982's "The Dreaming," but as any Kate Bush fan will tell you, even lesser Kate is good music. The new song is not bad at all. It's a dreamy surrealistic song about Elvis, with a looping rhythm and ethereal production.

While it's a great song, I'm hoping that the Aerial CD will offer a little more diversity of style. Kate's last album, "The Red Shoes," was her most disappointing. It was hurt by a sameness that resulted in a lackluster album that probably convinced Kate that it was time to take her long vacation.

So hopes are running high that Aerial will be a major return to form. In addition to the import single available from Amazon, "King Of The Mountain" is available on iTunes. I don't use iTunes, so you're on you're own in terms of finding it there. If you're a die-hard Kate fan, it's worth the effort. Of course, if you're a die-hard Kate fan, you'll spring for the import single anyway.

Twelve years is a long time to do without that angelic voice, so anticipation is high. It's so nice to know that somewhere in the world, somebody named "Bush" is doing something useful and entertaining.

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