Anticipation is running high for Kate Bush’s return to the stage tonight in London, following an absence of 35 years. To honour the event, here’s a round-up of five of Bush’s music videos, which we feel show off her bizarre and brilliant creativity to the max…
Tickets for Bush’s London shows sold out in minutes and the expectation is of a dramatic theatrical spectacle, with Bush supposedly spending three days in a flotation tank as part of a stunt for a film sequence that will be shown at the concerts. Bush was always a master performer though, despite her dislike for the stage, and her videos revealed her eccentric and unusual style perfectly. Here are our top five:
We begin with the video for Bush’s debut single in 1978, Wuthering Heights, which does a good job of setting the tone for all her future performances. Shown here is the UK version (for the US release, Bush shot a new version, dressed in red), which showcases Bush’s trademark dance moves. With this video, a generation of bizarre teenage dancers was born.
The video for Babooshka, a tale about a woman who suspects her husband of cheating so sets out to trap him, was released in 1980. Again the focus here is all on Bush, her amazing expressions and surprising dance moves.
From the same album as Babooshka, Never For Ever, came the single Breathing, which demonstrates Bush’s talent for telling a story through her videos. In this film we see the singer enclosed in an inflatable ball-cum-foetus, before being born into a frightening world fearful of nuclear fallout.
By the time of the release of Bush’s next album, Hounds of Love, in 1985, music videos had become more elaborate, with record companies realising how they led to sales. Despite this, when the video for Running Up That Hill was released, MTV chose not to show it as it didn’t feature Bush lipsynching to the track (instead they aired a performance of the song recorded live on the chat show Wogan). The official video shows off a maturity in Bush’s interest in dance, however, featuring the singer alongside dancer Michael Hervie, with choreography by Diane Gray.
For Cloudbusting, also from the Hounds of Love album, Bush notched up the storytelling another level, in this short film-style video which also stars actor Donald Sutherland. This film was directed by Julian Doyle, and was concieved by Bush and Terry Gilliam. (Note: this is the only video on this list I’ve been able to track down the director for. If you know the others, please let me know in the comments box and I’ll add the names in.)