Monday, May 18, 2015

8: Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush

Nothing can really prepare you for Kate Bush. This song - her first single from her first album - starts with her playing some of the notes right at the very top of the piano. Then her vocal comes in and it's even higher. Not falsetto, not processed, not like anything you've ever heard. And it does take a while before the shock wears off, and may take the entire length of the track.

Then you listen again, and again, and again... and the chorus starts to stand out. Still can't make out the words really, but something about "it's me, your Cathy, I've come home" which fits with the novel referenced in the song title, and those words and the melody line are in their own way already deeply moving and already sounding like nobody except this voice could sing that. Then the arrangement hits you, percussion and bass very cleverly mixed, piano tumbling between vocals, maybe some strings there in the background, then here comes a guitar... Ian Bairnson was the guitarist here, as opposed to Alan Murphy who played on much of Bush's later work. The solo gently follows the melody then launches its own countermelody and it works, it works, it works.

This song is one of those moments where it all just comes together. There's not much music out there better than this. Although if you continue reading, you'll find I have managed to find seven that, in my view, are.

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