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Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

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  • Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

    Version 1 of the video

    "Wuthering Heights" is a song by Kate Bush, released as her debut single in January 1978. It became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart, and stayed at the position for four weeks. The song is Bush's biggest hit to date, and appears on her 1978 debut album, The Kick Inside.
    "Wuthering Heights" came 32nd in Q magazine's Top 100 Singles of All Time as voted by readers. It is No. 5 on Pitchfork's "Top 200 Tracks of the 1970s".

    Bush was inspired to write the song by the last ten minutes of a 1967 BBC mini-series based on Wuthering Heights. She then read the book and discovered that she shared her birthday (30 July) with the author Emily Brontë. The song pretty much tells the same story as the book, only at a much higher pitch. In the book, two young people, Catherine and Heathcliff, are brought together and become lovers. Along the way, they struggle with issues of class and family.

    This was the first song Bush recorded for a label. It was released as a single, and while the music press dismissed the song as a novelty, it hit #1 in Britain. It stayed there for four weeks and launched her career at age 19.

    Kate started playing piano at age 11 and wrote her first song at 13. By the time she recorded the album, she had about 50 songs to choose from, but this wasn't one of them. She came up with it shortly before recording the album. She claims she wrote the song in one night under a full moon.

    This was a huge hit everywhere except the US. This is the way it remained for Bush, who has never been able to break the US market.

    Bush's label, EMI, wanted to release "James and the Cold Gun" as her first single, believing that radio stations wouldn't play this because it sounded too odd. When Kate found out, she insisted that "Wuthering Heights" be released first, but as a 19-year-old who had never released a song, she didn't have much say in the matter. Her label boss decided to let her have her way, figuring the song would flop and he would prove to Bush that he knew how to do his job better than she did. He was proven horribly wrong, and Bush was allowed to select her next single. Her choice was "The Man With The Child In His Eyes."
    When this rose to #1 Kate Bush became the first female to top the UK charts with a self composed song.

    Audio engineer Jon Kelly recalled Kate Bush's recording of the song: "In the case of 'Wuthering Heights' she was imitating this witch, the mad lady from the Yorkshire Moors, and she was very theatrical about it.," he recalled. "She was such a mesmerising performer – she threw her heart and soul into everything she did – that it was difficult to ever fault her or say, 'You could do better.'"
    "You couldn't keep Kate away from the sessions even if you had wild dogs and bazookas," Kelly added. "She was just drinking it all up, learning everything that went on. The first moment she walked into the control room, I could tell that's where she wanted to be; in control of her own records. She was astute, and she was also phenomenally easy to work with."
    Bush re-recorded her vocal late one night, doing two or three takes from which producer Andrew Powell chose the best. "There was no compiling," Kelly confirmed. "It was a complete performance. We started the mix at around midnight and Kate was there the whole time, encouraging us. You couldn't deny her anything. So we got on with the job and finished at about five or six that morning."
    Actually just wanted to bump this to share a cover of it, shocked it didn't have a thread yet (at least I couldn't find it on google's search, if there's actually a thread already please close this and sorry for the spam)
    Ne me cherche pas, je ne suis plus là, baby

  • #2

    I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, mad respect for him
    Ne me cherche pas, je ne suis plus là, baby


    • #3

      Love it + dying at this comment
      Okay, just wondering, anybody ever seen Florence Welch and Noel Fielding in the same room at the same time??
      Ne me cherche pas, je ne suis plus là, baby


      • #4
        I love this but still pissed she didn’t perform it on her ‘recent’ ‘tour’
        I said "Lily, Oh Lily I'm so afraid, I fear I am walking in the Veil of Darkness".
        And she said "Child, take what I say with a pinch of salt... and protect yourself with fire".

        Kate Bush - Lily


        • #5
          Re: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

          classic tune
          Waffles are checked cookies


          • #6
            Re: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

            I can't think of a better debut single in the history of music.


            • #7
              The word 'classic' is often overused but not in the case of this song. It's amazing to think she wrote this aged only 18. And 'Thank You' Kate for getting a 7 year old into reading Emily Bronte. Still one of my favourite novels of all time. Seeing her on ToTP's perform this made me into a lifelong fan, she continues to inspire me with her music.
              It might sound like I'm an unapologetic bitch
              But sometimes you know I gotta call it like it is


              • #8
                Thank you Kate for existing! can I get an
                She was a total rarity back then and I had friends comin over from the UK /EU and brought this weird quirky singer on tapes and vhs/betas and I was in awe , what a time


                • #9
                  Great song.

                  Jim Steinman's It's All Coming Back to Me Now, as recorded by Celine Dion/Meat Loaf/Pandora's Box, is another classic inspired by Emily Bronte's novel.