With a theatrical flair, literary sensibility and penchant for musical adventure rivaled by, well, no one, Kate Bush remains one of the most enigmatic and truly distinctive talents to emerge across the popular music landscape of the past forty years. From signing her first record deal at age sixteen to her precociously sophisticated debut single “Wuthering Heights” in 1978 to her expansive late 2016 live album Before the Dawn, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who disputes the fact that this fiercely imaginative artist’s legacy can and will never be replicated.
“I don’t think she’s ever particularly wanted to play the game, has she?,” Suede’s Brett Anderson asks rhetorically in the early moments of the BBC’s 2014 documentary The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill. “But when you’ve done great work like she’s done, and then you retract from the public, people almost have to make up their own version of you, don’t they?” Indeed, while we each have our own conceptions of who Kate Bush is and what her music means to us, there’s no denying the profound and far-reaching impact that Bush has had on the world of music at large.
Must-watch viewing for all Kate Bush fans, the short film broadcast by the BBC three years ago delves deep into the iconic singer-songwriter-performer’s career progression and magnetic mystique, while examining the making of her most memorable albums, including her 1978 debut LP The Kick Inside, 1985’s landmark Hounds of Love, 1989’s masterful The Sensual World, and 2005’s comeback effort Aerial.
The hour-long profile also offers rare, early-career interview and performance footage of the notoriously private and stage-averse Bush herself, coupled with the candid reflections of an impressive cast of artists including Anderson, Tori Amos, Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), Steve Coogan, Peter Gabriel, Guy Garvey (of Elbow), Elton John , Natasha Khan (a.k.a. Bat for Lashes), John Lydon, Antwan Patton (a.k.a. Big Boi), and David Gilmour, who played an instrumental part in facilitating her entré into the music business.
Watch the documentary below, and be sure to share your personal memories of Kate Bush in the comments below.