Unless you’ve been living under a rock – actually, even if you have been living under a rock – you’ll have heard about the Kate Bush revival thanks to the Stranger Things juggernaut.
After her iconic 1985 song ‘Running Up That Hill’ featured prominently in the new season of the hugely popular Netflix show, the song duly went running up the charts, hitting the top spot in the U.K. and number four in the U.S. (her first top 10 hit in the country).
For some longstanding Kate Bush fans, Gen Z discovering her through Stranger Things was a criminal act; just as many others pointed out that we’ve all, at some point or another, discovered a wonderful song through a film or TV show. It happens to the best of us.
Giving her first interview in a very long time, Bush discussed the unexpected resurgent interest in her music, calling it “extraordinary.” “I mean, the whole world’s gone mad,” she added comically.
To celebrate the Kate Bush revival, we’ve compiled a list of 5 other great songs by the legendary English singer that haven’t been featured in Stranger Things. Yet.
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Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Bush was aged just 19 in 1978 when she became the first woman to have a U.K. number one song written all by themselves. Just superlative youthful talent.
Bush wrote the song after reading Emily Brontë’s book of the same name, intensely enamoured by its doomed central couple, Cathy and Heathcliff. “Out on the wily, windy moors / We’d roll and fall in greenHow could you leave me / When I needed to possess you?” Bush sings, capturing the stormy heartbreak of the book.
And the song itself is art pop of the highest order: unapologetically glittery and unashamedly ethereal, the music video is a must-watch accompaniment as well.
The strings in this 1985 song sweep you away and never let go. Aching and tender, ‘Cloudbusting’ showcases a burning yearning for something – or someone – better. “I just know that something good is gonna happen,” is the hopeful choral refrain, backed by those unforgettable swooning strings.
With thoughtful lyrics and incredible rhythm, it’s surprising that Bush didn’t play this song live until 2014.
‘This Woman’s Work’
Originally written for the John Hughes film She’s Having a Baby, Bush’s song was perfect for its dramatic climax. The deliberately slow piano number allows her distinctive vocal range to powerfully soar. It’s a vocal performance of pure emotion, abruptly ending with the harrowing lyric, “Just make it go away now.”
‘This Woman’s Work’ is an excellent ‘crying song’, when you just need to wallow for a moment. A song that really transcends the mediocre film it was written for.
‘And Dream of Sheep’
An underappreciated gem from Bush’s seminal 1985 album Hounds of Love, ‘And Dream of Sheep’ was overshadowed by songs like ‘Cloudbusting’ and ‘Running Up That Hill’.
Yet in its almost lullaby-like quality, there’s a quiet beauty to it. Bush’s solemn voice dovetails beautifully with the contemplative piano, yearning to “sleep and dream of sheep.” It’s a melodramatic performance but one also packed with heartfelt feeling.
Bush’s experimental 1982 album The Dreaming wasn’t initially well-received by critics, precisely because of the experimentation. They were wrong, of course. The title track saw Bush look to Australia, creating a piece about the destruction of the Indigenous Australian’s traditional land by the invading British corporations.
The haunting song features instruments like the didgeridoo, as well as mysterious animal noises. It often sounds like its taking place in the midst of a contested battle: “Erase the race that claim the place and say we dig for ore,” as she fiercely sings.
“For many years it has greatly disturbed me, the way ‘civilized’ man has treated ancient tribes such as the Aborigines, Red Indians, Tasmanians,” Bush said at the time.
“And because of the beauty of the Aborigines’ music and the way it seems to exude space, and the feeling of having great contact with the earth, I felt it was the perfect way to portray this feeling of invasion by white man.”
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