Cloudbusting

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This article is about a song. For the scientific device, see cloudbuster.
"Cloudbusting"
Single by Kate Bush
from the album Hounds of Love
B-side "Burning Bridge"
Released 14 October 1985 (UK)
Spring 1987 (US)
Format 7" single / 12" single
Recorded 1984
Genre Art rock
Length 5:06
Label EMI- KB2
Writer(s) Kate Bush
Producer(s) Kate Bush
Kate Bush singles chronology
"Running Up that Hill"
(1985)
"Cloudbusting"
(1985)
"Hounds of Love"
(1986)
Music sample

"Cloudbusting" is a song that was written, produced and performed by the British singer Kate Bush.[1] It was the second single released from her no.1 1985 album Hounds of Love. "Cloudbusting" peaked at no.20 in the UK Singles Chart.

The song is about the very close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter, told from the point of view of the mature Peter. It describes the boy's memories of his life with Reich on their family farm, called Orgonon where the two spent time "cloudbusting", a rain-making process which involved pointing at the sky a machine designed and built by Reich, called a cloudbuster. The lyric further describes Wilhelm Reich's abrupt arrest and imprisonment, the pain of loss the young Peter felt, and his helplessness at being unable to protect his father. The song was inspired by Peter Reich's 1973 memoir, A Book of Dreams, which Bush read and found deeply moving.[2]

In a retrospective review of the single, Allmusic journalist Amy Hanson praised the song for its "magnificence" and "hypnotic mantric effects". Hanson wrote: "Safety and danger are threaded through the song, via both a thoughtful lyric and a compulsive cello-driven melody.[3] Even more startling, but hardly surprising, is the ease with which Bush was able to capture the moment when a child first realizes that adults are fallible."[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Julian Doyle, was conceived by Terry Gilliam and Kate Bush as a short film. The video features Canadian actor Donald Sutherland playing the role of Wilhelm Reich, and Bush in the role of his young son, Peter. The video shows the two on the top of a hill trying to make the cloudbuster work. Reich leaves Peter on the machine and returns to his lab. In flashback, he remembers several times he and Peter enjoyed together as Reich worked on various scientific projects, until he is interrupted by government officials who arrest him and ransack the lab. Peter senses his father's danger and tries to reach him, but is forced to watch helplessly as his father is driven away. Peter finally runs back to the cloudbuster and activates it successfully, to the delight of his father who sees it starting to rain.

Filming took place at The Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire, England. Bush found out in which hotel Sutherland was staying from actress Julie Christie's hairdresser and went to his room to personally ask him to participate in the project.[5] In the UK, the music video was shown at some cinemas as an accompaniment to the main feature. Due to difficulties on obtaining a work visa for Sutherland at short notice, the actor offered to work on the video for free. Although the events depicted in the story took place in Maine, the newspaper clipping in the music video reads "The Oregon Times," likely a reference to Reich's home and laboratory "Orgonon".[6]

The Cloudbusting machine in the video was designed and constructed by people who worked on the Alien creature[7][8] and bears only a superficial resemblance to the real cloudbusters, which were smaller and with multiple narrow, straight tubes and pipes, and were operated while standing on the ground.[9] In a reference to the source material of the song, Bush pulls a copy of Peter Reich's "A Book of Dreams" out of Sutherland's coat.[10]

Cover versions[edit]

Utah Saints sampled the song's line "I just know that something good is going to happen" for their song "Something Good" (1992) as well as scenes from Bush's video for their video. It reached no. 4 on the UK pop charts and no. 8 when re-mixed and re-released in 2008 (the latter of which used a different sample from another artist).

Italian metal band Novembre covered this song, as did as American rock band The Twilight Singers. American singer-songwriter Charlotte Martin covered this song in 2007 on her all-covers album Reproductions. Scottish pop act Swimmer One recorded an electro cover version of this song in 2005, released by Dogbox Records. UK punk band P.A.I.N. used a sample in their song "Eastern Dub (Wilhelm Reich in Hell)", without the permission of record label EMI.[11]

Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) covered the track for American Laundromat Records children's charity compilation "Sing Me to Sleep - Indie Lullabies" in 2010.

Irish singer / songwriter Gemma Hayes covered the song in 2009, and performed it on her tours in 2011 and 2012.

Wild Nothing covered Cloudbusting in 2010, from Cloudbusting 7" - Single, Captured Tracks.

In 2012, Geographer released a version of the song on their website.[12]

Track listing[edit]

The B-Side to the single was "Burning Bridge", in which a woman desperately pleads with her lover to step up his level of commitment to her. The 12" featured the additional track "My Lagan Love", a traditional Irish melody with lyrics by John Carder Bush, Kate Bush's brother. The 12" version of "Cloudbusting" was a special remix called "The Organon Re-Mix" in which the verses were downplayed and the main focus was the development of the song's chorus. In the USA, this mix was issued as "The Meterological Mix", a title used in the UK for 12" version of Bush's later single "The Big Sky".

7" single (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Cloudbusting"   5:08
2. "Burning Bridge"   4:38
12" single (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Cloudbusting (The Organon Re-mix)"   6:34
2. "Burning Bridge"   4:38
3. "My Lagan Love"   2:31
CD single (US)
No. Title Length
1. "Cloudbusting"   5:09
2. "The Man With The Child In His Eyes"   2:41
3. "Sat In Your Lap"   3:31
4. "Cloudbusting (Organon Mix)" (Listed as "Meterological Mix") 6:31

Charts[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Dutch Single Top 100 11
Irish Singles Chart 13
UK Singles Chart 20
German Singles Chart 20

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cloudbusting". MUBI. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  2. ^ http://gaffa.org/dreaming/hol_clb2.html Interview with Bush about inspiration for song
  3. ^ "Community Weblog". MeFi Music. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/cloudbusting-mt0003655152
  5. ^ Donald Sutherland Interview by Suicide Girls 7 May 2006
  6. ^ VanDevender, Steve. "Love-Hounds Digest #8.38". Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Wieland Willker (Sept 1995 – June 1996). "* * DREAMING * * A 'Best of' Love-Hounds Collection Hounds Of Love The Songs "Cloudbusting" Pt. 2". Retrieved 8 September 2011. worked with some designers that worked on the Alien  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "HR Giger and the Cloudbuster". 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2011. HR Giger designed the cloudbuster. ... one of those fan myths 
  9. ^ http://www.theorderoftime.com/science/free_energy/4.html Image of actual cloudbuster
  10. ^ http://gaffa.org/dreaming/hol_clb2.html Book in Sutherland's jacket pocket.
  11. ^ Brunner, Simon (December 2002). "Grow more Weed". Ox Fanzine. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  12. ^ "We Covered Kate Bush - Cloudbusting". Ox Fanzine. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

External links[edit]