Hounds of Love

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Hounds of Love
Studio album by Kate Bush
Released 16 September 1985
Recorded January 1984 - June 1985[1]
Genre Art rock, baroque pop, progressive rock, alternative rock
Length 47:33
Label EMI
Producer Kate Bush
Kate Bush chronology
The Dreaming
Hounds of Love
The Whole Story
Singles from Hounds of Love
  1. "Running Up That Hill"
    Released: 5 August 1985 (1985-08-05)
  2. "Cloudbusting"
    Released: 14 October 1985 (1985-10-14)
  3. "Hounds of Love"
    Released: 24 February 1986 (1986-02-24)
  4. "The Big Sky"
    Released: 28 April 1986 (1986-04-28)

Hounds of Love is the fifth studio album by the English singer Kate Bush. Released in 1985, it was Bush's second album to top the UK album charts and is also her best-selling studio album,[2] having been certified Double Platinum in the UK.[3] Four singles were released from the album: "Running Up That Hill", "Cloudbusting", "Hounds of Love", and "The Big Sky". "Running Up That Hill" became one of her biggest hits in the UK and re-introduced Bush to American listeners, receiving considerable airplay at the time of its release.

Among Bush's body of work, the album has garnered significant critical acclaim over the years.


In the summer of 1983 Bush built her own 48-track studio in the barn behind her family home.[4] With the studio practically completed, Bush began recording rough tracks for the album in January 1984. Rather than re-record music, Bush took the original rough demo tracks and built upon them during the recording sessions. After five months, Bush began overdubbing and mixing the album in a process that took a full year.[1] The recording sessions included use of the Fairlight CMI synthesiser, piano, traditional Irish instruments, and layered vocals. The chorale in "Hello Earth" is a segment from the traditional Georgian song "Tsintskaro," performed by the Richard Hickox Singers.[5] "Be Kind to My Mistakes" was written for Nicolas Roeg's 1986 film Castaway and plays during the opening scene.[6] The lines "It's in the trees! It's coming!" from the beginning of the title track are taken from a seance scene from the 1957 British horror film Night of the Demon, spoken by actor Maurice Denham.

The album was produced as two suites - side one being "Hounds of Love" and side two being a 7 track concept album called "The Ninth Wave", which was inspired by a painting of the same name by Ivan Aivazovsky; it was painted in 1850. Bush described it as being "About a person who is alone in the water for the night. It's about their past, present and future coming to keep them awake, to stop them drowning, to stop them going to sleep until the morning comes." It starts with her "little light shining, little light will guide them to me" referring to the little light on her life jacket and from that point on the tracks lead us through a classic dark night of the soul journey. More than ever here Bush referenced her Irish roots on this album calling in noted Irish folk musicians to play on many tracks.[this quote needs a citation]


The album was released 16 September 1985 by EMI Records on vinyl, XDR cassette and compact disc. In 1997, a remastered CD reissue of the album included six bonus tracks: 12" mixes of "The Big Sky" and "Running Up That Hill"; and the B-side singles "Under The Ivy", "Burning Bridge", "My Lagan Love", "Not This Time", "The Handsome Cabin Boy" and "Be Kind To My Mistakes".

In 2010, Audio Fidelity reissued Hounds of Love on vinyl with new remastering by Steve Hoffman.[7]

A 10" pink vinyl record with four songs taken from the album was released for Record Store Day 2011, with 1,000 copies produced worldwide.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[9]
NME (Highly Favourable) [10]
Robert Christgau B [11]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[12]
Stylus (Highly Favourable) [13]
Paul Roland 5/5 stars [12]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars [14]
Fluffhouse (10/10)[15]
Spin Alternative Record Guide (8/10) [16]

In August 1985 the British music magazine NME featured Bush in a "Where Are They Now" article. Two days later, on The Wogan Show, the single "Running Up that Hill" was premiered. The single entered the UK singles chart at No.9 (a considerable feat at that time) and ultimately peaked at No.3 becoming Bush's second highest charting single. Hounds of Love entered the UK album chart at No. 1, knocking Madonna's Like a Virgin from the top position.[17]

The album marked Bush's breakthrough into the American charts with the Top 40 hit "Running Up That Hill". The album also yielded a set of videos, one of which was "Cloudbusting", directed by Julian Doyle, and co-starring Donald Sutherland. The video—like the song—was inspired by the life of psychologist Wilhelm Reich.[citation needed]

A review in Gaffaweb described the album as a "complex and richly layered work".[18]


In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Hounds of Love the 48th greatest album of all time, while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 20 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever and the third Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist in 2002.[19] In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at No. 4 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[20] In January 2006, NME named it the 41st best British album of all time. The 19th edition of British Hit Singles & Albums, published by Guinness in May 2006, included a list of the Top 100 albums of all time, as voted by readers of the book and NME readers, which placed Hounds of Love at Number 70. In 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the album should be given consideration when listing albums released between 1978 and 1988 that have stood the test of time while remaining influential and enjoyable to this day.[21] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 10 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[22] NME placed Hounds of Love 48th on their "500 Greatest Albums of All-Time" list.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Kate Bush.

Side one: Hounds of Love
No. Title Length
1. "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)"   5:03
2. "Hounds of Love"   3:02
3. "The Big Sky"   4:41
4. "Mother Stands for Comfort"   3:07
5. "Cloudbusting"   5:10
Side two: The Ninth Wave
No. Title Length
6. "And Dream of Sheep"   2:45
7. "Under Ice"   2:21
8. "Waking the Witch"   4:18
9. "Watching You Without Me"   4:06
10. "Jig of Life"   4:04
11. "Hello Earth"   6:13
12. "The Morning Fog"   2:34
Bonus tracks (1997 EMI edition)
No. Title Length
13. "The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix)"   7:44
14. "Running Up That Hill (12" Mix)"   5:45
15. "Be Kind to My Mistakes"   3:00
16. "Under the Ivy" (B-side to "Running Up That Hill" 7") 2:08
17. "Burning Bridge" (B-side to "Cloudbusting" 7" and 12") 4:38
18. "My Lagan Love" (B-side to "Cloudbusting" 12") 2:30

The original 1985 cassette release included the 12" single version of "Running up that Hill". The 2011 Fish People re-release contains the "Special Single Mix" version of "The Big Sky".


Additional personnel
  • Photography for the sleeve was by Kate's brother, John Carder Bush and the sleeve design was by Bill Smith Studio and Kate.


Certifications & Sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[41] Gold 134,300[42]
Germany (BVMI)[43] Platinum 500,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 24,800[28]
Netherlands (NVPI)[44] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] 2× Platinum 600,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gaffaweb - Chronology. Demoing January 1984 - end, June 1985
  2. ^ Fitzgerald Morris, Peter (1997). Hounds of Love lyrics booklet. EMI. 
  3. ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Never for Ever". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Never for Ever in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  4. ^ "Kate Bush". NNDB. Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  5. ^ Berkeley, Michael (11 October 2005). "Kate Bush rules, OK?". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Kate Bush". IMDb. 1985. Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Kate Bush::Hounds Of Love". audiofidelity. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "SpecialRelease". Record Store Day. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Eder, Bruce. Hounds of Love at AllMusic. Retrieved 13 November 2004.
  10. ^ "NME's Hounds Of Love dates release review link". Nme.com. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (1 April 1986). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Kate Bush Hounds of Love". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 December 2011.  Also posted at "Kate Bush: Hounds of Love > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 10 June 2006. 
  12. ^ a b Acclaimedmusic.net
  13. ^ "Stylus Reviews Hounds of Love link". Stylusmagazine.com. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Kate Bush". Acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Fluffhouse.org.uk
  16. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  17. ^ Fitzgerald Morris, Peter. Hounds of Love lyrics booklet (1997). EMI. 
  18. ^ "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - The Reviews - Hounds Of Love Reviews". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Rocklist.net...Q Magazine Lists". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  20. ^ Q August 2006, Issue 241
  21. ^ Harrison, Shane (27 August 2008). "Our expert names five albums that have best stood the test of time The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 27 August, 2008". Accessatlanta.com. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  22. ^ Slant Magazine
  23. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  24. ^ "Kate Bush – Hounds of Love". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 43, No. 13" (PHP). RPM. 1 December 1985. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "Kate Bush - Hounds of Love". Dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  29. ^ "Kate Bush - Hounds of Love". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  30. ^ "Kate Bush - Hounds of Love". Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  31. ^ "Kate Bush - Hounds of Love". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  32. ^ "Kate Bush - Hounds of Love". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Kate Bush > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  34. ^ Allmusic - Hounds of Love > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  35. ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush - Hounds of Love" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  36. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1985 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love". Music Canada. 
  41. ^ "French album certifications – Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  42. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  43. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Kate Bush; 'Hounds Of Love')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  44. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  45. ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Hounds Of Love in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Like a Virgin by Madonna
Like a Virgin by Madonna
UK number one album
28 September 1985 – 11 October 1985
19 October 1985 – 25 October 1985
Succeeded by
Like a Virgin by Madonna
The Love Songs by George Benson
Preceded by
Ik zal je nooit vergeten by Koos Alberts
Dutch Mega Chart number-one album
5 – 12 October 1985
Succeeded by
Maid of the Mist by BZN