Hounds of Love
|Hounds of Love|
|Studio album by Kate Bush|
|Released||16 September 1985|
|Recorded||January 1984 – June 1985 Wickham Farm Home Studio, Welling, England|
|Genre||Art rock, experimental pop|
|Kate Bush chronology|
|Singles from Hounds of Love|
Hounds of Love is the fifth studio album by the English singer Kate Bush, released by EMI Records on 16 September 1985. It was a commercial success and marked a return to the public eye for Bush after the relatively poor sales of her previous album The Dreaming. It was Bush's second album to top the UK Albums Chart and her best-selling studio album, having been certified double platinum for 600,000 sales in the UK, and by 1998 it had sold 1.1 million copies worldwide. In the US, it reached the top 40 on the Billboard 200.
The album's lead single, "Running Up That Hill", became one of Bush's biggest hits, and it produced three further successful singles, "Cloudbusting", "Hounds of Love", and "The Big Sky", all taken from the album's first side. The second side forms a concept album about a person drifting alone in the sea at night.
Hounds of Love received critical acclaim on its release and in retrospective reviews. It is considered by many fans and music critics to be Bush's best album, and has been regularly voted one of the greatest albums of all time. The album was nominated at the 1986 BRIT Awards for Best Album, where Bush was also nominated for the awards for Best Producer, Best Female Artist, and for Best Single ("Running Up That Hill").
Following the disappointing performance of her fourth album The Dreaming and its singles, executives at Bush's label were concerned about sales largely due to the long time period it took to produce the album. "I finished my last album, did the promotion, then found myself in a kind of limbo," she later explained. "It took me four or five months to be able even to write again. It's very difficult when you've been working for years, doing one album after another. You need fresh things to stimulate you. That's why I decided to take a bit of the summer out and spend time with my boyfriend and with my family and friends, just relaxing. Not being Kate Bush the singer; just being myself." In the summer of 1983 Bush built her own 48-track studio in the barn behind her family home which she could use to her advantage and at anytime she liked.
With the studio more or less completed, Bush began recording demos for the album in January 1984. Rather than re-record music, Bush took the original rough demos and enhanced them during the recording sessions. After five months, Bush began overdubbing and mixing the album in a process that took a full year. 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. 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 Reginald Beckwith.
The album was produced as two suites - side one being "Hounds of Love" and side two a seven-track concept piece called "The Ninth Wave". 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."
Release and promotion
On 5 August 1985 Bush performed the new single "Running Up That Hill" on Terry Wogan's BBC1 chat show Wogan. The single entered the UK singles chart at number 9 (a considerable feat at that time) and ultimately peaked at number 3, becoming Bush's second highest charting single (after her chart-topping debut single "Wuthering Heights").
The album launch party was held at the London Planetarium on 5 September 1985, which was the first occasion that Bush and Palmer officially appeared in public as a couple. The invited guests were treated to a playback of the entire album while watching a laser show inside the Planetarium. Hounds of Love was released 16 September 1985 by EMI Records on vinyl, XDR cassette and compact disc formats. It entered the UK album chart at number one, knocking Madonna's Like a Virgin from the top position. 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.
On 16 June 1997 a remastered version of the album was issued on CD as part of EMI's "First Centenary" reissue series. The "EMI First Centenary" edition included six bonus tracks: 12" mixes of "The Big Sky" and "Running Up That Hill", and the B-sides "Under The Ivy", "Burning Bridge", "My Lagan Love", and "Be Kind To My Mistakes", the last of which was written for Nicolas Roeg's 1986 film Castaway and plays during the opening scene.
A 10" pink vinyl record with four songs taken from the album ("The Big Sky", "Cloudbusting", "Watching You Without Me" and "Jig of Life") was released by Audio Fidelity (catalogue number AFZEP 001) on 16 April 2011 for Record Store Day 2011, limited to 1000 copies worldwide.
29 years later, in the 2014 Before the Dawn concerts, Bush performed live all of the albums tracks for the first time, except Big Sky and Mother Stands for Comfort. Though Running Up That Hill has been performed live already in 1987.
|Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
In the UK most reviews of the album at the time of its release were overwhelmingly positive. In a five-star review Sounds called Hounds of Love "dramatic, moving and wildly, unashamedly, beautifully romantic", before going on to state, "If I were allowed to swear, I'd say that Hounds of Love is f***ing brilliant, but me mum won't let me". NME said, "Hounds of Love is definitely weird. It's not an album for the suicidal or mums and dads. The violence of The Dreaming has turned into despair, confusion and fear – primarily of love, a subject that remains central to Bush's songwriting." The review then went on to scorn the idea that by signing to EMI Records as a teenager, Bush had allowed herself to be moulded in their corporate image, suggesting that on the contrary, it had enabled her to use the system for her own devices: "Our Kate's a genius, the rarest solo artist this country's ever produced. She makes sceptics dance to her tune. The company's daughter has truly screwed the system and produced the best album of the year doing it." Melody Maker was more reserved, saying, "Here she has learned you can have control without sacrificing passion and it's the heavyweight rhythm department aided and abetted by some overly fussy arrangements that get the better of her". It was particularly disappointed by "The Ninth Wave" suite on the second side of the record, feeling that "she makes huge demands on her listener and the theme is too confused and the execution too laborious and stilted to carry real weight as a complete entity".
In the USA reaction to the record was mixed. Awarding the record the title of "platter du jour" (i.e. album of the month), Spin observed that "with traces of classical, operatic, tribal and twisted pop styles, Kate creates music that observes no boundaries of musical structure or inner expression". The review noted "while her eclecticism is welcomed and rewarded in her homeland her genius is still ignored here – a situation that is truly a shame for an artist so adventurous and naturally theatrical", and hoped that "this album might gain her some well-deserved recognition from the American mainstream". However, Rolling Stone, in their first ever review of a Kate Bush record, was unimpressed: "The Mistress of Mysticism has woven another album that both dazzles and bores. Like the Beatles on their later albums, Bush is not concerned about having to perform the music live, and her orchestrations swell to the limits of technology. But unlike the Beatles, Bush often overdecorates her songs with exotica... There's no arguing that Bush is extraordinarily talented, but as with Jonathan Richman, rock's other eternal kid, her vision will seem silly to those who believe children should be seen and not heard."
The album was placed at number 10 in the NME critics' list of the best albums of 1985.
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. In 2006, Q placed the album at number 4 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s". 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. In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 10 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s". NME placed Hounds of Love 48th on their "500 Greatest Albums of All-Time" list.
All songs written and composed by Kate Bush, except where noted.
|Side one: Hounds of Love|
|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|
|Side two: The Ninth Wave|
|6.||"And Dream of Sheep"||2:45|
|8.||"Waking the Witch"||4:18|
|9.||"Watching You Without Me"||4:06|
|10.||"Jig of Life"||4:04|
|12.||"The Morning Fog"||2:34|
|Bonus tracks (1997 EMI edition)|
|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")||Traditional; new lyrics by John Carder Bush||2:30|
The original 1985 cassette release included the 12" single version of "Running Up That Hill" at the end of side one. The 2011 Fish People re-release contains the "Special Single Mix" version of "The Big Sky".
Year end charts
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||24,800|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||600,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|United Kingdom||16 September 1985||EMI||LP||KAB1|
|Europe||LP||24 0384 1|
|cassette||24 0384 4|
|Australia & New Zealand||LP||EMC 240384|
|Canada||8 October 1985||EMI America||LP||ST-17171|
|Worldwide||16 June 1997||EMI||digitally remastered CD with bonus tracks||7243 5 25239 2 4|
|"EMI First Centenary" limited edition
digitally remastered CD with bonus tracks
|7243 8 57978 2 8|
|United Kingdom||2000||Simply Vinyl||180 gram remastered vinyl LP||SVLP 290|
|United States||August 2010||Audio Fidelity||AFZLP 087|
|United Kingdom & Europe||16 May 2011||Fish People||CD||FPCD003|
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