The Dreaming (album)

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For the Grace Kelly album, see Dreaming (album).
The Dreaming
Studio album by Kate Bush
Released 13 September 1982
Recorded September 1980 - May 1982[1]
Genre Art rock,[2] experimental rock
Length 43:25
Label EMI (UK)
EMI America (USA & Canada)
Producer Kate Bush
Kate Bush chronology
Never for Ever
The Dreaming
Hounds of Love
Singles from The Dreaming
  1. "Sat in Your Lap" b/w "Lord of the Reedy River"
    Released: 21 June 1981 (1981-06-21)
  2. "The Dreaming" b/w "Dreamtime"
    Released: 26 July 1982 (1982-07-26)
  3. "There Goes a Tenner" b/w "Ne t'enfuis pas"
    Released: 2 November 1982 (1982-11-02)
  4. "Suspended in Gaffa" b/w "Ne t'enfuis pas"
    Released: 2 November 1982 (1982-11-02)
  5. "Night of the Swallow" b/w "Houdini"
    Released: 21 November 1983 (1983-11-21)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Smash Hits 8/10 stars[3]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
Spin's Book of Alternative Albums 9/10[5]
Robert Christgau B+[6]

The Dreaming is the fourth album by the English singer Kate Bush, released in 1982. Almost two years in the making, it was the first album Bush produced entirely by herself. The album peaked at no. 3 on the UK album chart and has been certified Silver by the BPI.[7]

Slant Magazine listed the album at #71 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[8] It is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,[9] Mojo magazine's "Top 50 Eccentric Albums of All Time" list[10] and The Word magazine's "Great Underrated Albums of Our Time" list.[11] Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk and American rapper Big Boi cited The Dreaming as one of their favourite albums of all time.[12][13]



With Kate Bush's third album being a co-production between her and Jon Kelly, she decided for her fourth album to break out on her own and be the sole producer. Work began around the time of the third album's release with the first demo for "Sat in Your Lap" being laid down in September 1980 after being inspired by a Stevie Wonder concert that she attended.[14] With her newfound freedom, Bush experimented with production techniques, creating an album that features a diverse blend of musical styles. She also utilised the Fairlight CMI digital sampling synthesizer. In June 1981, the first single was released, "Sat in Your Lap", which peaked at No.11 in the UK. Work however was proving more time consuming with a release date for the album not forthcoming. Over the summer of 1981, Bush worked on the album in Abbey Road Studios and Odyssey Studios as well as working with Irish bands Planxty and The Chieftains in Dublin.[15] After long days in the studio, Bush decided to take a break from the album in the latter part of 1981 and resumed work in the early months of 1982 - laying overdubs and other final touches throughout the period January to May 1982 in Advision Studios.[16]

The Dreaming's songs draw on old crime films ("There Goes a Tenner"), a documentary about the war in Vietnam ("Pull Out the Pin"), the plight of Indigenous Australians ("The Dreaming"), the life of Houdini ("Houdini") and Stephen King's novel The Shining ("Get Out of My House").[17] Other tracks explore more personal issues; "Sat in Your Lap" examines feelings of apathy versus burning self-confidence and the search for knowledge, while "Leave It Open" speaks of the need to acknowledge and express the darker sides of one's personality (within the greater context of maintaining an open mind).[18]

Release and reception[edit]

The album was finally released in September 1982 following the second single, title track "The Dreaming". The single performed badly, peaking at a low 48, but the album fared better, peaking at No.3 in the UK. It however only remained on the chart for 10 weeks, making this Bush's lowest-selling album, being certified just silver.[19][20]

"The main thing I heard was 'uncommercial'… the label that the press, the record company put on it. "But for an uncommercial record to go straight in at No.3 in the charts seems ironic to me."

—Kate Bush (1984)[21]

In November the next (and final) single, "There Goes a Tenner" was released in the UK. It failed to chart at all - Bush's only single not to enter the UK top 100.[19] In Europe, "Suspended in Gaffa" was released instead, which performed better chartwise. Belatedly, another single, "Night of the Swallow" was released in Ireland in November 1983.[16]

Despite the album's relatively lacklustre sales elsewhere, The Dreaming was Bush's first album to dent the US Billboard Top 200, largely due to the growing influence of college radio. Following this, an EP was released in 1983, which also charted. In 1984, her second album Lionheart was belatedly released in the US.[16]

Upon its release, The Dreaming met with a mixed critical reception. Many were baffled by the dense soundscapes Bush had created. Melody Maker said in a favourable review that the album was indeed baffling but also interesting, labelling "Suspended in Gaffa" the only "vaguely conventional track". It predicted however its failing in the charts.[22] In a later review AllMusic commented on Bush's production stating that it was full-on and angry.[4] Bush herself has called The Dreaming her "I've gone mad album" and said it wasn't particularly commercial.[23] On later revisiting the album she said she was surprised by the sound, saying that it was quite an angry record.[24]

The album cover depicts a scene described in the lyrics to the song "Houdini". In the picture shown, Bush is acting as Harry Houdini's wife, holding a key in her mouth, which she is about to pass on to him.[25] The photograph is rendered in sepia, with just the gold key and Bush's eye make-up showing any colour. The man with her on the cover photograph was her bass player, engineer and long-time partner Del Palmer.

With the lengthy and expensive studio time used to complete the album, EMI Records were concerned at the relatively low yield of the album. Following this, Bush decided to build her own studios where she could be free to spend as much time as she liked. Although her next album was another long-gestating project, it returned Bush to the top of the charts.[23]

In the October 1990 issue of "Rolling Stone", Suzanne Vega listed The Dreaming as one of her favorite albums of the eighties.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Kate Bush. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Sat in Your Lap"   3:29
2. "There Goes a Tenner"   3:24
3. "Pull Out the Pin"   5:26
4. "Suspended in Gaffa"   3:54
5. "Leave It Open"   3:20
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "The Dreaming"   4:41
7. "Night of the Swallow"   5:22
8. "All the Love"   4:29
9. "Houdini"   3:48
10. "Get Out of My House"   5:25


  • Haydn Bendall - recording engineer
  • Hugh Padgham - engineer
  • Nick Launay - engineer
  • John Barrett - assistant engineer
  • George Chambers - assistant engineer
  • Nick Cook - assistant engineer
  • Danny Dawson - assistant engineer
  • Howard Gray - assistant engineer
  • Teri Reed - assistant engineer
  • David Taylor - assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Ian Cooper - cutting engineer
  • Bill Whelan - horn arrangements, string arrangements
  • Pete Wooliscroft - digital editing


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gaffaweb - Chronology. Demo of "Sat in Your Lap", September 1980 - end, May 1982
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Hepworth, David (16 September 1982). "Album Reviews (Kate Bush - "The Dreaming")". Smash Hits (EMAP Metro) 4 (19): p25. 
  4. ^ a b Wilson, MacKenzie. The Dreaming (album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2005.
  5. ^ Acclaimed Music
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 April 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Kate Bush: The Dreaming". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 December 2011.  Also posted at "Kate Bush: The Dreaming > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 26 May 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "British album certifications – Kate Bush – The Dreaming". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Dreaming in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Search
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Bjork - "My favorite records"
  13. ^ Big Boi - 25 Favorite albums
  14. ^ Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1980
  15. ^ Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1981
  16. ^ a b c Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1982
  17. ^ Melody Maker interview, 16 October 1982
  18. ^ Bush, Kate. "Kate's KBC article Issue 12". KBC Newsletter. Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  19. ^ a b Official UK Charts - Kate Bush
  20. ^ BPI - certified awards
  21. ^ BBC Radio 1: 'Saturday Live', 25 February 1984
  22. ^ Melody Maker. Colin Irwin, 11 September 1982
  23. ^ a b Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Q - "Hounds of Love Sleeve Notes" by Phil Sutcliffe
  24. ^ Q Magazine, "Booze, Fans and Me", December 1993
  25. ^ Melody Maker "Dreamtime is Over", 16 October 1982
  26. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  27. ^ "op Albums/CDs - Volume 37, No. 16" (PHP). RPM. 4 December 1982. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  28. ^ " Kate Bush - The Dreaming". MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  29. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  31. ^ " Kate Bush - The Dreaming". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  32. ^ " Kate Bush - The Dreaming". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Kate Bush > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  34. ^ Allmusic - The Dreaming > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  35. ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush - The Dreaming" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1982 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  37. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1982" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 

External links[edit]