The Dreaming (album)
|Studio album by Kate Bush|
|Released||13 September 1982|
|Recorded||September 1980 - May 1982|
EMI America (USA & Canada)
|Kate Bush chronology|
|Singles from The Dreaming|
|Spin's Book of Alternative Albums||9/10|
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.
Slant Magazine listed the album at #71 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s". It is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Mojo magazine's "Top 50 Eccentric Albums of All Time" list and The Word magazine's "Great Underrated Albums of Our Time" list. Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk and American rapper Big Boi cited The Dreaming as one of their favourite albums of all time.
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. 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. 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.
Bush was in her early twenties when making the album and tended to look outside herself for sources of inspiration. She drew 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"). Other tracks explore more personal issues; "Sat in Your Lap" examines feelings of self-doubt versus burning self-confidence and the search for a balance between the two, 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).
Release and reception
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.
"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)
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. 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.
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.
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. In a later review AllMusic commented on Bush's production stating that it was full-on and angry. Bush herself has called The Dreaming her "I've gone mad album" and said it wasn't particularly commercial. On later revisiting the album she said she was surprised by the sound, saying that it was quite an angry record.
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. 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.
All songs written and composed by Kate Bush.
|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|
|7.||"Night of the Swallow"||5:22|
|8.||"All the Love"||4:29|
|10.||"Get Out of My House"||5:25|
- Kate Bush - piano, strings, arranger, keyboards, vocals, producer, Fairlight digital sampling synthesizer
- Ian Bairnson - acoustic guitar, vocals, background vocals
- Brian Bath - electric guitar
- Alan Murphy - electric guitar
- Paddy Bush - harmonica, mandolin, strings, stick, vocals, background vocals, bullroarer
- Geoffrey Downes - trumpet, trumpet arrangement
- Rolf Harris - didjeridu
- Seán Keane - violin
- Dónal Lunny - bouzouki, bouz
- Liam O'Flynn - pipe, penny whistle, uilleann pipes
- Dave Lawson - synthesizer, Synclavier digital synthesizer & sampler, string arrangements
- Del Palmer - bass, vocals, fretless bass
- Jimmy Bain - bass
- Danny Thompson - bass
- Eberhard Weber - double bass
- Stuart Elliott - percussion, drums, stick
- Preston Heyman - drums, stick
- Esmail Sheikh - drums
- Percy Edwards - sound effects, vocals
- Stewart Arnold - vocals, background vocals
- Gordon Farrell - vocals
- Paul Hardiman - vocals, engineer, mixing
- Gary Hurst - vocals, background vocals
- David Gilmour - vocals, background vocals
- Richard Thornton - vocals, choir, chorus
- 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
Certifications and sales
- Gaffaweb - Chronology. Demo of "Sat in Your Lap", September 1980 - end, May 1982
- "Hepworth, David (16 September 1982). "Album Reviews (Kate Bush - "The Dreaming")". Smash Hits (EMAP Metro) 4 (19): p25.
- Wilson, MacKenzie. The Dreaming (album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2005.
- Acclaimed Music
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- Bjork - "My favorite records"
- Big Boi - 25 Favorite albums
- Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1980
- Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1981
- Gaffaweb - Chronology, 1982
- Melody Maker interview, 16 October 1982
- Bush, Kate. "Kate's KBC article Issue 12". KBC Newsletter. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- Official UK Charts - Kate Bush
- BPI - certified awards
- BBC Radio 1: 'Saturday Live', 25 February 1984
- Melody Maker. Colin Irwin, 11 September 1982
- Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Q - "Hounds of Love Sleeve Notes" by Phil Sutcliffe
- Q Magazine, "Booze, Fans and Me", December 1993
- Melody Maker "Dreamtime is Over", 16 October 1982
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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