The Sensual World is the sixth studio album by the British singer Kate Bush. It was released in October 1989 and peaked at no.2 in the UK album charts. It has been certified Platinum by the BPI for sales of 300,000 in the UK, and Gold by the RIAA in the US.
Slant Magazine listed the album at #55 on its list of the "Best Albums of the 1980s" saying "Blessed with one of music's most wildly expressive voices, Bush takes each song further than she has to, resulting in an album that forms its own unique world."
Bush drew inspiration for the title track from the novel Ulysses by James Joyce. Bush realised that Molly Bloom's soliloquy, the closing passage of the novel, fitted the music she had created. When the Joyce estate refused to release the text, Bush wrote original lyrics that echo the original passage, as Molly steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. She also alluded to "Jerusalem" by William Blake in a reference to the song's gestation ("And my arrows of desire rewrite the speech"). The song includes Irish instrumentation (uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistle) under a breathy rendering of the orgasmic 'Yes' of the original text.
The songs "Deeper Understanding," "Never Be Mine," and "Rocket's Tail" all feature backing vocals by the Bulgarian vocal ensemble Trio Bulgarka. "Heads We're Dancing" includes a characteristic Mick Karn fretless bassline. The song "This Woman's Work" from the movie She's Having a Baby (1988) was re-edited for this album. On 27 November 2005 it was featured in the British TV drama Walk Away and I Stumble starring Tamzin Outhwaite. Due to that broadcast, the song reached #3 on the UK download chart in late 2005. This song has also been used in a long-running UK television advert for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, broadcast in 2005–2008, and in the Extras Christmas Special in 2007. A version of the song was recorded by R&B artist Maxwell in 1997 for his MTV Unplugged album.
Released as CD players were becoming increasingly popular, the original LP ended with "This Woman's Work", whilst "Walk Straight Down the Middle" was included as a bonus track on the CD and cassette versions of the album. The gap between these two tracks is slightly longer to indicate the album was intended to finish with "This Woman's Work".
A video collection called The Sensual World: The Videos was also released. It contained videos for the title song, "Love and Anger", and "This Woman's Work" (all directed by Bush herself), as well as excerpts from an interview Bush gave to the music TV channel VH1.
The Sensual World received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
In 2010, Audio Fidelity reissued The Sensual World on vinyl with new mastering by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray.
In May 2011, Bush released a new album, Director's Cut which featured entirely re-conceived versions of four songs from The Sensual World, including the title song in its new incarnation, "Flower of the Mountain". Finally having received permission from the Joyce estate, Bush recorded a new vocal using Molly Bloom's soliloquy as the lyric. Additionally, she re-recorded a spare, piano-only version of "This Woman's Work". The new version of "Deeper Understanding" was released as a single, with an accompanying video.
Track listing 
All songs written and composed by Kate Bush.
||"Between a Man and a Woman"
||"Never Be Mine"
||"This Woman's Work"
||"Walk Straight Down the Middle" (CD bonus track)
- Haydn Bendall: engineer
- Andrew Boland: engineer
- Stoyanka Boneva: vocals
- Kate Bush: piano, keyboards, vocals, background vocals, producer
- Paddy Bush: mandolin, background vocals, valiha, whip, tupan
- Clare Connors: violin
- Ian Cooper: cutting engineer
- Stuart Elliott: drums
- Eva Georgieva: vocals
- John Giblin: bass guitar
- David Gilmour: guitar
- Paul Gomazel: engineer
- John Grimes: assistant engineer
- Michael Kamen: arranger, orchestration
- Mick Karn: bass guitar
- Nigel Kennedy: violin, viola
- Kevin Killen: engineer, mixing
- Tom Leader: assistant engineer
- Dónal Lunny: bouzouki
- Charlie Morgan: drums
- Alan Murphy: guitar
- Michael Nyman: string arrangements
- Del Palmer: bass guitar, percussion, rhythm guitar, engineer, Fairlight CMI, mixing
- Justin Pearson: cello
- Dimiter Penev: arranger
- Yanka Rupkina: vocals
- John Sheahan: fiddle
- Davy Spillane: pipe, whistle (human), whistle (instrument), uilleann pipes
- Alan Stivell: background vocals, Celtic harp
- Trio Bulgarka: vocals
- Eberhard Weber: solid-body electric double bass
- Bill Whelan: arranger
- Jonathan Williams: cello
"While Bush's famously fey voice would probably be enough to hold the disparate strands of The Sensual World together, the album takes its cue and colouring too from the hypnotically sinuous sway of the pipes on the title track," wrote Robert Sandall in Q. "There are some strapping power chords to be despatched here and there, most notably on Love And Anger, but the dominant mood is of Oriental reverie, similar in feel to that achieved latterly by Japan. And in fact the last track on side one, Heads We're Dancing, reproduces that mysteriously sproingy bass sound favoured by Mick Karn."
Chart positions 
Year-end charts 
Certifications & Sales 
The Sensual World - The Videos 
- Track listing
- "The Sensual World"
- "Love And Anger"
- "This Woman's Work"
See also 
- ^ "Music - Review of Kate Bush - The Sensual World". BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. The Sensual World - Kate Bush | AllMusic at Allmusic. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- ^ "Kate Bush | album reviews". adriandenning.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- ^ Kot, Greg (26 October 1989). "Kate Bush The Sensual World". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- ^ http://www.fluffhouse.org.uk/musicreviews/album.php?albumid=64
- ^ http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/A771.htm
- ^ http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/A771.htm
- ^ Hochman, Steve (15 November 1989). "A Grown-Up Kate Bush Veers Closer to Earth : Kate Bush "The Sensual World."". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Record Rack. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- ^ Christgau, Robert (13 March 1990). "Consumer Guide: Kate Bush: The Sensual World". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 January 2012. Relevant portion also posted at "Kate Bush: The Sensual World > Consumer Guide Album". robertchristgau.com. Robert Christgau. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Sensual World". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Sensual World in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- ^ a b "American album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- ^ http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/feature/best-albums-of-the-1980s/308/page_5
- ^ Littlejohn, Maureen. "The Sensual Woman". Network magazine. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- ^ "Official UK Download Chart Book". DigitalStar.org.uk. Archived from the original on 6 January 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- ^ Cromelin, Richard / Hunt Dennis (11 January 1991). "Grammys--Round 1 : Pop music: Phil Collins' 8 nominations lead the pack and Quincy Jones sets a record with his 74th nod. The winners will be revealed on Feb. 20.". articles.latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- ^ "Kate Bush : The Sensual World". audiofidelity. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- ^ Q, November 1998
- ^ "australian-charts.com Kate Bush - The Sensual World". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "dutchcharts.nl Kate Bush - The Sensual World". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1989" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- ^ ケイト・ブッシュ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of The Sensual World by Kate Bush". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "charts.org.nz - Kate Bush - The Sensual World". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "norwegiancharts.com Kate Bush - The Sensual World". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "swedishcharts.com Kate Bush - The Sensual World". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "Kate Bush - The Sensual World - hitparade.ch". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- ^ "Chart Stats - Kate Bush - The Sensual World". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- ^ Allmusic - The Sensual World > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
- ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1989". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World". Music Canada.
- ^ "French album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World". British Phonographic Industry. Enter The Sensual World in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- ^ "Kate Bush: The Sensual World (The Videos) - Cast, Reviews, Summary, and Awards - AllRovi". allrovi.com. Retrieved 12 August 2011.