King of the Mountain (Kate Bush song)

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"King of the Mountain"
Single by Kate Bush
from the album Aerial
B-side"Sexual Healing"
Released24 October 2005 (2005-10-24)
Songwriter(s)Kate Bush
Producer(s)Kate Bush
Kate Bush singles chronology
"And So Is Love"
"King of the Mountain"
"Deeper Understanding (Director's Cut)"
Music video
"King of the Mountain" on YouTube

"King of the Mountain" is a song by British singer-songwriter Kate Bush. Taken from her eighth album, Aerial (2005), it was released on 24 October 2005 as the album's only single. It became her biggest hit in over a decade, peaking at number four in the United Kingdom and reaching the top 20 in several other European countries and Canada.


"King of the Mountain" was released as a single by EMI Records on 24 October 2005,[2] Bush's first single since "And So Is Love", which had been released 11 years before. It was first played on BBC Radio 2 on 21 September 2005.

Written about ten years before most of the songs on Aerial,[1] the lyrics enquire whether Elvis Presley might still be alive someplace, "...looking like a happy man..." and playing with "Rosebud", Kane's childhood's sled, and comment on the pressures of extreme fame and wealth. In a November 2005 interview with BBC Four's Front Row Bush said, "I don't think human beings are really built to withstand that kind of fame."[1]

Sung in a slightly slurred Elvis-type manner,[1] the track was produced by Bush; the recording was engineered by Del Palmer and mastered by James Guthrie. The cover art is a drawing by her son Bertie.

The B-side of the UK single is a cover version of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", which features Irish musician Davy Spillane on uilleann pipes, originally recorded for his 1994 A Place Among the Stones album. The track was left off the Spillane album as it didn't fit with the sound of the rest of the record and before the 2005 release, Bush's version of "Sexual Healing" had only been heard publicly once, at the 1994 Kate Bush fan club convention in the Hippodrome, London.

Chart performance[edit]

Upon its release, the single entered the UK Singles Chart at number four, becoming Bush's first top-10 single in nearly 20 years (since "Don't Give Up", her duet with Peter Gabriel, reached number nine in 1986). The single also reached the top five in Canada and charted in several other countries. It is the only single from the album Aerial.

Music video[edit]

The music video received its first airing on the UK's Channel 4 on 15 October 2005. It was directed by Jimmy Murakami, produced by Michael Algar, edited at The Farm (Dublin) by Hugh Chaloner with flame and 3D effects by Niall O hOisin, Arron Inglis, Brian O'Durnin and Mark from Australia.

Live performances[edit]

The track was performed live at the Before the Dawn residency in 2014, and a live version released on the Before the Dawn album in 2016.

Track listing[edit]

1."King of the Mountain"4:53
2."Sexual Healing"5:58


Weekly chart performance for "King of the Mountain"
Chart (2005) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 71
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[7] 5
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[8] 12
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[9] 3
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 42
Greece (IFPI Greece)[11] 31
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 13
Italy (FIMI)[13] 24
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 13
Scotland (OCC)[15] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 47
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 4


  1. ^ a b c d "Gaffaweb – Kate Bush – REACHING OUT – BBC4 "Front Row"". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  2. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 22 October 2005. p. 33.
  3. ^ King of the Mountain (UK CD single liner notes). Kate Bush. EMI Records. 2005. CDEM 674, 0946 343524 2 0.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ King of the Mountain (UK 7-inch single sleeve). Kate Bush. EMI Records. 2005. EM 674, 0946 343524 7 5.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ King of the Mountain (Canadian CD single liner notes). Kate Bush. EMI Records. 2005. 09463435242 8.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. ^ "Kate Bush – King of the Mountain" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Kate Bush Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Hits of the World – Eurocharts" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 117, no. 46. 12 November 2005. p. 55. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Kate Bush: King of the Mountain" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Kate Bush – King of the Mountain" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Top 50 Singles: Eβδομάδα 11-17/12" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on 17 December 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2005.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – King of the Mountain". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Kate Bush – King of the Mountain". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Kate Bush – King of the Mountain" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Kate Bush – King of the Mountain". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 April 2020.