The Dreaming (album)

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The Dreaming
Kate Bush The Dreaming Cover.jpg
Studio album by Kate Bush
Released 13 September 1982
Recorded September 1980 - May 1982[1]
Genre
Length 43:25
Label EMI (UK)
EMI America (USA & Canada)
Producer Kate Bush
Kate Bush chronology
Never for Ever
(1980)
The Dreaming
(1982)
Hounds of Love
(1985)
Singles from The Dreaming
  1. "Sat in Your Lap"
    Released: 21 June 1981
  2. "The Dreaming"
    Released: 26 July 1982
  3. "There Goes a Tenner"
    Released: 2 November 1982
  4. "Suspended in Gaffa"
    Released: 2 November 1982
  5. "Night of the Swallow"
    Released: 21 November 1983

The Dreaming is the fourth studio album by the English singer Kate Bush, released in 1982 via EMI Records. Recorded over two years, the album was produced entirely by Bush and is often characterized as her most unconventional and experimental release. The Dreaming peaked at no. 3 on the UK album chart and has been certified Silver by the BPI, but initially sold less than its predecessors and was met with mixed critical reception. Five singles from the album were released, including the UK No. 11 "Sat in Your Lap" and the title track.

The critical standing of the album has improved significantly in the recent decades.[6] Slant Magazine listed the album at #71 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[7] It is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die',[8] the Mojo "Top 50 Eccentric Albums of All Time" list[9] and The Word magazine's "Great Underrated Albums of Our Time" list.[10]

Recording and composition[edit]

Bush's third album Never For Ever had been a co-production between her and Jon Kelly. For her fourth album, she elected to produce the work entirely herself. With her newfound freedom, Bush experimented with production techniques, employing a diverse blend of musical styles. She also made extensive use of the Fairlight CMI digital sampling synthesizer, which she had first used on Never for Ever. She also collaborated with a variety of engineers, including Nick Launay, who had previously worked with artists such as Public Image Ltd and Phil Collins.[6] Recording began around the release of Never for Ever, with the first demo for "Sat in Your Lap" being laid down in September 1980, inspired after Bush attended a Stevie Wonder concert.[1]

According to critic Simon Reynolds, "armed with the Fairlight and other state-of-the-art machines, Bush pushed her existing maximalist tendencies to the brink of overload."[11] 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. Bush spoke of experiencing writer's block.[6] 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.[12] 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.[13]

The Dreaming has been characterized as an experimental release.[14][6][15] Sonically, the album employs folk instruments such as mandolins, uilleann pipes, and didgeridoos,[16] shifting time signatures and textures, polyrhythmic percussion, samples[6] and vocal loops.[17] Its songs draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including 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").[18] Other tracks explore more personal issues; "Sat in Your Lap" examines feelings of existential frustation and the search for knowledge, while "Leave It Open" speaks of the need to acknowledge and express the darker sides of one's personality.[19][20] The Quietus suggested that "The Dreaming’s disparate narratives frequently seem to be tropes for Bush’s quest for artistic autonomy and the anxieties that accompany it."[21]

Release and commercial performance[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.[22][23]

"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)[24]

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.[22] 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.[13]

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.[13]

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.[25]

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.[18] 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 former long-time partner Del Palmer.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[17]
Robert Christgau B+[16]
Smash Hits 8/10[26]
Spin 9/10[27]
The Quietus (very favourable)[6]

Initial response[edit]

Upon its release, The Dreaming met with a mixed critical reception. Many were baffled by the unconventional techniques and dense soundscapes Bush had employed.[6] Writing for Smash Hits, Neil Tennant described the album as "very weird. She’s obviously trying to become less commercial."[6] Colin Irwin of Melody Maker wrote that "initially it is bewildering and not a little preposterous, but try to hang on through the twisted overkill and the historic fits and there's much reward." He labelled "Suspended in Gaffa" the only "vaguely conventional track" and predicted the album failing in the charts.[28] American critic Robert Christgau wrote that "the revelation is the dense, demanding music," calling it "the most impressive Fripp/Gabriel-style art-rock album of the postpunk refulgence."[16] Jon Young of Trouser Press called it "a triumph of inventive songwriting and unpredictable performances" but warned that "its sensory overload will drive away the less than dedicated."[29]

Contemporary reception[edit]

In a later review AllMusic called it "a theatrical and abstract piece of work," as well as "a brilliant predecessor to the charming beauty of 1985's Hounds of Love."[17] The Quietus called it "a brave volte face from a mainstream artist" and "a startlingly modern record too," noting its "organic hybridization, the use of digital and analogue techniques, its use of modern wizadry to access atavistic states."[6] In 2014, critic Simon Reynolds called The Dreaming a "holly unfettered mistress-piece" and "a delirious, head-spinning experience."[11] Bush herself has called The Dreaming her "I've gone mad album" and said it wasn't particularly commercial.[25] On later revisiting the album she said she was surprised by the sound, saying that it was quite an angry record.[30]

In recent years, musicians such as Björk and Big Boi cited The Dreaming as one of their favourite albums of all time.[31][32]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - THE GARDEN - A Chronology of Kate Bush's Career". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Lindsay, Matthew (11 September 2012). "30 Years On: The Dreaming By Kate Bush". The Quietus. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "CG: Kate bush". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Grimstad, Paul. "What is Avant-Pop?". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Smith, Bradley (1998). The Billboard Guide to Progressive Music. Billboard Books. p. 55. ISBN 978-0823076659. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "30 Years On: The Dreaming By Kate Bush". The Quietus. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s | Feature". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rocklist.net...Steve Parker...1001 Albums". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Mojo - 100 greatest singles of all time". Muzieklijstjes.nl. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Rocklist.net...Steve Parker...The Word Lists". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon. "Kate Bush, the queen of art-pop who defied her critics". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - THE GARDEN - A Chronology of Kate Bush's Career". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - THE GARDEN - A Chronology of Kate Bush's Career". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  14. ^ > (22 August 2014). "Kate Bush – Album By Album – Uncut". Uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Paul Simpson. "The Rough Guide to Cult Pop". Books.google.com. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c 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. 
  17. ^ a b c Wilson, MacKenzie. The Dreaming at AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2005.
  18. ^ a b "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Melody Maker - "Dreamtime Is Over" by Paul Simper - Oct. 16, 1982". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Bush, Kate. "Kate's KBC article Issue 12". KBC Newsletter. Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  20. ^ John P Lucas. "Kate Bush: 10 of the best". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  21. ^ Walters, Barry (12 June 2016). "Kate Bush The Dreaming". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "Kate Bush | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "Certified Awards LAtest News". Bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  24. ^ BBC Radio 1: 'Saturday Live', 25 February 1984
  25. ^ a b "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Q - "Hounds of Love Sleeve Notes" by Phil Sutcliffe". Gaffa.org. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  26. ^ "Hepworth, David (16 September 1982). "Album Reviews (Kate Bush - "The Dreaming")". Smash Hits. Vol. 4 no. 19. EMAP Metro. p. 25. 
  27. ^ "The Dreaming". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  28. ^ "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - MELODY MAKER - Dreaming review by Colin Irwin - September 11th 1982 (Great!)". Gaffa.org. 11 September 1982. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  29. ^ Young, Jon. "Kate Bush: The Dreaming review". Trouser Press. 
  30. ^ "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Q - "Booze, Fags, Blokes And Me" - December 1993". Gaffa.org. 1 November 1993. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: My Favorite Records: Björk". The Rest Is Noise. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  32. ^ Isenberg, Daniel (8 January 2013). "Kate Bush, The Dreaming (1982) - Big Boi's 25 Favorite Albums". Complex.com. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  34. ^ "op Albums/CDs - Volume 37, No. 16" (PHP). RPM. 4 December 1982. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Kate Bush - The Dreaming". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  37. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  38. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Kate Bush - The Dreaming". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "swedishcharts.com Kate Bush - The Dreaming". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  40. ^ "Kate Bush > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  41. ^ Allmusic - The Dreaming > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  42. ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush - The Dreaming" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1982 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  44. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1982" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  45. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  46. ^ "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. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]