The Red Shoes (album)

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The Red Shoes
Kate Bush - The Red Shoes (album).jpg
Studio album by Kate Bush
Released 2 November 1993
Recorded 1990-93
Genre Art rock, alternative rock, baroque pop
Length 55:30
Label EMI
Columbia (US)
Producer Kate Bush
Kate Bush chronology
This Woman's Work: Anthology 1978–1990
The Red Shoes
Live at Hammersmith Odeon
Singles from The Red Shoes
  1. "Rubberband Girl"
    Released: 6 September 1993
  2. "Eat the Music"
    Released: 7 September 1993
  3. "Moments of Pleasure"
    Released: 15 November 1993
  4. "The Red Shoes"
    Released: 5 April 1994
  5. "And So Is Love"
    Released: 7 November 1994

The Red Shoes is the seventh studio album by the English musician Kate Bush. Released in November 1993, it was accompanied by Bush's short film, The Line, the Cross and the Curve, and was her last album before taking a 12-year hiatus. The album peaked at number two on the UK album chart and has been certified Platinum by the BPI for over 300,000 copies shipped.[1] In the US, the album reached number 28, her highest chart position there to date.


The Red Shoes was inspired by the 1948 film of the same name by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which itself was inspired by the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. It concerns a dancer, possessed by her art, who cannot take off the eponymous shoes and find peace.[2]

Bush had suggested she would tour for The Red Shoes and deliberately aimed for a "live band" feel, with less of the studio trickery that had typified her last three albums (which would be difficult to recreate on stage). However, the tour never materialised.

This was a troubled time for Bush, who had suffered a series of bereavements including the loss of her favoured guitarist, Alan Murphy, and, most painfully, her mother, Hannah, who died the year before the album's release.[3] Bush's long-term relationship with bassist Del Palmer had also ended, although the pair continued to work together. "I've been very affected by these last two years," she had remarked in late 1991. "They've been incredibly intense years for me. Maybe not on a work level, but a lot has happened to me. I feel I've learnt a lot – and, yes, I think (my next album) is going to be quite different… I hope the people that are waiting for it feel it's worth the wait."[4]

Many of the people she lost are honoured on the ballad, "Moments of Pleasure", as well as director Michael Powell, with whom she had discussed working shortly before his death in 1990. Composer and conductor Michael Kamen contributed a score for the song.

Most notably, The Red Shoes featured many more high-profile cameo appearances than her previous efforts. The track "Why Should I Love You?" featured prominent instrumental and vocal contributions from Prince (a longstanding Bush fan) as well as guest vocals from comedian Lenny Henry. "And So Is Love" features guitar work by Eric Clapton, and Gary Brooker (from the band Procol Harum), and Jeff Beck also collaborated. Trio Bulgarka (who'd contributed to The Sensual World) appeared on three songs: "You're the One", "The Song of Solomon", and "Why Should I Love You?".[2]

A short film, The Line, the Cross & the Curve, written and directed by Bush, and starring herself and English actress Miranda Richardson [2] was released the same year. It featured six songs from the album: "Rubberband Girl", "And So Is Love", "The Red Shoes", "Moments of Pleasure", "Eat The Music", and "Lily". The first five were used as promo videos for the singles, though Bush recorded a separate video for the American release of "Rubberband Girl" (though this video is intercut with clips from The Line, the Cross and the Curve).

In 1995, Bush has received nomination for BRIT Award as Best British Female Artist for the track Rubberband Girl.[5]

The album was recorded digitally, and Bush has since expressed regrets about the results of this, which is why she revisited seven of the songs using analogue tape for her 2011 album Director's Cut.

Bush performed Lily and Top of the City for the first time in the Before the Dawn 2014 series of concerts.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kate Bush.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Rubberband Girl" 4:42
2. "And So Is Love" 4:16
3. "Eat the Music" 5:08
4. "Moments of Pleasure" 5:16
5. "The Song of Solomon" 4:27
6. "Lily" 3:51
Total length: 29:40
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "The Red Shoes" 4:00
8. "Top of the City" 4:14
9. "Constellation of the Heart" 4:46
10. "Big Stripey Lie" 3:32
11. "Why Should I Love You?" 5:00
12. "You're the One" 5:52
Total length: 27:24



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Red Shoes". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Red Shoes in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Search
  2. ^ a b c "Kate Bush". NNDB. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ BBC Radio 1 interview, 14 December 1991
  5. ^
  6. ^ Allmusic review
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (11 November 1993). "Kate Bush The Red Shoes (Columbia)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  8. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. 
  9. ^ " Kate Bush - The Red Shoes". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kate Bush – The Red Shoes –". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 58, No. 21" (PHP). RPM. 4 December 1993. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  12. ^ " Kate Bush - The Red Shoes". MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush – The Red Shoes" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "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 Red Shoes by Kate Bush]. (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  16. ^ " - Kate Bush - The Red Shoes". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  17. ^ " Kate Bush - The Red Shoes". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Kate Bush - The Red Shoes -". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Kate Bush > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Allmusic - The Red Shoes > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  21. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1993". RPM. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Music Canada. 
  24. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Red Shoes in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search