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Wow (Kate Bush song)

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Single by Kate Bush
from the album Lionheart
Released9 March 1979 (1979-03-09)
Length3:41 (single edit)
4:00 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Kate Bush
Producer(s)Andrew Powell
assisted by Kate Bush
Kate Bush singles chronology
"Hammer Horror"
"Symphony in Blue"
Music video
"Wow" on YouTube

"Wow" is a song by the English musician Kate Bush. Originally released on her second album Lionheart in 1978, it was issued as the album's second single in March 1979. The song became a top 20 hit in the UK and in Ireland.

"'Wow' is about the music business," she told her KBC fan club magazine in 1979. "Not just rock music but show business in general. It was sparked off when I sat down to try to write a Pink Floyd song – something spacey."[1]


The song was released in the UK on 9 March 1979[2] and peaked at number 14 in the UK Singles Chart, remaining on the chart for ten weeks.[3]

The single features an edited version of "Wow", although it is not labelled as such on most editions. On all European "Wow" singles, the first 12 seconds of synthesiser chords have been removed. Brazil and Canada used the full-length LP version.

Bush made a guest appearance on the TV Special ABBA in Switzerland, where she performed this song in April 1979.[4] Around the time of this release, Bush embarked on her live concert tour. Due to this and the release of the single, Bush's second album Lionheart saw a resurgence of interest in the UK albums chart, by making a re-entry into the top twenty for several weeks.[3]

The song became a hit in other countries such as Ireland where it reached No.17.[5] The Canadian single featured a unique sleeve and was pressed on transparent yellow vinyl. The song was a moderate hit on Canada's Adult Contemporary singles chart in RPM Magazine.

"Wow" was a target for comedian Faith Brown who parodied it on her show.[6] In 2012 The Guardian called "Wow" the "undisputed highlight" of the Lionheart album.[7]


"Wow" also appears on Bush's compilation hits album The Whole Story, released in 1986. For the video compilation of this album, a new video was made of "Wow", featuring a montage of Bush performing live in concert.

This song was featured in the 2002 Rockstar North video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as part of the power ballads radio station Emotion 98.3.[8] However, it wasn't featured on the 10th anniversary edition re-release.

Music video[edit]

A video was filmed for the release, featuring Bush performing the song in a darkened studio, and then backed by spotlights during the chorus.

The video for "Wow" was censored by the BBC because the song was considered risqué. The video shows Bush patting her bottom while singing "he's too busy hitting the Vaseline". Vaseline was once defined as a personal sexual lubricant.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Kate Bush.

7-inch vinyl

  1. "Wow" (edited version) – 3:46
  2. "Fullhouse" – 3:13



Chart (1979) Peak
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[10] 28
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 17
UK Singles (OCC)[11] 14

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Quoted in Never Forever fanzine, No. 17, December 1991
  2. ^ "Kate Bush singles".
  3. ^ a b "Kate Bush – Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  4. ^ "ABBA in Switzerland". Abbaontv.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Wow". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Top 5 Kate Bush spoofs". Telegraph.co.uk. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  7. ^ Chesterton, George (25 January 2012). "Old music: Kate Bush – Wow". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "New Grand Theft Auto Game Features Kate!". Katebushnews.com. 11 November 2002. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  9. ^ Petridis, Alexis (28 July 2018). "Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! 60 unbelievable facts about Kate Bush". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 4519." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Kate Bush: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Jazz Artist Liza Lee Releasing Exciting New CD, Anima, with a Personal Mission on January 27, 2009". Prweb.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.