Kate Bush’s first album came out when she was just 20 years old, in 1978. She had been “discovered” prior to that by David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd fame. I imagine it wasn’t that difficult to notice how unusual she was, how eccentric, cerebral, gifted, and glowingly strange. Many of my favorite female singer/songwriters from the 90s were influenced a great deal by her. Milla Jovovich, Tori Amos, and P.J. Harvey, especially. And she was quite the buzz in the literary circles of two colleges I attended. Which made sense. Sound and sense. Kate Bush utilized literary sources for many of her songs, and recently contributed to the songtrack of The Golden Compass. Dickens, Bronte, Joyce and Tennyson are some of the literary giants she integrated into her music. Bush wanted to use at least some of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from Ulysses in her song, The Sensual World, but the Joyce estate said no. So she wrote her own lyrics for Molly.
Of course, the fact that Kate Bush is literary and influenced by great writers was not the sole reason for her popularity. She sings beautifully, is wild strange, writes haunting songs, and follows no formula. If you have forgotten about her, give her a listen . . .
Hounds of Love