New editions of Catherine Bush’s fourth LP here courtesy of Parlophone. People weren’t sure what to make of The Dreaming when it came out - too uncommercial, they said. However, time has been kind to the record. The Dreaming is now regarded as an unsung gem of Bush’s catalogue and regularly appears in those 'Best Albums Of The 1980s' lists. Both Big Boi and Björk are fans, dontcha know.
Vinyl LP £18.99 0190295593872
Remastered LP on Parlophone.
CD £12.49 0190295568955
Remastered CD on Parlophone.
If Phil were alive (actually don't worry he is alive he's just not on this side of the room) he'd say don't waste your time writing about a Kate Bush album from 1981 that everyone already knows about. He'd also say though that the Dreaming and Hounds of Love are Kate's best work. Phil likes the latter best but I plump for the Dreaming every time.
Just how was this made in 1981? It makes no sense - it sounds a billion light years ahead of its time. Yes there's Fairlight synths at work but really no-one was using them like this in 1981. It uses syn-drums too but they sound ridiculously good. Who else would have thought of using them as a hook as on the opening bonkers but brilliant 'Sat In Your Lap'? A deranged rush of a song that gets caught in your head even though it's near impossible to sing along. The entire first side here is exceptional, track after track of exotic, playful, innovative music that is upbeat and dynamic. Kate uses her famed hushed vocal then squeaky higher vocal trick throughout here - her voice is full of unusual textures. On 'Pull Out the Pin' Dave Gilmour makes a hushed appearance for even more dynamism - the way his voice combines with Kate's voice is just incredible. It's eerie and brilliant and every time you think it's reached it's melodic peak it goes into another bit. This, 'Leave it Open' and 'The Dreaming' are the three highlights of not just this album but her entire career as far as I'm concerned.
Ah the title track. What a thing. Terrified me as a child. I remember even then reading articles saying that she'd lost the plot but she was just making music that no-one had even thought to conceive, that's all. Like Hounds of Love, it's an album of two halves. After the Dreaming itself it's impossible to get more innovative so we head back into a world of eerie ballads. The bonkers pop will have to wait til you play the record again and explore it all once again. It's A side and the Dreaming alone are enough to get this as classic status.
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- The Dreaming by Kate Bush