Hounds of Love [UK]

Hounds of Love [UK]

by Kate Bush


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Kate Bush's strongest album to date also marked her breakthrough into the American charts, and yielded a set of dazzling videos as well as an enviable body of hits, spearheaded by "Running Up That Hill," her biggest single since "Wuthering Heights." Strangely enough, Hounds of Love was no less complicated in its structure, imagery, and extra-musical references (even lifting a line of dialogue from Jacques Tourneur's Curse of the Demon for the intro of the title song) than The Dreaming, which had been roundly criticized for being too ambitious and complex. But Hounds of Love was more carefully crafted as a pop record, and it abounded in memorable melodies and arrangements, the latter reflecting idioms ranging from orchestrated progressive pop to high-wattage traditional folk; and at the center of it all was Bush in the best album-length vocal performance of her career, extending her range and also drawing expressiveness from deep inside of herself, so much so that one almost feels as though he's eavesdropping at moments during "Running Up That Hill." Hounds of Love is actually a two-part album (the two sides of the original LP release being the now-lost natural dividing line), consisting of the suites "Hounds of Love" and "The Ninth Wave." The former is steeped in lyrical and sonic sensuality that tends to wash over the listener, while the latter is about the experiences of birth and rebirth. If this sounds like heady stuff, it could be, but Bush never lets the material get too far from its pop trappings and purpose. In some respects, this was also Bush's first fully realized album, done completely on her own terms, made entirely at her own 48-track home studio, to her schedule and preferences, and delivered whole to EMI as a finished work; that history is important, helping to explain the sheer presence of the album's most striking element -- the spirit of experimentation at every turn, in the little details of the sound. That vastly divergent grasp, from the minutiae of each song to the broad sweeping arc of the two suites, all heavily ornamented with layered instrumentation, makes this record wonderfully overpowering as a piece of pop music. Indeed, this reviewer hadn't had so much fun and such a challenge listening to a new album from the U.K. since Abbey Road, and it's pretty plain that Bush listened to (and learned from) a lot of the Beatles' output in her youth. Incidentally, those seeking to hear the full, exquisite sonic range of Hounds of Love (or any of Bush's pre-1990s albums, for that matter) should ignore the U.S.-made EMI America CDs and go for any of the British CD editions, either individually or in the This Woman's Work set; or, better still on Hounds of Love, the boxed edition with bonus tracks released in conjunction with EMI's 100th anniversary in 1997.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/29/1998
Label: Emi Import
UPC: 0724385797828
catalogNumber: 57978

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kate Bush   Primary Artist,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Voices,fairlight
Dónal Lunny   Bouzouki,Bodhran
Eberhard Weber   Bass
Youth   Bass
John Williams [guitar]   Guitar
Brian Bath   Guitar,Background Vocals
John Carder Bush   Vocals,Background Vocals,Narrator
Paddy Bush   Harmonica,Mandolin,Violin,Balalaika,Vocals,Background Vocals,Didjeridu,Vocal Harmony,Fujara
Stuart Elliott   Drums
Richard Hickox   Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Choir Master
Kevin McAlea   Synthesizer
Charlie Morgan   Drums,Hand Clapping
Alan Murphy   Guitar
Liam O'Flynn   Pipe,uillean pipes
Del Palmer   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,fairlight,Linn
Morris Pert   Percussion
John Sheaham   Wind
Richard Thickox   Vocals
Danny Thompson   Bass,Double Bass
Medici Sextet   Strings
Jonathan Williams   Guitar,Cello
John Sheahan   Fiddle,Human Whistle

Technical Credits

Kate Bush   Producer
Michael Berkeley   Vocal Arrangements
Haydn Bendall   Engineer
Paddy Bush   Contributor
Pearse Dunne   Engineer
James Guthrie   Engineer
Paul Hardiman   Engineer
Richard Hickox   Director
Dave Lawson   String Arrangements
Kevin McAlea   Contributor
Del Palmer   Programming,Engineer,Contributor
Brian Tench   Engineer
Nigel Walker   Engineer
Bill Whelan   Arranger
Ian Cooper   Cut
Bill Somerville-Large   Engineer
Bendall Haydn   Engineer
Jim Jones   Studio Personnel

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