Bush is one of the finest and most original musical talents to emerge from the UK at the end of the 20th century. Her status is all the more remarkable considering that her reputation has been established almost exclusively on the back of her studio albums, with the singer completing only one single concert tour during her career. Bush was signed to EMI Records as a precociously talented 16 year old, and was given three years in which to complete her education and further develop her songwriting and dancing skills. Her 1978 debut album The Kick Inside was a remarkably mature collection of songs, with subject matter including child murder (the title track), menstruation (Strange Phenomena), and frank sexuality (Feel It; The Man With The Child In His Eyes). A stunning appearance on the UK’s chart show Top Of The Pops performing the hit single Wuthering Heights was many people’s first introduction to Bush. The almost demented vocals and the singer’s innovative dance movements were as shocking in a way as the most brutal of the punk groups. Following the completion of a concert tour Bush retreated to the studio, a stance she would maintain for the rest of her career. Her next two albums showed her developing as an artist, and while not quite as thrilling as the debut, showed that she had staying power. The remarkable album The Dreaming, marked the real sea change in Bush’s career, with its experimental song structures and extensive use of the sampling Fairlight CMI synthesizer. The album would prove to have a major impact on other artists and their approach to songwriting, although it was met with baffled bemusement by the majority of her fanbase. The perfect fusion of experimentation and melodic accessibility was achieved on the follow-up, Hounds Of Love, one of the finest albums of the decade and a major international success. From this point onwards Bush’s albums became less and less frequent, and following the release of The Red Shoes in 1993, she retreated from the music business to concentrate on raising her sons. Her return in 2005 with the lush, imaginative Aerial was a source of great joy for music fans the world over.
Followers: Tori Amos, Goldfrapp, Sinead O’Connor, Amy Winehouse, Björk, Little Boots
Influenced By: Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, David Bowie...