kate bush will release triple-album documenting her first live performance in 35 years
In 2014, the enigmatic British icon returned to the stage for the first time since 1979. Now, she’s releasing a trio of discs that capture the magic of those London shows — including much of her best album, 'Hounds of Love.'
Image via Flickr
Exactly two years ago tonight, the Hammersmith Apollo theater was buzzing. Kate Bush was in the midst of her 22-show residency at the historic London venue, her first stage performances since her only other live appearance, a run of dates during the spring of 1979. All 22 shows sold out within 15 minutes, and tickets fetched upwards of $1,300 a whack on the secondary market. It was a tough blow for super fans who didn't have a month's rent to sacrifice, or who live across an ocean (hi) — and though it's a majorly commendable move in the digital age, Bush's call for no cell phone use during the shows made the FOMO from afar all the worse. But now, fans around the world can share in the magic of Bush's Before the Dawn shows: she's releasing a new triple-album of live recordings on November 25. Way better than some shaky iPhone rip from the crowd.
The album arrives as a trio, mirroring the stage performance's separate acts. The first disc spans seven greatest hits, like "Hounds of Love" and "Running Up That Hill" — both lifted from what's often considered Bush's best record, Hounds of Love. Fans of the 1985 smash certainly got their money's worth at the shows, where they were treated to its entire B-side, The Ninth Wave. That suite forms the new record's second disc. (Given that Bush's only tour predated Hounds of Love, perhaps she was feeling inspired to perform it to her adoring public for the very first time). One of the album's most magnificent singles, "Cloudbusting," closes the third disc, which otherwise contains a selection of songs from 2005's Aerial. A previously unreleased song, "Tawny Moon," can also be found on this third disc. During the live shows, Bush's son Albert McIntosh performed this track.
News of the 2014 residency awakened fanatical interest in an artist who has become one of Britain's best-selling of all time, not with commercial ear-candy but experimental avant-pop. Prior to the shows, The New York Times ran a profile on Bush fans and impersonators making the pilgrimage to London from all corners of the world (two flew in from Japan). Since then, we've been treated to new photobooks — one from her official photographer, two from her own brother — and met her most dedicated record collector.
Though Bush's set omitted songs from her first four albums (no "Wuthering Heights" for you Cathys this time we're afraid), the new live trio is a majorly exciting release for Bush fans old and new. Pitchfork reports that "although the 2014 performances were filmed, there are no plans to release the video footage." Maybe Big Boi can get to the bottom of it.
Text Emily Manning