Tag Archives: Kate Bush

Rocks In The Attic #604: Yes – ‘90125’ (1983)

RITA#604Is it wrong to feel a certain amount of shame for preferring this to the more celebrated Yes albums? Probably, but just listen to those awesome samples on Owner Of A Lonely Heart. It reminds me of the kind of thing John Barry was doing on the soundtracks to A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights – sampling in its infancy using a Fairlight synthesiser, already well-established from its use by Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Thomas Dolby.

Of course, diehard Yes fans will argue that this isn’t really a Yes album, but nobody’s really arguing. It’s a Yes album in name alone. Ex-Yes members Chris Squire (bass) and Alan White (drums) joined forces with founding Yes member Tony Kaye (keyboards) and a non-Yes player in Trevor Rabin (guitars / vocals). Even with three ex-Yes members, together with the production duties of ex-Yes vocalist Trevor Horn, they still didn’t feel confident to label the project under the Yes banner. They chose the name Cinema, not the greatest band name ever, but then again there’s been a lot worse.

However, when former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson joined the recording late in the process, there was too much history involved. And of course, the record company (Atco, a division of Atlantic Records) would have been chomping at the bit to get a new Yes album in the can, with a ready-made fan base.

The material couldn’t sound any different to the folky prog that Yes were known for. It’s very much a record of its time, sounding like the kind of BIG SOUNDING, generic American AOR that would be used on soundtracks to big Hollywood films. The finger pointing probably lands on Trevor Horn’s production more than anything else, as you could imagine a lot of the material played on analogue equipment in the previous decade. The use of the Fairlight, alongside Horn’s slick production turns it into something else.

Hit: Owner Of A Lonely Heart

Hidden Gem: Hold O

Rocks In The Attic #533: Kate Bush – ‘The Kick Inside’ (1978)

rita533Almost 1,000 records on my shelves (I’m currently sitting at 996 at the time of writing), and I’ve only just got around to buying my first Kate Bush album. I saw this, her 1978 debut, and Lionheart, her follow-up from the same year, at the Auckland record fair last weekend. Five dollars each? Yes, please.

It always feels a bit nicer to not only listen to records in chronological order, but also to buy them in chronological order too. I also saw Hounds Of Love, my favourite album of hers, in the same rack, but not only was it a bit on the dirty side – which admittedly, I could have cleaned up – it would have ruined the OCD part of my brain to buy album numbers one, two and…five.

I must admit I’m not the biggest Kate Bush fan. She’s just somebody I haven’t managed to get around to listening to in great detail. I know the hits from growing up in England, but a lot of the album tracks would be new to me.

She makes for a weird listen; kind of like how I see Lorde these days. A strange voice, odd lyrics that read more like poetry than anything else in the pop charts, and everything sung in such an odd meter that you’d be forgiven for mishearing a lot of the lyrics. Kate Bush doesn’t so much start a word on one bar and finish it on the next; instead she seems to effortlessly make it up on the spot, stretching or squeezing in syllables wherever she cares to.

It’s very much appreciated that the record comes with the lyrics printed on the rear cover. I’d struggled to understand most of Wuthering Heights in all my years on earth, and even with a cursory glance at the words I’d struggle to sing along even now.

Hit: Wuthering Heights

Hidden Gem: Moving

Rocks In The Attic #375: Rod Stewart – ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’ (1986)

RITA#375Somebody’s been listening to Kate Bush and Robert Palmer, haven’t they? Opener Here To Eternity takes more than a little of inspiration from Bush’s Running Up That Hill. Second song Another Heartache borrows the drum sound from Palmer’s Addicted To Love. The chorus of Who’s Gonna Take Me Home (The Rise And Fall Of A Budding Gigolo) even borrows from Ray Charles’ Hit The Road Jack. Is there anything original on this record at all?

I’m not surprised though. Rod Stewart: king of the cover version. The last time he had an original thought was probably sometime in the late 1970s when he decided to forfeit a promising rock career to go down the lazy entertainer route, a cabaret act for the 1980s and beyond.

I got this record in a job lot I inherited from somewhere. I would burn it record if it were not for the fact that the inner sleeve is signed by guitarist Jim Cregan. It says “Cheers Andy, Jim Cregan”, so I’ll save it from a fiery death. You’re welcome, Jim.

Hit: Every Beat Of My Heart

Hidden Gem: In My Life