Album Review: By the time Kate Bush arrived at her 1985 album Hounds of Love, she had put four other albums behind her, each of which she used to gradually broaden her material and style, hone her production techniques, and explore regions where neither she nor other musicians had ever been before in the modern music world. Her forays on those albums were usually quite good, but they did not always work perfectly. On Hounds of Love,
however, it all came together, and the result was her most thoughtful, progressive, and powerful album to date. As it turned out, it was to be her pinnacle—not only was the album critically acclaimed, it was her best musically, it sold well enough to knock Madonna out of the #1 spot on the UK charts, and it put her solidly in the field of vision
of American listeners. The original LP featured a side-long concept suite called "The Ninth Wave" that ranks with any whole-side concept ever put to vinyl. The story has various interpretations, but the one that works best says the suite is about a young girl fallen very ill with disease, with the story portrayed as a series of vivid hallucinatory imaginings based on the girl's fever-plagued memories and the vague voices of the
concerned people who visit her sick chamber. It's impossible to adequately describe such a creative, well executed musical concept in a few sentences, so we'll leave it at this: Kate Bush produced much amazing music in her all-too-brief career, but the "The Ninth Wave" stands out as a truly masterful accomplishment. "The Ninth Wave" by itself is enough to warrant giving Hounds of Love a top recommendation, but the album also contains two of Kate Bush's best and most popular songs—"Running Up That Hill (A
Deal with God)" and "Cloudbusting." This CD repackaging includes six bonus tracks: remixes of "Running Up That Hill" and "The Big Sky," as well as four tracks that never appeared on any of her original studio albums—"Be Kind to My Mistakes," "Under the Ivy," "Burning Bridge" and "My Lagan Love"—the first three of which all sound as though they could have been seamlessly inserted into Hounds of Love at various points
(had there been room). If you appreciate progressive pop, avant garde rock, or concept music—or even just a great modern-rock hit like "Running Up That Hill" or "Cloudbusting"—this CD will have you howling at the moon with delight.
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