R & R Hall Of Shame (Spotlight) – Kate Bush

Author: Dale Nickey

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame carries a stink. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is also co-founder of the R&R Hall. And it is common knowledge that his personal musical taste dictates the nomination list. The list fails to include some of the more accomplished British Bands or any artist he ‘don’t cotton to’.  He seems to have a particular distaste for British artists in the progressive wing of rock music.

Kate Bush:

12 million albums sold (estimate)

Like that “hands free” microphone that Michael Jackson and Madonna used? Write a thank you note to Kate Bush, she was the inventor. Kate revolutionized the whole “multimedia rock concert” concept. Bush is also among the first artists to recognize and exploit the possibilities of music video as an art form and promotional device.  Kate was talent scouted at the age of 16 by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore  and signed to a contract by old money aristocracy EMI Records.

When EMI tried to dictate what song to release as a debut single,  Kate stiffened her spine and insisted they release “Wuthering Heights”.  EMI had other ideas. Specifically, the (relatively) unremarkable filler track,  “James The Cold Gun”.   Kate wore them down and “Wuthering Heights” shot to # 1 and stayed there for six weeks.  She was the first woman to ever release a self penned number one hit in Britain.  The old boys at EMI have been kissing her ass ever since. She became an icon and the most famous female in Europe for the next  decade. Bush achieved all this despite the fact she would only consent to one brief 1979 European tour and still refuses to remaster and reissue her back catalog on CD and DVD.  She sounds like nobody else and is a role model for all young women who seek to call their own shots and be the CEO of their own lives. Ask Kate Bush tribute artist Tori Amos about her influence on the music industry.

It’s hard to imagine a time before cell phones, computers, digital lighting rigs and bluescreens. Kate was a pioneer in the world of music video and multimedia stage craft. It was all moving parts back then. Lo-tech, Hi-concept. Here is a very young Kate Bush performing in her first video. Just Kate with a red dress in a grassy field with one camera.  Her talent was the ‘special effect’.  We’ll never see her kind again. Sad and wonderful.

One thought on “R & R Hall Of Shame (Spotlight) – Kate Bush

  1. Good for you Dale, Kate is and always will be a great artist to me. I remember when I saw her first on “Top of the Pops” at home in Ireland and that was it, I was hooked forever. She is a true innovator and a master of her art. She does what she does and we are all grateful for it. The true Queen of England and Pop. Well to tell you the truth Pop seems so inconsequential when you consider we have waited for everything she does and then you can only wonder at her genius because whatever she has brought out is so far ahead of other artists. Long may she rule.

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