A level Music (Edexcel) set works wider listening - Kate Bush

by Liz Dunbar @HuntSchoolMusic

Kate Bush has one of those iconic female voices - like Chrissie Hine and Annie Lennox. Once heard, never forgotten. At just 16 years old  she was signed by EMI with the support of Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour, after he had heard her home made demo tape. At the age of 19 she became the first female singer songwriter to reach number 1. (Wuthering Heights 1978).

It was Peter Gabriel who introduced Kate to the Fairlight CMI (one of the earliest music workstations with an embedded digital sampling synthesizer) and by the time she wrote 'Hounds of Love' it had become her primary writing tool. Many of Kate's songs have historical or literary references. In 'The Ninth Wave' (the prog rock concept album B side of Hounds of Love) she writes in the style of  Tennyson's Arthurian poems taking the listener on a journey through death and rebirth.

Her ability to work on her own agenda and release work that is atypical of the rest of the pop industry, has influenced many artists to do the same. You can hear her influence in Florence and the Machine, Lady Gaga, Zola Jesus, Chelsea Wolfe, Carina Round, Imogen Heap...the list goes on....

Here's an ever evolving playlist to provide you with plenty of wider listening references to use in questions 5 and 6.