If you are a Kate Bush fan, you have probably been in a conundrum
whether to shell out the bucks to buy her recent career-spanning box
sets. The remasters sound great, but if you have all the albums, it's
perhaps an unnecessary expense. Unless, of course, you want the four
extra discs in the second box. They feature a bunch of oddball tracks
from over her career, from b-sides to charity cuts to 12" remixes.
fan above, who didn't buy the second box, will no doubt be thrilled to
find out those four discs can now be bought in this break-out
collection, at a much cheaper price. Of course, those who bought the box
just for the rare cuts will now be cursing. But as Record Store Day has
taught us, most of what is marketed as exclusive and limited eventually
becomes widely available if there's demand.
I can tell you is that there are lots of interesting cuts here for the
Bush fan. The remixes disc features five cuts, four from Hounds Of Love,
and the other one being the one-single Experiment IV in an extended
form. The Big Sky is wilder and richer, with the drums pounding and the
intensity greater. Running Up That Hill is a denser, more hypnotic
version, and Hounds Of Love features radically different vocals and
chorus. Of course, these are some of her best, and best-loved songs as
well, so there's certainly nothing boring about these lengthier tracks.
two and three feature b-sides from her career, and non-album tracks.
Most of them come from the first part of her career, while she was still
putting out lots of singles, recording more and labouring less on each
track, so she had more extras. These date back to 1975, when the
precocious 16-year old was already working with Pink Floyd's Dave
Gilmour on her own compositions. The big gem is a track called Humming
from that era, previously unreleased, which has a raw energy that was
smoothed over by the time her debut The Kick Inside came out three years
The rest of these 20 tracks have
been out before, but you'd have to be a big collector to have them all.
There's the updated version of Wuthering Heights from her 1986 best-of
The Whole Story, the single version of Experiment IV, and her
much-admired 1980 Christmas single, December Will Be Magic Again, tracks
that are pretty common. But there's another Christmas cut, this one
from 1993, Home For Christmas, that never gets played or included on
holiday compilations. There's a b-side from The Red Shoes era of 1994,
that shows the influence of Prince in her sound of the time, and a rich
gem that should have been on the album. And the piano ballad Warm and
Soothing from 1980 is another must, for those who can't get enough of
her early, simpler sound.
The final disc is
called In Others' Words, nine choice cover versions from various
sources, mostly tributes and charity albums. She's long been an Elton
fan, and here we get both Candle In The Wind and Rocket Man, candy cuts,
but she does fine readings. Better is her Sexual Healing, which shows
that side of her personality, something she has addressed on a couple of
her albums. And cuts Lord Of The Reedy River (Donovan) and the
traditional My Lagan Love give us a clear vision of what she would have
done as a folk/trad artist.
controls what's released in her name now, and some of her decisions are
confusing and frustrating. There are a bunch more rare cuts, remixes and
the like which she did not include in this set, and there was certainly
lots more room to add many or most of them. But you can't argue about
the quality of what's she's placed in the box, it's all grand, and for a
set of secondary tracks, this kicks most people's hits collections.