Aspects of The Sensual World

Kate Bush

  1. The Sensual World
  2. Be Kind to My Mistakes
  3. I’m Still Waiting
  4. Ken
  5. The Sensual World Instrumental

This is a wonderful little extra jewel leftover from the constellation of songs on The Sensual World. At first listen, even several listenings, I tended to think of “Be Kind to My Mistakes” and “I’m Still Waiting” as being interchangeable, but eventually I could hear them asserting their identities more clearly; now I’m quite fond of the latter and will probably come to love the former as well in time. But for me the two must-haves on this CD single are the instrumental version of “The Sensual World” (for obvious reasons—it’s gawjus) and “Ken.”

“Ken” always cracks me up, because it’s just so unlike anything Kate’s ever done before or since, and also because it’s a mock-celebration of a politician who was momentarily key and probably not expected to be around in a few years’ time. Yet now Ken Livingstone’s been re-elected Mayor of London, after winning the post by vote upon its reinstatement after all those years, and dear old “Red Ken” is doing well enough at least that even Private Eye isn’t rabidly attacking him every fortnight. I still can’t decide which is funnier—the beginning of Kate’s vocal with its scream and breath-kick (I heard from a major Kate fan that she had to get completely soused to loosen up enough to produce such a silly mess of vocal noise), or Kate yelling “who is the funky sex machine???” Probably the latter, because when you actually picture Ken Livingstone when she sings that it’s entirely too silly.