1982: EMI Manhattan CDP 7 46361 2
Or, perhaps more to the point from a listeners perspective:
I was first properly introduced to this album (as opposed to hearing bits of it out of context) in the early 1990sby my darling Bruce Gordon, whom I shall eternally thank for thisbut I held off from documenting commentary on it on this website for 25 years because, first of all, it seemed to me that so much had already been written about it by Kate Bush fans that any further comment would be not just redundant but downright naive.
While that might still be true, whats changed in the years since I first heard it is the public access to such commentary. And these days Im not finding enough exploration and celebration of this album as I would expect, given what I know has been written and published online So Ive warily decided that its time for me to at least weigh in with some individual enthusiasm, however unoriginal some of it may sound to hardcore Kate fans.
Probably I should tackle this assessment/celebration sequentially, and probably Ill revise these comments later to that end, but lets just kick off by noting that Leave It Open is one of my favorite weird Kate tracks. To me, the lyrics are in a way a professional counterpart to a process more personally described in All the Love and Get Out of My HouseKate reaching into unexplored territory that, by its being explored, alienates those who just wanted her to be a quirky chirpstress/dancer such as they saw in the Wuthering Heights milieu. We dive into spooky territory indeed with this trackan internal haunted house being ruthlessly but coldly reclaimed by its owner, and the end of the track seems to unfurl with the demons being both expelled and let loose to elsewhere with the doubly or even triply menacing coda they remark over their winged shoulders we let the weirdness in being the calling-card of an unresolved battle that yet flips the combatants positions.
Anyway, that track has some damned fun lyrics and sonic effects to express all that complicated drama. I love it, love it, love it. The choruses (unconventional, to say the least) present a superb contrasting of warning and qualified reassurance: Harm is in us! / Harm in us, but power to arm.
And maybe its that same house thats being exorcised in the albums thrilling closer, Get Out of My House. If you read it as a psychological journey of the artist, as I do here, that adds up and makes for a delicious triangle of perspectives on her developments as seen from within: dark exploration, worry, and fiercely defiant individualism, all juxtaposed in panels and sometimes shards.
All the Love is a track I hesitate to say anything about, becuase it truly must be experienced on its own without introductory information at least initially. Its so inherently idiosyncratic as a personal observation that only Kate Bush could make, and yet it can be read more metaphorically (as deep songs should be) to yield broader and perhaps more varied reflections. Because the story of the tracks genesis has been published widely I shant describe it here, in case the reader is unaware of it; it illuminates but neednt define the heard artistic mystery.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.