Hounds of Love by Kate Bush

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Hounds of Love by Kate Bush
Hounds of Love by Kate Bush

Album Released: 1985

Hounds of Love ::: Artwork

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1.Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)4:56
2.Hounds Of Love3:02
3.The Big Sky4:41
4.Mother Stands For Comfort3:08
6.And Dream Of Sleep2:45
7.Under Ice2:05
8.Waking The Witch4:18
9.Watching You Without Me4:07
10.Jig Of Life4:04
11.Hello Earth6:13
12.The Morning Fog2:34


In the 1980's, the notion of albums as distinct art-forms took a bit of stick at times. Michael Jackson was probably to blame - he released the first seven songs from his album as singles, often in the very same order they were on the LP.

And at times it feels like Hounds Of Love is a deliberate response to that ... four of five songs from the first half of the LP were singles, but then they're followed by a 'concept' with a whole different sound and style.

The programming on this album is far advanced over The Dreaming, making me wonder whether Kate was a drummer in a previous life, as her percussion is often thrillingly inventive. During the more experimental second half of the album, "Waking The Witch" rides on rich jumping percussion, and I feel that had Kate continued in such a direction she'd be releasing Techno/dance music by now.

Side Two of Hounds Of Love really is one of the greatest sides in popular music. Several utterly lovely sketches create something approaching a blissful trance, and then "Jig Of Life" explodes out of the speakers, bringing everything back to reality, to dancing and theatre. I get the feeling that in this contemplative second side, that "Jig Of Life" is absolutely vital to the entire album. The switch of moods again with "Hello Earth" is startling, making me feel I've been on a trip.

It's a shame in a way that this album is available on CD, because it's a case of one side or the other. The hits from Side One are great, yet Side Two really does deserve a listen from beginning to end quite separately, without such distractions.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)

I don't want to open this album review on a negative note, and the general public would disagree with my assessment, but Hounds of Love isn't better than The Dreaming. The good news is that there are only about five albums in the world better than The Dreaming, and Hounds of Love isn't too far behind.

Bush was apparently wanting to streamline her sound to appeal to a broader audience, though she claims she didn't do that consciously, and that claim has some credence given the effect of one of the major hit singles - "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" - had on people. It turned out to be a major danceclub classic in the UK, yet looking at the music video, she clearly envisioned it as a more 'classical' number.

The first five tracks are meant to be pop singles, although the atmospheric "Mother Stands for Comfort" never had much pop potential. My favorite piece from that first half of the album is the delicious "Cloudbusting", which features some crunchy violins (and the video, which co-starred Donald Sutherland, was apparently one of the stars of the MTV era). The title track is also quite a treat, lushly and perfectly produced.

The following seven tracks are a musical suite called 'The Ninth Wave'. It begins with a beautiful piano-based ballad called "And Dream of Sleep", which is followed by a weird atmospheric track that consists of an evil demon voice, titled "Waking the Witch". Then further along there's a traditional Celtic song "Jig of Life" - Bush said she'd always wanted to try that style, because that's what her family would play when she was a child.

I'm not going to mention every song, but they're all well worth the price of admission. Really, this stuff is pretty alluring and brilliant! All in all then, Hounds of Love is another masterpiece from Bush.

[Footnote: Don Ignacio's Blog supplements this Review with a bonus track-by-track commentary]

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)