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This is based on Emily Bronte's classic book of the same name. The song pretty much tells the same story as the book, only squeakier.
In the book, two young people, Catherine and Heathcliff, are brought together and become lovers. Along the way, they struggle with issues of class and family. Wuthering Heights
was Bronte's only novel, although she did publish some poems.
This was the first song Bush recorded for a label. It was released as a single, and while the music press dismissed the song as a novelty, it hit #1 in Britain. It stayed there for 4 weeks and launched her career at age 19.
Kate Bush and Emily Bronte share the same birthday, July 30th.
Kate started playing piano at age 11 and wrote her first song at 13. By the time she recorded the album, she had about 50 songs to choose from, but this wasn't one of them. She came up with it shortly before recording the album. She claims she wrote the song in one night under a full moon.
This was a huge hit everywhere except the US. This is the way it remained for Bush, who has never been able to break the US market.
Bush's label, EMI, wanted to release "James and the Cold Gun" as her first single, believing that radio stations wouldn't play this because it sounded too odd. When Kate found out, she insisted that "Wuthering Heights" be released first, but as a 19-year-old who had never released a song, she didn't have much say in the matter. Her label boss decided to let her have her way, figuring the song would flop and he would prove to Bush that he knew how to do his job better than she did. He was proven horribly wrong, and Bush was allowed to select her next single. Her choice was "The Man With The Child In His Eyes
When this rose to #1 Kate Bush became the first female to top the UK charts with a self composed song.
Pat Benatar covered this on her 1980 album Crimes of Passion.
The guitar solo is by Ian Bairnson, formerly of Pilot. In the mid-'70s, they had a #5 hit in the US with "Magic" and a chart topper in the UK with "January."
Engineer Jon Kelly recalled Kate Bush's recording of the song in the book Classic Tracks: The Real Stories Behind 68 Seminal Recordings
by Richard Buskin. "In the case of 'Wuthering Heights' she was imitating this witch, the mad lady from the Yorkshire Moors, and she was very theatrical about it.," he recalled. "She was such a mesmerising performer – she threw her heart and soul into everything she did – that it was difficult to ever fault her or say, 'You could do better'."
"You couldn't keep Kate away from the sessions even if you had wild dogs and bazookas," Kelly added. "She was just drinking it all up, learning everything that went on. The first moment she walked into the control room, I could tell that's where she wanted to be; in control of her own records. She was astute, and she was also phenomenally easy to work with."
Bush re-recorded her vocal late one night, doing two or three takes from which producer Andrew Powell chose the best. "There was no compiling," Kelly confirmed. "It was a complete performance. We started the mix at around midnight and Kate was there the whole time, encouraging us," Kelly remembered. "You couldn't deny her anything. So we got on with the job and finished at about five or six that morning."
Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.
John Doe of X
With his X-wife Exene, John fronts the band X and writes their songs.
Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.
Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose
. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."