Archive for April, 2011

Kate Bush Cover of the Day # 19: Wuthering Heights by Angra

April 30th, 2011 by Reinder

To be honest, I don't really like what Brazilian Power/Sympho Metal band Angra have done with Wuthering Heights":

It's technically all very well and the singer does a decent job, but to do the job, he has to use a rather unattractive falsetto register. What's worse is that it doesn't add anything to the original. There's faithful covers, and there's slavish covers, and this, to me, falls in the latter category.

It is noteworthy, though, for being from the 1990s. The way I remember it, very few Kate Bush covers were produced before the year 2000. There was Pat Benatar's version of "Wuthering Heights" from 1980, China Drum's version of the same song from 1996, and this. I'm sure more covers from before 2000 will show up, and in any case I haven't checked the dates on many of the previous 18 entries all that thoroughly, but one of the reasons I wanted to do this series was because it seemed to me that the musical landscape had changed since the turn of the century, so that Kate Bush was transformed from an influential artist that few dared to tackle directly, to one who was... I don't know. Perhaps she is now slightly less revered. Or perhaps more people are realising that it's her writing, not her voice, that gives her her staying power. The voice either draws people in or repells them, but it's the songs that create the lasting impression.

Anyway, back to this. I think in theory, the idea of a metal cover of a Kate Bush song, especially an early one, could work, and if anyone can recommend a good one to me, I'd very much like to hear it. Like Within Temptation's cover of 'Running Up That Hill', this version just doesn't do it for me, though

Kate Bush Cover of the Day #18: Babooshka by Miss Platnum

April 29th, 2011 by Reinder

This demented cover of 'Babooshka' by Rumanian/German singer Miss Platnum is a balkan hip-hop take on Kate's transitional hit single from 1980. I'm a sucker for brass sections anyway. A very nice surprise to be linked to, courtesy of the Kate Bush forum.

Please note the YouTube video above is a repost - the original, official version is not available in some countries, including my own. But arbitrary restrictions are there to be routed around, right?

Kate Bush Cover of the Day # 17: Suspended in Gaffa by Ra Ra Riot

April 28th, 2011 by Reinder

A faithful and not at all riotous cover by American indy rockers Ra Ra Riot. The vocals take some getting used to but I enjoy what they've done with the electric cello part. We'll be seeing them again in a while.

Kate Bush Cover of the Day # 16: Hounds of Love by Lisa Redford

April 27th, 2011 by Reinder

This live acoustic cover of "Hounds Of Love" is a bit rough around the edges, both in terms of sound quality and a few hairy notes from performer Lisa Redford, but it's still utterly charming. Like the Futureheads, she's added chords to the accompaniment.

Bonus Kate Bush content: Deeper Understanding – fanvid

April 26th, 2011 by Reinder

A video for the new version of "Deeper Understanding" was released on Monday. Like the new recording itself, it made me want a stiff drink, for pretty much the same reasons. Luckily, the comments at Kate Bush News included one from a musician and filmmaker from the Faeroe islands linking to a fanvid he had made featuring clips from his own short film "Mit Rúm", which does not make me want a stiff drink. It's not a literal translation of the lyrics into film, it's got real cinematography, it does not waste a third of its length to get to the point and it has the original version of the song on it. I wonder if as a musician, he's ever done any Kate Bush covers?

I also wonder if he's ever worked with Eivør Palsdottir. Only about 50,000 people live on the Faroe islands, so the odds that two people of the same age there, with similar interests and working in the same field know one another are very strong.

If you are curious about Kate's own new video for "Deeper Understanding", get within reach of a very strong drink and go here.

Kate Bush Cover Of The Day # 15: Running Up That Hill by MPHO

April 26th, 2011 by Reinder

So... I've had a not very good day, starting with a medical checkup that had to be aborted because I could not tolerate the procedure even under sedation, and ending with me waiting an hour for the train home from work because an accident further down the line meant that several trains were canceled. Also, while I normally schedule these Kate Bush covers a day in advance, I was very tired yesterday and hadn't got around to it. So to catch up, I thought I'd just put up Michael Aaron's cover of Running Up That Hill even though I had already featured a Kate Bush cover by him a little over a week ago. But then I thought, nah... it's a little too early to start featuring artists twice, so once again I checked the YouTube sidebar and found ... well, two new versions that I hadn't heard yet. One of them I want to look for another source for, because the one I got had terrible sound quality, but the other is this lovely jazzy one by MPHO, who I know nothing about, but boy is this version pretty.

Also featured on Songpeople's tot 10 Kate Bush covers so instead of my private resolution not to feature the same artist twice in a short period, I'm breaking my publically stated resolution to stay away from the covers featured in that list until much later in the series. Bah, sod it, I've had a crappy day and this version is balm to the soul.

Kate Bush Cover of the Day # 14: Running Up That Hill by Dave Rummans

April 25th, 2011 by Reinder

Find more tracks by Dave Rummans on Myspace Music

I am still looking for embeddables of some of my favorite versions of "Running Up That Hill". Luckily, Myspace had this acoustic guitar-based version by Dave Rummans, which is really neat.

Kate Bush Cover of the Day # 13: Running Up That Hill by Theo Bleckmann

April 24th, 2011 by Reinder

German-born composer and vocalist Theo Bleckmann takes "Running Up That Hill" into a tense, atmospheric direction as part of his Hello Earth project, due for release this year. I like this version a lot, though the entrance of the guitar at 5:14 is a bit disruptive. A minor fault, to my ears, and probably in fact something that they thought about for a long time.

Kate Bush Cover of the Day #12: Running Up That Hill by Thee Heavenly Music Association

April 23rd, 2011 by Reinder

Vind meer artiesten als Thee Heavenly Music Association op Myspace Music

It turns out that some of my favorite Kate Bush covers don't exist on YouTube at all! Can you imagine something not existing on YouTube in 2011? So I'm now finding myself looking for the tracks on Rupert Murdoch's evil empire. Don't say I don't go the extra mile for you.

This shoegazy cover of Running Up That Hill by Thee Heavenly Music Association, from 2006, isn't quite one of my favorites, yet - I haven't known it for long enough. I quite like it though and it may turn out to have staying power over the summer. It has a lazy, fogged up mood that works well on long hot summer nights. Unlike the previous two covers, it maintains traces of the original beat, albeit pushed way to the background.

Edited to add: Looks like the embed doesn't work in Google Chrome. Try Firefox instead or go directly to the artist page for Thee Heavenly Music Association.

Kate Bush Cover of the Day #11: Running Up That Hill by Icon and the Black Roses

April 22nd, 2011 by Reinder

This is almost contemporary with yesterday's Within Temptation version, and what they've done to 'Running Up That Hill' is, in general terms, the same: created a bombastic, heavy version of the song. I find that this one works a lot better, because the guitar work has a little more subtlety to it and the male vocals give it a little more weight and gruffness. Thanks to the male vocals, it also avoids automatic comparison with the original vocals, which considering the sheer gorgeousness of Kate's original singing is a comparison that few singers benefit from.

It still leaves out a lot of what made the original special, but it works on its own terms.

I don't know much about Icon and the Black Roses. Apparently, they only made one full-length CD in 2004, then split up a year later. Too bad, I'd have liked to see them perform live sometime.