Monday 14 December 2015

Music for Christmas/ not Christmas music - Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush (feat Ian Bairnston electric guitar)

So much to love about this - one of the best singles ever released.

Kate Bush's 'mad' vocals; a mesmerising and unique harmonic progression throughout - made clear by an exceptionally fine bass guitar part; plus of course the legendary electric guitar solo from Ian Bairnston which comes in from about three minutes - at first just hanging there, as a single sustained note, then developing into a truly inspired, lyrical and ecstatic solo (some of the best of which is reserved for the fade-out - to catch which you will need to turn the speakers up to 11).


Wade McKenzie said...

Bruce, I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for introducing me to this wonderful song. I'm Oklahoman, so perhaps I can be forgiven for being more or less entirely unfamiliar with Kate Bush, but since reading your blog post I must have listened to "Wuthering Heights" two dozen times or more--I'm delighted by it!

This leads me to ask, is there any other work by Ms. Bush which you would recommend or was this a case of a one-off great song?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wade - You're welcome. For me, this was the only thing she did that I really liked.

Nathaniel said...

The background to the song made it, and the vocal style, much more interesting for me:

"Written by Bush when she was 18, the song is based on the novel of the same name. Kate Bush was inspired to write the song by the last ten minutes of a 1967 BBC mini-series based on Wuthering Heights.[4] She then read the book and discovered that she shared her birthday (30 July) with Emily Brontë. Bush reportedly wrote the song, for her album The Kick Inside, within the space of just a few hours late at night.[citation needed]

Lyrically, "Wuthering Heights" uses several quotations from Catherine Earnshaw, most notably in the chorus - "Let me in! I'm so cold!" - as well as in the verses, with Catherine's confession to her servant of "bad dreams in the night". It is sung from Catherine's point of view, as she pleads at Heathcliff's window to be allowed in. This romantic scene takes a sinister turn if one has read Chapter 3 of the original book, as Catherine is in fact a ghost, calling lovingly to Heathcliff from beyond the grave. Catherine's "icy" ghost grabs the hand of the narrator, Mr Lockwood, through the bedroom window, asking him to let her in, so she can be forgiven by her lover Heathcliff, and freed from her own personal purgatory."