. . . my first YouTube download!
Fittingly, I’ve decided to share the Kate Bush song “Wow”!
I’ve been a fan of Kate Bush since she first burst onto the music scene in 1978. Her music (which, as one critic has noted, has always “dared to walk the line between the sublime and the demented”) played an important part in my adolescent years. She was obviously “different,” and accordingly often dismissed and even ridiculed by some. Yet, without doubt, she was creative and successful on her own terms.
As a teenager becoming aware that I was gay and therefore also “different,” I found solace in the music of Kate Bush. It reassured me that “different” could be something positive and creative. I even discovered a pro-gay song on her second album, Lionheart. Entitled “Kashka from Baghdad,” it told the tale of a man who “lives in sin, they say, with another man.” Yet despite the secrecy and scandal of such an arrangement, Kate sings longingly of how the two men “know the way to be happy.”
“Wow” is also from Lionheart, and was Kate's fourth single release (peaking at No. 14 on the UK charts in March 1979). Its accompanying music video was somewhat controversial, owing to the gesture Kate makes when she sings about the drama queen actor who’ll never make the big time because he’s always “too busy hitting the Vaseline”!
Commenting on “Wow” in 1979, Kate noted that it’s “a song about the music business, not just rock music but show business in general, including acting and theatre.”
At another time she remarked that “the [song] is a bit of a send-up of a lot of things in showbiz.” When she acknowledged, in the same interview, the large presence of gay people in the entertainment industry, Kate was quick to stress that this was “just an observation, not a criticism.”
In the liner notes of her 1986 compilation album, The Whole Story, Kate writes of “Wow”: “I had forgotten how beautiful the strings are on this track. Andrew Powell’s arrangement is so moody.”
I couldn’t agree more! But judge for yourself as you sit back and experience the incomparable Kate Bush . . .
For more of Kate Bush’s thoughts about this and other songs she has written and performed, click here.
To view other Kate Bush videos, click here.
For the latest Kate Bush news, click here.
For a review of Kate's latest album Aerial (2005), click here.