Kate Bush

EMI, 1978

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


This may be the album Kate Bush is the least happy with.

One, she was rushed. The music industry meatgrinder demanded a follow-up to The Kick Inside and its massive hit “Wuthering Heights” as fast as she could crank it out. Escaping to France to record my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Lionheart didn’t help much.

Two, this is the album after which Kate broke with her first producer Andrew Powell. After this, she would produce her own work. In her own words, ”By the time the second album was finished, I knew that I had to be involved. Even though they were my songs and I was singing them, the finished product was not what I wanted. That wasn't the producer's fault. He was doing a good job from his point of view, making it sound good and together. But for me, it was not my album, really.” (Kate Bush Encyclopaedia, 2014)

Lionheart is very much an album in transition. It has some transparent moments, elegant and simple—“Fullhouse” with its maybe-autobiographical and psychological concept, the unabashed sensuality of “In The Warm Room,” and the romp that is “Wow.” However, there are also tracks like “O England My Lionheart,” which Kate considers “embarrassing,” and the excess of “Don’t Push Your Heart On The Heartbrake.” “In Search Of Peter Pan” has a few nice turns of phrase, but is forgettable. Oddly enough, Kate seems to hit an even keel on the last three tracks—“Kashka From Baghdad,” “Coffee Homeground” (perhaps the only pop song about poisoning people besides The Police’s “Murder By Numbers”), and “Hammer Horror” (which is NOT about the fun horror movies from Britain’s Hammer Studios).

It was difficult to live up to “Wuthering Heights.” Eventually, Bush seemed to just stop trying, and was the better for it.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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