Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Kate Bush - The Big Sky

Not only one of my all time favourite Kate Bush songs, but simply one of my all time favourite songs, period. For me, this is her best single and in my top three favourite Kate Bush tracks. It was the final single released from her career-defining Hounds Of Love album, released in 1986. It only reached #37 in the UK chart which I think is a bit of an injustice. It's a fantastic song. It's just got an incredible atmosphere. The lyrics concern youth, and the pleasure felt at the simplest of things. Like "looking up at the big sky". When you're young, such things can fascinate the mind (I'm personally still fascinated by them to this day). I can definitely remember as a kid staring up at that wide open space, just wondering what lay out there. And how the clouds looked so magical - I always wanted to sleep on a cloud personally. The lyrics for The Big Sky can be incredibly hard to make out. In fact, if it weren't for a transcribe of the lyrics most of them (bar the chorus) would be inaudible. I'm pretty bad at deciphering lyrics anyhow, although this time it's definitely more down to the arrangement. The song starts off with a certain air of anticipation I think and it just builds. It's like for every layer of joy that comes in; so does a new instrumental piece. By the time the song reaches its coda (ending segment) it's ended up incredibly percussion-heavy. So much so in fact that it becomes very discordant and cacophonous. Listening to it too loud is actually painful - I could imagine this track doing damage to your ears if listened to too often and too loud. However - the track just makes me feel deliriously happy when I hear it. The arrangement is so uplifting - I especially love the guitars which are prominent during the chorus. They actually send shivers down my spine more often than that. The track was remixed for single release, in a mix known as the Special Single Mix. It was released on 7" whilst the 12" had another mix called the Meteorological Mix. In all honesty I'm not a huge fan of the single mix - the album version is my definitive version. In any case, I'd describe the song as frankly magical, and that's an adjective I virtually never use to describe songs!

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