90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive collection from a real musical innovator
The 10 years or so of silence since her last recorded works haven't helped, but it has to be said that Kate Bush's contribution to songwriting history and musical innovation since she burst onto the pop scene as a teenager in 1978 has been rather overlooked of late. I would urge anybody who likes their songwriting catchy and emotional but also intelligent and quirky, and...
Published on 20 May 2004 by amboline
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wind and Wuthering!
Kate Bush.....immense talent,unusual soaring voice,beautiful and graceful and definitely one of the most amazing female artists the U.K. has ever produced. Sadly this album doesn't do her any justice career-wise as it isn't really the "whole story" as there are quite a few tracks missing from the listing.
I guess it's hard for an artist to compile a best of album as...
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by G.E.Manton
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90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive collection from a real musical innovator,
The 10 years or so of silence since her last recorded works haven't helped, but it has to be said that Kate Bush's contribution to songwriting history and musical innovation since she burst onto the pop scene as a teenager in 1978 has been rather overlooked of late. I would urge anybody who likes their songwriting catchy and emotional but also intelligent and quirky, and their music intriguing and eclectic, to try this compilation, featuring most of the famous singles and a few minor ones from all but the last 2 albums of Kate Bush's career. Although not *quite* the whole story, this is an impressive journey over a huge range of musical ground showing a level of developing maturity and sophistication rarely heard since.
The ordering of tracks - neither chronological nor thematic - appears rather random at first, especially to those who might know the repertoire well, but holds together remarkably well. The early classics "Wuthering Heights" (here given a subtle re-working) and "The Man with the Child in his Eyes" show Kate as the wistful, impassioned teenager; "Wow" and "Babooshka" demonstrate growing vocal strength and a developing knack for telling stories in song; "Army Dreamers" and "Breathing" give a chilling reminder of the tense global situation in the depths of the Cold War and remain, years on, as outstanding protest songs in the grand tradition. With "Sat in your Lap" and "The Dreaming" a more experimental phase is reached, with at-the-time ground-breaking electronica, drum machines, sampling, and even the musical talents of Rolf Harris called in to complement the unerringly catchy, stirring melodies and bizarre lyrics. The high point of sophistication is reached with the three singles from the "Hounds of Love" album: the compelling title track; the eerie, relentless "Running Up That Hill"; and the spellbinding "Cloudbusting", a story-song mixing childhood memories with conspiracy theory, but with the sun coming out at the end. "Experiment IV", the latest work chronologically, is another conspiracy-theory-cum-story-song in which Kate's own music comes alive to wreak havoc on the military researchers trying to turn it to destructive purposes; and here, for this collection at least, the story ends. Another two albums of new material were to follow this one; but as an introduction to the repertoire of one of Britain's finest songwriters, this collection is complete in itself.
Without Kate Bush, I doubt that other innovators like Bjork or Tori Amos would have made much headway on the British music scene. More importantly, nor would a host of other talented women with their own songs and arrangements. Buy this record, and begin to glimpse the phenomenon.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just swirly white nightgowns,
Kate Bush wasn't just one of the most original songwriters of the 1970sand 80s. She was also a pioneer in the use of video as a medium fortelling the stories behind the songs. This video collection, to accompanythe compilation album of the same name, suffers (as the compilation does)from not actually being the whole story, but apart from that it's afaultless portrayal of one songwriter's growing confidence in herself, inher music, in her ability as a storyteller, and in her power to commandand captivate an audience visually as well as emotionally.
I have to take issue with some of the reviewers here who deride the earlyvideo material. Yes, most of it consists of Kate in swirly whitenightdresses doing what at times looks reminiscent of "liturgical dance".So what? Remember when these films were first made: the promotional videowas a rarity in the late 70s (half of the material on this video predatesMTV), musicians were only just beginning to grasp the possibilitiesafforded by the medium, and let's face it, most of the videos produced by*anyone* in that early era look even more dated now, and are executed witha lot less grace. By the "Never for Ever" era, Kate had moved away fromdance interpretations and was beginning to use video as a storytellingmedium, as can be seen in the classic films for "Babooshka" and thechilling "Breathing". "Sat in your Lap", released in 1981, was one of thefirst videos ever to use computer graphics; true, it looks dated now, butremember this was the era when the ZX81 was the cutting edge of computertechnology, so to achieve something so spectacular and - well, downrightbizarre - at that time was absolutely ground-breaking.
By the time the "Hounds of Love" era arrived, Kate was a video artistwithout compare. "Running Up That Hill" was a return to the "liturgicaldance" style of "Wuthering Heights", but this time with a chilly,hypnotic, bleak quality to it. "Hounds of Love" is half chase and halfcourtship dance, full of sinister men in trenchcoats and trilbys. "The BigSky" is different again, a breath of bright, fresh air, and you can seefrom the artists' faces how much fun they were having; the final image ofKate perched on the roof captures her perfectly as both child and wisewoman, pixie and siren.
"Cloudbusting", starring Donald Sutherland and more sinister men intrenchcoats, is spectacular. A small feature film in song form, this isparanoid conspiracy-theory thriller ten years before "The X Files", butwith a glimmer of optimism at the end. As ground-breaking at the time asMichael Jackson's "Thriller", it's a mystery why it hasn't been rememberednearly so widely. Conspiracy, perhaps? Last in the sequencechronologically, "Experiment IV" takes 1980s paranoia to an absurd height,as Kate's own music, enslaved in a military operation led by thebrilliantly creepy Peter Vaughan, turns against its masters and takesbloody revenge on a supporting cast now counted among the finest inBritish comedy. Cold War satire at its finest, and all in the space offive minutes.
It's probably the sheer bizarreness of Kate Bush's vision which hasresulted in the mainstream music world forgetting her video heritage. Butas one of the great innovators of the medium, and as a leftfieldstoryteller par excellence, she deserves to be remembered.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start,
This is an enjoyable run through some of Kate's best moments, and if you are new to Kate Bush then it's a good place to start. The only drawback is that in almost every case the songs sound better as a part of the albums they came from, so if you know you like Kate Bush, skip this and go straight to the original albums as you'll end up buying them all in the end.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique talent,
Not really the whole story, of course. More like 'the story so far', as at the end of the first decade of her three decade career.
Kate had an astonishing debut. On her first television appearance, singing Wuthering Heights, she was shaking with stage fright. Also, for the time, she cut a rather bizarre (though very attractive) figure, as she used the mime training she had received at school to perform slow, graceful movements as an accompaniment to her very novel song. She became an overnight star. She was treated seriously from the start, giving art-program interviews rather than the usual pop DJ stuff. She has remained an enigmatic and revered figure, on the fringes of the pop scene, ever since, ploughing her own deep furrow.
The version of Wuthering Heights on this album has a new vocal, with a cleaner, clearer sound. At the time, there was much discussion on what the song was actually about. So to that extent, this is 'the story so far, retold'.
It is a story worth catching up with, because Kate is a unique and special talent, with an extraordinary vocal range. This is music to be sat and carefully listened to. The music owes more to imaginative and lush production rather than melodic strength, and the lyrics, on close inspection, are often facile and sometimes rather portentous. But the complete package is always impressive. The lyrics are available online and it increases your appreciation greatly if you have them to hand while listening. As they are all story-based, you get even more out of them if you watch the videos, but I couldn't find many of her videos on DVD. If you can find Babooshka on DVD, see it. It's wonderfully erotic.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'As you'd expect' compilation of our Kate's singles releases,
The Whole Story (1986) is a pretty standard and obvious collation of KB's singles releases between 1978 and 1986. It introduces the as yet uninitiated to 12 of her most popular songs, although perhaps the vastly overproduced 'new vocal' for Wuthering Heights was not the brightest of ideas.
The compulsory 'new' single (released for the compilation only), Experiment IV, is actually a fairly good track (a direct descendent from the Hounds Of Love album), but nothing to get overly excited about. The inclusion of The Dreaming (which only just made the Top 50) was perhaps another oversight, and could have been replaced with a classic 'non-single' song from Kate's expansive body of work, such as the excellent Them Heavy People, Suspended in Gaffa or Infant Kiss etc. Moreover, twelve tracks covering five albums is a tad tight-fisted considering the vast resevoir of work at the compiler's disposal.
However, with the likes of Babooshka, Breathing, Running Up That Hill, Army Dreamers and Wow all present and correct, The Whole Story is certainly enough to keep most punters thoroughly happy and will undoubtedly push many of them to investigate KB's unique talent a little deeper. Even by listening to this somewhat limited singles collection, you can still begin to explore a vast array of moods and textures, each of which is a small work of art in itself.
Die-hard fans willingly forked out over £90.00 for the This Woman's Work box-set compilation a few years later, so in comparison, The Whole Story is still quite good value for the non-completist. And no, I bought all the albums instead... it was actually cheaper !
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique talent,
Kate liked to experiment with music all the time, which endeared her to the critics (always on the lookout for something new and different) and to a lot of fans. She had six UK top ten hits in the seventies and eighties, together with plenty of other hits. The most popular of Kate's early hits (except her live on stage EP) are to be found on this excellent compilation, originally released on vinyl in 1986.
Kate had her biggest UK hit with her debut single, Wuthering heights (inspired by the famous Emily Bronte novel of the same title), which went all the way to number one. The follow-up, Man with the child in his eyes, became a UK top ten hit. Two other UK top five hits are here (Babooshka, Running up that hill) along with several songs that made the UK top twenty and three minor UK hits. Sadly, Kate's duet with Peter Gabriel (Don't give up, a UK top ten hit) came a couple of years too late for this compilation.
The diversity of Kate's music is impressive but her music is difficult to classify. Kate's high-pitched voice may not appeal to everybody - it's the kind of voice you either love or hate but it is very distinctive. And I love it.
An expanded compilation including some of Kate's hits after 1986 is long overdue (there is plenty of room on a CD to include more tracks), but until such time as one appears, this is the only compilation of Kate's music there is. Still, quantity is less important than quality and this collection is certainly filled with quality.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction to Kate Bush with all the biggest hits,
This review is for: Whole Story Kate Bush (CD)
It says it all that 25 years after this was released it is currently in Amazon's Top 40 best selling CDs. This album just keeps on selling because it is the perfect introduction to Kate Bush and covers all her best known songs up to 1986 when this was released. The pre-1986 period is when Kate was a regular fixture in the singles chart with hits like "Wuthering Heights", "The Man With The Child In His Eyes", "Wow", "Babooshka", "Breathing", "Sat In Your Lap", "Running Up That Hill", which are all included here. This was the first Kate CD I bought many years ago and I figured having a hits CD was all I needed. It does include a slight reworking of "Wuthering Heights" that may not make a difference to the casual buyer, but being very familar with the original I had to also buy The Kick Inside to get the single version. Since then and because I loved Kate's music so much and played it to death, I ended up buying the 8CD box set This Woman's Work. So, dipping your toe into Kate's world with this singles collection can lead you onto needing more of a fix. But that's no bad thing. This is a collection of singles that very few artists can match in quality and class. Great melodies, excellent lyrics, superb vocals (no autotune needed for Kate), and a real warmth and subtlety throughout; all the things that are rarely found these days. At the time of this review it is £4.00 for this CD including delivery, which must be the best value for money on Amazon right now. One last thing... Some people say that this album is unnecessary if you have the original albums, but actually "Wow" was slightly remixed for the single version, which is included here.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting learning curve,
I must be honest, Kate Bush visually has been very hit and miss over the years, and this collection of promos perfectly illustrates this.
On the one hand you have the clever and moving mini-film for 'Cloudbusting' where she manged to rope in Donald Sutherland (what a coup!) followed shortly after by a clunking, cringeworthy and rather cheap looking video for Army Dreamers - budget and technology notwithstanding.
The dancing in 'Running Up That Hill' is as poigniant and memorable as ever, but terrbile in 'The Dreaming' (a song that deserves better visuals).
From the visual highlights of her early career (which - with the exception of the amazing 'Babooshka' - seemed to consist of her sitting under a tree wide-eyed, pouty and waving her arms around and - in my opinion - only detracted from her talents as one of the best singer/songwriters Britain has ever produced) she clearly begins to grow more confident over the years in how she presents herself on film/video, later writing / directing her promos herself.
This is proved in the final video (chronologically) for Experiment IV, which (Indiana Jones wraith rip-off asside) shows her coming into her artistic powers. It's a clever, funny and charming video - and if the song had done better in the charts would no doubt have been talked about much more than it was.
For fans of Kate this is a must. You get to reminisce, laugh, cringe, think, and almost cry at her work. For fans of the video promo format as a whole, you may be dissapointed. She never seemed to attract or be interested in big budget directors of single promos, which allows her quirkiness to come through, but severely dates everything almost immediately. Only those with a story or clear narrative last the decades (ta ta 'Sat In Your Lap' - hello 'Hounds Of Love').
And remember, she did get to do better eventually.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Unbelievable!,
I have just got this for Christmas, and I cannot fault it. For the time they were made these video are excellent. From the sheer simplicity of "Wuthering Heights", " The Man with the Child in his eyes" and "Sat in your Lap" to the extravaganzas of "Cloudbusting", "Hounds of Love" and "Experiment IV", a must for all die hard Kate Bush Fans. Kate has always been an inspiring artist lyrically and vocally, but visually as well, makes it about 100 times better. If you don't already own a copy, buy one, you'll love it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Woman's Work,
It would be easy to chide this hugely popular singles collection. With its release date - 1986 - and its relative brevity - it clocks in at a mere 48 minutes - it quite patently isn't telling The Whole Story of Kate Bush's ongoing career. Yet nearly 30 years on her first compilation is still one of the better ways to engage with her work. Why? This non-chronological CD features her UK Top 10's 'Babooshka'; 'Running Up That Hill'; 'The Man With the Child In His Eyes', and a specially re-recorded, and remixed, version of perhaps her best-known song, the Emily Bronte-inspired 'Wuthering Heights'. Over its 12 tracks it shows off some of the many sides of Bush's music: we get the gloomy doctor's daughter fretting over the threat of nuclear war ('Breathing', 'Army Dreamers'); and the odd English art-rocker experimenting in the studio ('The Dreaming', 'Sat In Your Lap'). And this multi-million seller also sorts through her patchy early work, jettisoning potentially weaker material from the running order, such as her only non-charting single, 1982's 'There Goes A Tenner'. An expanded edition that drew in some of the first-rate material that she has recorded since, like 'This Woman's Work' and 'Rubberband Girl', would make it even stronger.
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