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Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush Paperback – 11 Apr 2012
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' - respectful, fascinating and full of insight. In the absence of any official book, devotees should lap it up.' Q **** 'Mapping a path through the life of this enigmatic songwriter is not easy but Graeme Thomson's superb book manages to do just that.' MOJO
About the Author
Graeme Thomson is the author if biographies of Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello and a regular contributor to The Guardian, Observer, the New Statesman, The Word and The Herald
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If you can get past the first 25 pages, or so, which deal with Kate's life before she burst onto the scene, then you will be richly rewarded. The problem with those early pages is that they feel like a lot of conjecture on the author's part as he tries to speculate of Kate's formative inspirations (he may well be right on many, but it's short on concrete confirmation from family or friends). What's great about the rest of the book is that it really documents and examines Kate's musical journey, offering real insights into some of the songs that I've been enjoying for decades, but has me now listening to them with fresh ears.
What I like most, is this is not some gushing fan's-eye-view of the great lady. Thomson doesn't shy from criticism of the music or some of Kate's career decisions. If you are big fan, like me, you may not always agree, or be comfortable with, his denigration of some of her work, as it's ultimately about personal opinion, but it does make for a better, well-balanced book.
I'm really pleased I bought it.
however succeeds with this biography in the best possible way. He avoids worshipping and speculation, while trying to get nearer to the artist through her output and the people involved with her. Criticism is not spared where he thinks it is appropriate, but a genuine love and appreciation for her work and person is shown throughout. In one of her early poems she revealed that "no one will ever see the real me", but if you want "deeper understanding" then you should read this careful accomplished biography.
I could not put this book down! A fascinating insight in to the world of pop music and it's interesting how Kate managed to control and protect her music. It gives you details of her upbringing and gives information on a lot of her songs. Always the perfectionist she strives to constantly improve things...sometimes to the annoyance of the record companies! Now,in 2011, we are seeing the "tweeking" of two of her albums(always room for improvement)in "The Director's Cut" which I will definitely be buying!!!
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