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on 12 November 2014
Firstly, let me say this is a really well written book, beautiful descriptive language throughout. The author is clearly a Kate Bush aficionado and fan, and, although critical when he considers it is justified, is very sympathetic to her throughout the book (but then it seems no-one who has actually met her has a bad word to say about her). The book is very detailed and well researched and goes into great detail about her work in the studio. I keep returning to the book for further insights and information on context for various songs. The author gives his own biases and opinions quite freely, which, although I don't agree with many of them, I found refreshing and often amusing. Little throwaway put downs about Sting and Freddie Mercury made me laugh. The book version I have goes up to the release of 'Fifty Words For Snow' and was written before her recent 2014 shows. His critique of the album '50 Words For Snow' is so brilliant and insightful, it's worth getting the book for that alone. Kate Bush lovers seem to have very pronounced views about her work and the author is disparaging about The Red Shoes (which is one of my favourite albums of hers) and he prefers her later 'Directors Cut' of songs like Rubber-band Girl (which I think is a mess) over the original (which I like a lot). He even goes so far as to dismiss critics who liked The Red Shoes as "falling into the trap of writing what they thought they were supposed to think about a new Kate Bush record, rather than what they were actually hearing". But that's ok with me, Kate seems to do this to people and there's room for all of us amongst the works of the genius Kate Bush. One last thing, I have the book rather than the Kindle version (about which I have heard some bad reviews re quality)
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on 24 March 2013
Problem. How do you write an informative and comprehensive book about someone who shuns the public gaze and therefore details are very hard to come by? That's the enormous task facing the author here. He responds with a very well researched and surprisingly meaty book, where he has clearly taken the time to talk to as many people who have known and worked with Bush as possible. As a result we are treated to a deeper understanding (sorry for the pun, Kate) of Kate Bush and her music. It's an unhurried and painstaking exercise, but rarely boring.

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.
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on 1 May 2014
An exceptional account of Bush's work, beautifully written and engaging. I particularly found the background to individual songs enlightening and found myself revisiting her works throughout my reading of the book. Although it focuses more heavily on Bush's earlier and middle works, what I found interesting, especially in light of recent developments, is Thomson's references to the fact Bush always planned to play live again. Now this is set to happen, and as Bushmania is set to reach it's peak as August approaches, if you want a starting point from which to understand the woman and her work, this is the only place to go. This is the absolute pinnacle of music biography. A triumph. Cheers!
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on 3 March 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It is written with much respect, and contains many views from those who have worked with Kate over the years. It is thought provoking too, when looking at how Kate works and the life she has shaped for herself. I have just bought kate's back catologue and knew nothing about her before reading this marvellous book. It is a great accompaniment to the albums. It also has plenty of interesting and lovely photographs of Kate over the years. Published in 2010, it covers her life and work up to this point. Short of Kate releasing her autobiography, l doubt you'll find a more balanced account of her life and music so far. I highly recommend it.
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on 21 April 2013
It is a bold attempt for any author trying to answer the question "who is she ?" about an artist as evasive as Kate Bush, Graeme Thompson
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.
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on 26 March 2011
Under the Ivy: The Story of Kate Bush

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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on 31 March 2015
Fans will know most of this already but its great to hear about the different albums who was involved and the things that were going on in Kates life at the time as it gives more meaning to different tracks that you didn't realise before. Kate is so private we will never know the full story but it gives you some insights into her life and relationships. I enjoyed reading it.
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on 5 July 2014
I have only just finished reading this book and I absolutely loved it. It is extremely well written, with an obvious love for the subject, and even a die-hard fan like myself learned a lot from it. (Kate and her naughty cigarettes, I truly had no idea! I love her even more now.) My only criticism of this book is that it ends.
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on 15 September 2014
Very well written and well researched. Reading a book of this standard and calibre about the life and music of the amazing Kate Bush, has been an absolute joy. I highly recommend it to anyone who takes even the slightest interest.
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on 23 December 2012
Just wanted to respond to an earlier review which states "the rendering of the text is useless. Words are joined together..." I nearly didn't buy because of this review, but based on my good experience of other kindle books I went ahead. It's true there are a FEW missing spaces between words, but no more than a handful throughout the whole book; nothing to stop you from buying it in this format.
As far as the book itself is concerned I can't add anything to what others have already said. It is a really interesting and well written account.
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