Friday, January 11, 2013


YEAR:  1993
LABEL:  Columbia
TRACK LISTING:  Rubberband Girl,  And So Is Love,  Eat the Music,  Moments of Pleasure,  The Song of Solomon,  Lily,  The Red Shoes,  Top of the City,  Constellation of the Heart,  Big Stripey Lie,  Why Should I Love You?,  You're the One
IMPRESSIONS:  Kate Bush's "Santana Supernatural" album almost a decade before Santana.  What I mean by that is "THE RED SHOES" features a ton of rock star cameos which was quite unusual for a Kate Bush record.  That may explain why it's somewhat of a mishmash.  Still a great record (a so-so Kate Bush album still outdoes 95% of everyone else's albums), Kate herself knew, I think, which were the best songs because those are the ones she chose to include in her film "THE LINE, THE CROSS AND THE CURVE" which she wrote and directed and is basically a retelling of "THE RED SHOES" fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen starring herself, Miranda Richardson and Lindsey Kemp.  The album itself I don't think can really be called a "concept album" based on the tale because listening to it without having seen the film one would be hard-pressed to see the connection between the songs.  In fact, Bush at the time was contemplating actually going on a live concert tour again (which she hadn't done since 1979) so she conceived the album as more "live band" friendly than her previous albums.  Sadly, the tour never happened (and Bush has still never toured except for that one and only time).  The time period around the making of this album was also a very traumatic one for the singer as her mother Hannah died very soon after the album was released, her long-time guitarist Alan Murphy died, director Michael Powell (whose 1948 film "THE RED SHOES" co-directed with Emeric Pressburger was also an inspiration for the album and with whom she had discussed working with) had recently died in 1990 and her long-time relationship with bassist Del Palmer had also come to an end.  Things must've been very raw because she would not make another album again for 12 years.  While about half the album is rather forgettable (relatively speaking), the other half contains plenty of gold.  The album actually did surprisingly well in the U.S. for a change mostly due to the surprise hit "Eat the Music" which got substantial MTV airplay.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Rubberband Girl,  And So Is Love,  Eat the Music,  Moments of Pleasure,  Lily,  The Red Shoes,  Why Should I Love You?,  You're the One
GUEST ARTISTS:  Jeff Beck (guitar on "You're the One"),  Gary Brooker of Procol Harum (Hammond organ on "Constellation of the Heart", "And So Is Love" and "You're the One"),  Eric Clapton (guitar on "And So Is Love"),  Lenny Henry (vocals on "Why Should I Love You?"),  Michael Kamen (orchestration on "Moments of Pleasure"),  Nigel Kennedy (violin on "Big Stripey Lie", violin and viola on "Top of the City"),  Lily (narration on "Lily"),  Prince (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals and arranger on "Why Should I Love You?"),  Trio Bulgarka (vocals)
FACT SHEET:  THE RED SHOES is Kate Bush's seventh album.  The album concept was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and the 1949 Powell & Pressburger film.  The album went platinum in the U.K.  Bush re-recorded several songs from this album on her 2011 album "DIRECTOR'S CUT" stating she had not been happy with the production sound on the originals.        

1 comment:

  1. Footnote-
    Yes THAT Lenny Henry! "Katanga my friend". He also appeared on The Style Council's My favourite Shop Album. The heady days for Mr Henry who also went Hollywood with True Identity. Kate always seemed to work with Britain's comedians; Dawn Fench, Hugh Laurei, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson etc