Kate Bush is not really happy with her one album

Kate Bush

Kate Bush’s 1978 debut album, “The Kick Inside,” propelled her to success, making her the first woman in the UK to achieve a number one hit with a self-penned track, “Wuthering Heights,” among other songs from the album. This instantly garnered the music industry’s and the world’s attention. The album exceeded one million copies in sales, so when it came to Bush’s second album, the pressure was high.

Many artists experience this kind of pressure. Many people talk about the cliche of the challenging follow-up album, which puts musicians in a difficult position where they have to decide whether to change or stick with what worked in order to try to repeat their first success. A lot of musicians fail miserably at this point and never quite live up to their first release. Kate Bush strongly wished that was not going to happen to her.

But after The Kick Inside became a huge hit, Kate Bush faced a lot of outside pressure. Between the release of her first album and the beginning of her second, Lionheart, Bush hardly had time to catch her breath, which left her feeling unhappy of the way the record was handled.

Eager to capitalise on the popularity of her debut, Bush’s record company, EMI, quickly pushed her back into the studio. They didn’t give Bush the luxury of time to reflect between albums. She had to begin work on album two in July 1978, just five months after The Kick Inside came out. Most musicians take this time to rethink and reorganise how they want their sound to develop. Then, just nine months after her debut, in November 1978, her second album, Lionheart, was released.

Bush didn’t necessarily want or feel comfortable with the situation, describing it as “a difficult situation.” In the album’s liner notes, she could hardly conceal her disappointment regarding the process, writing, “I felt very constrained by the lack of time, and I don’t like that, especially when it concerns something as important to me as my songs, which are really important to me.”

While featuring fan-favorite tracks like ‘Wow,’ ‘Hammer Horror,’ and ‘Symphony In Blue,’ Lionheart is not a bad album by any means. Bush herself refers to it as a “bloody good album”. However, in interviews following its release, the musician openly expresses her disappointment, admitting that she is “not really happy with it”.

It appears that the pressure to finish Lionheart quickly and the lack of creative space resulted in an album that Kate Bush feels dissatisfied and detached from. In 1985, she stated, “The finished product was not what I wanted, even though they were my songs and I was singing them.” The fault did not lie with the producer. From his perspective, he was doing a good job of making it sound cohesive and well-done. However, it wasn’t really my album.

However, she learned a crucial lesson from Lionheart, which might have inspired her later works of art. I was essentially too weak to be able to declare, ‘See, I’m making this myself. This is my occupation. And that’s what I do now.” She remarked in 1985 in response to the publication of Hounds of Love, thinking back on Lionheart. Lionheart turned out to be the final album that Kate Bush had an outside producer for. She went on to produce all of her next albums.

While it’s unfortunate to think that Kate Bush is dissatisfied with any of her work, no lesson is ever wasted.


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