it is now 40 years since Kate Bush exploded onto the music scene and the nation’s consciousness with her unforgettable debut single ‘Wuthering Heights’.
Seemingly from nowhere a rather eccentric 19-year-old girl with a squealing high-pitched voice entranced the nation and transcended the prevailing musical trends of punk and disco with a song based on a classic novel from the 1840s that most who bought the record would never have read –
– (indeed Bush herself only read the novel after she had written the song).
‘Wuthering Heights’ spent four weeks in March and April of 1978 at number 1 – launching Bush’s celebrated career as one of the most imaginative musical auteurs of the rock era – a career that has produced some challenging – eccentric but brilliant music with Bush effortlessly balancing the fine high wire act between art and pretension.
A child prodigy born into a musical family Bush was discovered and mentored by Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and signed to EMI aged 16 with a large cache of songs already written.
It was evident from the beginning that this was a unique talent and EMI nurtured Bush – allowing her to develop until her first album The Kick Inside – containing many of her stockpile of songs – ‘Wuthering Heights’ included – was released in January 1978.