On September 16th, 1985 Kate Bush released her masterpiece Hounds of Love. The record was the British singer/songwriter’s fifth studio album, and a return to form following 1982’s experimental record The Dreaming.
Hounds of Love is lauded as Bush’ best album, and to some considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time. The record was Bush’s second album to top the UK Albums Chart and her best-selling studio album, having been certified double platinum for 600,000 sales in the UK, and by 1998 it had sold 1.1 million copies worldwide.
Hounds of Love had four hit singles, the first of which was the iconic “Running up That Hill”, a song about a man and woman making a deal with God to switch genders so they could understand each other better.
“I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman can’t understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other’s roles, if we could actually be in each other’s place for a while, I think we’d both be very surprised! [Laughs] And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either… you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, ‘well, no, why not a deal with God!’ You know, because in a way it’s so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you. You see, for me it is still called “Deal With God”, that was its title. But we were told that if we kept this title that it would not be played in any of the religious countries, Italy wouldn’t play it, France wouldn’t play it, and Australia wouldn’t play it! Ireland wouldn’t play it, and that generally we might get it blacked purely because it had God in the title.”
The music video featured Bush performing an interpretive dance with dancer Michael Hervieu, and is one of the most famous examples of choreography in a music video.
The executives of EMI initially wanted to release another song, “Cloudbusting”, as the lead single from the album.
“Cloudbursting” took it’s inspiration from the 1973 memoir A Book of Dreams, which Bush read and found deeply moving, and is about the very close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter, told from the point of view of the mature Peter.
The video, which was directed by Terry Gilliam and starred Donald Sutherland, describes Peter’s memories of his life with his father on their family farm, called Orgonon where the two spent time “cloudbusting”, or “rainmaking” using a machine built by the elder Reich.
The title track “Hounds of Love” compares falling in love to being chased by a pack of hounds. The music video (directed by Bush herself) was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock‘s film The 39 Steps and Hitchcock also features a cameo of a Hitchcock look-alike in profile during the video.
Guesting on bass guitar on the album’s playful final single “The Big Sky”, is Martin Glover, aka Youth from Killing Joke.