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Does anyone else think Kate Bush is a musical genius?


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Old 09-03-2013, 05:38
Fear of Fours
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Might be helpful to say who the first women were.

You have to bear in mind that Kate Bush was a teenage girl and a brand new artist that was singing her own compositions (music and lyrics) that were very different in style to what had gone before. Bear in mind also that the year was 1978.
Even though Laura Nyro never achieved major commercial success she was still writing, composing and co-producing her own material in late 1960s when she was barely out of her teens. She was a young, white female singing music that was far beyond her years. In fact several of the songs she wrote whilst still a teenager were actually covered by The 5th Dimension , Barbra Streisand and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Not exactly bad going.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:37
mushymanrob
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Yeah, I'm honestly surprised at some people's views on Joni Mitchell. As with Kate Bush, she did what she wanted often at the expense of commercial success. People will have their favourites and rate some artists higher than others but that wasn't really what the discussion was about.
it might be a generation thing, and certainly a taste thing, from my perspective. i simply dont like joni mitchell. her appeal was to those older then me, older hippies.

the music fans i mixed with then and still do now certainly prefer kb. kb had greater success here in the uk too. jm might have been earlier, bigger in the usa, but as i see it kb is the most creative female here in the uk.

not sure about carole kings claim either, she composed rather safe, normal, choons along with others mostly jerry goffin. was she big? sure, but she didnt impact on the uk scene in the way kb did.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:01
lil lexie
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the thing I appreciate most about her music is how evocative it is especially in regards to British heritage. Wuthering Heights was perhaps her most explicit example of referencing British culture (and maybe Hammer Horror) but since then it's been far more implicit, a song like Hounds of Love is so rich in it's cultural references, everything from British B-movie horror to Wilkie Collins novels. Even a the title 'Under The Ivy' is so utterly British. I don't recall anyone ever doing anything quite like this in this country, though I think that American music, especially C&W draws heavily on it's cultural heritage.

So yes, I'd say she is a genius.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:02
Fear of Fours
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as i see it, it what happened here that matters, our british music scene, so my view will always be from a uk standpoint unless the topic is identified as a worldwide one.
The OP never mentioned anything about the UK music scene, so I think it's fair to assume we are talking in general terms here.

it might be a generation thing, and certainly a taste thing, from my perspective. i simply dont like joni mitchell. her appeal was to those older then me, older hippies.

the music fans i mixed with then and still do now certainly prefer kb. kb had greater success here in the uk too. jm might have been earlier, bigger in the usa, but as i see it kb is the most creative female here in the uk.

not sure about carole kings claim either, she composed rather safe, normal, choons along with others mostly jerry goffin. was she big? sure, but she didnt impact on the uk scene in the way kb did.

The reason I brought Carole King up was because she was one of the first truly successful female songwriters who started out in her teens just like Kate Bush did. She was writing hits years before she had even started her own solo career. People forget what classic songs Carole King and Gerry Goffin actually wrote. She paved the way for many singer/songwriters in the 1960s and 1970s and is still influencing people today. As for Tapestry, that album is a true benchmark release in music and is still one of the most successful and acclaimed albums that has ever been released in music. It has sold 25 million copies worldwide to date and impacted more on a worldwide level than any Kate Bush album ever did.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:03
Fear of Fours
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I guess it comes down to what country you live in. Is Kate Bush more influential in the UK than Joni Mitchell? She probably is to a lot of artists. Is she more influential in the US than Joni? No way. I would even go as far as saying that Joni Mitchell is more influential worldwide as a whole. Kate Bush's acclaim and reverence is very much UK/European based, she certainly isn't held in the same regard in the US that Joni is in the UK. I just don't think Kate Bush has ever truly made an album that is UNIVERSALLY (not just in the UK) recognized as a benchmark recording in music in the same way that Joni Mitchell has with Blue and Court & Spark.

Joni Mitchell is seen as one of the most celebrated and important artists of the last century. She is commonly referred to as the female Bob Dylan by many critics. As far as I’m concerned no female artist has ever touched Joni’s run of albums from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court & Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira are all classic albums that are highly regarded by both critics and fans the world over. She has influenced both men and women in pop, rock, dance, blues, jazz, soul, country, easy listening and folk. Then there’s her non-standard guitar tunings. These tunings have allowed musicians to produce work that is more varied and wide-ranging in textures. Rolling Stone named her the 72nd greatest guitarist of all time in 2003, the highest-ranked woman on the list. She was also highly innovative harmonically during the early part of her career. She wrote, composed, produced, and arranged most of her material as well as playing multiple instruments and designing the covers. She broke the mould for female artists and was more hands on than any other female act had been at that point. Her music has moved from folk to rock to pop to jazz to orchestral reworking’s.

My main gripe with some of the comments on here is that they're disregarding everything Joni Mitchell did for women in music and making out like it all started with Kate Bush. I'm not denying that Kate is unique and did her own thing to push the boundaries for women in music and music in general but she wasn't the first to do this. It's as bad as the people who disregard everything that came before Madonna because according to them she was the first to do everything.

Strong talent is always going to influence the next generation. Artists like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton and Odetta opened the doors for latter female artists like Janis Joplin, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell herself. It's a constant revolving door. Both Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell have influenced a lot of people over the years, infact many artists have name-checked both of them as influences. I just personally think Joni Mitchell has had the bigger impact and influence in the general scheme of things.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:59
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My main gripe with some of the comments on here is that they're disregarding everything Joni Mitchell did for women in music and making out like it all started with Kate Bush. I'm not denying that Kate is unique and did her own thing to push the boundaries for women in music and music in general but she wasn't the first to do this.
That's what I've been arguing the whole thread (on my own until you arrived ). I've been at pains to point out that I'm not making any comment on who is better/more inluential/more successful. Simply that you can't give Kate Bush credit for being the first, considering the female artists that came before her.

ps. I was going to mention Laura Nyro too but she's not as well known unfortunately.
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Old 09-03-2013, 17:09
panic room
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I own Kates first 3 albums and play them on a very regular basis, she was "different" when she first appeared and was breath of fresh air on the music scene (as far as I was concerned anyway). If the discussion is if Kate is the the most influential game changer in female singer/songwriting I think it all depends on personal choice. Carole King gave the world "Tapestry" I play this CD a lot and it is as a previous posted mentioned a benchmark album. For me female singer/songwriters don't come any more gifted than Joni Mitchell in fact singer/songwriters of either gender are below Joni in terms of talent (for me). Good to hear a shout out for Laura Nyro, "Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" and "New York Tendaberry" to name just two are just amazingly beautiful albums.
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Old 09-03-2013, 17:42
Smudged
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I own Kates first 3 albums and play them on a very regular basis, she was "different" when she first appeared and was breath of fresh air on the music scene (as far as I was concerned anyway). If the discussion is if Kate is the the most influential game changer in female singer/songwriting I think it all depends on personal choice. Carole King gave the world "Tapestry" I play this CD a lot and it is as a previous posted mentioned a benchmark album. For me female singer/songwriters don't come any more gifted than Joni Mitchell in fact singer/songwriters of either gender are below Joni in terms of talent (for me). Good to hear a shout out for Laura Nyro, "Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" and "New York Tendaberry" to name just two are just amazingly beautiful albums.
It wasn't intended to be and we have kind of veered off the original topic of "genius". As I said before, I don't think being the first type of artist, or commercial success and influence have necessarily got anything to do with whether someone is a musical genius.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:40
mushymanrob
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The OP never mentioned anything about the UK music scene, so I think it's fair to assume we are talking in general terms here.
this is a uk based forum, no not exclusively, but largely. so the perspective here is uk by default.


The reason I brought Carole King up was because she was one of the first truly successful female songwriters who started out in her teens just like Kate Bush did. She was writing hits years before she had even started her own solo career. People forget what classic songs Carole King and Gerry Goffin actually wrote. She paved the way for many singer/songwriters in the 1960s and 1970s and is still influencing people today. As for Tapestry, that album is a true benchmark release in music and is still one of the most successful and acclaimed albums that has ever been released in music. It has sold 25 million copies worldwide to date and impacted more on a worldwide level than any Kate Bush album ever did.
true... but she never created something totally unique by herself that impacted on the uk scene in the way kate bush has.... and sales are not a benchmark for deciding genius, creativity is, cutting new ground is, and kate bush furthered that far more then carole king who was huge, true, she was first, true, but her material was 'safe'. it was created within already laid down perameters... thats what kate bush didnt do...

I guess it comes down to what country you live in. Is Kate Bush more influential in the UK than Joni Mitchell? She probably is to a lot of artists. Is she more influential in the US than Joni? No way. I would even go as far as saying that Joni Mitchell is more influential worldwide as a whole. Kate Bush's acclaim and reverence is very much UK/European based, she certainly isn't held in the same regard in the US that Joni is in the UK. I just don't think Kate Bush has ever truly made an album that is UNIVERSALLY (not just in the UK) recognized as a benchmark recording in music in the same way that Joni Mitchell has with Blue and Court & Spark.

Joni Mitchell is seen as one of the most celebrated and important artists of the last century. She is commonly referred to as the female Bob Dylan by many critics. As far as I’m concerned no female artist has ever touched Joni’s run of albums from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court & Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira are all classic albums that are highly regarded by both critics and fans the world over. She has influenced both men and women in pop, rock, dance, blues, jazz, soul, country, easy listening and folk. Then there’s her non-standard guitar tunings. These tunings have allowed musicians to produce work that is more varied and wide-ranging in textures. Rolling Stone named her the 72nd greatest guitarist of all time in 2003, the highest-ranked woman on the list. She was also highly innovative harmonically during the early part of her career. She wrote, composed, produced, and arranged most of her material as well as playing multiple instruments and designing the covers. She broke the mould for female artists and was more hands on than any other female act had been at that point. Her music has moved from folk to rock to pop to jazz to orchestral reworking’s.

My main gripe with some of the comments on here is that they're disregarding everything Joni Mitchell did for women in music and making out like it all started with Kate Bush. I'm not denying that Kate is unique and did her own thing to push the boundaries for women in music and music in general but she wasn't the first to do this. It's as bad as the people who disregard everything that came before Madonna because according to them she was the first to do everything.

Strong talent is always going to influence the next generation. Artists like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton and Odetta opened the doors for latter female artists like Janis Joplin, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell herself. It's a constant revolving door. Both Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell have influenced a lot of people over the years, infact many artists have name-checked both of them as influences. I just personally think Joni Mitchell has had the bigger impact and influence in the general scheme of things.
but thats the point (bib), as mentioned, ds is a uk based site, the forum is uk biased, so comments here are from a uk perspective. it makes no difference who did what and where, the op asked is kb a musical genius... to many she is, it was kb that impacted on the british music scene by pushing the boundaries of musical creativity and originality here.

That's what I've been arguing the whole thread (on my own until you arrived ). I've been at pains to point out that I'm not making any comment on who is better/more inluential/more successful. Simply that you can't give Kate Bush credit for being the first, considering the female artists that came before her.

ps. I was going to mention Laura Nyro too but she's not as well known unfortunately.
what other female artiste has produced a 'wuthering heights' before kb?.... or after for that matter!
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Old 10-03-2013, 13:24
Smudged
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^^ Sounds like you're trying to rewrite the whole discussion to suit your argument. Even if you want to limit it to the UK, Joni Mitchell was pretty successful and well known in the UK for a time anyway so she still can't be ignored.

There have been great albums by female artists before and after Kate Bush's heydey. I find it hard to pick a favourite when the artists and music are quite different.
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Old 10-03-2013, 16:15
mushymanrob
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^^ Sounds like you're trying to rewrite the whole discussion to suit your argument. Even if you want to limit it to the UK, Joni Mitchell was pretty successful and well known in the UK for a time anyway so she still can't be ignored.

There have been great albums by female artists before and after Kate Bush's heydey. I find it hard to pick a favourite when the artists and music are quite different.
its a uk site, ive always argued from a uk perspecive unless the op was specifically talking worldwide.

i accept fully that kb is unlikely to be as big in other parts of the world as she is here, i accept that joni, carol and others were bigger or came first in america... so what? all the threads here would be null and void if a worldwide perspective was placed on them.

im not ignoring joni, or carol, im asking where their 'wuthering heights' moment is in our music scene, a brand new, totally original, debut hit by an inexperienced teenage girl that absolutely ignored all the musical genres that were popular at the time... in fact where is it anywhere?
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Old 10-03-2013, 16:57
Smudged
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im not ignoring joni, or carol, im asking where their 'wuthering heights' moment is in our music scene, a brand new, totally original, debut hit by an inexperienced teenage girl that absolutely ignored all the musical genres that were popular at the time... in fact where is it anywhere?
I think if you make a statement specific enough it can certainly help to prove your point but it's not entirely relevant to the original discussion we were having .
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:31
Buffy Anne
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Very interesting reading, catching up with this thread.

What I'd like to add is that by believing Kate's a genius, I in no way want to overlook or diminish the contributions to the music world other female artists have made before and after Ms Bush. Yes, I firmly believe Kate's a musical genius but I never intended to make anyone think she's the only one. There is room for all the talent to be celebrated.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:42
Hav_mor91
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Very interesting reading, catching up with this thread.

What I'd like to add is that by believing Kate's a genius, I in no way want to overlook or diminish the contributions to the music world other female artists have made before and after Ms Bush. Yes, I firmly believe Kate's a musical genius but I never intended to make anyone think she's the only one. There is room for all the talent to be celebrated.
So true and for me whilst i put Kate above the others is i find her to be much more imaginative forward thinking and creative and boundary pushing people say Joni is like the female Bob Dylan i've always seen Kate as the female Bowie almost and thats why i love her
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:28
Smudged
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lol, last post from me. The only disagreement in the discussion was that Kate Bush was the first female artist to have creative control over her music/career, and the suggestion that no female artists before her were afforded that luxury until they were successful enough. From my point of view it's not about "best" or "most" anything, it's a factual point. Either someone was the first or they weren't. It's a shame the thread went off topic and other artists were mentioned but it's hard to ignore a statement if you think it's factually incorrect. Perhaps we can stick to the subject of "Genius" from now on .
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:04
jackbell
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Proof! Everybody rips off Kate Bush!
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Old 13-03-2013, 08:41
mushymanrob
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lol, last post from me. The only disagreement in the discussion was that Kate Bush was the first female artist to have creative control over her music/career, and the suggestion that no female artists before her were afforded that luxury until they were successful enough. From my point of view it's not about "best" or "most" anything, it's a factual point. Either someone was the first or they weren't. It's a shame the thread went off topic and other artists were mentioned but it's hard to ignore a statement if you think it's factually incorrect. Perhaps we can stick to the subject of "Genius" from now on .
i think the debate isnt where she was the first per se, but the first at such a young age to have so much creative control... its about degrees, not a black or white statement.

as i see it there were others (non uk) but it was kb that had greater control and her uk impact was greater. cant talk worldwide, i live here!
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Old 13-03-2013, 10:15
Glawster2002
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That's what I've been arguing the whole thread (on my own until you arrived ). I've been at pains to point out that I'm not making any comment on who is better/more inluential/more successful. Simply that you can't give Kate Bush credit for being the first, considering the female artists that came before her.

ps. I was going to mention Laura Nyro too but she's not as well known unfortunately.
To put thing in to perspective.

I am a five years younger than Kate Bush, so to my generation she was unique.

At that time one might see the likes of Joni Mitchell, etc, on the old Grey Whistle Test, if one was allowed to stay up and watch it, otherwise she was a complete unknown to most people. Her songs were never played on the radio, certainly not during the day time, she never appeared on Top Of The Pops so from an adolescent British perspective Kate Bush was the first.

After all this is a UK-based forum with a largely UK-based membership and so from a UK perspective you do have to giver her credit for what she achieved.

Alan Shepard was the first American in space, but you never hear that achievement rubbished because the Soviet Union had already put Yuri Gagarin in to space. Alan Shepard was feted because he was the first to achieve the feat for his country. Kate Bush deserves credit for being the first woman to achieve what she did in her country in much the same way, although you cannot obviously compare the two as "like-for-like"..
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Old 13-03-2013, 10:54
Heavenly
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I disagree. The fact she wrote The Man With The Child In His Eyes when she was just 13 still amazes me.
It's my favourite song of hers. Amazing talent.
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:07
ashtray88
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They forgot to mention The Futureheads and Placebo. They had the nerve to "cover" Kate Bush when really they were just trying to pass her music off as their own.
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:19
Smudged
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After all this is a UK-based forum with a largely UK-based membership and so from a UK perspective you do have to giver her credit for what she achieved.
I felt that when the discussion started people weren't making that distinction. It was simply female artists, not UK female artists and that's what led to the disagreement. If you add in the caveats of being from the UK, a debut album, having a number 1 etc. then it makes more sense. If people had said first UK female artist instead then the whole discussion probably wouldn't have tave taken place . Think we've cleared this up now!
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:23
Hav_mor91
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They forgot to mention The Futureheads and Placebo. They had the nerve to "cover" Kate Bush when really they were just trying to pass her music off as their own.
I love the placebo cover adds another dimension to the song as for the futureheads not so much (i wonder if people realise she usually sends a letter of thanks and congratulations to those who cover her work )
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:59
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No, but I think she had nice tits in the 70s
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Old 13-03-2013, 13:06
ashtray88
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(i wonder if people realise she usually sends a letter of thanks and congratulations to those who cover her work )
Wow, Kate Bush is amazing. Those poor unfortunate souls should count their blessings that she even acknowledges their existence!
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Old 13-03-2013, 13:09
That_Guy
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Tori Amos did a bit of RUTH the other night. Amazing!
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=f_pX0...X0rcEuIs&gl=GB
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