42 years ago today Kate Bush released her debut studio album The Kick Inside which contained her UK number one hit, “Wuthering Heights”, (marking the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song). Bush was just 19 years old and had written some of the songs when she was only 13.
Bush wrote “Wuthering Heights” aged 18, she was inspired after seeing the 1967 BBC adaptation of the 1847 novel Wuthering Heights. She then read the book and discovered that she shared her birthday with author Emily BrontÃ«.
Simon Reynolds described the song as “Gothic romance distilled into four-and-a-half minutes of gaseous rhapsody.”
Pitchfork naming it the fifth greatest song of the 1970s.
A flashmob event known as The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever was officially created in 2016 and is held annually. Fans gather in locations around the world to recreate the “red dress” video.
The album itself peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. The production included efforts by several progressive rock veterans, including members of the Alan Parsons Project and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
Allmusic’s Bruce Elder said that The Kick Inside is “the sound of an impressionable and highly precocious teenager spreading her wings for the first time” and called it “a mightily impressive debut.”
Writer Chris Jones said, “Using mainly session musicians, The Kick Inside was the result of a record company actually allowing a young talent to blossom. Helmed by Gilmour’s friend, Andrew Powell, it’s a lush blend of piano grandiosity, vaguely uncomfortable reggae and intricate, intelligent, wonderful songs. All delivered in a voice that had no precedents.”
Personally, I like almost all of the songs in The Kick Inside. The album is a true masterpiece.