It’s hard to find fans more loyal than Kate Bush fans. She rarely puts out an album, did a grand total of one tour, and took 35 off from performing in public. But when you listen to her music, you can see why someone can get so devoted. It’s not only her unique and remarkably flexible voice, but her songwriting skills that command such devotion. It’s not only regular people that love Kate Bush, but other musicians. Here are the 10 best covers of Kate Bush songs.
# 10 – Dusty Springfield: The Man with the Child in His Eyes
Here, from a Royal Albert Hall concert in 1979 Dusty Springfield gives a flattering introduction to Kate Bush, calling her an original, before launching into “The Man with the Child in His Eyes.” This is a pretty faithful rendition, with piano and orchestra backing Dusty Springfield’s sultry and somewhat quavery voice. At the end, she states, “That’s a tough song.” This recording is not the best, but it probably was one of the earliest covers of a Kate Bush song ever done.
# 9 – PS22 Chorus: Running Up that Hill
It’s hard to think of any other voice singing Kate Bush’s classic, “Running Up that Hill”, so the PS22 Chorus used many voices in order to do the song justice. The PS22 Chorus is a Webby award-winning multi-racial children’s choir from Staten Island, New York. They sing with only an electric piano as accompaniment. Some of the children are clearly more deeply into this song than others. The organ player and choir leader is PS22’s music teacher, Gregg Breinberg. This performance was uploaded to YouTube on June 19, 2017. ( Editor- I would love to show this video but since these are young kids from a public school, we will not place the video in our article, yet I love that Rena give them such a wonderful mention)
# 8 – The Futureheads: Hounds of Love
Never thought a Kate Bush song could be covered by a punk band? Think again. The Futureheads tackles the title track to Kate Bush’s best-selling 1985 album and wrestles it to the ground, but lets it kick and scream in joy. “Hounds of Love” is revved up and ready to party. Even a take on Kate Bush’s dog-like noises at the song’s beginning is worked in. This appeared on their debut 2004 album The Futureheads. Although many Kate Bush fans dislike this cover version, you have to admire the sheer audacity of it.
# 7 – Maxwell: This Woman’s Work
Not many men want to try a Kate Bush song, since it’s written with (surprise) her voice in mind. Maxwell, with his high falsetto, is able to do a soulful job on this song about a father watching his woman give birth. He manages at times to get a perfectly androgynous voice, because a good song can be sung by either a man or a woman (or hermaphrodite) and still pack an emotional wallop. Part of Maxwell’s live shows, it can be found on his 2001 album, Now.
# 6 – Gemma Hayes: Cloudbusting
Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes likes doing the odd cover, such as Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” Here she manages to rearrange Kate Bush’s lush string-heavy original with a drum and guitar and some eerie wind effects. The spare and tense arrangement emphasizes just how good the lyrics are. Kate Bush is wonderful, but sometimes her words can be drowned out by the arrangements. Gemma Hayes would also perform this song live with guitar. This was released on Gemma Hayes’ website and is not available on a CD.
# 5 – Bit Cloudy: Deeper Understanding
Okay, the vocals are nowhere like Kate Bush’s, but this is one of the rare Kate Bush songs that has a minimum of vocal gymnastics. What gets this on the list of 10 best covers of Kate Bush songs is the arrangement, which is arguably better than the original. That one was a lush World Music-fest, while this arrangement is pure electronic bliss. This is, after all, a song about a computer addict. The video below is a live performance from Union Chapel on July 15, 2017.
# 4 – Chrome Canyon featuring Phoebe Oglesbee: Suspended in Gaffa
Not only does Chrome Canyon (aka Morgan Z) chose a Kate Bush song to cover, but chose one of the most obscure and difficult to sing. The vocals do a good Kate Bush imitation, even reaching some Kate Bush-ian high notes. The arrangement is even more electronic than the original version, which appears on Kate Bush’s 1982 album The Dreaming. Arguably, this is a better arrangement than Kate Bush’s. It can be downloaded at Soundcloud.
# 3 – Saint Savior: Army Dreamers
This is a daring version of “Army Dreamers” since it’s done entirely a cappella. All of the instruments from the original version, which appeared on Kate Bush’s 1980 album Never for Ever, are sung. Everything. Otherwise, the tune has not been changed. Saint Savior’s voice has often been compared to Kate Bush’s, so it was only natural that she did a Kate Bush cover, but in her own unique way. This can be found on her 2011 album Suukei.
# 2 – Alan Partridge: Kate Bush Medley
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then British comedian Alan Partridge is Kate Bush’s biggest flatterer. It takes real talent to not only do Kate Bush songs badly, but laughably badly. You do need to be familiar with Kate Bush’s work in order to fully appreciate what’s going on. Songs parodied include “Wow”, “Running Up that Hill”, “Rolling the Ball”, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”, “Wuthering Heights”, “Don’t Give Up” (which is actually a Peter Gabriel duet he did with Kate Bush), and “Babushka.” This was done for Comic Relief in the 1980s but eventually added into Alan Partridge’s shows.
# 1 – Tori Amos: And Dream of Sheep
It’s no surprise that Tori Amos did Kate Bush covers during her live tours. She was often described as an American Kate Bush early in her career. Both had piano-based songs, sang with an ethereal voice and wrote pretty deep lyrics. A fan uploaded this clip of a live performance to YouTube on August 26, 2014 and it’s been circling the Internet ever since. The clip begins with her upbraiding a young audience member, but then she goes into a moving rendition of just voice and keyboards and Kate Bush’s lovely lyrics. Tori does a great Kate Bush imitation, but a loving one this time. That’s why this is number one on our list of 10 best covers of Kate Bush songs.
10 Best Covers Of Kate Bush Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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