Kate Bush is an English singer-songwriter and musician who has been a pioneer of the art-rock and progressive pop genres since the late 1970s. Her unique vocal style, imaginative lyrics, and innovative production techniques have established her as a highly influential and widely respected artist. Over the course of her career, Bush has released 10 studio albums, including landmark works such as “Hounds of Love,” “The Dreaming,” and “The Sensual World.” She has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Brit Awards, Grammy Awards, and Ivor Novello Awards, and has won several accolades, including a CBE in 2013.
This list of the top 10 best Kate Bush songs encompasses the breadth and depth of her impressive catalog, including iconic singles like “Wuthering Heights,” “Running Up That Hill,” and “Cloudbusting,” as well as deeper cuts like “Jig of Life” and “Sat in Your Lap.” Kate Bush’s music is known for its emotional and psychological depth, exploring themes of love, loss, longing, and the complexities of human relationships. Her music often incorporates literary and cinematic references, as well as elements of traditional folk music and avant-garde experimentation. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a newcomer to her work, these 10 songs represent the very best of Kate Bush’s artistry and enduring influence.
1. ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’
“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush is a hauntingly beautiful and introspective song that explores the complexities of human relationships and the struggle for understanding and connection. The lyrics speak to the desire to bridge the gap between two individuals, to truly know and be known by another. Bush’s ethereal vocals, layered with lush instrumentation and powerful drums, create a sense of urgency and intensity that perfectly capture the emotional weight of the song’s subject matter. The driving beat and soaring chorus evoke a sense of determination and perseverance in the face of the challenges that life presents. “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with listeners and inspire new generations of musicians and artists.
2. ‘This Woman’s Work’
“This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush is a poignant and emotionally-charged ballad that explores the pain and complexity of love, loss, and grief. The song’s delicate piano melody and Bush’s haunting vocals convey a sense of vulnerability and raw emotion that perfectly capture the intensity of the song’s subject matter. The lyrics speak to the experience of a woman grappling with the sudden loss of her partner, and the weight of responsibility and uncertainty that comes with navigating such a difficult situation. Bush’s powerful performance captures the depth and complexity of the emotions involved, and the song’s haunting chorus serves as a reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life. “This Woman’s Work” is a powerful and moving tribute to the resilience and strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
3. ‘Wuthering Heights’
“Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush is a hauntingly beautiful and iconic song that captures the intensity and passion of Emily Bronte’s classic novel of the same name. Bush’s ethereal vocals, accompanied by a driving beat and atmospheric instrumentation, perfectly convey the sense of longing and desperation that permeates the story. The lyrics are a reflection of the novel’s protagonist, Catherine Earnshaw, as she struggles to come to terms with her own desires and the societal expectations placed upon her. The song’s chorus, with its soaring vocals and hypnotic melody, has become one of the most recognizable and beloved in music history. “Wuthering Heights” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and captivate audiences with its unique blend of literary inspiration, poetic lyrics, and unforgettable musical performance.
“Cloudbusting” by Kate Bush is a mesmerizing and emotive song that tells the story of a father and son’s attempts to manipulate the weather through a machine called a cloudbuster. The song’s layered instrumentation, including lush strings and dramatic percussion, perfectly captures the sense of wonder and magic that pervades the story. Bush’s soaring vocals serve as a powerful counterpoint to the song’s more subdued verses, conveying a sense of hope and optimism in the face of uncertainty and danger. The lyrics speak to the power of imagination and the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity through creativity and perseverance. “Cloudbusting” is a unique and deeply affecting song that stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s skill as a songwriter and performer.
“Misty” by Kate Bush is a hauntingly beautiful and atmospheric song that explores the complexity of desire and the yearning for connection. The song’s ethereal instrumentation, including delicate piano and swirling synths, perfectly captures the dreamlike quality of the lyrics. Bush’s vocals are a mix of vulnerability and sensuality, conveying a sense of longing and desperation that is both powerful and evocative. The lyrics are a meditation on the nature of desire and the search for intimacy, exploring the tension between attraction and reservation, and the fear of vulnerability that often accompanies these feelings. “Misty” is a powerful and moving song that captures the intensity and complexity of human emotion, and stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s skill as a songwriter and performer.
6. ‘The Man With The Child in His Eyes’
“The Man With The Child in His Eyes” by Kate Bush is a hauntingly beautiful and intimate song that captures the essence of young love and the power of innocence. The song’s sparse instrumentation, including acoustic guitar and gentle piano, creates a sense of intimacy and vulnerability that perfectly complements Bush’s delicate vocals. The lyrics speak to the experience of falling in love for the first time, and the wonder and magic that comes with discovering the world through the eyes of another. Bush’s evocative performance captures the complexity of these emotions, conveying a sense of wonder, excitement, and vulnerability in equal measure. “The Man With The Child in His Eyes” is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with listeners and inspire new generations of musicians and artists.
7. ‘Hounds of Love’
“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush is a powerful and energetic song that explores the tension between love and fear. The song’s driving beat and powerful instrumentation, including soaring synths and dramatic drums, perfectly capture the intensity and urgency of the lyrics. Bush’s vocals are a mix of strength and vulnerability, conveying a sense of determination and defiance in the face of danger and uncertainty. The lyrics are a reflection of the fear and vulnerability that often accompanies love, exploring the idea that our deepest desires can also be our greatest fears. “Hounds of Love” is a powerful and evocative song that speaks to the complexities of the human experience, and stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s skill as a songwriter and performer.
“Bertie” by Kate Bush is a whimsical and playful song that celebrates the joys of motherhood and the bond between parent and child. The song’s playful instrumentation, including a lively piano and joyful string arrangements, perfectly captures the sense of wonder and delight that accompanies the experience of raising a child. Bush’s vocals are a mix of tenderness and exuberance, conveying a sense of deep love and affection for her son Bertie. The lyrics are a reflection of the joy and fulfillment that comes with nurturing and caring for another life, and the sense of wonder and amazement that comes with watching a child grow and develop. “Bertie” is a heartfelt and deeply personal song that celebrates the beauty and magic of motherhood, and stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s skill as a songwriter and performer.
9. ‘Hammer Horror’
“Hammer Horror” by Kate Bush is a dark and atmospheric song that draws inspiration from classic horror films of the 1950s and 60s. The song’s haunting instrumentation, including eerie synths and dramatic percussion, perfectly captures the sense of foreboding and tension that is a hallmark of the horror genre. Bush’s vocals are a mix of theatricality and melodrama, conveying a sense of danger and urgency in the face of an unknown threat. The lyrics are a reflection of the fear and uncertainty that often accompany encounters with the supernatural, exploring the idea that our deepest fears can also be our greatest thrills. “Hammer Horror” is a unique and evocative song that stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s versatility as a songwriter and performer.
“Breathing” by Kate Bush is a powerful and poignant song that reflects on the fragility and resilience of human life. The song’s haunting instrumentation, including mournful strings and atmospheric synths, perfectly captures the sense of vulnerability and uncertainty that is a part of the human experience. Bush’s vocals are a mix of sadness and strength, conveying a sense of despair and hope in equal measure. The lyrics are a meditation on the fragility of life and the power of the human spirit to endure and overcome adversity, exploring the idea that even in the face of death, there is still beauty and wonder to be found. “Breathing” is a deeply affecting song that speaks to the complexities and contradictions of the human experience, and stands as a testament to Kate Bush’s skill as a songwriter and performer.