The Kick Inside

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The Kick Inside
The Kick Inside (Album Artwork).png
Studio album by
Released 17 February 1978
Recorded June 1975, July–August 1977
Studio AIR Studios, London[1]
Length 43:13
Producer Andrew Powell
Kate Bush chronology
The Kick Inside
Singles from The Kick Inside
  1. "Wuthering Heights"
    Released: 20 January 1978
  2. "Moving"
    Released: 5 February 1978
  3. "Them Heavy People"
    Released: 5 May 1978
  4. "The Man with the Child in His Eyes"
    Released: 26 May 1978
  5. "Strange Phenomena"
    Released: 1 June 1979
Alternative cover
The Kick Inside US cover
The Kick Inside US cover

The Kick Inside is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician Kate Bush. It was released on 17 February 1978 and contains her UK number one hit, "Wuthering Heights". The album peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.[2] The production included efforts by several progressive rock veterans, including Duncan Mackay, Ian Bairnson, David Paton, Andrew Powell, and Stuart Elliott of the Alan Parsons Project, and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

Background and recording

The Kick Inside was released when Bush was 19 years old. She had written some of the songs when she was only 13.[3] The album opens with 20 seconds of whale song, which leads into the first track, "Moving", inspired by her dance teacher Lindsay Kemp.

Her cinematic and literary influences, two qualities considered her trademarks, were most obvious in the song "Wuthering Heights", the album's first single. The song was not initially inspired by Emily Brontë's novel but by a television adaptation, although Bush read the novel later in order to (in her own words) "get the research right".[4] Further influences can be found when she references Gurdjieff in "Them Heavy People", while the title song is inspired by the ballad of Lizie Wan. Bush also writes openly about sexuality, particularly on the erotic "Feel It" and "L'Amour Looks Something Like You". "Strange Phenomena" questions unusual coincidences, premonition, and déjà vu.

"Wuthering Heights" went to number one in the UK, marking the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song.[5] EMI originally wanted the more rock-oriented track "James and the Cold Gun" to be her debut single, but Bush insisted that it should be "Wuthering Heights". Even at this early stage of her career, she had gained a reputation for her determination to have a say in decisions affecting her work.[6]

The album's second single, "The Man with the Child in His Eyes", reached number six in the UK. Three other singles were released over the world during the next two years: "Them Heavy People", "Moving" (which reached number one in Japan) and "Strange Phenomena".[3] "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" also charted on the American Billboard Hot 100, Bush's only single to do so until 1985. It peaked at number 85. Bush made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in December 1978. Despite this publicity, The Kick Inside failed to enter the top 200 of the Billboard albums chart.

As part of her preparation for entering the studio, Bush toured pubs with the KT Bush Band, supported by her brother Paddy and close friends. However, for the album, she was persuaded to use established session musicians, some of whom she would retain even after she had brought her bandmates back on board.[3]

Paddy Bush was the only member of the KT Bush Band to play on The Kick Inside. Unlike on later albums, where he would play more exotic instruments such as balalaika and didgeridoo, here he played the more standard harmonica and mandolin. Stuart Elliot played some of the drums and would become her main percussionist on subsequent albums,[3] along with session drummer Charlie Morgan. Preston Heyman was credited on drums with some subsequent studio work but mostly performed on the live tour of 1979.

The album was produced by David Gilmour's friend and associate, Andrew Powell.[7]


Six different varieties of the album's cover are known: the regular UK cover, a variant UK cover, the US cover, the Canadian cover, the Yugoslavian cover, the Japanese cover, and the Uruguayan cover, the Uruguayan cover being the rarest and most expensive due to its unusual head-on photo of Bush.

In the UK, it was released (twice) as a limited edition picture disc. This is housed in a full colour outer sleeve ('Kite' picture by Jay Myrdal). It sports a sticker declaring that it's a picture disc (cat. no: EMCP 3223). Two versions were actually released: The first edition has a circular sticker stating that it is a picture disc (usually in the top left hand corner). The second pressing (apparently aimed at the US market, where the first pressing had proven popular) has an oval sticker (usually top centre). The second disc also states "manufactured in the UK by EMI Records Ltd." as part of the copyright notice printed on the disc. The first edition does not have this wording.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork 8.4/10[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[11]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 8/10[12]

According to Billboard in 1978 the album was certified gold in England and New Zealand and platinum in Australia and the Netherlands. [13]

Track listing

All tracks written by Kate Bush.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Moving" 3:01
2. "The Saxophone Song" 3:51
3. "Strange Phenomena" 2:57
4. "Kite" 2:56
5. "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" 2:39
6. "Wuthering Heights" 4:28
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "James and the Cold Gun" 3:34
8. "Feel It" 3:02
9. "Oh to Be in Love" 3:18
10. "L'Amour Looks Something Like You" 2:27
11. "Them Heavy People" 3:04
12. "Room for the Life" 4:03
13. "The Kick Inside" 3:30



Charts and certifications

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "British album certifications – Kate Bush – The Kick Inside". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Kick Inside in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  3. ^ a b c d "Kate Bush". Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  4. ^ "Kate Bush TV Interview". Ask Aspel. 1978-09-05. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  5. ^ "BBC - Music TV - Pop on trial - 1950s-1990s". Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Gaffaweb - Kate Bush - REACHING OUT - Record Mirror - "Kate's Fairy Tale" by Mary Ann Ellis - Febr. 1978".
  7. ^ Cowley, Jason. "The Wow Factor". The New Statesman. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  8. ^ Eder, Bruce. "The Kick Inside – Kate Bush". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  10. ^ Snapes, Laura (19 January 2019). "Kate Bush: The Kick Inside". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  11. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Kate Bush". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 122–23. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  13. ^ "Kate Bush, The album - the Kick Inside, the single - Withering Heights". Billboard. 15 July 1978. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  14. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ a b Billboard Magazine, July 1978. Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  16. ^ " Kate Bush — The Kick Inside". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard. 1978-07-29. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  18. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Kate Bush". Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Album Search: Kate Bush" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  20. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  21. ^ " — Kate Bush — The Kick Inside". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  22. ^ " Kate Bush — The Kick Inside". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  23. ^ " Kate Bush — The Kick Inside". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  24. ^ "ケイト・ブッシュ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of The Kick Inside (reissue) by Kate Bush]. (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1978" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1978 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  28. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1978 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  29. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kate Bush – The Kick Inside". Music Canada.
  30. ^ "French album certifications – Kate Bush – The Kick Inside" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Kate Bush – The Kick Inside" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter The Kick Inside in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  33. ^ > "New Zealand album certifications – Kate Bush – The Kick Inside". Recorded Music NZ.
  34. ^ "First artist to write every song on a million-selling album (female)". Guiness World Records. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Reaching Out". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  36. ^ "American album certifications – Kate Bush – The kick Inside". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  37. ^
  38. ^

External links

  • Engineer Jon Kelly discusses the how the album was recorded
  • Discogs page of The Kick Inside
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