Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Original and the Good Copies

If there's one adjective that qualifies Kate Bush best, it's got to be "original". But as hard as it is to think of what might have influenced her to come up with such creative output (maybe a mix of Bowie glam and Joni Mitchell folk?), it is very easy to see how much she in turn inspired other female artists. But first let's see what I'm talking about: on YouTube you can find a few rare videos of a Kate Bush TV performance at Efteling (an attraction park in the Netherlands) that I find mesmerizing, all songs from her debut album (and her best in my opinion) The Kick Inside. Here's the album opener, my favorite song:

Something you don't see much these days on TV is performances like these where the TV director works with the artist to create a nice setting and have fun with effects. Efteling was obviously the perfect place to visually accompany the magic of Kate Bush's music. This is particularly evident on Strange Phenomena:

And yes, she did perform Wuthering Heights! Here it is:

Now among the many who were influenced by Kate, many pushed the inspiration almost too far. In the following two cases, I don't mind it one bit: first, Tori Amos, who must be sick and tired of the accusation that she copied her. What do you think?

It's the piano, it's the voice, but it's also the song construction, no?

And here's something even more recent. Pascalito, a loyal viewer of EasyTeeVee, sent me this little gem: a song by French singer Nathalie Simon. You can even tell which Kate Bush albums must have influenced her the most: this song wouldn't have sounded out of place on Hounds of Love.

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