The most comprehensive book on Kate Bush to date, featuring exclusive interview content with Kate herself, close friends, and collaborators
Kate Bush: the subject of murmured legend and one of the most distinctive musicians of the modern era. Running Up That Hill: 50 Visions of Kate Bush is a multi-faceted biography of this famously elusive figure, viewing her life and work from fresh and illuminating angles. Featuring details from the author’s one-on-one conversations with Kate—as well as vignettes of her key songs, albums, videos, and concerts—this artful, candid, and often brutally funny portrait introduces a refreshingly real Kate Bush. Tom Doyle also intertwines vivid reconstructions of transformative moments in her career and insights from the friends and collaborators closest to her, including her photographer brother John Carder Bush and fellow artists David Gilmour, John Lydon, and Youth.
With Netflix’s Stranger Things inspiring a new generation of fans, Kate Bush has made an incredible resurgence in popularity and has broken new records. Running Up That Hill is a vibrant and comprehensive re-examination of the artist and her many creative landmarks.
Tom Doyle is a highly acclaimed music journalist and author of three books: The Glamour Chase: The Maverick Life of Billy MacKenzie, Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s, and Captain Fantastic: Elton John's Stellar Trip Through The '70s. He is a long-standing contributing editor to Q, and his work has appeared in Mojo, Billboard, Sound On Sound, The Guardian, and The Times. He has been responsible for key magazine profiles of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Yoko Ono, Keith Richards, U2, Madonna, Kate Bush, and R.E.M. among many other artists. He lives in London, England.
1. Moving Back into the Light 2. Through the Back Door 3. The Sister in the Photographs 4. The Artful Bushes 5. The Girl at the Piano 6. A Songbird in the Garden of a Starman 7. Guest Testimony 8. ‘The Man That Started It All’ 9. Round the Pubs 10. Live in the Studio 11. ‘A Bag o’ Cats!’ 12. Public Image Limited 13. Lost in France 14. ‘Your Hair Looks Really Nice’ 15. ‘The Fear and Sparkle’ 16. Smash! 17. A Right Royal Mishap and Blunder 18. Echoes in the Walls 19. Guest Testimony 20. Let the Weirdness In 21. ‘Pull Out the Pin’
22. Back in the Lens 23. An ‘Uncommercial Record’ 24. The Hardest Sell 25. Retreat, Rethink 26. A Night at the Laserium 27. ‘The Ninth Wave’28. Making Rain 29. ‘I Used to Be Kate Bush’ 30. ‘Under the Ivy’ 31. ‘Something Good’ 32. Change the Past and Future 33. A Remote Connection 34. ‘Moments of Pleasure’ 35. The Line, the Cross and the Curve 36. Public Image (Further) Limited 37. An Inimitable Artist? 38. ‘Ooh, I’ve just come!’ 39. A Sea and Sky of Honey 40. ‘A Coral Room’ 41. Guest Testimony 42. ‘I Obviously Have a Very Recognisable Nose’ 43. ‘Among Angels’ 44. Before and Beyond the Dawn 45. ‘Bigger Fucking Waves’ 46. Tory Furore 47. The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience . . . 48. ‘KT’ 49. The End of the Day 50. Strange Phenomena Acknowledgments
Long-term Kate Bush devotees and new teenage fans won over by Stranger Things will both find enlightenment in Tom Doyle’s prismastic portrait of the elusive artist.
Doyle tracks Bush’s creative impulse from writing poems as a child to spending hours creating music in her barn turned recording studio at East Wickham Farm and producing her own albums. Comprehensively charting her career, from The Kick Inside (1978) to Director’s Cut (2011), Doyle captures a more multidimensional view of the artist, allowing glimpses into her personal life, including the earth-shattering loss of her mother in 1992 and her friendship with David Bowie. Split into 50 brief chapters, Doyle’s portrait stitches together a comprehensive, revealing commentary on the notoriously media-shy artist and her complicated relationship to her craft, public persona, and audience ("If you make music and you don’t let people hear it, you could almost say it doesn’t exist," she once said). Bush’s new-generation fans and original devotees will devour this.
For more than 40 years, Kate Bush has been a singular voice in popular music. In 50 mostly short chapters music writer Doyle offers a multifaceted portrait of the English singer. Catherine Bush was raised on a farm in what Doyle calls a pastoral oasis outside London, surrounded by music and poetry. Her father played classical compositions on the piano, and she listened to drinking songs and sea shanties as well as King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Using a quirky approach, Doyle weaves in the highlights of the singer’s career: her early days in the KT Bush Band, playing London pubs in the late 1970s; releasing her debut album, The Kick Inside, in 1978, which included the ghostly “Wuthering Heights” and “Running up That Hill,” her most popular song. Doyle concludes with her surprising pop-culture resurgence when “Running up That Hill” was featured on the sci-fi drama Stranger Things, introducing her to new generations of listeners. Bush has retained a veil of mystery, due mostly to her intense desire for privacy. Doyle does his best to gently lift that veil.
Kate Bush has long combined her unique musicianship, deft wordplay, dancing, directing, and an eclectic flair for innovation with a certain reticence for self-promotion. Perhaps this is unsurprising for someone who was, to her own chagrin, topping the British pop charts as a shy teenager. A lifetime spent following her muse—having fought for and achieved artistic freedom—has meant that many have devotedly watched her career and hoped to achieve similar success following her red-shoed footsteps. Bush deserves a wise and sympathetic biographer, and acclaimed music journalist Doyle is both, offering a fascinating and probing work. Bush continues to produce innovative music and is having something of a moment; her 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” was used in the series Stranger Things and became a 2022 hit, her first Top 10 song in the U.S. She was also appointed a Commander of the British Empire for her contributions to music and is a 2023 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A timely and definitive biography of one of music’s most eclectic and influential artists.
Approaching its subject from inspired angles...probably the best [Kate] Bush book to date.
The best book ever written about Bush.
Running Up That Hill offers a range of new ways to appreciate the single-minded inspiration that it springs from.
Funny and illuminating. A refreshing take on one of our most complex, gifted artists.
A very beautiful book.
Until the artist puts her own pen to paper […] this is the closest we’ve ever come to understanding the enigmatic, uncompromising Bush on page.
4/28/23, Music Connection: Author Tom Doyle wrote a piece about Kate Bush’s resurgence and the book is featured.
4/28/23, Grammy.com: A summer music book article features Tom Doyle’s book.
This book was highlighted in the Forthcoming Titles in Performing Arts & Mass Media, 2023 list.