Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Dreaming Bandana

 Read more about it in my Kate Bush Club Blog Page near the bottom under the website orders.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

How To Be Invisible: Standard Edition

For this post I had to do a combination of scans and terribly done photos. Trying to scan some of the other parts I wanted to show would have totally destroyed the spine of the book, so that wasn't happening. Instead I took photos for those particular things.

This is a cloth-bound book roughly measuring 8¾" x 5¾". It's a very manageable size - not too large or too small. Included is an attached ribbon bookmark. The back of the book has a removable wraparound piece of card with a bit of a blurb on it. You may or may not have noticed the braille at the top of it.

To begin with, if I'm going to be totally honest about it, then I must admit that I had absolutely no desire in getting this book at all - not the standard edition, and certainly not the signed Special Deluxe edition that Waterstones was selling online for scads of money. Both versions of the book struck me as bland, and I really didn't need or want another book of lyrics. So what changed my mind? Well, about a week prior to its release, I happened to see a few pages inside the book and thought this could be interesting.

The book begins with the table of contents, listing the 83 song titles that are featured inside the book. The songs are grouped together into blocks, and none of the songs are listed alphabetically or in chronological order. I'll get into the breakdown of these songs in a moment.

Following that is an introduction by David Mitchell; a long-winded yawn fest that adds absolutely nothing to the book at all. At nearly 20 pages, it could have easily been whittled down to a single page, leaving out all the self-indulgent drivel in the process. I'm sure not everyone is going to agree with me about the intro, and that's fine - you can do that. 

Next is a very short author's note on the content and how it's been presented as verse in the book. 

Now for the breakdown:

The numbers tell you how many songs per album made it into the book.

The Kick Inside (3)
Lionheart         (3)
Never For Ever (4)
The Dreaming (10)
Hounds of Love (13)
The Whole Story (1)   Experiment IV
The Sensual World (11) I included Walk Straight Down The Middle in this list.
The Red Shoes (11)
Aerial (15)
50 Words For Snow(7)
Before The Dawn (1) Tawny Moon
B-Sides (3)
Soundtrack (1) Lyra

The overall distribution is pretty telling in my opinion. I find it fairly disappointing how the first three albums have been blatantly overlooked, which is an absolute shame as they contain so many fantastic songs. I would have preferred seeing a more even distribution between albums represented in this book, instead of some being favoured over others.

Recently I've been reading a few interesting things online regarding the set up of the book. One little theory suggests the songs chosen for the book, along with their random order, have been very deliberate on Kate's part. It goes on to say that each block of songs has a particular theme attached to it. If this is true, then it would explain why two particular blocks of songs have been kept together as they appear on certain albums; namely A Sky of Honey and The Ninth Wave. Briefly looking over the blocks of songs there does seem to be a different theme running through each one. It's definitely something that warrants further exploration by anyone who has the time to ponder over it.

There are a couple of doodles in the book, along with some interesting font choices here and there. While these things are a nice little touch, there's also not enough of either to make a real impact overall. The book definitely could have benefited more from both of these ideas had they been used more consistently throughout. I'm sure Kate's intention was to let the songs stand on their own merit without other distractions, but since there are a lot of blank areas on pages (even full blank pages), more doodles and crazy fonts could have easily added just that extra bit more to the book. 

One other little thing to note is that How To Be Invisible is printed twice in the book. It's printed once as part of the last song block, but it's also been printed and broken up into sections. Each section is used as part of a page interlude that precedes each song block. There are also a few minor lyrical additions to some songs along the way.

In many ways I'm still on the fence over this one, and somehow I think the book could have been better had it included published lyrics to all the albums and all b-sides. This is why I like the book Kate Bush Complete so much - it did just that right up to the time of its publication in 1987. How To Be Invisible is still alright for what it offers, but I think it could have been so much more in a number of different ways.

In the end it is what it is - a book of lyrics, so if that isn't your thing then this probably won't be the book for you. If you like Kate's music and generally view song lyrics as a form of poetry, then you'll probably enjoy this book a little more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Remastered: Part 2 - UK CD Box Set

As I mentioned in Part I of this set, I chose to forgo the remastered vinyl editions in favour of the CD box sets. If you're looking for more information on the vinyl sets, I'm sure there's lots of people on the internet that can help with that. They do come in some spectacular looking boxes, so I'm sure people will be happy with whichever format they choose to buy.

All the albums in this set, with the exception of Before The Dawn, have been fully remastered.

Once again I'm keeping the shrink wrap plastic on my box lid to protect it as much as possible, so apologies for any plastic seams showing or space dust weirdness on any scans.


The cover art is unique to the CD release of this box set only. It features an image from the Aerial era, which is repeated along the back of  the box. There's also an Aerial sound wave along the top of the box, which looks much nicer than that overbearing Fish People logo on Part I.

Just like with Part I, Kate's name and the box set title appear on the front of the box only. While I like the artwork on both boxes, I probably prefer the artwork on this box set a bit more. I generally like most of the images from Aerial anyway - so maybe I'm a bit biased. It's also a nice contrast to the first box.

Although I never mentioned it in the first part of this post, I do think the typewriter font is far too understated. It also would have been nice to have the printing on the side of both boxes as many people do tend to store their box sets sideways.

As I already mentioned a moment ago, the front image is repeated on the back of the box. Unfortunately I can't show this due to the insert placed over it, which is trapped underneath the shrink wrap. Just imagine the exact same photo but without the text.

The artwork for Between Two Worlds by Timorous Beasties has been used for the bottom portion of the box housing the CDs. Again, the artwork appears to be unique to the two parts of this CD box set only.

You can see on this side panel of the box above how the paper hasn't lined up properly along the edge to make the join seamless. I'm not sure if this is a manufacturing flaw on all boxes or if I just got lucky. It's no big deal, but I thought I would point it out in case anyone else came across this with their own box.

The design also continues along the bottom of the box just like on Part I.


While I don't really care that the CD packaging isn't consistent to the ones found in Part I with the tri-fold digipaks, I do have one small gripe over the lack of plastic CD trays on these releases. The packaging from Aerial to 50 Words For Snow is identical to their original releases, so pretty much a mixed bag of terrible CD storage options right there. All the CDs inside of The Other Sides set are in pocket sleeves, and even though the pockets aren't nearly as bad on this release as they have been on some other past releases, it's still a very poorly designed idea in general. The box for this set is considerably smaller than the first box. If they had made it the same size as the first box, then plastic CD trays could have easily been used on all the releases for this set. Just saying! 


Once again, stunning isn't even the right word to use here. It's amazing how a little bit of remastering really does go a long way in making a song shine more than it already does. Some of the differences are subtle, while others are very immediate. Aerial has many new layers to it, which I personally didn't think was remotely possible, especially as it already sounded great to begin with. There are also definite improvements to Director's Cut overall, which actually came as a huge surprise to me. Flower of the Mountain still sounds like it was sung through a paper bag, but apart from this there are noticeable improvements to the other songs. Even 50 Words for Snow sounds a lot better. The Other Sides set came as a total surprise. While I already had these songs a gazillion times over (with the exception of one), I really didn't think they could sound any better - I was wrong.



Prior to both box sets being released it was revealed that a certain vocal on An Architects Dream and The Painter's Link would be replaced. Everyone assumed a re-record for those particular bits, but that isn't quite what happened. Instead, Kate replaced both sections with the live recordings from Before The Dawn. I'm certainly not getting into any of the specific reasons for the vocal replacement in the first place as this isn't the place for it. I'll just simply say that if Kate felt this was the best course of action to take with her music then that's her right.

If you haven't yet heard it, I can tell you that the substitution is seamlessly made. However, reactions appear to be somewhat divided with some people liking it and others hating it. Considering the circumstances, and why it was changed to begin with, this really has become one of those instances where an artist is damned if they do and damned if they don't. I may not be a fan of Bertie, and while I actually find his voice grating on the ears, that still isn't going to take away from my enjoyment of this album. For those who don't like the change... well, I'm sure you still have your original copies you can listen to. 

In 2010 the second CD, A Sky of Honey, was renamed An Endless Sky of Honey. All eight individual tracks from that point onward became one continuous track. The 2018 remaster has gone back to its original title and individual tracks format once again.

The booklet is fairly identical, but with a few adjustments made as you will see.

On this page an amendment has been made to include the addition of live material from Before The Dawn.

On the back page of the booklet two notable changes have officially been made with this release. A credit for the didgeridoo has been removed entirely, and a separate credit for The Painter has been replaced.


I have the original release of this, but I never actually opened it. At the time I opted to open and post the deluxe version instead. The packaging looks identical to how it was set up in the deluxe edition.


Not much to say about the packaging on this one, other than the fact that the pocket sleeve is just as tight and annoying as it is on the original. I would suggest to anyone who dislikes these pocket sleeves as much as I do to keep your CDs in separate cases.

I did notice that one less staple is used in the construction of the booklet. If you check the original release and compare it to this one you will see for yourself.


Before The Dawn can only be found in this CD set, and is not included with any of the vinyl sets. However, with that being said, the copy contained in this set is the 2016 release, so you aren't getting anything new or different with it. Same packaging. Same sound. Same everything.  It's fine if you don't already own it, but for everyone else it's kind of redundant. It's for this reason that I'm not re-scanning it all over again because it would be a complete waste of time. If you want to see full scans you can check out my original post HERE.


The Other Sides release is exclusive to the CD and Vinyl box sets only and cannot be purchased as a separate physical release. I've heard that tracks are available for download via iTunes, but since I don't do iTunes I can't confirm this. This is something people will have to check out for themselves.

This 4 CD set contains 34 tracks and is comprised of B-Sides, remixes and standalone singles. The previously unreleased "Humming" track has also been officially released for the first time ever. This appears to be the same version that was partially played on BBC Radio 1 back in 1979 during an interview with Kate. Just under a minute only ever made it to air, and the track never leaked in full - so don't confuse it with an early demo version that's been circulating for years. Hopefully, with Kate's change of heart on this one, she might be more inclined at some point to release further material like this. Fingers crossed.

The CDs are housed in a laminated thick card digipak similar to the packaging used for Director's Cut (standard and deluxe versions) and 50 Words For Snow. If you're looking for the KT symbol on this one - it's there ; )

Unfortunately (or not) there are quite a few tracks that never made it onto these CDs. This includes: 

The Empty Bullring
December Will Be Magic Again (Bongo Version)
Not This Time
Be Kind To My Mistakes (Castaway Version)
The Confrontation
On Stage (Live 4 Track EP)
Cloudbusting (Video Mix)
Experiment IV (Video Mix)
Shoedance (The Red Shoes Dance Mix)
The Sensual World (Instrumental)
Moments of Pleasure (Instrumental)
Candle In The Wind (Instrumental)
Rubberband Girl (Extended Mix)
Rubberband Girl (U.S. Mix)
Eat The Music (12” Version)
Eat The Music (U.S. Mix)

While I’m not surprised the majority of these tracks were left off, I am a bit shocked the Empty Bullring and Not This Time were excluded from the set. I also think not using the Castaway soundtrack version of Be Kind To My Mistakes was a wasted opportunity. It's far superior to the edited down version we always seem to get and would have been nice to have it in this collection. At least Kate had enough sense to leave Ken off this time.

Ever since its release people have been moaning over the fact that none of Kate's collaborative efforts with other artists have made it onto this set. While there have been many good ones over the years, I really don't see those songs as having any place here. I know. Shocking I would even say that, isn't it? But it's true. They don't belong here.

Even despite the fact that every last song or mix may not be included on this set, and I certainly never mentioned them all, it's still a very well-rounded collection in my opinion. Lots of fantastic B-Sides and other random tracks all pulled together for the first time in this set. I also like how everything is mixed up a bit and not in chronological order as they have been on past releases. Truthfully, I probably would have just been happy with this 4 CD set if we hadn't got any remasters at all - but we did, and this just happens to be a very nice bonus.

The inside end papers on the CD also feature the artwork for Between Two Worlds, but printed in a sepia tone.

As I mentioned earlier on, the pockets on this release aren't nearly as bad as some of them have been on other past releases. In fact, these ones are pretty roomy. Tipping the pockets bottom side up a tiny bit will easily get the CDs to slide out just enough to properly grip them by the edge.

CD 1: 12" MIXES





Whether you see yourself as a completest or a casual fan, it's definitely worth picking up the two CD sets, or even the vinyl sets if you prefer that. All the albums sound better than ever. They're definitely worth the money and I haven't regretted buying them for one second.

I've seen some people complaining there's no sound difference between the remasters and older album releases, and basically claiming these sets are a rip off, etc. The only real answer I have for that comes in the form of a random comment that I read online quite a while ago, but it sums up my own feeling on it exactly. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but the person simply stated: If you can't hear the difference, then you need better equipment.