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The 11 best Kate Bush songs

Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? We scour Kate Bush’s discography for her best creations, ranked

“The kids are finding out about Kate Bush, everyone!” has been the general chatter on social media this week. Since the release of Stranger Things 4, a whole new generation has been introduced to the British singer-songwriter and her unique genius for storytelling. Recipient of the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, Bush is renowned as one of the most talented artists of the last fifty years. With a legacy like that, ranking her top hits was never going to be an easy task.

We’ve given it a go. For the new fans and the old, here are our favourite 11 tracks from Kate Bush.

Kate Bush - Why Should I Love You

11. Why Should I Love You?

What began as a simple invitation from Bush to Prince to sing backing on a track turned into an unexpected collaboration between two musical powerhouses. Instead of returning ‘Why Should I Love You?’ intact with backing vocals, Prince sent back a dismantled version of the track into which he injected his own influences. Bush reworked the song back into her style, and it remains a fantastic disco-infused delirious celebration of love. Also featured on backing vocals is the comedian Lenny Henry (for some reason).

Kate Bush - Army Dreamers - Official Music Video

10. Army Dreamers

This ode to young men taken by war rests over a spooky waltz step, deep male backing vocals and military shouts. As the chorus rattles through alternative paths the unfortunate young men might have taken, Bush is there to counter with all the reasons why their funnelling into military service was sadly inevitable. So affecting is it that the song was considered inappropriate for airplay by the BBC during the first Gulf War.

Kate Bush - Babooshka - Official Music Video

9: Babooksha

One of Bush’s more well-known tracks, ‘Babooksha’ seems constantly coming in and out of various pop culture moments, most recently resurging on TikTok. Taking inspiration from a Russian folk tale, the song tells the story of a wife who tests her husband’s loyalty by posing as a younger, more amenable woman. Mischievously seductive with an infectiously triumphant chorus, the track sees Bush harness her natural theatricality.

Kate Bush - Moments of Pleasure - Official Music Video

8. Moments Of Pleasure

‘Moments Of Pleasure’ pays tribute to friends and family members of Bush’s that have died, describing a series of specific scenes that gives the effect of a cinematic montage. A huge orchestral ballad, the song feels as if it could close out a Broadway show. Among those honoured in the track are guitarist Alan Murphy, film director Michael Powell, dancer Gary Hurst and lighting engineer Bill Duffield – Bush greet many of these lost friends by name and tie them each to a specific memory in the song’s tearjerking final two minutes.

Kate Bush - Cloudbusting - Official Music Video

7. Cloudbusting

Many of Bush’s tracks straddle the gap between joyful and melancholy, and ‘Cloudbusting’ is among the best of them. Inspired by the relationship between Wilhelm Reich and his son Peter, the song draws from a period of Peter’s childhood in which he and his father would go ‘cloudbusting’, which involved pointing a machine of Reich’s own design at clouds to produce rain. The music video is more of a short film that demonstrates these events, in which Kate plays Peter and Donald Sutherland takes on the role of Reich.

Kate Bush - The Man with the Child in His Eyes - Official Music Video

6. The Man With The Child In His Eyes

Written when she was just 13, ‘The Man with the Child in His Eyes’ assumes the perspective of a young girl – often presumed to be Bush herself – who sings about loving an older man. Despite the age difference, the man has a youthfulness that connects the two of them. Astonishing in its maturity, the ballad sees a teenage Bush singing with an orchestra, something which apparently ‘terrified’ her at the time. It went on to win an Ivor Novello award for “Outstanding British Lyric” and remains the catalyst for an astounding artistic career.

Kate Bush - Love And Anger (FULL AUDIO)

5. Love And Anger

The steadily building and ultimately euphoric third single from the Sensual World, ‘Love And Anger’ chronicles the universal journey to understanding and expressing huge emotions. Taking its title from two of the most overpowering human experiences, the track moves forward at a relentless pace to a massive celebratory finale. It’s brilliantly – and suitably – cathartic.

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love - Official Music Video

4. Hounds Of Love

Bush sings about a reticence to fall in love in this racing, urgent track from her 1985 album of the same name. The lyrics are frank and confessional, an admission of vulnerability made all the more affecting by a joyful, emotional chorus. The protagonist is not without fear – the track’s introductory sample comes from 1957 horror film Night Of The Demon – but an upbeat melody and the eventual admission that she needs “love, love, love” make it clear that this is all the good kind of scary.


3. This Woman’s Work

Written for a particular sequence in the 1988 film She’s Having A Baby, the song follows a traumatic birth as an anxious father waits for news of his partner. From the opening vocalisation Bush’s performance is deeply moving, tremulous and restrained until the third act. It’s a staggeringly beautiful ballad that employs some of Bush’s finest storytelling.

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights - Official Music Video - Version 2

2. Wuthering Heights

Speaking of storytelling… Perhaps Bush’s most famous track (until a certain science fiction show recently arrived on the scene), ‘Wuthering Heights’ tackles Emily Brontë’s beloved novel in a haunting, unapologetically theatrical art rock ballad. Assuming the voice of Cathy, Bush uses her most wavering, ghostly vocal to call to Heathcliffe through his window. Her vision for this vocal was so spot on, in fact, that it was recorded in a single take.

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill - Official Music Video

1. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

It’s had a recent resurgence thanks to Stranger Things 4, which has led a whole new generation to explore Bush’s discography. But ‘Running Up That Hill’ has always been a show-stopping creation. Often misinterpreted, the song is about a couple who struggle to understand each other, with the speaker positing that they only way to truly they will truly see things from the other’s perspective is to swap places. From that relentless drum line to those grounded, urgent vocals to that calling, searching melody, the song proves that no one does emotional catharsis better than Bush.