By: Barry Walters
When Kate Bush debuted in early 1978 with “Wuthering Heights,” arguably pop’s most uncanny ballad, she arrived as England’s first and perhaps only out-of-the-box pop genius. Several years earlier, a publicist and Bush family friend gave Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour a demo of over 50 songs recorded when she was only 15. Impressed, Gilmour bankrolled Cockney Rebel arranger Andrew Powell to produce three tunes, one of which, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes,” would become her second surrealist smash. EMI signed her at 16 so no other label would snag her, then kept her under wraps. By the time she released The Kick Inside at 19, Bush’s songwriting had already achieved a sophistication reserved for Bacharach-level vets, while her keening soprano, literary references, and wide-eyed silent-film-star presentation positioned her firmly left-of-center—not the usual place for a prodigious pianist singing symphonic soft rock.
当Kate Bush在1978年发行个人首支单曲＜Wuthering Heights＞时，她可能是英国第一位同时也是唯一一位标新立异的流行音乐天才。而这首歌可以说是流行乐中最奇异诡谲的芭乐。早在几年前，Bush的家人朋友带着公关人员给Pink Floyd的成员Dave Glimour一碟小样，里面包含了她在15岁时就录好了的五十多首歌曲。赞叹万分的Glimour立刻出资请Cockney Rebel的编曲人Andrew Powell编写了三首曲子，其中， ＜The Man with the Child in His Eyes＞ 后来成为了她第二首超现实主义的单曲。EMI在她16岁时和她签约，因此之后没有其他厂牌与她合作。在她19岁发行《The Kick Inside》之时，她的作曲水平已经老练到Bacharach的级别，再加上她凄厉的歌声，作词中出现的各种文学典故，以及她酷似默片女主角的大眼睛的形象，这些特点大都是思想偏左的艺术家的形象，而这显然对于一个唱着软摇滚的卓越的钢琴演奏者来说是不合适的。
On this and ‘78’s follow-up Lionheart, Bush sang fearlessly of religion, incest, murder, homosexuality, and much more. “There’s room for a life in your womb, woman,” she crooned with the earnestness of a Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival radical, and did so while much of Europe was watching. She exuded brains and beauty and suffused both with an unyielding otherness that made her an LGBT icon and spiked her international cult with aliens of every stripe, from African-American bohos like Prince and OutKast to Johnny Rotten. Despite her overnight success, she would never conform to conventional stardom: Instead, she reversed the usual rock ‘n’ roll process where once-provocative artists cave to commercial pressure and shake off the quirks that initially made them distinct: Maturity would only make Bush more daring.
在这张还有《Lionheart》中，Bush勇敢地高唱宗教，乱伦，谋杀，同性等话题。“姐妹们，在你的子宫中孕育着生命”，作为密歇根女性音乐节的狂热分子，她饱含深情地吟唱道。她的美丽聪慧和她身上那份与众不同的倔强使得她成为了当之无愧的LGBT群体的偶像并且受到了各种肤色的异国人的追捧，包括诸如Prince，Outkast这些波西米亚主义的非裔美国人，以及Johnny Rotten（注：Johnny Rotten是英国著名Punk乐队Sex Pistols的主唱 ）。一夜成名的她绝不会顺从于因循守旧的演艺圈。相反她颠覆了往常的摇滚歌手的成长过程：曾经桀骜不驯的艺人逐渐不得不屈服于商业成绩的压力从而磨平了自己的棱角——那些最初让他们显得与众不同的个性。而对于Bush，成长只会让她变得更加洒脱不羁。
But by 1985, the year of Hounds of Love, she needed to reaffirm her appeal. Thanks to MTV, UK pop had exploded in worldwide popularity since The Dreaming, her self-produced record that EMI nearly returned for lacking potential singles; its only hit, “Sat in Your Lap,” was 15 months old by the time the album finally reached stores in 1982. Raging and experimental, it was akin to Public Image Ltd. and Siouxsie and the Banshees, not early Sheena Easton, and sold far less than its predecessors. So Bush and her romantic partner/bassist Del Palmer abandoned London for a 17th-century farmhouse, spent the summer gardening, and built a 48-track studio in her family barn where she doubled down on the Fairlight CMI, the pioneering digital sampling synthesizer that ruled The Dreaming.
然而到了1985年，也就是《Hounds of Love》发行的年份，她需要重新确认她的音乐吸引力。《The Dreaming》，这张她独自操刀制作的专辑，当时差点被公司放弃发行，理由是缺少可能大热的单曲。在它唯一的热单 ＜Sat in Your Lap＞发行15个月之后，这张专辑才于1982年在音像店亮相。它的风格像Public Image Ltd和Siouxsie and the Banshees，如同狂风肆虐，却又充满了实验性，但并不像早期的Sheena Easton ，而且销量远不如她的几位前辈。因此Bush和她的恋人，贝斯手Del Palmer，携手离开了伦敦，度过了一个夏天的田园生活，并且在她家的谷仓建了一个48轨的录音室。在那里，她更加“变本加厉”地使用她在《The Dreaming》时期使用过的采样合成器——Fairlight CMI。
The Fairlight was a notoriously expensive and complex computer; the few who could afford and figure out how to play one during their ‘80s heyday were either established stars like Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder who were invested in cutting-edge sounds, or similarly brainy upstarts who funded their techno-pop through production. One such boffin, Landscape’s Richard James Burgess, helped program Bush’s Fairlight on the very first album to feature it, 1980’s Never for Ever, which was also the first UK chart-topping album by a British female solo artist, one that marked a transition between the symphonic sweep of Bush’s earliest albums and what followed. On Never for Ever, the instrument was mostly a means to wrangle the sound effects that heighten her melodrama. By Hounds of Love, she’d mastered it as a musical instrument unto itself.
Fairlight是一款十分昂贵且复杂的计算机；在80年代用得起并知晓如何使用的，要么是像Peter Gabriel和Stevie Wonder这样的巨星，要么是同样聪明的乐坛新贵，通过制作手段完善他们的电子合成音乐。在众多这样的专家中，电子乐队Landscape的成员，Richard James Burgess，在她早在1980年发行的专辑《Never for Ever》中就帮助其运用了这一技术。这张专辑也是英国专辑榜上第一张由英国独唱女艺人演唱的冠专，同时标志着Bush的专辑风格由早期的交响乐过渡到之后的作品。在《Never for Ever》中，乐器主要是为了缓和音乐中的为加强表达效果的各种音效。在《Hounds of Love》之前，她就已经将这一技术作为一个乐器来使用。
What set Bush apart from Fairlight wizards like Thomas Dolby, who made a point of their geekdom, was that she also drew deeply from the world music that captivated her older brother Paddy Bush. His balalaika, didgeridoo, and other centuries-old folk instruments tempered her Fairlight’s inherent futurism. She didn’t employ it to create walloping beats like the Art of Noise, or use it to spew out orchestral blasts like the Pet Shop Boys. She used the Fairlight the way Brian Wilson used cut-up tape and how today’s avant-garde exploit Pro-Tools—to create perfectly controlled cacophony.
但是让Bush和其他使用Fairlight的音乐怪才不一样的是，她同样在令她兄长Paddy Bush迷恋不已的世界音乐中汲取了养分。俄罗斯三角琴，迪吉里杜管，还有其他古老的民歌乐器中和了Fairlight所固有的未来感和科技感。她并没有用它去制造像Art of Noise一样的激烈的鼓点，也没有用它去制造Pet Shop Boys风格的管弦乐器的音效。她以Brian Wilson利用断裂的录音带的方式去使用Fairlight，也就像现在的Pro-Tools，去制造完全受控的刺耳的音效。
Take, for example, Hounds of Love’s lead cut, “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).” The song was Bush’s first U.S. hit, and it brought to the mainstream gender-equality issues that female-led post-punk acts like Au Pairs had been thrashing out for years in the underground. She delivers the bulk of it tenderly like a love song, but also poses pointed questions: “Is there so much hate for the ones we love?/Tell me, we both matter, don’t we?”
就拿《Hounds of Love》的第一首歌曲＜Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)＞来说，这首歌是Bush的第一首在美国大红的单曲，它向大众抛出了性别平等的话题，这也是诸如Au Pairs 等由女性领导的后朋乐队一直以来的音乐主题。这首歌的绝大部分，Bush都是像唱情歌一样含情脉脉地演唱，但是它同样发起了尖刻的提问：
“Is there so much hate for the ones we love?"(我们真的对我们所爱的人有那么多的恨意吗？)
“Tell me, we both matter, don’t we?”(告诉我，我们都在乎彼此，不是吗？）
But as the track climaxes, weaving in and out of perception is the Fairlight-manipulated sound of Bush screaming, as if trying to escape her body, sex, and consciousness. “If I only could, I’d be running up that hill,” she sings once again at the end, but this time her soprano is joined by a down-pitched rendering of her own voice, to suggest technology had made her trans-gender prayer come true. Armed with equally advanced machines and melodies, Bush now creatively trumped nearly every mid-’80s rocker; only Prince and a few others were in her league.
This was a striking achievement for a quintessentially femme star: Among her gender-bending UK generation, Bush had the highest chirp, the most flowing locks, and the tightest leotards; when she shed the latter for the fantasy segments of her “Babooshka” video, she transformed into a scintillating windblown warrior with disco levels of exposed flesh and shameless camp. Both “Breathing” and its video is set in a uterus; “In the Warm Room” exalts vaginas the same way Led Zeppelin sang about dicks.
对于一个标准的女同偶像来说，这是一个惊人的成就：在那一代性别偏移的英国艺术家中，Bush有着鸟雀般高昂的歌声，生有最顺滑的秀发，穿着最紧的连衣裤。当她在Babooshka录像带里脱去这些连衣裤时，她变身为一个穿着亮光闪闪铠甲，头发蓬乱的女战士。＜Breathing＞和其录像带都是关于子宫的话题；＜In the Warm Room＞歌颂了阴道，如同 Led Zeppelin歌颂阴茎一样。
Hounds of Love proved there were no compositional mountains Bush couldn’t climb. While the second side asserted her vanguard bent, the first side yielded four UK Top 40 hits. Neither synth-pop nor prog-rock, Hounds of Love nevertheless drew from both with double-platinum rewards on her home turf, and yielded her first U.S. hits, even without a tour. And its idiosyncrasies have only fueled Hounds’ lingering influence: Florence and the Machine cribs its Gothic angst. Anohni mirrors its animal divinity. St. Vincent draws from its sexual politics and sonic precision. Utah Saints sampled it and the Futureheads covered it, both with UK Top 10 results. Coldplay’s “Speed of Sound” goes so far as to paraphrase “Running”’s rhythm, chords, climax, and highland imagery. It’s the Sgt. Pepper of the digital age’s dawn; a milestone in penetratingly fanciful pop.
《Hounds of Love》证明了对于Bush来说没有所谓的创作瓶颈。专辑的第二部分表明了她前卫的音乐品味 ，第一部分斩获了四首英国榜的Top40,。《Hounds of Love》结合了synth pop和progressive rock的风格，在英国本土得到了双白金认证，也收获了她在美国的第一首大红歌曲，即使是在没有任何巡演的情况下。这张专辑产生了深远的影响：Florence and the Machine继承了它哥特式的忧虑。Anohni借鉴了它的动物美学。St.Vincent汲取了它的性别政治和音效的精准。Utah Saints采样了它，Futureheads翻唱了它，并且都取得了英国榜Top10的成绩。Coldplay也在其单曲“Speed of Sound”里改写了＜Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)＞的节奏，和弦，副歌部分以及歌词所表现的意境。这张专辑相当于数字时代即将来临之际的《 sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band》，也是梦幻流行的里程碑。
Bush’s talent was so undeniable that she could sneak into contemporary music’s center while curbing none of her eccentricities. The album’s second single “Cloudbusting” celebrates Wilhelm Reich, a brilliant Austrian psychoanalyst but crackpot American inventor. Full of details gleaned from his son Peter Reich’s A Book of Dreams, it’s specific to their teacher/pupil relationship, which is played out further in its video featuring Donald Sutherland. But “Cloudbusting” also deals with a much more universal situation: Children long to protect their parents, despite having no adult power to do so. Accordingly, Bush resorts to the one thing all children possess in abundance—imagination. “I just know that something good is gonna happen,” she sings, a string sextet sawing insistently as martial drums beat a battle cry that morphs from helplessness to victory, however imaginary. The son she portrays wills himself into thoughts nearly delusional as his dad’s, and the result is optimistic yet poignant, as he ultimately believes, “Just saying it could even make it happen.”
Bush的才华是毋庸置疑的。她悄无声息进军当代主流音乐的同时，却丝毫没有抑制她的个人特色。专辑的第二首单曲＜Cloudbursting＞歌颂了Wilhelm Reich，一个来自奥地利的精神分析学家却也是一个古怪的发明家。歌里改述了他的儿子Peter Reich所写的回忆录《梦中书》(A Book of Dreams)里所记述的种种细节。针对于他们的师徒关系，在其由Donald Sutherland主演的MV中得到了进一步的体现。但是＜Cloudbursting＞反映的更多的是一种普世现象：即使还未长大成人，孩子们仍想保护他们的父母不受伤害。因此，Bush诉诸于所有儿童共有的财富——想象力。“I just know that something good is gonna happen”(我相信幸福的日子终将到来)，她如是唱道，伴随着持续不断的弦乐六重奏和军鼓的击打， 歌曲由无助的哀叹逐渐转变为胜利的口号，她所描写的男孩妄想般执着于他的想法，其结果既让人感到温馨却又让人心酸，正如他最后所坚信的：“Just saying it could even make it happen”（深信幸福终将到来）
Imagination’s pull is the subtext to Bush’s entire oeuvre, but that theme dominates Hounds of Love, and not least in the title track. Whereas her piercing upper register once defined her output, here she’s roaring from her gut, then pulling back, and the song shifts between panic and empathy. “Hounds of Love” boasts the big gated ’80s drum blasts Bush discovered while singing background on Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers,” and yet its cello just as percussive: It builds to suggest both her pulse and the heartbeat of the captured fox she comforts and identifies with. She fears love: “It’s coming for me through the trees,” she wails. Yet she craves it, so desire and terror escalate in a breathless Hitchcockian climax.
想象是Bush所有作品中的潜台词，但却是《Hounds of Love》的主基调，且并不止体现在它的同名曲中。虽然她尖锐凌厉的嗓音一向是她音乐中的标配，这次她却发自肺腑地咆哮，之后又趋于平静，整首歌交织着恐慌和移情（empathy）两种情感。＜Hounds of Love＞充斥着80年代门式混响所制造的鼓点，这是她在Gabriel的＜Games Without Frontiers＞做伴唱时发现的新鲜事物。伴随着击鼓声的，是大提琴悠扬的弦乐：这象征着她的脉搏和那只她安抚同情的狐狸的心跳。她对爱情感到恐惧：“It’s coming for me through the trees,”(他在树林里穿梭，对我紧追不舍)。但是她又同时渴望爱情，因此渴望和恐惧这两种矛盾的情感在令人紧张的Hitchcock式的高潮里愈演愈烈。
On Hounds of Love, the singer who started directing her own videos at this point becomes total auteur, and takes such a firm grasp on every aspect of the recording process that she often replaces Del Palmer, her own lover, on bass. On “Mother Stands for Comfort,” an all-knowing maternal contrast to the delusional papa of “Cloudbusting,” she duets with German jazz bassist Eberhard Weber, who plays yielding mother to Bush’s wayward daughter. Her Fairlight clatters with the crash of broken dishes while her piano gently wanders, but Weber’s fretless bass maintains its compassion, even when Bush lets loose some freaky primal-scream scatting toward the end.
在《Hounds of Love》里，歌手变成了一个名副其实的导演。她不仅导演了自己的音乐录像带，而且牢牢掌控着录制过程的每一个环节，甚至把她的恋人Del Palmer贝斯手的职位也给替换掉。＜Mother Stands for Comfort＞和之前＜Cloudbusting＞描绘的想象中的那位父亲截然相反，塑造了一位全知的母亲形象。她在歌曲里与德国贝斯手Eberhard Weber合作，讲述了一位母亲竭尽全力保护她的杀人犯儿子。Bush经Fairlight处理的声音在碗碟破碎声以及她的温婉的钢琴声中肆意穿梭，但是Weber的无品贝斯一直伴随着这些声音，在结尾处Bush发出的畸形的像是原始尖叫般的拟声(scatting)之前，从未间断。
Skies, clouds, hills, trees, lakes—along with everything else, Hounds of Love is also a heated paean to nature. On the cover, Bush reclines between two canines with a knowing familiarity that almost suggests cross-species congress. She honors the sensual world's benign blessings on “The Big Sky” even while Youth’s raucous bass suggests earthquakes. Bush references its elements with childlike awe: “That cloud looks like Ireland,” she squeals. “You’re here in my head like the sun coming out,” she sighs in “Cloudbusting,” and her stormy emotions are reflected by the music’s turbulence. But nature’s destruction can also inspire us to seek solace in spirituality, and that’s what happens on Side Two’s singular suite, “The Ninth Wave.”
天空、乌云、山丘、树木、湖泊，等等这些意象都是《Hounds of Love》对大自然诚挚的赞歌。在专辑封面里，Bush抱着两只仿佛是彼此相识一般的犬类动物躺卧在地，显而易见，它象征着不同物种间的“社交”。她在＜The Big Sky＞里歌颂自然给感官带来的福祉，尽管Youth刺耳的贝斯声效好像是地震一样。Bush以一种孩童般的敬畏引入了这些元素“That cloud looks like Ireland”（那朵云好似爱尔兰的轮廓）。在＜Cloudbusting＞中，她又唱道“You’re here in my head like the sun coming out”(你就像日出般萦绕在我的脑海)，她如暴风雨般猛烈的情感在音乐的怒噪中得到了绝佳体现。但是大自然的破坏也可以启发我们寻求精神上的慰藉，这就是惊才绝艳的第二乐章“第九重浪”（The Ninth Wave）
Bush plays a sailor who finds herself shipwrecked and alone. She slips into a hypothermia-induced limbo between wakefulness and sleep (“And Dream of Sheep”), where nightmares, memories and visions distort her consciousness to the point where she cannot distinguish between reality and illusion. Is she skating, or trapped “Under Ice”? During her hallucinations, she sees herself in a prior life as a necromancer on trial; instead of freezing, she visualizes herself burning (“Waking the Witch”). Her spirit leaves her body and visits her beloved (“Watching You Without Me”). Then her future self confronts her present being and begs her to stay alive (“Jig of Life”). A rescue team reaches her just as her life force drifts heavenward (“Hello Earth”), but in the concluding track, “The Morning Fog,” flesh and spirit reunite, and she vows to tell her family how much she loves them.
Bush把自己化作一个船只失事，无人相助的落水船员。濒临死亡的她虚弱而困倦 (＜And Dream of Sheep＞)，这时噩梦，记忆还有愿景使得她无法分辨现实和幻觉。她是在滑冰吗？(＜Under Ice ＞)还是沉入了冰底？在她的幻觉里，她是一名接受审判的女巫，不是被冻死而是被烧死(＜Waking the Witch＞)。之后她的灵魂出窍并且见到了她的爱人(＜Watching You Without Me＞)。后来未来的她和现在的她对话并乞求她活下来(＜Jig of Life＞)。最后在她濒死之际，一个救援队发现了她(＜Hello Earth＞)，在末曲(＜The Morning Fog＞)中，在肉体与灵魂重聚之后，劫后重生的她发誓要告诉她的家人，她是多么的爱她们。
As her sailor drifts in and out of consciousness, Bush floats between abstract composition and precise songcraft. Her character’s nebulous condition gives her melodies permission to unmoor from pop’s constrictions; her verses don’t necessarily return to catchy choruses, not until the relative normality of “The Morning Fog,” one of her sweetest songs. Instead, she’s free to exploit her Fairlight’s capacity for musique concrete. Spoken voices, Gregorian chant, Irish jigs, oceanic waves of digitized droning, and the culminating twittering of birds all collide in Bush’s synth-folk symphony. Like most of her lyrics, “The Ninth Wave” isn’t autobiographical, although its sink-or-swim scenario can be read as an extended metaphor for Hounds of Love’s protracted creation: Will she rise to deliver the masterstroke that guaranteed artistic autonomy for the rest of her long career and enabled her to live a happy home life with zero participation in the outside world for years on end, or will she drown under the weight of her colossal ambition?
如同船员意识模糊地漂浮在海上，Bush的写作手法也在写实和抽象中自如切换。主人公的精神恍惚好像给了她不遵从传统流行音乐条条框框的理由。除了最甜蜜的(＜The Morning Fog＞)，她的主歌后面所接的并不是十分抓耳的副歌旋律。相反，她不遗余力地为具象音乐（musique concrete）挖掘Fairlight的全部功效。人声，格列高利圣咏，爱尔兰捷格舞，数字化处理的嗡嗡的海浪声还有叽叽喳喳的鸟叫声，所有这些在Bush合成器和民歌乐器共同打造的交响曲中激烈的碰撞。和她的大部分歌词一样，“第九重浪”并不是以歌手本人为原型，即使它“沉沦”与“游动”的情节可以被看作是《Hounds of Love》延伸的隐喻：她是将继续创作以保证她接下来生涯的艺术自主性并让她得以过上愉快的退隐生活，亦或是不堪名为野心的重担，就此消沉？
By the time I became one of the few American journalists to have interviewed her in person in 1985, Bush had clinched her victory. She’d flown to New York to plug Hounds of Love, engaging in the kind of promotion she’d rarely do again. Because she thoroughly rejected the pop treadmill, the media had already begun to marginalize her as a space case, and have since painted her as a tragic, reclusive figure. Yet despite her mystical persona, she was disarmingly down-to-earth: That hammy public Kate was clearly this soft-spoken individual’s invention; an ever-changing role she played like Bowie in an era when even icons like Stevie Nicks and Donna Summer had a Lindsey Buckingham or a Giorgio Moroder calling many of the shots.
1985年，我有幸成为了为数不多的可以对她进行采访的美国记者，那时她已经取得了空前的成功。她还去纽约宣传了《Hounds of Love》，然而她可能很少会再做这样的宣传了。由于她很排斥这样的商业宣传行为，媒体开始将她忽视，将她淡忘，将她边缘化，甚至一度把她描述为现状凄凉的隐居人士。尽管显得很神秘，她无疑是真实的传奇：这个说起话来细声细语的人，在音乐史扮演的角色可能是千变万化，就像Bowie一样——在他们那个年代有着像Stevie Nicks， Donna Summer，Lindsey Buckingham，Giorgio Moroder这样的人群雄并起，百花争艳。
It was a response, perhaps, to the age-old quandary of commanding respect as a woman in an overwhelmingly masculine field. Bush's navigation of this minefield was as natural as it was ingenious: She became the most musically serious and yet outwardly whimsical star of her time. She held onto her bucolic childhood and sustained her family’s support, feeding the wonder that’s never left her. Her subsequent records couldn’t surpass Hounds of Love’s perfect marriage of technique and exploration, but never has she made a false one. She’s like the glissando of “Hello Earth” that rises up and plummets down almost simultaneously: Bush retained the strength to ride fame’s waves because she’s always known exactly what she was—simply, and quite complicatedly, herself.
这大概是，作为一个处于男权社会的女性对主张男女彼此尊重这一老生常谈的问题做出的回应吧。Bush对于这一“雷区”的探索既可谓浑然天成却也不失匠心独运。她成为了那个年代从音乐层面上讲最严谨的看似怪诞的音乐鬼才。她从来都没有忘却她在童年时期的田园生活经历并且从未辜负家人的期望，不断地创造属于她的奇迹。她之后的专辑即使无法超过《Hounds of Love》，这张技术和创新完美结合的佳作，但是也从来不算失手。她就像＜Hello Earth＞里的即兴般忽升忽降的滑奏一样：Bush仍有能力去做一位名誉的弄潮儿，因为她一直以来都很了解她自己——那个简单却又复杂的她