The Sensual World
The Sensual World is the sixth studio album by the English singer-songwriter Kate Bush. It was released in October 1989 and peaked at no. 2 on the UK Albums Chart. It has been certified Platinum by the BPI for sales of 300,000 in the UK, and Gold by the RIAA in the US.
|The Sensual World|
|Studio album by|
|Released||16 October 1989|
|Studio||Wickham Farm Home Studio (Welling, England) and Windmill Lane Studios|
|Genre||Art rock, alternative Rock, progressive pop|
|Label||EMI all territories except the US, Columbia (US)|
|Kate Bush chronology|
|Singles from The Sensual World|
Bush drew inspiration for the title track from the novel Ulysses by James Joyce. Bush realised that Molly Bloom's soliloquy, the closing passage of the novel, fit the music she had created. When the Joyce estate refused to release the text, Bush wrote original lyrics that echo the original passage, as Molly steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. She also alluded to "Jerusalem" by William Blake in a reference to the song's gestation ("And my arrows of desire rewrite the speech"). The song includes Irish instrumentation (uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistle) under a breathy rendering of the orgasmic 'Yes' of the original text.
The songs "Deeper Understanding", "Never Be Mine", and "Rocket's Tail" all feature backing vocals by the Bulgarian vocal ensemble Trio Bulgarka. "Heads We're Dancing" includes a characteristic Mick Karn fretless bassline. The song "This Woman's Work" from the movie She's Having a Baby (1988) was re-edited for this album. On 27 November 2005 it was featured in the British TV drama Walk Away and I Stumble starring Tamzin Outhwaite. Due to that broadcast, the song reached #3 on the UK download chart in late 2005. This song has also been used in a long-running UK television advert for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, broadcast in 2005–2008, and in the Extras Christmas Special in 2007. A version of the song was recorded by R&B artist Maxwell in 1997 for his MTV Unplugged album.
Released as CD players were becoming increasingly popular, the original LP ended with "This Woman's Work", whilst "Walk Straight Down the Middle" was included as a bonus track on the CD and cassette versions of the album. The gap between these two tracks is slightly longer to indicate the album was intended to finish with "This Woman's Work".
A video collection called The Sensual World: The Videos was also released. It contained videos for the title song, "Love and Anger", and "This Woman's Work" (all directed by Bush herself), as well as excerpts from an interview Bush gave to the music TV channel VH1.
In 1991, The Sensual World received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
Bush was also nominated for two BRIT Awards in 1990 as Best British Producer and Best British Album of the Year for the album The Sensual World.
In May 2011, Bush released a new album, Director's Cut which featured new versions of four songs from The Sensual World, including the title song now called "Flower of the Mountain". Finally having received permission from the Joyce estate, Bush recorded a new vocal using Molly Bloom's soliloquy as the lyric. Additionally, she re-recorded a sparse, piano-only version of "This Woman's Work". The new version of "Deeper Understanding" was released as a single, with an accompanying video.
The live version of Never Be Mine was included in her live album Before the Dawn, released in 2016. The song was never performed in front of the audience, however, Bush decided to include the live version into the recording.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|Los Angeles Times|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||8/10|
|The Village Voice||B|
"While Bush's famously fey voice would probably be enough to hold the disparate strands of The Sensual World together, the album takes its cue and colouring too from the hypnotically sinuous sway of the pipes on the title track," wrote Robert Sandall in Q. "There are some strapping power chords to be despatched here and there, most notably on Love And Anger, but the dominant mood is of Oriental reverie, similar in feel to that achieved latterly by Japan. And the last track on A side, Heads We're Dancing, reproduces that mysteriously sproingy bass sound favoured by Mick Karn." Slant Magazine listed the album at number 55 on its list of the "Best Albums of the 1980s", writing, "Blessed with one of music's most wildly expressive voices, Bush takes each song further than she has to, resulting in an album that forms its own unique world."
All tracks are written by Kate Bush.
|1.||"The Sensual World"||3:57|
|2.||"Love and Anger"||4:42|
|5.||"Heads We're Dancing"||5:17|
|7.||"Between a Man and a Woman"||3:29|
|8.||"Never Be Mine"||3:43|
|10.||"This Woman's Work"||3:32|
|CD bonus track on original 1989 release and 2011 reissue|
|11.||"Walk Straight Down the Middle"||3:48|
- Kate Bush – piano, keyboards, vocals
- Del Palmer – Fairlight CMI percussion, bass guitar (1, 4, 7), rhythm guitar and percussion (5)
- Charlie Morgan – drums (1, 4, 6, 11)
- Stuart Elliott – drums (2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9)
- Bill Whelan – arranger ("The Irish sessions")
- Paddy Bush – whip (swished fishing rod) (1), valiha and backing vocals (2), mandolin (4), tupan (6)
- Davy Spillane – uilleann pipes (1, 8), whistle (3)
- John Sheahan – fiddle (1)
- Dónal Lunny – bouzouki (1)
- John Giblin – bass guitar (2, 6, 9)
- David Gilmour – guitar (2, 9)
- Alan Murphy – guitar, guitar synth (3, 5, 7)
- Jonathan Williams – cello (3, 5, 7)
- Nigel Kennedy – violin (3), viola (5)
- Michael Kamen – orchestral arrangements (3, 5, 10)
- Alan Stivell – Celtic harp (3, 7), backing vocals (7)
- "Dr. Bush" (Robert Bush, Kate's father) – dialogue (3)
- Balanescu Quartet – strings (4)
- Michael Nyman – string arrangement (Balanescu Quartet)
- Mick Karn – bass guitar (5)
- Trio Bulgarka – vocals (6, 8, 9)
- Yanka Rupkina (of Trio Bulgarka) – solo vocalist (6, 9)
- Dimitar Penev – arranger (Trio Bulgarka)
- Eberhard Weber – double bass (8, 11)
- Kate Bush – producer
- Del Palmer – recording engineer, mixing (11)
- Haydn Bendall, Kevin Killen, Paul Gomazel – additional recording engineers
- Tom Leader – assistant engineer (Trio Bulgarka sessions)
- Andrew Boland – engineer ("The Irish sessions")
- John Grimes – assistant engineer ("The Irish sessions")
- Kevin Killen – mixing (1–10)
- Ian Cooper – mastering
Certifications and sales
^shipments figures based on certification alone
The Sensual World – The Videos
|The Sensual World – The Videos|
|Genre||Alternative rock, art rock|
|Director||Peter Richardson, Kate Bush|
|Kate Bush chronology|
- Track listing
- "Interview" 0:36
- "The Sensual World" 5:15
- "Love and Anger" 4:43
- "This Woman's Work" 6:31
- "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Sensual World". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Type Sensual World in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
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- Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
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- Quantick, David (21 October 1989). "Let Them Eat Kate". NME.
- Hewitt, Ben (18 January 2019). "Kate Bush: The Sensual World". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- Sandall, Robert (November 1989). "Welcome back to the fey, pattery, indeed sproingy world of Kate Bush". Q (38).
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- Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
- Christgau, Robert (13 March 1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 January 2012. Relevant portion also posted at "Kate Bush: The Sensual World > Consumer Guide Album". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
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- "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 51, No. 8" (PHP). RPM. 23 December 1989. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
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- "Highest position and charting weeks of The Sensual World by Kate Bush". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
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- "Kate Bush > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- Allmusic – The Sensual World > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
- "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1989". RPM. 23 December 1989. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
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- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "British album certifications – Kate Bush – The Sensual World". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Sensual World in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "Kate Bush: The Sensual World (The Videos) – Cast, Reviews, Summary, and Awards – AllRovi". allrovi.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2011.