All six studio albums she cut for EMI and two CDs with 29 rarities from this time period, including mixes, B-sides & live tracks. 96 tracks total. Also contains a 28 page full color CD sized photo booklet. Each disc comes ... more »in a standard jewel case & each stores nicely in an individual slot within the sturdy 5 x 6 x 8in black cardboard box. Includes the CD albums 'The Kick Inside', 'Lionheart', 'Never For Ever', 'The Dreaming', 'Hounds Of Love' & 'The Sensual World' (released on Columbia in the U.S.). The rarities comps are titled 'This Woman's Work I & II'. 1990 EMI release.« less
All six studio albums she cut for EMI and two CDs with 29 rarities from this time period, including mixes, B-sides & live tracks. 96 tracks total. Also contains a 28 page full color CD sized photo booklet. Each disc comes in a standard jewel case & each stores nicely in an individual slot within the sturdy 5 x 6 x 8in black cardboard box. Includes the CD albums 'The Kick Inside', 'Lionheart', 'Never For Ever', 'The Dreaming', 'Hounds Of Love' & 'The Sensual World' (released on Columbia in the U.S.). The rarities comps are titled 'This Woman's Work I & II'. 1990 EMI release.
Like Bathing in Dark Chocolate
Barry C. Chow | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 12/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm too old to be going gaga over artistes. But I'll be damned if this woman doesn't evoke a whole lot of unwholesome thoughts in parts of me I had forgotten that I possessed.This lady and her music defy description. She's an angel, a seductress, a child, a sage, a siren, a confidant, a poet, and a mystic - all on the same album and sometimes within the same song. Her songs are like distillations of the most vivid moments in one's life. She sings with a soaring purity and an intensity that can only be truly appreciated when heard, yet never, ever shades over into maudlin sentimentality or melodrama. This is a balancing act she pulls off again and again, while never repeating ideas or getting trapped into creative ruts. I give up trying to guess which creative direction she will next take. Whatever it is, it's just bound to be stunning.Kate is hardly for everyone. She sings for the daring listener. She is the very antithesis of the mass-market plastic bimbettes belting out all those identical tunes threatening to smother the world in pabulum. She is arresting, gothic, quirky and audacious. Consequently, her music takes some getting used to. The listener must train his/her ear to Kate's peculiarities. The payoff comes when the peculiarities reveal themselves as something altogether numinous. In fact, she is one of those rare singer/songwriters who truly deserve the honour of being called an artist.I could go on fawning over her like this, at the risk of inanity and my self-respect. The only way to understand why her fans have been so consistently devoted to her for over twenty-five years is to listen to her music. And this is my one king-sized beef. How on earth can EMI justify the outrageous sum they are charging for this boxed set? Kate's music has a hard enough time getting out to the general public as it is without having to surmount this Himalayan price. Any dedicated fan already owns most or all of her albums, so must fork over almost $200 for some rarities. This price puts the set out of reach for any but the most well heeled. Existing fans can't justify it, potential fans won't spring for it, so it becomes a self-limiting niche collection.If you are a discerning listener convinced that rock music can achieve transcendence, don't yet have any of her albums, and can afford this compilation without suffering starvation for the next month, then just bite your lip, haul out your wallet and get this incomparable anthology. I promise you that you will never think of talent, desire, peculiarity or indeed, music, in quite the same way again. The only danger is that Kate may spoil you for just about any songstress who follows."
If you've haven't heard the singled, you've missed out!
Keith Russell | Shawnee Mission, Kansas United States | 07/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first got into Kate Bush when "The Dreaming" was released, and bought all her albums immediately thereafter. I reserved my copy of "Hounds of Love" the day its release was announced. (I think I was the first person in Kansas to own it.) When the boxed set came out, I was living in Dallas, Texas, and I already had most of the singles (and those wonderful, unreleased B-sides) either as British 45s, or on 12-inch US re-mixes. There were only four of the songs in the boxed set that I didn't have on vinyl. Nonetheless, I bought the boxed set with my final paycheck, before I moved back to Kansas City, and never regretted paying nearly 200 bucks for basically four new (unheard before) songs. Sure, I could have used the money for more practical things--food, gas, rent, or some such fleeting nonsense--but, I survived, and had some great music to keep me company--and I still have it, when anything else I could have spent the money on would have been gone long ago. I have almost 700 CDs in my collection now, but if I were stranded on that proverbial deserted/desert island, and could only rescue one of them, it would be "Hounds of Love"; the entire album being the best music ever written and recorded by a human being, in any genre, hands down. 'Course, if I could, I'd grab the whole bloody boxed set! I have yet to hear anything by any other artist that comes close to the power and intensity of Kate's work, or any other artist who consistently has achieved such quality throughout their entire career. Don't take the time to think about it. Just buy this box!Keith Russell, Synthetic Sky Studios, email@example.com."
Some truly amazing music.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""This Woman's Work" is a fantastic investment-- containing virtually all of Kate Bush's available recorded output up until 1990, it allows an artist of extraordinary importance and talent to be appreciated in a historical context.
Bush's growth over her first six studio albums is nothing short of stunning. I'll avoid writing full reviews of each album here (I've written them under each album), but take a moment to discuss each.
Her debut, "The Kick Inside", extremely strong and moving, while it shows a bit of insecurity in performance (her voice is somewhat immature and has a tendency, in its upper register, to get a bit harsh) and lyrics that would later be drastically improved upon, Bush is fully realized as an artist-- from her hit "Wuthering Heights", an intriguing and amazing swirling pop song to the albums powerful opener "Moving" to its standout track, the beautiful "The Man With the Child In His Eyes", its amazing that she was as young as she was (some of the material was recorded when she was 16 or 17). The followup, "Lionheart", shows clear signs of being rushed, and isn't the leap one would hope it to be above its predecessor. Still, Bush has grown in confidence as a lyricist exploring a number of different moods and thoughts, including a bold for 1978 song about closeted homosexuality (the stunning "Kashka from Baghdad").
Bush began her real growth as an artist with "Never For Ever", as she began fusing her old sound with a more confident delivery and better arrangements. The result is a far more varied and interesting album, from the tense chaos of "Babooshka" to the psychotic pulsings of "The Wedding List" to the delicate sensuality of "The Infant Kiss". This exposition in mood continued on "The Dreaming", an album of experimentation and mood, largely a dark effort, it is difficult to digest at first, but moments such as the horrific "Pull Out the Pin" and the delicate "Houdini" stand out.
Bush's masterpiece, "Hounds of Love" is next, a two sided album-- the first an exposition in mid-tempo pop, clever arrangements, and fantastic, self-assured vocals-- "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)", the title track, and "Cloudbusting" all stand out with their fantastic arrangement. The second side, a story of a woman drowning and experiencing her life suffers from occasional over-reliance on production techniques and samples, but shines on the pretty "And Dream of Sheep", the haunted "Under Ice" and the simply amazing "Jig of Life". Its followup, "The Sensual world", probably never could have lived up to its level, and suffers from sloppy sound, but it does have what may be Kate Bush's most beautiful piece, the truly breathtaking "This Woman's Work", and other standouts like "Rocket's Tail" and the funky "Heads we're Dancing" make this uneven effort worth a listen.
The bonus discs contain most of the rarities from Bush's back catalog-- b-sides (around a dozen of them), soundtrack pieces (several), two French sung songs, a couple a-sides and re-recordings, four live tracks from the "Onstage" EP, and a handful of remixes. The material is of mixed quality, some of it is pleasant enough but was wisely kept off the albums ("The Empty Bullring", "Under the Ivy", "Burning Bridge"), some of it stands up with Bush's best material (the quirky "Ran Tan Waltz", the lovely "Warm and Soothing", the a capella "My Lagan Love"). The live tracks are interesting to have, and I'm glad to have the remixes, although I really could care less about remixes as a rule. Unlike many folks, I actually prefer the original vocal on "Wuthering Heights", I think the youthful sound in her voice fits the piece better.
If there's a complaint to make, its that this needs a reissue with some remastering (the sound is good but could be better in light of modern remastering) and the material that was recorded after its release. But aside from that, this set is a fantastic value, its worth paying a bit extra for it-- I dug up an Australian copy which was quite a bit cheaper. But regardless of price, the material on here is essential."
I Guess All I Can Say Is... "Wow!"
Daniel Rainey | Ottawa, Canada | 01/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Kate Bush on the radio. The song was "Running Up That Hill." Before I even saw how she looked I just thought, "What an amazing voice." Then I bought "Hounds Of Love" on tape. I was only 17, it was a bit too much for me. But I kept going back to it and the more I heard it the more I liked it. Before I knew it, I was starting to collect her albums. I tried to find them used. Two years later, I had almost forgotten about her until I went into a used record store and there it was, "This Woman's Work", the 8 c.d. set. Not only that, but it was the British version. It was[pricey]It felt like a bit much. That night I went around the internet listening to previews of all her albums and I decided, I need to have this. I have never regretted buying it. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. The music is so diverse. In closing, this is obviously not the best purchase to buy if you just a little curious. However, if you are like me and want to have all her classic albums on high quality c.d.s with some unique extras too, you should really look into this. I liked too how the booklet was just a photo essay and didn't try to summarize or explain Kate Bush in any way. Some things are better left being open to interpretation."
If a collection should be repackaged...
dvdtrkr | San Diego CA | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I kind of wish they had waited just a couple of years until "The Red Shoes" to put this out so it would be a more complete CD collection (not to mention the Elton John covers of "Rocket Man" and "Candle in the Wind" would've been on there as well).
Because this is an import and under the EMI label, it also includes "The Sensual World", but doesn't include "The Whole Story" (which really introduced her to US audiences and is a good sampler of her music, even though that one is missing her duet with Peter Gabriel "Don't Give Up")
This would be a good one to get after "The Whole Story" because you do wind up getting most of the CDs minus the ones mentioned above, but that's pretty minor. All of the CDs are worth listening to, each one being different and more complex than the previous, a true artist developing her skills in the studio.
The real reason to own the box set is the 2 CDs that are the "extras", "Vol 1" and "Vol 2".
Vol. 1 contains mostly the b-sides from "Never For Ever", her seasonal "December Will Be Magic", a couple of songs sung in French, one being a French version of "The Infant Kiss", and other "bonus" tracks from "The Sensual World".
Vol. 2 contains a few more b-sides (the instrumental "One Last Look Around the House" is really nice), the songs from "The Whole Story" (a re-recorded (and better) "Wuthering Heights", and "Experiment IV"), 4 cuts from the "Kate Bush on Stage" EP, and 12" remixes from "Hounds of Love". This volume is probably the more popular one than the other.
The collection is a little bit hefty for the price, because it is an import collection, and it would be great if they revamped this one after she finishes her next CD (supposedly in 2005) as well as put out a 2CD set of her classics, so it could include a "Vol 3" consisting of "Red Shoes" b-sides and early demos long bootlegged as well as "Brother and Sister" with Midge Ure, the songs she did with Roy Harper, and "Don't Give Up" with Peter Gabriel. There really isn't much more they could put out as far as rarities go... but a revamped box set should also include a DVD of all her groundbreaking videos and TV appearances, her "Live at the Hammersmith Odeon" concert, and "The Line, The Cross and the Curve" film, all of the studio CDs re-released in Surround sound. Now THAT would justify repackaging what is already a great collection.