Songs You May Have Missed #566

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Kate Bush” “Wuthering Heights” (1978/1986)

Written by an 18-year-old Kate Bush and inspired by the novel of the same name by Emily Bronte (with whom Bush shares a birthday) “Wuthering Heights” was the lead single off the artist’s debut album in 1978.

Lines like “let me in, I’m so cold” take on ominous meaning when the listener understands the words are spoken from beyond the grave. Catherine, a ghost, begs entrance at a bedroom window so that she can be forgiven by her lover Heathcliff and freed from her personal purgatory.

Because of Kate Bush’s dissatisfaction with the cover art of the single, its release was delayed from November of 1977 to January 1978. This proved fortuitous as it prevented the song from competing with Wings’ “Mull of Kintyre”, which in December of ’77 became the biggest selling UK single of all time up to that point.

“Wuthering Heights” became a massive UK hit in its own right, spending four weeks at number one. Like all Bush’s work, it fared considerably less well in the US, where the song peaked at #108 on the singles chart, marking the contrast from the start between her star status in her native England and that of cult figure here.

A remixed version with newly-recorded vocals appeared on her 1986 compilation album The Whole Story. This is the version presented here.

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