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when a kate bush fan is asked which album is the best, it inevitably comes down to either hounds of love or the dreaming.

kate herself considers this album to contain two separate sides. hounds of love comprises the first side and presents five "forms of love songs." the ninth wave (whose title is taken from tennyson's "the coming of arthur") is the killer, conceptual side of the album, presenting seven more songs that tell a story.

according to kate, the premise for the ninth wave is as follows: someone has fallen into the ocean (perhaps after a shipwreck) and is alone for a night: "They're very tired and they've been in the water waiting for someone to come and get them and it's starting to get dark and it doesn't look like anyone's coming and they want to go to sleep. They know that if they go to sleep in the water they could turn over and drown so they're trying to keep awake."

eventually, though, that person falls asleep and begins to dream. the songs sift through her memories and thoughts, as a life-flashing-before-one's-eyes sort of deal. at the end, kate hints that the woman is saved, but that interpretation has been a point of contention among fans.

there's quite a lot of experimentation in this album; kate really lays on the backward masking, vocal-chopping, sampling, and creative metaphor.

hounds of love

the ninth wave

related b-sides

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