Top 10 Kate Bush songs

To celebrate the pop icon's phenomenal comeback, we've assembled a fact-tastic top 10 of her key singles & a playlist...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 2 Sep 2014
  • min read
The UK has officially gone Kate Bush mad. Not only has the pop icon performed live for the first time in 35 years to five star reviews, she’s also broken chart records after eight of her albums landed back in the UK charts simultaneously.

The only other artists to have had more records in the UK album charts at any one time are Elvis Presley in 1977 and The Beatles in 2009, meaning Kate steals the most albums by any female soloist crown from pop queen Madonna.

To celebrate her phenomenal comeback, our resident pop factition Russell Iliffe has assembled a top 10 of the pop maverick’s key singles. Be sure to tune into our accompanying playlist below as you swot up on your Bushy facts…

  1. Wuthering Heights (1978)

At a time when the twin forces of disco and punk ruled the charts, the debut single by the then 19-year-old sounded like nothing else around. Add Kate’s balletic performance in a floaty white dress into the equation and the public were both hooked and intrigued by this haunting new singer. Inspired by the Emily Bronte book of the same name, the song shot to number one for four weeks and remains her best selling hit in the UK. It also made her the first female artist to top the singles chart with her own composition.

Proving she was no one hit wonder, Bush reached number six with this striking ballad, the second release from her debut album The Kick Inside. It also bagged her an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding British Lyric the following year.

  1. Wow (1979)

Kate’s second album Lionheart was released in 1978, the same year as her debut LP. Although the lead single Hammer Horror oddly stalled outside the top 40, Wow fared much better reaching number 14. An airplay hit dealing with her experiences in show business, the track refocused attention on her sophomore long player.

  1. Babooshka (1980)

The biggest hit from Kate’s third album Never for Ever tells the tale of a wife testing her husband’s fidelity. Expertly crafted avant-garde pop with an infectious chorus and an eye-cathcing video, it climbed to number five in the UK chart.

  1. Sat in Your Lap (1981)

With its driving rhythms and fevered vocals, this is Kate doing what she does best: subverting the pop genre. This track appeared on her album The Dreaming the following year but just missed the top 10 on release, making it a bit of an underrated gem.

  1. Running Up That Hill (1985)

By the mid-eighties Kate had not released an album for three years, but she made a triumphant return with this edgy top three smash, once again standing out from every other record on the radio. It also gave her a first US top 40 hit while the track returned to the UK chart in 2012 on the back of an airing at the Olympics closing ceremony. Though Kate didn’t perform herself, Twitter went into meltdown during the song amid false rumours she might make an appearance.

This atmospheric number just scaped the top 20 but not for lack of trying – its stunning video co-starring Donald Sutherland certainly turned a few heads. The track is also the closing song at Kate’s current Hammersmith Apollo residency.

  1. Hounds of Love (1986)

The title track from Kate’s chart-topping album was issued as the LP’s third single and peaked at number 18. The ‘It’s in the trees, it’s coming!’ spoken word piece at the beginning is sampled from the 1957 B-movie horror Night of the Demon.

  1. Don’t Give Up (1986)

An evergreen duet from Peter Gabriel’s album So, thiswasn’t the first time the two artists had worked together. Kate had supplied backing vocals on Peter’s 1980 hit Games Without Frontiers, singing the ‘jeux sans frontièreshook.

  1. This Woman’s Work (1989)

The second single from The Sensual World album may only have peaked at number 25 on its original release but it has since become a Kate classic. In fact the Official Charts Company recently named it as the pop queen’s third most downloaded track of all time.

Kate Bush's Before the Dawn series of performances at the Hammersmith Apollo runs until 1 October.