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Lost in the ’80s: Kate Bush, “Experiment IV”

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“And they told us what they wanted was a sound that could kill someone from a distance …”

In 1986, after years of trying to break Kate Bush in the States with only the minor Top 40 hit “Running Up That Hill” to show for it, EMI decided to capitalize on Kate’s recent success with Hounds of Love in the UK by releasing a best-of, which could also serve as a catch-up primer for the US.  The Whole Story collected various tracks from Bush’s first five albums, along with a newly recorded version of her first single, “Wuthering Heights,” and one new track which was issued as a single to promote the disc.

“Experiment IV” (download) was a creepy tune that told the story of a top secret military operation where scientists were attempting to create a weapon using only sound. Unfortunately for them, they succeed. The single was accompanied by an equally spooky video that was banned from Top of the Pops, but got plenty of MTV play Stateside.  It also featured Dawn French of French & Saunders and a relative unknown by the name of Hugh Laurie:

While “Experiment IV” did not repeat Bush’s Top 40 success in the States, it did chart nicely in the UK and The Whole Story went on to become her biggest selling album. But can you believe The Whole Story is currently out of print?  Neither can I, but that’s what Amazon tells us, although there are plenty of used copies to go around.  Highly recommended, even if it’s in serious need of a remastering.

“Experiment IV” did not chart.

Get Kate Bush music at Amazon or on Kate Bush