The 25 best Kate Bush songs of all time

A portrait of Kate Bush in 1980
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Much like any iconic, genre-spanning artist, picking the best songs from Kate Bush’s back catalogue is a nigh-on-impossible task… Which is why we handed the job over to you guys. Back in 2011, Prog Magazine ran a poll with its readers – and some of the prog world’s biggest stars – to gather intel as to what Kate Bush’s most career-defining songs really are. The results might surprise you…

25) Aerial (from Aerial, 2005)

“Euphoric and pastoral? With a break for heavenly birdsong and uproarious giggles, the propulsive, rave-tastic final track on this eclectic double disc climaxed a truly glorious comeback.” - Babs Booshker, Kent

24) Oh England My Lionheart (from Lionheart, 1978)

“Reminds me of death. This will be my funeral song, I love it so. A patriotism-inducing dirge fest of the highest quality. I need to be back in London on a summer’s day when I hear this.” - Jane D’Cruz, via email

23) Them Heavy People (from The Kick Inside, 1978)

“For cod reggae, it’s not half bad!” - StevieB De Mille @ Progressive Ears

22) Army Dreamers (from Never For Ever, 1980)

“The waltz melody and timeless lyric still resonates with war and loss today!” - Stewart Eadie, via e-mail

21) Kite (from The Kick Inside, 1978)

“What she does in this song is to bring a touch of humour by adding a flavour of reggae and funk to keep the groove going. It brings a good feeling that we can fly out of the situations that we’re in and fly and never come back.” - Zachary Nathanson, via email

20) In Search Of Peter Pan (from Lionheart, 1978)

“That one-two punch of In Search Of Peter Pan into Wow!!” - Reach @ Progressive Ears

19) Experiment IV (from The Whole Story, 1986)

“Kate is at her sinister best brilliantly summing up Cold War paranoia with a song about the military using music as a weapon. Watch the video!” - Sean Mason, London

18) Don’t Give Up (duet with Peter Gabriel from So, 1986)

“My favourite song of hers is not on one of her records, it’s with Peter Gabriel. I love that song. It’s probably the one I listen to the most.” - Mikael Åkerfeldt, Opeth

17) This Woman’s Work (from The Sensual World, 1989)

“Every time I listen to this song it just gets me. It’s so powerful and emotional.” - Lee Douglas, Anathema

16) Under The Ivy (B-side to Running Up That Hill, 1985)

“Spare, bruised, beautiful B-side, a piano-led retreat to a pastoral childhood.” - Nick Stechfield, Bath

15) Babooshka (from Never For Ever, 1980)

“I like the Beatles-esque rhythm. The lyrics are also very interesting, and who can forget the video?” - Wilton Said @ Progressive Ears

14) Sat In Your Lap (from The Dreaming, 1982)

“A bizarre meshing of sounds and styles that only Kate has the gusto to pull off. A virtuoso display.” - Peter Thorley, via email

13) Hounds Of Love (from Hounds Of Love, 1985)

“The culmination of all her talents welded into a masterpiece. Melodies, fragmented sounds, a capella, impressionistic portrayals, hits, rhythms and innovation.” - Sonja Kristina, Curved Air

12) There Goes A Tenner (from The Dreaming, 1982)

“Love those minor chords, and extra beats. Very proggy.” - Bill Graham, via email

11) The Fog (from The Sensual World, 1989)

“The bond she has with her father moves me to tears.” - Laura Dent, via email

10) The Sensual World (from The Sensual World, 1989)

“Such a warm, welcoming opening to the album featuring such a lush video I have to include it in my top three choices.” - Nicholas Payne, via email

9) Wow (from Lionheart, 1978)

“Who can write a song like that these days? Nobody.” - Tarja Turunen

8) Delius (Song Of Summer) (from Never For Ever, 1980)

“Curiously, not from The Dreaming, which is my favourite album!” - Kavus Torabi, Knifeworld

7) The Man With The Child In His Eyes (from The Kick Inside, 1978)

“It’s the most beautiful song, from start to finish, and is just exquisitely written. The lyric is so dreamy and haunting, and of course the chorus resonates with so many people.” - Anne-Marie Helder, Panic Room

6) Breathing (from Never For Ever, 1980)

“Kate’s proggiest moment, in my opinion. This is where Kate shows she’s as good as Peter Gabriel at evoking an atmosphere.” - Jed Levin, via email

5) Get Out Of My House (from The Dreaming, 1982)

“Most emotional, strong feminist song (‘You will NOT rape me!’) I’ve ever heard.” - TaoManThree @ Progressive Ears

4) Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (from Hounds Of Love, 1985)

“Simply a great track from a great album.” - Peter Hammill, VdGG

3) Cloudbusting (from Hounds Of Love, 1985)

“Magnificent and involving, and it had a great video too.” - Daria Bianchini, via email

2) Wuthering Heights (from The Kick Inside, 1978)

“Where it all began. Utterly brilliant and totally bonkers. You may think that you’ve heard it too often, but then it surprises you all over again.” - Mark Fergusson, via email

1) The Ninth Wave (B-side suite, Hounds Of Love, 1985)

“Her complete approach is both incredibly pure and feminine, yet overwhelmingly powerful all at once. This song is, for me, simply spellbinding and manages to cover me in goose bumps every time I hear it.” - Heather Findlay

This article originally appeared in issue 22 of Prog Magazine.

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