Kate Bush

The Whole Story: The Videos

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Singer/songwriter Kate Bush is a performer of the theater and her videos allow her to experiment with her wild imagination, both in style and in role. The Whole Story: The Videos, which corresponds with the release of Bush's greatest-hits collection of the same title, captures her abstract approach to dance and acting for a solid look at one of post-punk's more underrated artists. Bush completists should be pleased with the selection, especially her sensual, but serious, ballet routine with dancer Michael Hervieu for "Running Up That Hill." Other highlights include Bush's tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's British films of the 1930s on "Hounds of Love" and her attempt to explain the history of worldly existence on "Experiment IV." The inclusion of "The Big Sky" (which isn't featured in album format) is an extra treat! The VHS version of this collection is its most common incarnation in England and America, but it was followed nearly a half-decade later in the United States by a laser disc edition from Pioneer. The latter, a truly collectable 12" disc artifact, should have been a delight to fans, but instead was a study in frustration -- the superior visual resolution of the laser disc format was on display, but the disc's virtues were compromised by Pioneer's decision to do the sound on the cheap; instead of utilizing the digital tracks of the CD (or, better still, the U.K. CD) as a source, they used the audio from the VHS master, which is sort of like mastering a CD from an audiocassette (or, worse still, from an eight-track). The result is a gorgeous looking but very flat sounding video collection, in a format that could have had pure digital audio and 525-line resolution. And, needless to say, this collection has never shown up on DVD, but it's still the best video compendium we're likely to see of what can now be considered Bush's classic output, and one can only hope for these productions and the Hammersmith show to re-appear someday, done right this time.

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