I remember, the girlfriend mentioned in the Kick Inside album thread and I listened to TKI about 47 gazillion times. Then one day I was driving home listening to my favorite college station when I heard a Kate song I had not heard before!
Next day, my girlfriend and I zoomed to the record shoppe, and were greeted by not one but TWO new Kate Bush albums! One was called Lionheart and the other, Never For Ever. What to do, what to do? At random, she bought the latter and I bought the former.
We listened to Lionheart. We couldn't help hide our slight dissapointment. "It's...nice."
Then we listened to Never For Ever. We were blown away. We put Lionheart away, and it rarely got listened to while we listened to Never For Ever 47 gazillion times.
While Lionheart is still better than 99.9% of what's out there, it is still to date my least favorite Kate album.
"Luckily, before I was even allowed to move my collection of new wave music and ColecoVision games into the house, my insurance company made me get it retrofitted." - Lore Sjöberg
This is an absolutely lovely album, from begining to end. You can't just put it on at any time though, when you're rushing through life on high tempo, you simply can't listen to it. This one's for the day off, when you want to relax, or take a bath. It creates a kind of atmosphere a painter would desire. There's a lot of feeling and emotion inside, so you can't be distracted when you listen to it. If you do it this way, it just takes you away. If I lived a more mellow life, this would probably be my favorite album by Catherine.
Not at all cohesive and an obvious grab bag of ideas not wholly worked through. Entirely what you'd expect from an album recorded under pressure and demanding time constraint. The miracle is that it's as good as it is.
That notwithstanding, LH contains some absolue gems and shows her - even at that early stage - to be reaching beyond her comfort zone.
1 Peter 5 : 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Somewhere in London...
Where was the photo that appears on the front cover of Lionheart taken? KB: "This photo was taken in a photographic studio by Gered Mankowitz somewhere in London." Kate's KBC article, Issue 5 (April 1980) gaffa.org/garden/kate6.html
...front cover concept: John Carder Bush...
I: How did the sleeve design come about, of Lionheart? KB: "Well that was just an idea that we had that was basically around the title Lionheart. We wanted to get across a vibe within me of a lion. And for the front cover it basically comes from an idea that my brother had, which was an attic setting with me in a lion suit, so it's slightly comical, but just a really nice vibe on the front that would take away the heavy, crusader, English vibe, because Lionheart is always associated with Richard the Lionheart. And I think it's a word that could become more readily used, it's such a beautiful word. It's kinda like hero, and hero's a very cliched word now. It's used in so many songs." Lionheart Promo Cassette, EMI Canada, 1978 gaffa.org/reaching/im78_lh.html
LION - An ancient symbol of the sun, dominion, power, ferocity and bravery, the "king of the beasts" was often used on heraldic shields, flags or banners by medieval European rulers. In Tarot cards, an occult system of divination based on the Kabala, it symbolized strength or power. In ancient mythology it was identified with sun worship and the imagined power of both gods and goddesses. The lion head ringed by its golden mane would be used in ancient mystery initiations and ritualistic sun worship.
"Comedy Tragedy" - In the Gered Mankowitz photography to Lionheart, KB is shown wearing "Tragedy Comedy" earrings.
The traditional "Comedy Tragedy" masks are used as a universal symbol for drama, and also represent the two sides of Dionysus, as well as the two effects of wine: joyous, Bacchic revelry, and a dark, sorrowful harvest.
I: A question from Steve and Kisey, who would like your autograph. But I'm not sure that we could send them an autograph, or that you could, because there is no address. But anyway, where did you get your theater mask earrings, the ones that you were wearing on the album Lionheart? KB: Do you know, it's rather lovely, because when I went to Canada, years ago, I was doing a whole day of interviews with journalists and there was a lady journalist, and we only sat and chatted for about 30 minutes. And when I first met her, I said "your earrings are beautiful." And when she left she took them off and gave them to me, and said, "I hope they bring you luck." I: Wow! KB: Yeah, she was really far out. I: And they have. KB: Yeah! BBC Radio 1 interview by David Jensen (?) 1982 gaffa.org/reaching/ir82_bb1.html
I: Where did you get the happy/sad face earrings in the club photo? KB: "I've had a lot of enquiries about those, and a lot of people would like to get a pair. I'm afraid I can't help anyone to find a pair, as I was given them by a fan." Kate's KBC article, Issue 4 (Christmas 1979), "Them Heavy People" gaffa.org/garden/kate4.html
While the mask of comedy symbolizes happiness, joy, and humor, the mask of tragedy shows despair, misfortune, and heartbreak. Neither mask can exist without the other, for regardless of their opposite nature and meaning, both masks complete the other. It is nigh impossible to appreciate the doctrine of the mask of comedy without comparing it to the mask of tragedy. They are like two halves of the yin yang. By itself each piece has little value, but together they display the entire picture.
How did you pick the name of Lionheart for your latest album? KB: Well that was really from the title track called 'Oh England, My Lionheart'. And I just think it's a great word, it sorta means hero, and I think hero is a very clichéd word, so I thought Lionheart would be a bit different. "Personal Call" (1979) gaffa.org/reaching/ir79_pc.html
'Lionheart' is the epithet of Richard I. Like Joan of Arc, he is an enduring, iconic figure known for great military leadership. On Lionheart, Kate Bush is photographed startlingly close to the viewer. Her seductive beauty is extolled especially by the "erotic entrapment" of her beautiful hair, and by her big, expressive eyes. She is photographed in rich and fiery tones that seem almost to glow. IMHO, Lionheart presents us with a typical Rossettian beauty! ...
LIONHEART AND RUTH...
On the attic cover of Lionheart, Kate's slender, 'heroin chic' frame is photographed on top of a signed crate. What is hiding in the attic crate? What spot does the 'Pandora's box' mark? What is Kate concealing? A lionheart? A hero? ... What story does the cover tell? ... Don't Look Now! ... Kate looks startled, perhaps guilty... What is it, Miss Bush? I do not understand. What is it you fear? There must be more...
The game seems over. A phallic candlestick stands to the right of her sleeping male mask, its shaft covered in hardened white wax. Sunlight pours into the attic room, and Kate is all lit up...
The attic room reappears in Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' video, and similar costume and lighting effects are present in the video for 'Suspended In Gaffa'. On the cover to Never for Ever, KaTe opens her 'Pandora's Box' attic crate...
Hello Rosa... Yes, Tarot cards are very interesting. My deck is the Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsies Tarot, a divinatory tarot deck. I bought them when still at school! But it is not really Tarot in the true sense. Still, I am going to see if there are other connections between the KB visuals and Tarot...
And thank you for appreciating The Interpretation of Covers...
Post by rosabelbelieve on Mar 2, 2008 19:42:39 GMT
I really don't know much about them, but I love the ideas and symbolisms that are part of Tarot cards. I actually see a lot of ways that they connect with Kate's work- maybe I should explore that a bit more.
Hey, I'd never noticed that! Thank you for pointing it out. The way Kate expresses herself through images is very important, isn't it? Her videos and album covers all convey the feeling of the music so well, IMO.
I am falling Like a stone, Like a storm, Being born again Into the sweet morning fog.
The RUTH/Magician is fascinating, isn't it! ...and of course the protagonist of RUTH is wanting to make a Magician's deal with god (Apollo?)
JCB: "The inside artwork was more complicated. After the archer shots were completed, we headed for an outdoor location, because we wanted to use a particular doorway that we knew of. It was two in the morning, and after we had set up lights and the smoke machine, I wrote the lyrics from the song onto Kate's back--and realised as I was doing it that the cold night air was going to cause problems with the skin texture. But as it happened, by staying in the warm until the last moment, this did not become a problem." - gaffa.org/garden/jcb3.html
To quote wiki:
The Magician Tarot card (Rider-Waite) - Description and symbolism:
A youthful figure in the robe of a magician has the face of the divine Apollo, the sun god, with a confident smile and shining eyes. [As a god of archery, Apollo was well known with epithets as Aphetoros (“god of the bow”) and Argurotoxos (“with the silver bow”).] Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the lemniscate of infinity. About his waist is a serpent-cincture or girdle, the ouroboros, the serpent devouring its own tail. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of eternity, eternal becoming or transmutation and transformation, but in this case it indicates more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit. In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, the sky or the element æther, whilst the left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries, symbolising divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. On the table in front of the Magician the symbols of the four Tarot suits signify the Classical elements of earth, air, fire and water. Beneath are roses and lilies, the flos campi (Rose of Sharon) and lilium convallium (Lily of the Valley), changed into garden flowers, to show the culture of aspiration.
Write me your poetry in motion Write it just for me, yeah And sign it with a kiss And I'll do it for you I'll be the Rose of Sharon for you I'll do it for you I'll be the Lily of the Valley for you I'll do it for you I'll be Isolde or Marion for you I'll do it for you Ooh I'll come in a hurricane for you...
Mythopoetic Approach: Some schools associate The Magician with Hermes, especially Hermes Trismegistus, a syncretic Egyptian/Greek figure that came from combining Hermes and Thoth, a god of the moon, knowledge, and writing. In this aspect, The Magician guides The Fool through the first step out of the cave of childhood into the sunlight of consciousness, just like Hermes guides Persephone out of the Underworld every year... He represents the potential of a new adventure, chosen or thrust upon one. A journey undertaken in daylight, in the Enlightenment Tradition. He brings things out of the darkness into the light. He explores the world in order to master it. He is solar consciousness... He's associated through the cross sums (the sum of the digits) with Key 10, The Wheel of Fortune (Tarot card), picking up on Hermes as a Trickster figure and a god of chance, and Key 19, The Sun, bringing us back to Apollo and to enlightenment.