This is a good question. It would somewhat depend on their age and sex. e.g. younger females/"The Kick Inside", males/"The Dreaming". But generally speaking. I think that "The Sensual World" would have the most commercial appeal to all ages and sexes. It has the recognizable "This Woman's Work" recently covered by Maxwell. (A friend of mine and work was surprised when I told him it was written by Kate Bush.) It is also not as esoteric as some of her other work. This project has a video of the three best songs and a short interview as well. That Video to me would be the best intro to a new prospect.
I noticed you left off "The Whole Story" which would be my second suggested buy.
I voted "Hounds Of Love". It contains one of Kate's most commercially successful songs ("Running Up That Hill") as well as the more advanced, sophisticated Kate on "The Ninth Wave" where her imagination is let loose.
"The Sensual World" as you say altruest would also be an excellent strating point. I don't, however, see why a younger female would like "TKI" whilst a male may like "TD" - do you think the songs are more appealing to each gendre?
I'll add "The Whole Story" because I completely forgot about that one! I personally don't think it gives a very good panarama view of Kate's work, although it may, perhaps, help people get into Kate who aren't so open-minded to her more experimental music!
I thought about "HOL" as well Sto', but the 'Ninth Wave' drowning fantasies may be too obscure for a new fan. I would prefer to whet their appetite first.
Also I have no empirical data on gender preference of "TKI" vs "TD" other than the response of my two daughters and the previous comments by Lori. Also "TD" is really experimental, but I hesitate to assign that trait more to males. .... I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid ;D
HOL is my vote. It has enough approachable tracks to balance off the "obscurity" of The Ninth Wave. I feel that new listeners should become aware of how daring, experimental and artistic Kate really is. The underlying meanings are universal: Family, self, religion, etc.
I would have thought "The Kick Inside' would have been your choice, because of the impact it had on you. But' who wants to be predictable, right.?
Really? What impact? I don't mean to sound mean 'cos I think maybe it does when you read this, hehe Just wondering if I've said something that I don't remember. Don't get me wrong... it's one of my fave albums
Oh right. I might've done somewhere, I'm not sure. It is one of my favourites though if not my favourite. I love it to bits but think that The Dreaming or Lionheart might be a better choice for a non-Kate fan. As I think I've said already in another topic a while back, The Kick Inside (I think) consists of very similar music. I think they're all very relaxing and very soothing and all sound like the music is on the same "wavelength". As I've already said though - I absolutely love it but I think for a beginner, The Dreaming or Lionheart maybe more appropriate because of their variation. If you's get what I mean... or have I just confused everyone?
Well, my vote here is for The Whole Story. It worked for me! I know most of you don't think it gives enough of an overview of Kate's music, but I think it does. Let's look at the track listing:
Wuthering Heights - Cloudbusting - The Man With The Child In His Eyes - Breathing - Wow - Hounds of Love - Running Up That Hill - Army Dreamers - Sat In Your Lap - Experiment IV - The Dreaming - Babooshka
It covers all the albums and some of the hits. It is both a collection of good songs for the casual listener (WH, TMWTCIHE, HOL, RUTH & E4), but introduces someone to the more unusual material (C, B, SIYL & TD). I first received it on cassette which is important because I could not just "skip" the unusual songs to get straight through to HOL or RUTH. So I listened to Breathing and Wow, and the others. I began to love them as much as the more popular hits on the album. When I loved The Whole Story all the way through, I had an established favorite on each album. I had to discover TSW and TRS on my own!
And I also realized that Kate selected, in my opinion, the most representative songs from the albums. Not exactly the best, most beautiful, most original songs, but the ones that would give the listener a taste of each album as to whet their appetite!
I still listen to my CD copy of The Whole Story regularly. It helped me to interest my husband in Kate's music (which he loves TKI and Lion now!) Sometimes I can't choose just one album to listen to, I just have to have a little of everything! But, I agree with most of you, as "a Kate album" the sound it not consistent, but I don't think it was intended to be and it could have been a little longer. Maybe it's time for a 2 disc essential Kate Bush!
So, from the poll though, I would pick HOL. But the 1997 remastered UK import with the b-sides! ;D
"It is only in uncertainty that we are naked and alive." Peter Gabriel