This is an astonishing album. There is so much going on beneath the surface that it will draw you in before you're even aware of it. From everything that is going on musically to the density of the lyrics, Kate Bush gives you a ton to digest on just two sides of a record. The first side produced four singles, starting with the timeless "Running Up That Hill," and the B side a concept album about a person drifting alone in the sea at night. If you just take "Running Up That Hill" on its own you've got more than enough to consume. The song itself is beautifully composed, starting with the opening synth pad and tom tom pattern. As it builds Bush tackles the idea that men and women will never be able to understand each other unless they can find some way to switch roles. She piles on the layers of sounds until the song reaches its pinnacle. That's followed by the title tracks equation of falling in love with being chased by dogs. What really blows me away though, is "Cloudbusting," which takes on the close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter. The subject matter is compelling enough that you want to find out the more about Reich's life. And then the music just works so perfectly. Once you make to the second side of the album you're in an entirely different world. Bush's production is altogether more broad and experimental. Somehow it all comes together alluringly, leaving you with a sense of sadness and calm. Hounds Of Love is one of the great albums to come out of the 1980s.
- 180 gram purple marbled vinyl pressing
- remastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman
- music label: EMI 1985 / Audio Fidelity 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 04/2015