Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Kate Bush

Compared to some of the acts that have been denied entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, like Chicago [1] and ELO [2] and Frank Sinatra [3], Kate Bush may appear to be an unusual choice for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame if one looks at hit albums and singles alone. To lay it out, in the United States, she has had one top 40 hit (Running Up That Hill) and one gold album (The Sensual World) [4]. More successful in the United Kingdom, she has had a couple of multi-platinum albums there, along with seven platinum albums, an additional two gold albums, as well as seven top ten singles. Nevertheless, we ought to concede at the outset that Kate Bush’s case for induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame does not rest on her hit singles or hit albums alone, even if her body of work had at least some popularity in the United Kingdom and very modest popularity in the United States.

Kate Bush’s Contribution

What is it about this woman’s work that merits inclusion in the very exclusive Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Part of the influence of Kate Bush is direct, including the fact that her songs like “Wuthering Heights [5]” have been covered by numerous artists, and the band Talk Talk was inspired by her single “Running Up That Hill” [6] [7]. That direct influence on other acts is combined with her prominent collaborations in “Games Without Frontiers [8]” and “Don’t Give Up” with fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame worthy Peter Gabriel [9] (already inducted for his work with Genesis) to make her body of work a very worthy one in terms of its creativity. What is perhaps more important, though, is the pivotal role in creative control, from songwriting to producing to control of image and musical direction, showing Kate Bush as an important artist and singer-songwriter rather than just a pretty face and a sexy body. Her fight for respect within the music industry, starting in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, was an important precursor both to artists like Janet Jackson who exploited videos for their own popularity [10] as well as the singer-songwriters of the Lilith Fair period like Jewel and Sarah McLachlan, whose popularity was in many ways spearheaded by the trail-blazing efforts of Kate Bush. For her body of work as well as her approach to her work, Kate Bush is worthy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction despite modest sales and a relative paucity of popular singles.

Why Kate Bush Is A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

When one looks at the artists who have been inspired by Kate Bush, rather irreverently and impolitely commented on [11] by some, one can easily see the debt of gratitude that many female artists, whether they are girls with a piano or girls with a guitar or experimental dance artists. Regardless of her own level of success, the fact that she blazed a trail for female artists in confessional ways (as opposed to the Brill Building traditions that had come before her) makes her a worthy choice for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an artist with immense critical success and lasting influence, and a way to reward those who chosen groundbreaking and experimental work rather than merely trod on the beaten path. Although there are many artists worthy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction who have yet to receive it, Kate Bush is not a particularly difficult choice to make in light of her career, influence on other artists, and her critical appeal.

Why Kate Bush Isn’t In The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

It would appear that Kate Bush’s absence from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is largely due to her very modest success in the United States. It has simply been very difficult for bands or artists with little success in the United States to be taken seriously by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This is a good place to start in rectifying that imbalance, which ought to allow some space for other massively influential but non-American acts to find a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, especially as coming years will provide even more worthy acts who have followed along the trail paved by artists like Kate Bush.

Verdict: Put her in, even if it takes a couple of years to clear the backlog of already worthy acts with more hit success.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-chicago/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-elo-jeff-lynne-traveling-wilburys/

[3] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-frank-sinatra/

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Bush_discography

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuthering_Heights_%28song%29

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life%27s_What_You_Make_It_%28Talk_Talk_song%29

[7] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/lifes-what-you-make-it/

[8] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/games-without-frontiers/

[9] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/solsbury-hill/

[10] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-janet-jackson/

[11] http://www.last.fm/group/Everybody+rips+off+of+Kate+Bush

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Kate Bush

  1. Carl Contino says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, and I’m an American.

  2. Mike says:

    Kate Bush should definitely be considered!

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