Friday, 30 October 2009

Breathing - Kate Bush

I think it's fair to say that 'Breathing' is an early masterpiece by Kate Bush. The lyric is about a foetus, very much aware of what is going on outside the womb and frightened to be born into a world poisoned by nuclear fallout. The lyrics also refer to the foetus absorbing nicotine from the mother's smoking.

The single version is different from the album version, although only the most avid Kate Bush fans can tell the difference: it's a sound missing in the first verse, and an extra drumroll in the musical intermezzo later on in the song. (This single version was released on cd only once, on a compilation to benefit Greenpeace.)

Thanks to these avid fans we also know what is said by the scientist in this song: 'In point of fact it is possible to tell the difference between a small nuclear explosion and a large one by a very simple method. The calling card of a nuclear bomb is the blinding flash that is far more dazzling than any light on earth--brighter even than the sun itself--and it is by the duration of this flash that we are able to determine the size of the weapon. After the flash a fireball can be seen to rise, sucking up under it the debris, dust and living things around the area of the explosion, and as this ascends, it soon becomes recognisable as the familiar "mushroom cloud". As a demonstration of the flash duration test let's try and count the number of seconds for the flash emitted by a very small bomb; then a more substantial, medium-sized bomb; and finally, one of our very powerful,"high-yield" bombs.' It's rather scary.

The sleeve of the single was originally designed to be mostly black, but a white version was made as well, released in France and Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 273 (black) / no. 2050 (white)
Found: Den Haag, 1983 / November 13, 1993
Cost: 1 guilder / 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Breathing' / 'The empty bullring'

1 comment:

  1. Any chance of a re-up of Breathing/The Empty Bullring?


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