Best Songs on Kate Bush's Before the Dawn

theOpinionatedOne
This was one hell of a behemoth to listen to and process before making this list. In fact I listened to it in parts separately, and then again briefly to check myself. Then I briefly went back over the whole album to make sure the order was accurate to how I feel before making this list.

The listening and commentary process for this took over a week! But it sooo worth every minute of it. I highly recommend it (and all of Kate Bush's music) to anyone. Listen with an open mind and open heart.

The Top Ten

1 Running Up That Hill

This song is the definition of timeless. It was performed in the same key and extended form as the 2012 remix, but the way the instruments sound live is just trance inducing, to put it frankly. Kate's voice retains the original conviction when singing it and the reaction of the crowd at the introduction of the drums...it's just an incredible, timeless piece of music. That's all there is to it. - theOpinionatedOne

2 Somewhere in Between

I liked this song on Aerial, but where "Nocturn" knocked me out on the studio album, "Somewhere in Between" surpassed it in a live setting. The song's euphoric energy is felt by the listener more so here than in studio. This song, "The Morning Fog", "Waking the Witch", "Prologue" and "Lily" are the ones I'd be most inclined to download from the album as they truly improve from their studio counterparts. - theOpinionatedOne

3 Cloudbusting

Oh, "Cloudbusting." What an absolute piece of art! It was well chosen as the evening's closing number. The string and drum laden song evokes all the feels it did on Hounds of Love and then some. Kate's voice is noticeably "different" but unlike other songs, this was performed in the original key and sounded no less stunning. A testament to Kate's comfort singing, her voice sounded just as strong by this song as it did on the opening number, "Lily." - theOpinionatedOne

4 And Dream of Sheep

Seeing as how this song had a pre-recorded video which served as the performance, it made sense to use it ad the official single from the album. The video is stunning in its simplicity. To see the visual that listeners formed upon hearing this song from Hounds of Love finally be brought to life is a real treat for KT fans. And the dedication she put into this show is evident through this prerecorded footage she used as an interlude. - theOpinionatedOne

5 The Morning Fog

"The Morning Fog" is such a beautiful song to begin with but on an album as perfect as Hounds of Love, it's very easy to overlook. Not the case when performed live. When performing this song, the closing number of The Ninth Wave suite, Kate softened the band's instrumentation to put greater emphasis on the vocals. As she sings, she is joined by the other "cast members" of the show singing backup. It is performed in extended form, incorporating the chant section of "Cloudbusting" in the the middle of the song. The most joyful moment comes when Kate proudly adds the line "I tell my son" to the original lyrics. The cheers and thank yous at the end go to show the mutual appreciation of performer and fans. - theOpinionatedOne

6 King of the Mountain

As the closing song of Act 1, this was given a grandiose performance with an extended instrumental opening and close. Kate's voice sounds noticeably clearer singing this live than the stylized Elvis voice she emulated on the studio version. All the energy and power is there and as I have so far, I shall continue to praise the band's playing. Simply outstanding musicianship! - theOpinionatedOne

7 Waking the Witch

"Waking the Witch" was one of the lowest songs for me from Hounds of Love but this performance, as I keep saying, brought the song to life where it was just a song before. It starts out slowly like the studio version, BUT WHEN THAT MUSIC DROPS...SO DOES YOUR JAW! Even metalheads would enjoy this performance, it's a heavy one. - theOpinionatedOne

8 Never Be Mine

This was quite interesting. There is audience applause, but the audio heard is only a rehearsal performance where no audience was present. Anywho, the change in key on this particular song COMPLETELY changes the mood of the original. The version on The Sensual World (I haven't listened to Director's Cut) sounds subdued and moody while this performance is more of a torchy number. It's really unfortunate that it didn't make the show's setlist. - theOpinionatedOne

9 Prologue

The 10+ minute performance of "Prologue" is the show's most transformative moment. On Aerial, it's like listening to 4 and a half minutes of buildup for a minute or so of payoff. Not the case here. It's more evenly balanced; 6 minutes of buildup for an extended period of payoff. The elaboration on the original melody is really a treat. It's understandable why "Prologue" was chosen as the first promotional single. - theOpinionatedOne

10 Lily

Gotta say, Hounds of Love is my favorite album EVER...but this rendition blew me away, mostly b/c it's the first song and it was just so exciting to hear KB after all these years (and after all the jealousy of everyone I know from the UK going to see her). Absolutely sublime - Erucu

The Contenders

11 Sunset

I overlooked this song when I listened to Aerial the first few times. It's sparse and then suddenly changes. But in the live setting, it sounds slightly more cohesive to me; like there's a more steady beat throughout that connects it better. And where the change from spacey synth mode to frenetic acoustic mode is even more noticeable here, hearing the joyous reaction of the audience makes it flow more smoothly in my ears. That sounds weird, I know but you'd have to hear it for yourself. - theOpinionatedOne

12 Among Angels V 1 Comment
13 Jig of Life
14 Joanni
15 An Architect's Dream
16 Nocturn
17 Watching You Without Me
18 Under Ice
19 Aerial
20 Tawny Moon
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