31 August 2013

The Eighth Doctor

The Eighth Doctor made his debut in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, the first time the Doctor had been on our screens (apart from re-runs) since 1989. At the helm was Sylvester McCoy, who regenerated into Paul McGann in an early scene. 

Intended as a pilot movie by the Fox Network in the States, the movie didn't draw enough Nielsen ratings to warrant a TV series. However, it was well received in the rest of the world, with the Eighth Doctor's adventures featured in novels, comic strips, and audio plays from Big Finish Productions. 

McGann's Doctor encouraged those around him - he enjoyed giving people a hint of their own futures, perhaps steering them  into making the right decisions. The audio plays (voiced by McGann) built upon his sole screen appearance, although indicating a much darker personality. He also seems to be very forgetful - perhaps inspired by the plot of his television appearance.

The audio plays and books continued to develop the character until the TV series was successfully revived in 2005 - when Christopher Ecclestone took over the role as the Doctor...

28 August 2013

Living A Changed Life

The passages of scripture that I have read over this summer about Jesus' life and teachings continue to challenge me, making me feel decidedly uneasy on occasions. And that, I understand, is a good thing... because there's so much He has to teach me about living life... differently. There's always something new to learn.

In fact, He has so much to teach each of us... if you have ears to hear...

So, after my summer break, it's time to focus once again on leaving my own personal comfort zone - setting out on hitting some of my goals for the future. Picking myself up from the failures of the past (and there's been quite a few in recent weeks) and trying again. Because, next time, the results may be different...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ― Winston Churchill

"Instead of doing nothing because I’m overwhelmed, today I will do something, even if it’s small, because it will be one step closer to my goal." - Anon

26 August 2013

Z is for WaltZ

'Ran Tan Waltz' tells the story of a mother who shamelessly neglects her child in favour of 'riotous living'. The song was released as the B-side of Kate's 'Babooshka' single in 1980.

25 August 2013

Y is for You're The One

'You're The One' was featured on Kate's album 'The Red Shoes' which was released in 1993. It's about one of those relationships where you can't live with them... and can't live without them...

24 August 2013

X is for Christmas...

... so here's a Christmas record from Kate.

'December Will Be Magic Again' was released as a single in 1980.

23 August 2013

W is for Wuthering Heights

Kate's first hit single 'Wuthering Heights' was based on the story of Cathy and Heathcliffe that was originally penned by Emily Bronte. She was originally inspired by a television adaptation, and went on to read the novel to "get the research right" before finishing the song.

It featured on Kate's debut album, 'The Kick Inside', which was released in 1978.

22 August 2013

V is for Violin

A rock song in tribute to the stringed instrument, used throughout the ages in a variety of musical styles.  From 'Never For Ever'.

21 August 2013

U is for Under The Ivy

'Under the Ivy' can be found on the B-side of the single to 'Running Up That Hill'. It's a terrific song, describing exactly the need for introverts (like myself) to find that quiet place away from the 'party'.

And the hope that - one day - that special place can be shared with another...

20 August 2013

T is for There Goes A Tenner

This song tells the tale of a group of some small-time crooks who are gearing themselves up for that one big heist. When the time comes, fear overwhelms them and their bottle goes. And it all goes wrong....

Taken from 'The Dreaming', 1982

19 August 2013

S is for Strange Phenomena

'Strange Phenomena' is a haunting song that explores unusual coincidences, premonition, and déjà vu. And this marks one of the starting places in my own spiritual path - one that eventually led me to faith...

The song was featured on 'The Kick Inside', released in 1978.

18 August 2013

R is for Running Up That Hill

Originally titled 'A Deal with God', representatives at EMI were reportedly hesitant to release a song with that title. But that is essentially what it is... because we would get such a better point of view if men and women could swap roles for a while... if, through divine intervention, the soldier's wife could truly swap places with the soldier, and be 'Running Up That Hill'...

The original version was released as part of the 'Hounds of Love' album in 1984 and as a single in 1985. A new 2012 remix was released, premiering during the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. 

17 August 2013

Q is for Quite tricky...

...because to my knowledge Kate hasn't written a song starting with Q. Yet.

So instead I give you 'Delius (Song of Summer)'. Featured on 'Never For Ever', it was inspired by the life of composer Frederick Delius and his relationship with Eric Fenby.

16 August 2013

P is for People

'Them Heavy People' explores the worlds of spirituality and therapy, with a desire to learn as much as possible about your own motivations and about your God, while still young enough to do something about it.

A track from 'The Kick Inside', released in 1978.

15 August 2013

O is for Oh England My Lionheart

The album 'Lionheart' (1978) takes its title from this track, 'Oh, England, My Lionheart', which illustrates the memories of a Second World War pilot after his plane is shot down. The full is full of particularly English imagery!

14 August 2013

N is for Night-Scented Stock

A beautiful 51 second track from Kate's 'Never For Ever' album. It's an instrumental, showing yet another aspect to her songwriting.

13 August 2013

M is for The Man...

Kate wrote 'The Man With The Child In His Eyes' when she was 13 - and recorded it at 16. It was her second UK chart single, reaching number six in the summer of 1978. 

12 August 2013

L is for Lap

'Sat In Your Lap' is a song about man's eternal search for wisdom, for knowledge, for satisfaction, for success. So elusive... 

It was released as a single in 1981, and was included in Kate's album 'The Dreaming' in 1982.

A particular favourite of mine.

11 August 2013

K is for The Kick Inside

The title track for Kate's debut album in 1978. 'The Kick Inside' is a really beautiful song - however on closer examination it contains some remarkably taboo subject matter (incest and suicide). It's one of the first to show the influence of Kate's folk music background - it's inspired by 'The Ballad of Lizie Wan'. 

10 August 2013

J is for James And The Cold Gun

Another track from Kate's first album 'The Kick Inside'. This is a rock song about the problems of pursuing life as a man on the run. She would later perform a superb version of the song live on stage (it's worth catching!).

Incidentally, EMI originally wanted 'James and the Cold Gun' to be Kate's debut single, but she insisted that it should be 'Wuthering Heights'. Even at this early stage of her career, she had already gained a reputation for having her own say in how her work would be marketed.

Good for her.

9 August 2013

I is for In Search Of Peter Pan

A tribute to J.M. Barrie's most famous character now. 'In Search Of Peter Pan' was written and composed by Kate, however the song also incorporates a portion from 'When You Wish Upon a Star' (lyrics by Ned Washington and music by Leigh Harline). 

This featured on her second album 'Lionheart' (1978).

8 August 2013

H is for How To Be Invisible

'How To Be Invisible' reveals one of the great secrets of life - how not to be seen. You see, despite what modern day society teaches us, the best things of life are not to be found through fame - it's in quietly going about your life, making a difference behind the scenes. Often, one person at a time. It's in being invisible that the real truth can often be found.

The chorus reveals other people that are invisible to society - though many of these are invisible because society chooses not to see them.  People with disabilities; the disenfranchised; the nerds and geeks; the wallflowers of this world.

A terrific track from Kate's album 'Aerial' (2005).

7 August 2013

G is for Gaffa

'Suspended in Gaffa' is inspired by Kate's Roman Catholic education. The song tells about seeing something (God in this case), then not being able to see or experience it ever again. You try to get to that point, working harder and harder in the hope that, perhaps one day, when you're ready, you'll enter that different level of existence, where everything goes 'slow-mo'... "Can I have it all now?"

The title of the song is a reference to Gaffa Tape - thick, industrial tape, used for taping down leads in concerts. Thus, Suspended in Gaffa is about being trapped in a kind of web. Held back...

Taken from Kate's album 'The Dreaming' (1982)

6 August 2013

F is for Feel It

Kate is not afraid to write songs about sensitive topics - take for example 'Feel It', which speaks about the deepest feelings in someone's first relationship. From Kate's first album 'the Kick Inside' (1978).

5 August 2013

E is for Experiment IV

Released as a single in 1986, 'Experiment IV' has a science-fiction theme! A secret military plan is hatched to create a sound that is horrific enough to kill people at a distance. As you might imagine, it goes horribly wrong... 

4 August 2013

D is for The Dreaming

'The Dreaming' is the title track from Kate's fourth album, released in 1982. Featuring Rolf Harris on didgeridoo and impersonator Percy Edwards providing bird and animal calls, it's a song about Australian aborigines and the destruction of their homelands for profit.

3 August 2013

C is for Cloudbusting

'Cloudbusting' is the story of psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich, as revealed through a book written by his son. Peter Reich's 1973 biography entitled 'A Book of Dreams' was picked up by Kate and used as the basis for this song. The song is written through the eyes of the young Peter, looking at his father and their relationship. And his father had a machine that could make it rain....

This was the second single released from 'Hounds of Love' (1985). 

2 August 2013

B is for Breathing

'Breathing' is a timely piece of social commentary. Sung from the point of view of an unborn child, it speaks of the embryo struggling to survive despite the effects from outside the womb. This world outside includes nuclear fallout and nicotine from the mother's smoking. 

From Kate's 'Never For Ever' album (1980).

1 August 2013

A is for All We Ever Look For

'All We Ever Look For' was featured on Kate's third album 'Never For Ever' (1980). The song examines family relationships, and the differences and similarities between the generations. We want our children to have all the things we wanted when we were growing up, but couldn't have for one reason or another. We don't want them to lose out...