I haven't seen a thread about the wonderful Kate Bush here, so I decided I'd start one. For a while, I've considered U2 my favorite artist, but over the past 6 months-a year, I've really started to reconsider that, reason being how much I can't stop listening to Kate. I really don't think she has had a misstep in her discography, and to take it one step further, she doesn't have an album I wouldn't consider to be great (even Lionheart and The Red Shoes are terrific listens). I'm not even sure she has a single song on her albums that I don't like at least a little bit.
Anyway as far as a ranking would go, my top 5 albums would be:
1. Hounds of Love: Shocker, right? This one is jockeying with The Joshua Tree as my favorite ever. "Cloudbusting" is so fantastic, but the 9th Wave kicks in and you're transported to another dimension. So original and mesmerizing. Her crowning achievement!
2. The Dreaming: BANG! GOES ANOTHER KANGA! This is such a powerful album. One of the most creative records I've ever heard. It holds a spot in my top 5 ever, and separates Kate Bush as the only artist I consider to have two 10/10 albums.
3. Aerial: Side 1 is great in its own right, with tracks like "Pi" and "A Coral Room" showing that she hadn't missed a step, but Side 2 is something else. It flows so magnificently and the final 15 minutes are incredible. A shocking album upon first listen.
4. The Sensual World: Impossible to follow up a record like Hounds of Love (though, I probably would have said that about The Dreaming in '82 if I were alive), but her 1989 release is a really strong effort. The first 6 tracks are all great, and the next 3 are all good before closing with one of her classics. "The Fog" is probably my favorite one the album.
5. The Kick Inside: This is an album where Kate really wears her inspirations on her sleeve, but she does have her own spin on it which keeps it fresh. It doesn't reach the highs of the albums above, but the only track that I don't find great (but still think is good in its own right) would be "Feel It". Such an impressive album considering how young she was.
HM: Before the Dawn: I was a bit worried that some of the theatrical elements of the show would get lost in the purely audio format, but this really feels like a proper release of the concert. Take 3 of the best songs from HOL, toss in the 9th Wave, and "An Endless Sky of Honey", and I'm sold.