The music of Kate Bush has always been intricately linked with television and cinema. Throughout her illustrious career, Bush has proven time and again that many of her sensibilities are inspired by iconic cinematic masterpieces that have influenced many great artists before her and even those who have emerged since.
Bush has made extensive references to cinematic classics on multiple occasions while making music. Although references to gems such as William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights are very evident, Bush has also been influenced by other wildly popular films like The Godfather as well as world cinema classics like Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha.
The genre elements that are immediately associated with cinema can be found in Bush’s music which contains frameworks of horror and comedy both. Many commentators have noted that the combination of those two genres creates dark humour that pervades her work, creating a brand of musical surrealism.
In many interviews, Bush has confessed her love for comedy and claimed that both comedy and music are indispensable to the human condition as well as the English experience. Among her favourite comedic filmmakers, Bush has held the filmography of Woody Allen in high esteem and has cited him as a chief source of inspiration.
“I love comedy,” Bush said. “I like to think that there’s a sense of humour in some of my music—obviously not all of it. But I think comedy and music are both things that we need as human beings. I think that both art forms can touch people. Comedy is a very big part of the English culture, the sense of humour; it’s a very dominant trait.”
Even in the selection of her favourite TV shows of all time, Bush preferred comedy and named Fawlty Towers her favourite television production. “I love all kinds of stuff. I still think Fawlty Towers is the best sitcom ever,” she declared while also naming Monty Python and The Young Ones in her top picks.
Fawlty Towers has definitely influenced a lot of artists who have enjoyed its comedic mastery, including John Lennon, who described the show as “the greatest show I’ve seen in years… What a masterpiece! A beautiful thing.” Even after all these years, few sitcoms have managed to surpass the achievements of Fawlty Towers as it still towers over the rest.