About Christmas TV History

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kate Bush Christmas Special (1979)

Kate Bush during her performance of the song 'Egypt.'

I was recently asked about this BBC TV special and I thought I'd share my comments here.  Kate: Kate Bush Christmas Special is a stage performance by Kate Bush with her special guest Peter Gabriel.  Though most of the songs are not holiday ones, they come from Bush’s first three albums (Never for Ever her third album would be released in 1980 after this 1979 TV special was taped).  The performances include costumes, choreographed dances and a wind machine, creating an eclectic music TV special to say the least.

This is one of the programs that makes my research quite difficult--because it calls itself a Christmas Special yet it contains only one performance of a Christmas song "December Will Be Magic Again"  (a song that wouldn't be released as a single by Bush until the following year, in 1980).  TV programming that calls itself a Christmas Special and yet contains little to no Christmas entertainment is actually quite common--especially on the BBC.

Between the end of November and the end of December each year, there is quite a bit of special programming on television.  Remember Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special--it aired in December that year and includes only one holiday song, a performance of "Blue Christmas."  Is it considered a Christmas special?  No, not really.  And so, despite its title, the lack of holiday programming in Kate Bush's 1979 TV special means it shouldn't be considered a Christmas special either.  But the Kate Bush Christmas Special is certainly worth watching!  Check it out:

Part 1: Kate opens the show singing “Violin” a song which would eventually be released on her 1980 album Never For Ever.  Next she performs “Symphony in Blue” and “Them Heavy People.”

Part 2: Special guest Peter Gabriel performs “Here Comes the Flood” followed by Bush singing “Ran Tan Waltz” and “December Will Be Magic Again.”  Next Bush performs “The Wedding List.”

Part 3: Peter Gabriel returns to join Bush singing “Another Day,” a cover song originally written by Roy Harper.  Next, Kate Bush performs “Egypt”

Part 4 continues: Bush performs “The Man With a Child in his Eyes" and “Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbreak.”

Do you have a special TV program you like to watch each December that isn't Christmas-themed?  I know many people enjoy the movies The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music at Christmas time, even if they're not holiday-themed movies.  How about you?

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