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Monday, August 11, 2014

50 Words For Kate: #16 - Rocketing

"When I was asked to be involved in this project and was given the choice of a track it was like being asked 'would you like to fulfill a dream? Would you like to be a Rocket Man?'... yes, I would."

We all have our heroes, you probably can't guess who mine is. For Kate Bush, one of the people she most admires is Elton John. It's not hard to see the attraction. As a young girl banging out songs on the piano she must felt an affinity with Elton, who was one of the few pop stars whose work centred around the keyboard. His flair as a performer must also have attracted Kate's eye.

In 1991, Elton John was celebrating his 25-years of collaboration with his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. One of the ways this was marked was a new compilation album of leading recording artists covering songs by the pair, to be called Two Rooms, an allusion to the fact that they always worked apart. Kate was approached to take part and given her choice of track. Her favourite Elton song was Rocket Man, which made that a very simple decision.

Kate has rarely covered songs by other artists, which is not that surprising given she sees herself primarily as a songwriter. She once said that if you're going to cover a song, you should try and make it different to the original. As she began working on her version of Rocket Man, the chords seemed to be pulling her into previously uncharted territory... reggae!

Here is Kate debuting her take on Rocket Man on, where else, Wogan. If you're wondering what the candle on the chair symbolises, it represents guitarist Alan Murphy, who sadly passed away not long after recording his contribution to this track.

Kate's track was chosen to be the lead single to promote Two Rooms and so she also recorded Elton's most famous song to go on the B-side. Here is Kate's haunting version of Candle In The Wind.

So Kate got to fulfill a childhood dream and became a Rocket Man. Who knows, one day she might even get to work with Elton himself...

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