Though I think the Utah Saints’ treatment of this song is more exciting musically, since I posted it two days ago, I’ve been repeatedly turning to the original, “Cloudbusting,” especially to watch the video. What I really like about this song/video is the ambitiousness behind it. Although Patti Smith had ventured into the story of Peter and Wilhelm Reich a decade earlier in “Birdland” (on the album Horses), Kate Bush’s piece was much more a pop song aimed at mainstream success, which makes it even more interesting that it dealt with this subject matter. (That’s one great thing about Kate Bush: she so often bases her songs on unusual and intriguing subjects – not a common phenomenon in pop music when she reached her peak of popularity in the mid ’80s (when this came out) and probably even less common these days.)
For those who don’t know what “Cloudbusting” is about, Wikipedia sums it up nicely:
The song is a look at a special relationship between a boy and his father. It describes psychologist Wilhelm Reich’s arrest and imprisonment through the eyes of his son, Peter, who wrote his father’s story in A Book Of Dreams, published in 1973, on which the song is based. Wilhelm Reich is the inventor of the cloudbuster….
The music video, directed by Julian Doyle and conceived by Terry Gilliam and Kate Bush, features Donald Sutherland playing the father, Wilhelm, and, most famously, Bush playing the young boy, Peter.