- Personnel: Kate Bush (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, Fender Rhodes, bass); Prince (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass); Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Danny McIntosh (guitar); Paddy Bush (mandola, valiha, singing bowls, musical bow, fujare, whistles, background vocals); Nigel Kennedy (violin, viola); Justin Vali (valiha, kaboosy, background vocals); Nigel Hitchcock (tenor & baritone saxophones); Paul Spong (trumpet); Neil Sidwell (trombone); Steve Sidwell (trumpet, flugelhorn); Gaumont D'Olivera (bass, drums, percussion, programming); John Giblin (bass); Stuart Elliot (drums, percussion); Charlie Morgan (percussion); Lenny Henry, Collin Lloyd-Tucker (background vocals); Trio Bulgarka, Gary Brooker.
- Recorded at Abbey Road Studios Number One, London, England.
- Kate Bush was never the most prolific of artists; this 1993 album and its attendant singles formed her complete '90s output. Her recordings are carefully conceived, densely orchestrated, and finely tuned, and THE RED SHOES is no exception. Though spontaneity may not be her strong suit, her records are never dull or self-indulgent.
- Among Kate Bush's most relaxed recordings, THE RED SHOES features a number of guest appearances, notably Eric Clapton, Nigel Kennedy, and Jeff Beck. Highlights include the appropriately bouncy "Rubberband Girl," the double entendre-laden "Eat the Music," complete with a great horn section, and "Big Stripey Lie," an angry track shot through with distortion and some of Bush's most agonized vocals since her 1980 album NEVER FOR EVER. Also noteworthy is "Why Should I Love You?" an interesting collusion between Bush's introspective style and loose funk lite, courtesy of The Artist Hereafter Known As Prince Rodgers Nelson.
Rolling Stone (11/25/93, p.120) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...There are more hooks on THE RED SHOES than on any of [Kate Bush's] releases since THE DREAMING...while the music has settled down somewhat, Bush herself remains rambunctious, and it's a saving grace..."
Spin (12/93, p.119) - Recommended - "...Great songs lurk on THE RED SHOES....Bush still sings like a siren..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/5/93, p.70) - "...Filled with lovely, if loopy, pop songs, RED SHOES makes sense of Bush's excesses without squelching her beguiling silliness...." - Rating: B+
Q (11/93, p.115) - 3 Stars - Good - "...THE RED SHOES improves immeasurably after repeated plays over a long period of time...[it's] more musically varied than thematically..."
Melody Maker (10/30/93, p.32) - "...an utter masterpiece. It had decked me within four tracks and by the climax I was positively subterranean...."
Musician (11/93, p.86) - "...Between the theatrical arrangements and aggressively intimate vocals, Bush has clearly labored to do justice to the soul's storms..."
NME (Magazine) (12/25/93, p.67) - Ranked #45 in New Musical Express' list of `The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...when the blues really burn, she'll break your heart...."
NME (Magazine) (11/6/93, p.29) - 9 - Excellent Plus - "...a paradoxical thing. It's her most personal album to date, yet it's also her most accessible, in which the listener can identify personally with the pain she's trying to pull herself through....a truly exceptional album...."