The Sensual World was the first single from KaTe Bush's 1989 album of the same name -- her first record since 1985's monumental and definitive Hounds of Love. So it came as no surprise that the denizens of Love-Hounds -- the KaTe Bush mailing list -- were anticipating its release with baited breath.
The earliest reports of hearing the song the radio surfaced on the mailing list early in September 1989 and once the single was released, the fun really began. If you want to read all the reactions and discussion that were posted to the mailing list, please refer to this section of Wieland Wilker's Dreaming -- a best-of collection of posts to Love-Hounds -- which can be found at Gaffaweb. Suffice to say that there was buzz a-plenty.
It quickly became clear that the song was inspired by James Joyce's Ulysses, as evidenced by the references to seedcake and the strange similarities between the lyrics of the song and Molly Bloom's soliloquy. As the discussion continued, though, everyone soon realized that the song's original lyrics were, in fact, Molly's soliloquy! As it turns out, KaTe had contacted the Joyce estate for permission to use the text and was refused, so she rewrote the lyrics to the song.
Fortunately, the original version of the song was "recovered" by some dedicated Love-Hounds. Taking the instrumental version of the song, which was released as a b-side of the single, Jon Drukman recorded the vocals of Jenn Turney. He circulated this song, along with some of his remixes of other songs from the album on a cassette he called KaTe Rape.
Since I seem to be one of the few people who actually has a copy of this tape, I've turned the song into a mp3 so everyone else can hear it. To listen, download the mp3 file and play it with your favorite mp3 player. (If you don't have a mp3 player, please refer to the list of players at mp3.com for more information.)
The Sensual World (Original) (3.6 meg)
If you have any problems with this file, please e-mail me.
And if your name is Jon Drukman or Jenn Turney, please let me know if you'd rather not have this page on the web.