Song written by Kate Bush. Originally released as the B-side of the single The Sensual World. Also included as a bonus track on the tape and CD versions of the album The Sensual World. The track was based on an old backing track, originally intended as a B-side. Kate quickly wrote the lyrics and recorded the synth overdubs and vocals in a single day, using the next day for final overdubs and mixing. It was the last track to be finished for the album, created in just over 24 hours.
In 2013, 'Walk Straight Down The Middle' appeared on the B-side of the 10" single for Running Up That Hill 2012 Remix.
Kate about 'Walk Straight Down The Middle'
It's a bit less worked on than the other tracks. It's about try not to get caught up in extremes. My mother was down the garden when the funny bits at the end were being played. She rushed in and said she'd heard some peacocks in the garden! How sweet! I can't take the song seriously now. ('Love Trust and Hitler'. Tracks (UK), November 1989)
I fancied being Captain Beefheart at that point, and it just came to me: standing out, calling for help in the middle. It just went, "BBRRRROOOOAAAAAAAAA''. It's the idea of how our fear are sometimes holding us back, and yet there's really no need to be frightened. Like 'The Fog', being scared because the water's deep, you could be drowned; but actually if you put your feet down the bottom's there and it's only waist high, so what's the problem? Just get on with it: that's what I'm trying to tell myself.
'Walk Straight Down The Middle' came together very quickly. It's about following either of two extremes, when you really want to plough this path straight down the middle. Rather than "WAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH": being thrown from one end of the spectrum to the other. I'd like to think of myself as holding the centre, whereas in fact I'm - "WAAARRRRGGGGHHHH" - taking off all the time. (Len Brown, 'In The Realm Of The Senses'. NME (UK), 7 October 1989)
Drums: Charlie Morgan
Bass: Eberhard Weber
- Graeme Thomson, Under The Ivy: The Life & Music Of Kate Bush, cop. 2012. ISBN 9781780381466.