In 1972 and 1973 Kate recorded several tapes of songs. Reports vary about the amount of songs that were recorded, but there must have been dozens. 20 to 30 of these songs were presented via Kate's brother John Carder Bush's friend Ricky Hopper, first without success to record companies. Ricky Hopper then presented the songs to David Gilmour. Gilmour noticed her talent, but also the bad tape recorder quality. This led to one or more recording sessions with David Gilmour present, but with a better recorder. According to Kate: "Absolutely terrified and trembling like a leaf, I sat down and played for him."
At Gilmour's insistance, another recording session took place in the summer of 1973, at Gilmour's farm with two band members from Unicorn: drummer Peter Perrier and bassist Pat Martin, and Dave Gilmour on electric guitar. According to Gilmour, ca. 10-20 songs were recorded. This tape definitely made it to EMI Records. One of the songs recorded during this session was Passing Through Air, which ended up on the B-side of the single Army Dreamers in 1980.
Then, in June 1975, David Gilmour booked a professional studio (AIR London), brought Andrew Powell to arrange and produce the songs and hired top musicians to back Kate. They recorded The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Saxophone Song and Maybe. This tape finally was Kate's breakthrough at EMI. The first two songs from this session appeared on The Kick Inside. With the three demo songs in hand, a recording deal is much discussed between Kate, her family, Gilmour and EMI. In July 1976 it finally comes together: Kate gets £3000 from EMI Records and a further £500 to finance her for a year of personal en professional development.
During that year, Kate makes two further demo tapes. It is believed that from these dates many tracks were eventually released into the public via a radio broadcast in 1982 and various 'bootleg' singles and albums.
Listing of known demos
- Passing Through Air (The only officially released demo, from a studio session in 1973)
(Played on BBC Radio 1 in 1979 on a programme called Personal Call, with Kate present)
- Babooshka (version 2)
(Recorded some time between January and June 1980 during sessions for the album Never For Ever. They were played during a Capital radio programme called 'Small Beginnings' on 17 July 1982. Both are almost exactly 2 min. long. The first demo of "Babooshka" features Kate on piano, and she has added one backing vocal during the choruses. The second version has a percussion pattern from an early rhythm-box, and features a synthesizer and, in addition to the lead vocal, at least two over-dubbed backing vocals)
The first presentation of the demos to the public was in 1982 when local DJ John Dixon presented 22 piano demo songs on his KSTM radio station in Phoenix (USA). He had worked for EMI at the time of Kate's initial signing, and aquired the tapes then. It is not clear if all the available bootleg versions of the demos come from this source. There are several differences in the recording quality, which might indicate different sources. What follows below is a listing of the demos that were played, with the titles that were apparently read out from the tape itself, with alternative titles in brackets - the titles used on this website.
- The Kick Inside (Brother) (demo version) 3'39
- Hammer Horror (demo version) 2'41
- It Hurts Me (A Rose Growing Old)
- Stranded At The Moonbase (Keeping Me Waiting)
- Kashka From Baghdad (demo version)
- Surrender Into The Roses (Camila)
- Oh To Be In Love (demo version)
- Rinfy The Gypsy (Playing Canasta)
- On Fire Inside A Snowball (Snow)
- Dali (Ferry Me Over)
- Where Are The Lionhearts (On the Rocks)
- Violin (demo version)
- The Craft Of Love
- The Gay Farewell (Queen Eddie)
- Something Like A Song
- Frightened Eyes
- Disbelieving Angel
- Nevertheless, You'll Do
- Come Closer To Me Babe (Goodnight Baby)
- So Soft (To Be With You)
- The Rare Flower (I Don't See Why I Shouldn't)
- While Davy Dozed
In addition to these, more titles were included in the withdrawn LP The Early Years:
- You Were The Star
- Cussi Cussi
- Go Now While You Can
- Organic Acid appeared in the public domain thanks to the unofficial EP Cathy Demos Volume Five.
In May 1989, Theo Haast reports about six demos for The Kick Inside album in the May 1989 issue of the Kate Bush fanzine 'Kate'. They are:
- Don't Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake
- L'amour Looks Something Like You
- Strange Phenomena
- Scares Me Silly
In more recent years, demo versions of the following songs were leaked on the internet:
- KIdnapped On A Building Site
- Blow Away
- The Wedding List
- Sat In Your Lap
- Leave It Open
- Why Should I Love You
The demos have been released on various (unofficial) EP's and albums. Here's a listing of them:
- Cathy Demos Volume One
- Cathy Demos Volume Two
- Cathy Demos Volume Three
- Cathy Demos Volume Four
- Cathy Demos Volume Five
- Wieland Wilker, Early Kate Bush: The History Of The Demos. Gaffa.org website, last updated 7 July 1996. Retrieved 22 January 2016.