Just take a look at the high points, year by year …
1978: Wuthering Heights. Gothic romance distilled into four-and-a-half minutes of gaseous rhapsody, this was released as her first single at Bush’s insistence in the face of opposition from seasoned and cautious EMI executives; wilfulness vindicated by the month it spent at the top of the charts.
1979: Them Heavy People (the radio cut from the On Stage EP), which namedropped the Russian mystic Gurdjieff and Sufi whirling dervishes, a celebration of being intellectually-emotionally expanded: “it’s nearly killing me … what a lovely feeling”.
1980: Breathing, a chillingly claustrophobic sound-picture of slow death through radiation sickness after the bomb drops: “Chips of plutonium/are twinkling in every lung.” Swiftly followed by Army Dreamers: perhaps the best, certainly the most subtle of anti-war songs, inventing and rendering obsolete Let England Shake a couple of decades ahead of schedule.
1981: Sat in Your Lap. Avant-pop stampede of pounding percussion and deranged shrieks, a sister-song to Public Image Ltd’s Flowers of Romance, but lyrically about the quest for knowledge: “I want to be a scholar!”
1982: The Dreaming, Bush’s first real flop, but artistically a triumph: inspired by Australian indigenous culture and music, it’s a Fairlight fairytale that used smashed-marble for percussion sounds and prophesised a completely alternate future for sampling-based pop than what would actually transpire.
1985: Running Up That Hill, an ecstastic protest against the limits of identity and empathy, pre-empting Prince’s similarly inspired If I Was Your Girlfriend by a couple of years. Then Cloudbusting, a song/video about psychologist-turned-mystic Wilhelm Reich’s attempts to build a rain-making machine, as seen through the faithful eyes of small son Peter.