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The Red Shoes is the seventh studio album by English musician Kate Bush. Released on 2 November 1993, it was accompanied by Bush's short film, The Line, the Cross and the Curve, and was her last album before a 12-year hiatus. The album peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), denoting shipments in excess of 300,000 copies.[8] In the United States, the album reached number 28 on the Billboard 200, her highest-peaking album on the chart to date.

The Red Shoes
Kate Bush - The Red Shoes (album).jpg
Studio album by
Released2 November 1993 (1993-11-02)
StudioAbbey Road (London)
ProducerKate Bush
Kate Bush chronology
This Woman's Work: Anthology 1978–1990
The Red Shoes
Live at Hammersmith Odeon
Singles from The Red Shoes
  1. "Rubberband Girl"
    Released: 6 September 1993
  2. "Eat the Music"
    Released: 7 September 1993
  3. "Moments of Pleasure"
    Released: 15 November 1993
  4. "The Red Shoes"
    Released: 5 April 1994
  5. "And So Is Love"
    Released: 7 November 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[2]
Q5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[7]


The Red Shoes was inspired by the 1948 film of the same name by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which itself was inspired by the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. It concerns a dancer, possessed by her art, who cannot take off the eponymous shoes and find peace.[9]

Bush had suggested she would tour in support of The Red Shoes and deliberately aimed for a "live band" feel, with less of the studio trickery that had typified her last three albums (which would be difficult to recreate on stage). However, the tour never materialised.

This was a troubled time for Bush, who had suffered a series of bereavements including the loss of her favoured guitarist, Alan Murphy, as well as her mother, Hannah, who died the year before the album's release. Bush's long-term relationship with bassist Del Palmer had also ended, although the pair continued to work together. "I've been very affected by these last two years", she remarked in late 1991. "They've been incredibly intense years for me. Maybe not on a work level, but a lot has happened to me. I feel I've learnt a lot – and, yes, I think [my next album] is going to be quite different... I hope the people that are waiting for it feel it's worth the wait."[10]

Many of the people she lost are honoured on the ballad "Moments of Pleasure", as well as director Michael Powell, with whom she had discussed working with shortly before his death in 1990. Composer and conductor Michael Kamen contributed a score for the song.

Most notably, The Red Shoes featured many more high-profile cameo appearances than her previous efforts. The track "Why Should I Love You?" featured instrumental and vocal contributions from Prince as well as guest vocals from comedian Lenny Henry. "And So Is Love" features guitar work by Eric Clapton, and Gary Brooker (from the band Procol Harum), and Jeff Beck also collaborated. Trio Bulgarka (who had contributed to The Sensual World) appeared on three songs: "You're the One", "The Song of Solomon", and "Why Should I Love You?".[9]

A short film, The Line, the Cross and the Curve, written and directed by Bush, and starring herself and English actress Miranda Richardson,[9] was released the same year. It featured six songs from the album: "Rubberband Girl", "And So Is Love", "The Red Shoes", "Moments of Pleasure", "Eat the Music" and "Lily". The first five were used as promo videos for the singles, though Bush recorded a separate video for the American release of "Rubberband Girl" (though this video is intercut with clips from The Line, the Cross and the Curve). The film was nominated for the Long Form Music Video at the 1996 Grammy Awards.

In 1995, Bush received a Brit Award nomination for Best British Female Artist.[11]

The album was recorded digitally, and Bush has since expressed regrets about the results of this, which is why she revisited seven of the songs using analogue tape for her 2011 album Director's Cut.

Bush performed "Lily" and "Top of the City" live for the first time in 2014 as part of the Before the Dawn concert residency.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Kate Bush.

Side one
1."Rubberband Girl"4:42
2."And So Is Love"4:16
3."Eat the Music"5:08
4."Moments of Pleasure"5:16
5."The Song of Solomon"4:27
Total length:29:40
Side two
7."The Red Shoes"4:00
8."Top of the City"4:14
9."Constellation of the Heart"4:46
10."Big Stripey Lie"3:32
11."Why Should I Love You?"5:00
12."You're the One"5:52
Total length:27:24




Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[28] Gold 50,000^
Japan 25,510[29]
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Platinum 300,000^
United States 298,000[30]

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The Red Shoes – Kate Bush". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (11 November 1993). "Kate Bush: The Red Shoes (Columbia)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  3. ^ Dombal, Ryan (18 January 2019). "Kate Bush: The Red Shoes". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ Segal, Victoria (February 2019). "Her Majesty". Q (394): 118–19.
  5. ^ Walls, Richard C. (25 November 1993). "Kate Bush: The Red Shoes". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
  6. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Kate Bush". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 122–23. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ a b "British album certifications – Kate Bush – Red Shoes". British Phonographic Industry. 1 December 1993. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Red Shoes in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  9. ^ a b c "Kate Bush". NNDB. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
  10. ^ BBC Radio 1 interview, 14 December 1991
  11. ^
  12. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  13. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2318". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 48. 27 November 1993. p. 14. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 26 July 2018 – via American Radio History.
  16. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  17. ^ a b c "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 105 no. 48. 27 November 1993. p. 91. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 26 July 2018 – via American Radio History.
  18. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Retrieved 26 July 2018. Select "Kate BUSH" from the drop-down menu and click "OK".
  19. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  20. ^ "レッド・シューズ/ケイト・ブッシュ" [The Red Shoes / Kate Bush]. Oricon (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  21. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  22. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  23. ^ " – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Kate Bush Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  26. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Albums of 1993". RPM. Vol. 58 no. 23. 18 December 1993. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 26 July 2018 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  27. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". chartheaven. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kate Bush – The Red Shoes". Music Canada. 15 December 1993.
  29. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  30. ^ Caulfield, Keith (22 November 2005). "Ask Billboard: Bush League". Billboard. Retrieved 9 December 2017.