Destination Jam: Top 5 songs by British rockers Bush to celebrate release of 'The Kingdom' album
Need something to keep you entertained while at work or play? Our daily Destination Jam playlist has been fine-tuned with some great Bush selections!
Hey there, music lovers, welcome to another daily music playlist. On July 17, the Grammy-nominated British grunge gods Bush gifted us their eighth studio album, 'The Kingdom', which comes after its original May release date was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now that's it's finally here, fans can finally revel in some old-school rock tunes once again, courtesy of the iconic singer/guitarist Gavin Rossdale, lead guitarist Chris Traynor, bassist Corey Britz, and drummer Nik Hughes. The multi-platinum-selling Bush are one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the '90s, having already sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Their debut album 'Sixteen Stone' (1994) sold in excess of six million copies and included multiple No. 1 Billboard hits. Their followup album 'Razorblade Suitcase' (1996) also charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, a remarkable feat for a rock band based in London. Although Bush broke up in 2002, they later reunited in 2010, and have now released four albums in the last 10 years. So in celebration of these raspy and angsty rockers' latest album 'The Kingdom', let's take a look at some Bush hits from their celebrated discography.
Destination Jam - Bush Edition
This was Bush's first massive hit, introducing the world to Gavin Rossdale's golden sandpapery voice and the Nirvana-like grungey melodies of the band. It was released as the fourth single in 1995 from their mega-popular debut album 'Sixteen Stone', and later peaked at No.1 on the US Alternative Songs chart. The band's frontman Gavin Rossdale wrote this song for his girlfriend at the time, model Jasmine Lewis, while sitting in his London flat (he was also famously married to the singer Gwen Stefani later on). Remarking on the ancient, mystical vibe of the song, Rossdale remarked, "I was like a conduit. Something about it was bigger than anything we were doing." The song's title seemingly refers to how love was an explosive affair, since glycerine is one of the chemicals used in the manufacture of nitroglycerin, an explosive liquid commonly found in dynamite.
Another signature Bush track, this grungey number was released as the third single from their debut album in 1995. It proved to be a massive hit on arrival, eventually peaking at No.1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and No.2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart that year. Both this track and another popular Bush song, 'Machine Head' were later included on the soundtrack of the 1996 film 'Fear', starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. Writing about his love interests seems to be a recurring theme for Gavin Rossdale, since he admitted he wrote this song for an ex-girlfriend. He revealed, "It was written in the context of half regret, half celebration and just being objective about the situation of coming down from that high and dealing with those intense emotions." He later added in an interview from 2017, "I liked the idea of euphoria. But having that euphoria has a comedown."
One of Bush's all-time popular tracks, the super-hooky 'Swallowed' was released as the lead single from Bush's 1996 album, 'Razorblade Suitcase', which debuted at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The song proved to be one of Bush's biggest hits, considering it topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for a full seven weeks, and even peaked at No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart. One of the compelling lyrics from the song, "I'm with everyone and yet not" seems to allude to Rossdale's struggles with his growing popularity. He later revealed, "That was just after we’d had loads of success with the first record," and admitted Bush's lucky rise to fame left him rather unprepared for celebrity life - "I was not used to being successful – and there’s something about being swept up [or swallowed] in that success that’s daunting and really overwhelming... it wasn’t a complaint, it was just an observation."
Moving on to more recent Bush offerings, 'Bullet Holes' is a cinematic masterpiece from the British grunge gurus, which was released as the lead single from their 2020 album, 'The Kingdom'. Although the album just released this month, fans got to preview the pulsating, bass-heavy song much earlier, when it was featured on the OST for the 2019 film 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum', starring Keanu Reeves. Some of the interesting lyrics include: "Sweat stain in my blue suede shoes [an Elvis Presley reference] / Race wars, Star Wars, planet wars, mind wars / Tryna find ways to get to you." It turns out that Rossdale had been writing the song with the composer Tyler Bates, but since Bates was also working on the 'John Wick 3' score, they felt this song was a perfect addition to the soundtrack. As Rossdale himself explained, "The words that I wrote just really fit with the whole symphony thing, and bullet holes, obviously."
As the title track of Bush's latest album which released on July 17, 2020, 'The Kingdom' packs quite a punch. It's still full of old-school grunge meets nu-metal goodness, with its rumbling bass and crunchy Hey Man, Nice Shot-like guitar riffs, while Gavin Rossdale's trademark glorious vocals haven't lost any of their grit and power. The cutting lyrics, which were co-written with the 'John Wick 3' OST composer Tyler Bates, are rousing and quite pointed as well. Some lines seem remarkably appropriate for our coronavirus-addled times, with exhortations like "See how you deal when the fire is waking / Stand up / Solution is better than any of your problems / Think strong / Oppression lives in the mind of a person." The radio-friendly chorus also includes lyrics like "People just soldier on (Just save the kingdom)" while the bridge contains the poignant and stand-out line, "Only in the silence can we see who we are." It's great to see that Bush are still the masters of their domain! You can stream the band's new album 'The Kingdom' by clicking here.
Destination Jam is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained and grooving up top in lieu of feeling drained and losing the plot. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!