Album cover artwork for Kate Bush with black vinyl record popping outIn ‘What’s the Story’, we look back at the stories behind some of our favourite album covers. This month it’s Kate Bush’s gorgeous art for Hounds of Love (1985), shot by her very own brother.

“It looked like an illustration from Dulac’s Arabian Nights,” remembers John Carder Bush – photographer and constant collaborator of his sister, Kate Bush – of the moment he knew he’d snapped his fairytale shot for the musician’s fifth album, Hounds of Love.

After many experiments, bro and sis had rejected an in-situ environmental background – such as forests or mountains – for the design: “The cover had to have a strong, full image of Kate, as it was the first [in] three years,” says John, “and landscapes, however beautiful, tend to dwarf people.”

The dogs were amateur models and good friends of the Bushes named Bonnie and Clyde, who initially “use[d] Kate as a launching ramp for their leaps and cavorting.” John had to “have a serious talk” with the pair, who apparently agreed to calm down after they were each promised a McDonald’s milkshake and apple pie at the conclusion of the shoot.

The pooches finally settled into Kate’s arms and fell asleep amongst the silk, allowing John to capture his dreamy cover image.

Read the entire extended story, written by John for a Kate Bush Fanclub newsletter in 1990, right here.

Read our Album Tales feature dive into Hounds of Love here.