a deal with god

Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ Gets the Stranger Things Bump

Photo: TV Times/TV Times via Getty Images

Update, June 17: Kate Bush continues to make deals with God and swap places, as “Running Up That Hill” has swapped chart positions to be the U.K.’s No. 1 single. The Guardian gives some statistical context to this feat: Bush is the oldest woman to top the chart, has had the longest gap between No. 1 singles (44 years since her previous No. 1, “Wuthering Heights”), and has surpassed Wham!’s “Last Christmas” for “the longest time a song has taken to get to No 1.” When the single hit No. 2 earlier this week, Bush updated her website with a statement: “How utterly brilliant! It’s hard to take in the speed at which this has all been happening since the release of the first part of the Stranger Things new series. So many young people who love the show, discovering the song for the first time.”

“The response to ‘Running Up That Hill’ is something that has had its own energy and volition,” Bush continued. “A direct relationship between the shows and their audience and one that has stood completely outside of the music business. We’ve all been astounded to watch the track explode!” She then thanks the listeners and the Duffer Brothers “for creating something with such heart,” which, sure!

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” reentered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 8 on June 8. It peaked at No. 30 back in 1985. It’s Bush’s first U.S. Top 10 ever, according to Deadline. And while goth gatekeepers might be sad about Kate Bush’s recent resurgence, she’s certainly not. In a statement posted on her website shortly after the news, Bush acknowledged that her song “Running Up That Hill” is “being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love” Stranger Things, which featured the song in its fourth season. “Because of this, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is charting around the world and has entered the UK chart at No. 8,” she said. “It’s all really exciting! Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the song.” She added that she herself loves the Netflix series, which will continue with a second installment of season four on July 1. “I wait with bated breath for the rest of the series in July,” Bush wrote. “Best wishes, Kate.”

Original story published May 29, 2022 follows.

Goth gatekeepers despair: Kate Bush is for normies now. The iconoclastic English singer/avant garde dance weirdo/sampling pioneer is featured prominently in Stranger Things season four, as Max (Sadie Sink)’s favorite artist. Max’s favorite song is “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” and let’s just say that comes up organically in the storytelling and leave it at that. Thanks to the song’s prominence in the show, the song topped the iTunes charts, and made several more streaming breakthroughs over the weekend. The Wrap is reporting that Bush “landed on streaming charts for the first time. It currently sits at 106 on Spotify’s Top 200, with 1,099,174 plays,” while the Stranger Things 4 album is No. 5 on the iTunes album charts.

Loving Kate Bush was hardly invented by the Duffer brothers, though. Placebo covered the song in 2003, getting an Atwood Bump when it was featured in the season-four premiere of The O.C. (No matter the version, this is apparently the only song that properly conveys the grief main characters feel when someone with blonde wavy hair dies in the season-three finale of a show.) Former Outkast Gemini Big Boi is an avowed fan, as are the hundreds of people who have gathered on various wily, windy moors to re-create her choreo for “Wuthering Heights.” The Great British Baking Show co-host Noel Fielding has also re-created the choreography for Bush’s breakout hit for Comic Relief. Ball’s in your court, Demogorgon.

Kate Bush Gets the Stranger Things (and TikTok) Bump