Kate Bush has discussed the meaning of her hit track Running Up That Hill amid its stratospheric success off the back of Stranger Things Season 4.
Stranger Things has always interrupted the status quo of pop culture. One could argue its first season back in 2016 paved the way for our obsession with ’80s aesthetics, music, movies, and generally speaking, nostalgia. Each and every season has sparked interest in particular tracks, films, and fashion trends.
However, the impact Season 4 has had on Kate Bush and all of our playlists is unprecedented. Since dropping on Netflix in late May, Running Up That Hill made an immediate splash on people’s streaming platforms; in just three weeks, it’s racked up more than 137 million streams on Spotify alone.
It’s since reached number one on the UK’s Official Singles Chart, beating its own record after reaching number three upon release in 1985. As of last week when it claimed the top spot, it’s amassing 700,000 plays every day on Spotify.
Kate Bush explains meaning behind Running Up That Hill after Stranger Things scene
The ’80s anthem has seen a huge resurgence after it was used in a pivotal scene during Season 4 Volume 1: as Max is about to be brutally murdered by Vecna, her friends pull her out of the trance by playing her favorite song – Running Up That Hill – and she makes a nail-biting, tear-jerking run for it.
While Bush has released a few statements in response to the track’s sudden popularity, she’s now spoken at length about the song in a rare interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
Discussing the song’s meaning, Bush said: “I really like people to hear a song and take from it what they want. But originally [Running Up That Hill] was written as the idea of a man and a woman swapping with each other. Just to feel what it was like, from the other side.
“It was called A Deal With God. I think they were just worried, the record company, that it wouldn’t get played on the radio. That people would feel it was a sensitive title.”
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Kate Bush responds to Running Up That Hill Stranger Things success
During the interview, Bush admitted to thinking that the song might get some extra attention, given how “great” Stranger Things is. “But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this,” she said.
“It’s so exciting. But it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”
Exclusive: Kate Bush reacts to her chart-topping success with #RunningUpThatHill.@KateBushMusic joined @emmabarnett to react to getting to Number One, after it was featured in @Netflix’s #StrangerThings. Listen to the full interview here: https://t.co/5Y8OOvJpTY pic.twitter.com/gJESC6DblB
— BBC Woman's Hour (@BBCWomansHour) June 22, 2022
Bush also said it’s an “incredibly exciting time we’re in now” for music in terms of technology and the ease of discovering new music, and praised the Duffer Brothers for using the song in “such a positive way.”
“I think they’ve put it in a really special place. I mean, the Duffer Brothers created the series and, actually, we watched it from the first season onwards, so I was already familiar with the series,” she continued.
“And I thought what a lovely way for the song to be used in such a positive way – you know, as a kind of Talisman, almost, for Max. And yeah, I think it’s very touching, actually.”
Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 hits Netflix on July 1.