Kate Bush Fans Are Mad About 'Stranger Things' Placement
by Hedy Phillips
01 June 2022
Kate Bush’s 1985 single “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” is resonating with a whole new generation decades after its release, thanks to its mega feature in the new season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Its prominent placement at a crucial moment in the show drove viewers to not just look up the song, but stream it an incredible amount of times since last Friday.
According to Billboard, “Running Up That Hill” saw an 8,700% percent increase in streams on Spotify as of May 30, compared to May 26, the day before Stranger Things landed on Netflix. The US streams alone were up 9,900% on Spotify. The song is currently sitting atop the Spotify Top 50 playlist in the US, dethroning Harry Styles’ “As It Was.”
The song, which can be found on Bush’s Hounds of Love album, plays a pivotal role in Stranger Things. In this season, Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) is the main baddie who basically takes over people’s minds before killing them. As he’s taking over Max (Sadie Sink), the rest of the Hawkins crew realizes that music has the power to break the curse. The only thing that can save Max is to play her favorite song to block Vecna’s curse and bring her out of the trance. Naturally, Max’s favorite song is “Running Up That Hill.”
“More than ever, Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon that resonates with fans all over the world,” Alexandra Patsavas, Netflix’s director of music/ creative production for series, said in a statement, according to Billboard. “We are thrilled to see fans connect so enthusiastically with such a key part of the [show runners] Duffer Brothers incredible storytelling — the music. It’s remarkable to see how the reaction to Kate’s song has engaged new and old fans alike, and has also transcended generations — 37 years later!”
Elsewhere in Stranger Things, you’ll find plenty of 1980s classics like “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive, “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth, and “Travelin’ Man” by Ricky Nelson. For a show centered in the 1980s, it only makes sense to include the biggest hits of the decade, introducing some of these songs to viewers who weren’t even alive yet. But it also rejuvenates these songs for people who were alive when these songs came out but might have forgotten just how great they are.
Then again, Bush’s longtime fans who already knew of her greatness and were happy with their niche taste in her music are less than thrilled with people discovering her through Stranger Things, of all things. They’ve shared their disdain on Twitter, rightfully calling out people who were not already in tune with her music and complaining about Bush ending up mainstream.
\u201cIf y\u2019all start calling Kate Bush\u2019s music the stranger things songs I\u2019m gonna kill you\u201d— Evan (@Evan) 1653648536
\u201ccan\u2019t wait for all the kids who discover kate bush from stranger things to check her spotify, put on her most recent album, and listen to a 14-minute song about having sex with a snowman\u201d— m (@m) 1653660633
\u201cKate Bush did not go through wuthering heights, run all the way up that hill to make a deal with god & shout babooshka for y\u2019all to be finding out about her in 2022!\u201d— \u2728 (@\u2728) 1653826553
\u201cSo people are finding out who Kate Bush is thru\u2026.stranger things\u201d— \u2728 (@\u2728) 1653826077
Volume 1 of Season 4 of Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix, and Volume 2 drops on July 1.
Photo via Getty/ RB/ Redferns