The Number Eight song on the Billboard Hot 100 this week is Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” and it looks so out of place that it almost feels like a glitch or an accidental mashup with a U.K. singles chart from 37 years ago. Bush hasn’t released a new album in more than a decade, and her superstar status in England never really crossed over the Atlantic. Prior to this week, her most successful American single was “The Man with the Child in His Eyes,” and that peaked at Number 85 back in 1978.
But television is a very powerful medium, and the new season of Stranger Things makes very prominent use of “Running Up That Hill” in several episodes. The 1985 song is an absolute masterpiece, and Americans were finally given a chance to embrace it. The “Running Up That Hill” renaissance been quite shocking not just for fans of Bush, but for the singer herself.
“You might’ve heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of Stranger Things has recently been released on Netflix,” Bush wrote on her website. “It features the song, ‘Running Up That Hill’ which is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show — I love it too! Because of this, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is charting around the world and has entered the UK chart at No. 8. It’s all really exciting! Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the song. I wait with bated breath for the rest of the series in July.”
Andy Greene/Rolling Stone