Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill races back into UK Top 10 thanks to Stranger Things

Hit from 1985 is the most streamed song in the UK and US on Spotify, earning itself a third appearance in the UK Top 10

Kate Bush is back in the Top 10 of the UK singles chart for only the third time since the 1980s, after her song Running Up That Hill found a new global audience via the Netflix drama Stranger Things.

Running Up That Hill, which reached No 3 on its initial release in 1985, reaches No 8 this week based on streams and downloads. After a slow start at the beginning of the week, when it was well outside the Top 100, its popularity grew as listeners sought it out following the premiere of Stranger Things’ fourth season last Friday; Running Up That Hill plays a key part in the fourth episode.

It is now the most-streamed song each day on Spotify in the US and the UK, just shy of Harry Styles’ As It Was in Spotify’s global chart, and in the same No 2 position on Apple Music. The song is also expected to place highly in the US charts, which are announced on Tuesday.

This is Running Up That Hill’s third appearance in the UK Top 10; it also re-entered in 2012 after it was used in the closing ceremony of the Olympics. For that version, Bush rerecorded the song at a slightly lower pitch to accommodate for changes to her voice.

Bush has reached the UK Top 10 on six other occasions. She topped it with her debut single Wuthering Heights in 1978, then had Top 10s with The Man With the Child in His Eyes; the live EP Kate Bush on Stage; Babooshka; Don’t Give Up (her duet with Peter Gabriel); and King of the Mountain, her comeback single in 2005, following more than a decade away from recording. Twelve of her albums have reached the Top 10, three of them No 1s.

Running Up That Hill’s latest success demonstrates the cultural might of supernatural thriller Stranger Things, which registered the biggest premiere weekend ever on Netflix, with viewers spending 287m hours watching the first seven episodes. The rest of the season will be released in July.

With its distinctive martial rhythm, spectral synth sounds and a commanding vocal performance from Bush, Running Up That Hill is one of the most critically admired songs of the 1980s. Bush spoke about the song in a 1986 interview:

It’s very much about two people who are in love, a man and a woman, and the idea of it is they could swap places ... The man being the woman and vice versa and they’d understand each other better. In some ways [the song is] talking about the fundamental differences between men and women, I suppose trying to remove those obstacles, being in someone else’s place; understanding how they see it, and hoping that would remove problems in the relationship.

At No 1 this week is Styles, with As It Was in its ninth week at the top, and his album track Late Night Talking at No 4. British singer-songwriter Cat Burns is at No 2, the highest position yet for her slow-burn hit Go, which was released in July 2020. It will make a strong challenge for the top next week, with a duet version with Sam Smith getting a release on Monday.

In the album chart, Liam Gallagher scores a fourth solo No 1 with new album C’mon You Know, while his new live album, Down By the River Thames, reaches No 4. Def Leppard reach the Top 5 for the first time in 26 years with new album Diamond Star Halos.

Queen, who will perform during the platinum jubilee celebrations on Saturday at Buckingham Palace, become the first British act to notch up 1,000 weeks for an album on the album chart. Their greatest hits album (at No 18 this week) sits behind similar greatest hits packages by Bob Marley (1,032 weeks) and Abba (1,048 weeks). The latter returns to the Top 10 this week thanks to the group’s Abba Voyage live show beginning at a bespoke arena in east London last weekend.

Also sneaking into the Top 20 singles in time for the platinum jubilee is a commemorative track with a difference: punk band the Kunts, with their song Prince Andrew Is a Sweaty Nonce. This is the Essex band’s third Top 20 hit, having twice reached No 5, in 2020 and 2021, with songs criticising Boris Johnson in similarly robust terms.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
‘The whole world’s gone mad!’ Kate Bush on Running Up That Hill’s success
Singer says she hadn’t listened to her song ‘for a really long time’ before it raced up the charts thanks to its inclusion in Stranger Things

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

22, Jun, 2022 @9:30 AM

Article image
Kate Bush thanks Stranger Things fans as Running Up That Hill climbs charts
The singer celebrated the ‘fantastic, gripping’ show in a rare statement, after her 37-year-old song, which features on the soundtrack, entered the UK top ten

Sian Cain

06, Jun, 2022 @1:52 AM

Article image
Metallica’s Master of Puppets conjures UK Top 40 hit thanks to Stranger Things
1986 song gets first ever UK chart placing after appearing in season finale, reaching No 22

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

15, Jul, 2022 @5:00 PM

Article image
Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill climbs higher than ever to No 2 in charts
Harry Styles remains atop the singles and album charts, while singer-songwriter Michael Head gets first Top 10 of storied career

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

10, Jun, 2022 @5:00 PM

Article image
Kate Bush reaches UK No 1 with Running Up That Hill after 37 years
Singer breaks multiple records with Stranger Things-revived hit after ‘manual reset’ of streaming ratios

Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

17, Jun, 2022 @5:00 PM

Article image
That syncing feeling: how Stranger Things supercharged the music industry
The chart success of first Kate Bush and now Metallica thanks to ‘syncs’ in Stranger Things shows how TV shows and TikTok are increasingly crucial for heritage acts

Eamonn Forde

12, Jul, 2022 @9:39 AM

Article image
Kate Bush earns first ever US Top 10 hit with Running Up That Hill
Song reaches No 8 in the US 37 years after it was first released, thanks to inclusion in new season of Stranger Things

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

07, Jun, 2022 @8:38 AM

Article image
UK’s top 10 singles of 2022 were all by British artists
A clean sweep led by Harry Styles was an ‘astonishing’ high note for the music industry – but the domination of older songs reflected the impact of streaming

Laura Snapes

04, Jan, 2023 @12:01 AM

Article image
Nostalgic nightmares: how Netflix made Stranger Things a watercooler smash
While the distribution method is state-of-the-art, the Duffer brothers’ supernatural series is one of many harking back to the 80s

Mark Lawson

05, Aug, 2016 @3:14 PM

Article image
Kate Bush hits it off with a new generation of fans | Letters
Letter: Diane Silva is glad that classic songs are getting their due share of success and new fans


20, Jun, 2022 @3:38 PM