‘Stranger Things’ Brings Kate Bush Hit “Running Up That Hill” Back into Spotlight

'Stranger Things' Brings Kate Bush Hit "Running Up That Hill" Back into the Spotlight

‘Stranger Things’ Brings Kate Bush Hit “Running Up That Hill” Back into Spotlight

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You’ve watched the show, you’ve heard the song, and similar to Vecna…it’s hard to escape. Kate Bush’s 1985 hit, “Running Up That Hill,” is a revitalized sensation due to its use in Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4.

Running Up That Hill” (aka “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”) is a song by English singer and songwriter Kate Bush from her fifth studio album, Hounds of Love. Written and produced by Bush, the song was released in the United Kingdom as the lead single from the album via EMI Records on August 5, 1985.

The song played a key role in an emotional scene in the show as Max Mayfield runs to safety from the villain, Vecna in the “Dear Billy” episode. Fans and social media users can’t seem to get enough of this song. It’s not only about the initial licensing, but with the rebuilt fanfare comes major earnings. We learn via CBS that, according to Luminate (formerly known as Nielsen Soundscan), the song has earned Kate about $2.3 million in streaming royalties since Stranger Things dropped (specifically between May 27 and June 23).

“While we’ve seen a notable increase in catalogue music streams in recent years — with an annual 20% growth alone in 2021— the Kate Bush story has taken the phenomenon to a new level,” said Rob Jonas, the CEO of Luminate, in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

Read: Music Publishing Money Explained pt. 1: The Two Copyrights

Moreover, this is a major “payday” for Kate as she owns the entire recording copyright to “Running Up That Hill.” Warner Music Group distributes the song, but Kate owns it all. See Noble & Brite Ltd.

Kate Bush Certifications

“Running Up That Hill” re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated June 11, 2022, at number eight. The single’s initial 1985 peak was number 30. This makes it Bush’s highest charting single on the Hot 100 to date. The song reached number four the following week, becoming Bush’s first single to reach the American top five.

The song also charted on Billboard’s rock charts. It peaked at number one on both Hot Alternative Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and debuted at number 26 on the Alternative Airplay chart. This was Bush’s first entry on Alternative Airplay since “Rubberband Girl” in January of 1994.

See more info from Official Charts.

It turns out Kate Bush is a big fan of the show. After watching the final episodes of Stranger Things season 4, Kate wrote a blog post saying “I’d only seen the scenes that directly involved the use of the track and so I didn’t know how the story would evolve or build. I was so delighted that the Duffer Brothers wanted to use RUTH for Max’s totem but now having seen the whole of this last series, I feel deeply honoured that the song was chosen to become a part of their roller coaster journey. I can’t imagine the amount of hard work that’s gone into making something on this scale. I am in awe. They’ve made something really spectacular.”

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