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Running Up That Hill updates: all the charts and more!

Kate Bush and Stranger Things

Okay, we will bravely try to summarise where we are in terms of the seemingly unstoppable global popularity of Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) in the wake of it appearing on the Stranger Things TV show. Kate’s phenomenal chart numbers and statistics on this have resulted in hundreds of articles and press reports and we will compile these in a separate post. We’ll contain our excitement (eep) to calmly bring you these bullet points this Tuesday, 7th June 2022:

  • Kate has scored her first ever Top Ten hit in the USA on the Billboard Hot 100 with the highest new entry at number 8. Her previous best was with the same song at number 30 in 1985. 37 years is the longest ever gap between a song’s debut and its first appearance in the US top 10.
  • Hounds of Love has re-entered the Billboard 200 Album Charts at Number 28, matching Kate’s highest ever US album chart position (The Red Shoes also placed at 28 in 1993).
  • Hounds of Love tops the Billboard Alternative Albums chart, which of course we’d have swooned at in 1985, but it is technically her first ever number one on a Billboard album chart. It follows Love and Anger’s appearance at the same position on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1989. She’s also the highest new entry at number 3 with Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) in the Billboard Global 200, however that one is calculated. We’ll take it!
Billboard Hot 100
  • She has entered the official UK Top 40 at number 8 (a record run of Top 20 hit singles for a female artist across 6 consecutive decades). The UK midweeks chart has her climbing to Number 2, indicating an even higher placing on Friday’s official UK chart.
  • She entered the Irish Top 40 at 10, Australian Top 40 at 2, New Zealand Top 40 at 2, Canadian Top 100 at 4, and German Singles Chart at 14.
  • Kate has posted a message about her excitement at this unprecedented response on her official site and also a separate press release.
  • As of today, Kate has climbed to Number 1 on the Global Daily Spotify Chart for the first time, which means more people are listening to Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) on the world’s largest music streaming platform than any other song. A truly momentous milestone. See all the stats breakdown from today here. It is also the Number 1 song in 18 different countries on Spotify; Australia, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK, USA.
  • It remains the Number 1 song on iTunes in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
  • It remains the Number 1 most searched for song in the world on the Shazam app.
Spotify 7th June 2022 Global Daily chart

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We’ll be juggling all the various chart watching as the week progresses, with a keen eye on where she lands in the UK Top 40 on Friday, with Kate’s song having just been added to BBC Radio 1‘s “Hot Recurrents” Playlist (probably first time she’s been play-listed on that station since the 1990s!) A clear indication of how young the audience for Running Up That Hill is now skewing – Kate is usually a BBC Radio 2 fixture when she enters the charts.

The UK press have typically shared in the excitement with articles discussing Kate’s work. Alexis Petridis suggests “10 Kate Bush tracks to delight new listeners” in The Guardian here while Rebecca Nicholson on why Kate is timeless in the Observer here. She writes: “If any song can steel itself against over familiarity, it’s Running Up That Hill. Whether it is for the first time or the 500th time, you still hear it now and think, what the hell was that? And then you play it again.” Many, many media outlets in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere ran stories when Kate posted her message on her official site. It’s always cause for excitement.

Mike Chester, Warner Records EVP of radio and commerce

Over in the USA, the world’s largest music market, Mike Chester, Warner Records EVP of radio and commerce has said: “Kate Bush’s global resurgence by way of her song’s integration into Stranger Things has catapulted her back into the zeitgeist of popular culture. This exciting moment of discovery moved us to service the song to all formats of radio, immediately. We’re thrilled that our partners at the DSPs and radio are reacting so favourably to this watershed moment.”

According to an excellent article in Primetimer: “That means Bush’s record company is pushing the song like it’s a brand new hit, and it’s looking for airplay on stations that play current tunes instead of stations that only play classic rock. That’s incredibly rare, because labels want listeners to focus on what’s new. By reactivating “Running Up That Hill,” the record company is indicating its faith that the song is going to outlast this first wave of attention.” A strategy that has worked in the past for songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. The article goes on to say that “After decades as a beloved alternative artist, she’s suddenly in the mainstream alongside Harry Styles and Lizzo. It’s hard enough for an alt rock artist to crack the top of the Hot 100, but it’s unprecedented for a legacy alt rocker to make her first top 10 appearance after so many years.”

If you want to read some very in-depth geeky US chart discussion on what it is about Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) that made it so rife for this kind of revitalisation – well some Billboard staffers discuss this question and more here. And we recommend this excellent blog post by Sean Ross over on Radio Insight which discusses Kate’s career journey on that heavily formatted medium, US radio.

Stranger Things' Music Supervisor Expands Series' Sound In Season 2 –  Deadline
Stranger Things’ music supervisor Nora Felder

Stranger Things’ music supervisor Nora Felder, who has given a few interviews at this stage, is once again interviewed by Billboard and asked about the current chart success: “With regard to the phenomenon of this surreal Kate Bush moment, I’d have to say my reaction is still, “Ummm, is this really happening?!?” I was hopeful that Kate’s song would resonate for the show and be significant for today’s youth for a variety of reasons. But honestly, who could have possibly imagined or foreseen this lightning-in-a bottle moment?….for me, that reflects the power of a meaningful, timeless song – such as “Running Up That Hill” – and how its significance can be revived and re-conceived when it is married to a remarkable story such as Stranger Things …this season and Kate Bush’s song really seem to touch on the experience of alienation and emotional struggle that a lot of teens have been and continue to be going through, albeit in different ways…it was such a breath of fresh air to hear Kate Bush’s public message this weekend, particularly since it was my understanding that she’s known to be a very private person. I also believe that her decision process/mantra in relation to her art (the music) is simply to follow her heart. I truly believe her decisions throughout life are not motivated by anything else other than that. She clearly loves Stranger Things, and has a deep respect for the Duffer brothers’ vision. The fact that she allowed her song to be aligned with such powerful messages warms my heart. It makes me incredibly happy that a whole new audience is re-experiencing her song, and hope it can provide a source of strength, as many run up their own hills in life.”

Another excellent article in The Ringer by Nate Rogers has this to say: “Even when considering the way charts are changing to include more older music, though, the Kate Bush resurgence is still an aberration. “We have songs that kind of bubble up and then bubble back down,” Jason Lipshutz, the executive director of music at Billboard, explains, “and then you have the other instances like this, where it’s, like, a monumental leap on the charts.” Rogers goes on to say that “…the supernova pop-cultural moment surrounding “Running Up That Hill” has been building for decades.”

Entertainment Tonight make good use of an archive interview with Kate

Finally, while we’re in this crazy bubble of activity, give a listen to a 14 minute discussion today about Kate’s return to the US charts on the All Of It podcast here.

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Kate issues new press release praising Stranger Things!

Kate has released a new statement to the press via her PR representative reiterating her praise for the show Stranger Things and how touched she is by the response to her song. The above image of Kate was included with the press release, a version of which was originally used on the rear cover of the Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) single sleeve.

“When the first series came out, friends kept asking us if we’d seen ‘Stranger Things’, so we checked it out and really loved it. We’ve watched every series since then, as a family. When they approached us to use Running Up That Hill, you could tell that a lot of care had gone into how it was used in the context of the story and I really liked the fact that the song was a positive totem for the character, Max. I’m really impressed by this latest series. It’s an epic piece of work – the shows are extremely well put together with great characters and fantastic SFX. It’s very touching that the song has been so warmly received, especially as it’s being driven by the young fans who love the shows. I’m really happy that the Duffer Brothers are getting such positive feedback for their latest creation. They deserve it.” – Kate Bush

SOURCE MURRAY CHALMERS PR

Kate enters Billboard Hot 100 at 8, highest ever placing!

MASSIVE NEWS! Kate has secured her highest ever placement in the US charts, as Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) enters at number 8! This is her first Top Ten hit single in the US. We cannot believe this. Huge result for Kate! More updates later!

Kate writes of her excitement on Stranger Things success!

Kate has sent out a brief message about the Stranger Things phenomenon on her official site www.katebush.com – well done, Kate!

More Stranger Things / Netflix updates!

Netflix tagline - listening to Kate Bush 24/7 now
Netflix official Twitter is ”listening to Kate Bush 24/7 now”

Yesterday we covered the astounding chart news for Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) and we’ll have more chart reports in the coming days! In other news, Netflix are clearly delighted with the monster success of the show and have also been celebrating Kate Bush in tweets (to their 18 million Twitter followers) and other social media posts. They tweeted: “Stranger Things 4 has been running up that hill since Friday, becoming the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English language TV show on Netflix with 286.79 million hours viewed globally! It also skyrocketed to the 001 spot in 83 countries — another premiere weekend record! And shout-out to everyone discovering/rediscovering Kate Bush through Stranger Things 4. As of May 30, Spotify streams of the legend’s iconic song Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) have increased more than 9,990% in the US!

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As Kate has her biggest Australian hit single since Rocket Man also reached Number Two in 1991, the young Stranger Things cast are in Australia promoting the show, with Sadie Sink (who plays the show’s Kate Bush fan, Max), Gaten Matarazzo and Priah Ferguson appearing on the Today show and they discuss Kate’s success at the start of this clip:

Director Shawn Levy has discussed using Kate’s music in Stranger Things with the Hollywood Reporter here

Shawn Levy
Stranger Things director Shawn Levy

How did you decide on Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” being Max’s anthem?

Sometimes the songs of Stranger Things are found in post-production, through trial and error. “Running Up That Hill” was in the script. It was always in the Duffers’ minds. They were convinced that it would work and when I was editing “Dear Billy,” I played around with an orchestral rearrangement of the Kate Bush song. If you rewatch the last five minutes of “Dear Billy,” that’s not just the Kate Bush song. It’s the Kate Bush song with layers of strings and orchestra, because I wanted to take a phenomenal song that was known by so many and bump it up to a level of emotionality that would support and amplify the scene. It’s just a musically amazing song because it’s great as its original version, but it’s also so compatible with rearrangement and orchestral augmentation, which is what we did at the end of “Dear Billy.”

There have been Twitter conversations about Kate Bush gaining a generation of fans.

I know. It’s just so thrilling. Obviously we couldn’t do any of that without Kate’s blessing, and we’re so grateful we got it.

Netflix have just made the, now very famous, scene available from Episode 4, Dear Billy, which has led to Kate’s global success with Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God). You can watch it on Youtube if you have no interest in watching the full series – obviously spoilers for the show’s plot in the Youtube clip below!

An article in Variety Magazine has revealed more fascinating details of exactly how the Stranger Things’ music supervisor and music clearance co-ordinator secured the use of Kate’s song with Kate’s personal involvement and approval. The show’s music supervisor, Nora Felder, explains that executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer — better known as the Duffer brothers — tasked her with brainstorming a song that resonated with the intense, wide-ranging emotional experiences Max was undergoing.

Says Felder: “Consequently, each of the prospective song placements in the initial scripts was tagged with the placeholder, ‘TBD Max song.’ From there, I made an effort to internally align myself with what the Duffers felt were the most important elements needed, and my own intuitive grasp of Max’s complex feelings.” Felder soon landed on “Running Up That Hill.” “It immediately struck me with its deep chords of the possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush’s song marinated in my conscious awareness.”

The Duffers were elated with the suggestion. Felder’s next challenge was to secure the song and get Bush’s approval with the full knowledge that Bush, although open to ideas, does not typically approve many syncs. Says Felder: “I sat with my clearance coordinator, and laid out all the scripted scenes for song uses that we knew of at that point. Knowing the challenges, we proceeded to create elaborate scene descriptions that provided as much context as possible so that Kate and her camp would have a full understanding of the uses. … When we finished, we were on edge, but excited and hopeful.”

The next step was tracking down the music publisher. Originally, that was EMI, now it was Sony. Wende Crowley, Sony Music Publishing’s SVP of creative marketing, film and TV, got the request. “Nora Felder came to us pre-pandemic to discuss the idea of using it as Max’s ‘song’ for this season. She wanted to make sure it was within the realm of possibility before she got the Duffer Brothers on board with the idea, since the song was going to be “such a focal point to Max’s storyline,” says Crowley. “Kate Bush is selective when it comes to licensing her music and because of that, we made sure to get script pages and footage for her to review so she could see exactly how the song would be used.”

As it turns out, Bush was also a big fan of the show, and once the team could understand the intent and vision, Bush granted her permission. The deal took longer than normal to secure because of the uniqueness of the use and how many times it is played over this season in multiple episodes. There were indeed a few alternates, Felder acknowledges, but “Running Up That Hill” was the song.

What if it didn’t clear? “I have a running expression I use when my showrunners feel strongly about a song select,” says Felder. “Which is, ‘I’m not going to sleep until I get it cleared.’” For me, as a music supervisor, I always feel an incredible responsibility to do everything in my power to ‘get it done,’ and this was no different.” As Bush continues to trend on Twitter, and the song’s video and audio streams — suggest a new generation is getting to know Bush’s music, Felder offers that its newfound popularity is due to  “Running Up That Hill” being a timeless track. Says Felder: “I believe that if it was written and recorded today, it would fit right in and not be considered a ‘dated’ sound in any way.”

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Kate Top 10 in official Irish, UK and Australian charts! Plus international charts round-up.

A week ago today we were clueless about the extraordinary success Kate’s song, Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), would have all around the world all over again. We knew that Part One of Season 4 of Stranger Things was dropping that day on Netflix. A few days before that we had it confirmed that a song by Kate would be used on the show, as an integral part of the actual plot. We’ve watched what has unfolded as a result in the days following with a giddy, open-mouthed incredulity. She has literally stormed the streaming and download charts globally with her iconic song, topping charts EVERYWHERE. If we wondered whether younger generations would find something to love and cherish in Kate’s music, whether it would still resonate with them and sound fresh, new and exhilarating to their ears – well, we have our answer. Resoundingly, millions are finding exactly that.

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We’ve been posting a lot of Kate Bush chart figures on our social media and it can be a lot to take in. The nature of streaming and downloads means that you can follow daily, sometimes hourly, progress of a track on major digital music platforms, both in individual countries and also the entire world/global charts. It’s worth mentioning though, that the OFFICIAL charts we’ve always traditionally looked at, still exist, such as the UK Top 40 or the US Billboard Hot 100. They are just compiled in a radically different way now that 7”, 12” or CD (or cassette!) singles have mostly fallen away as online music has taken over. Radio airplay, download sales, streaming totals and even Youtube video plays are all taken into account to score a song’s chart performance. It can be baffling to figure out.

UK Top 40: Kate has entered the Official UK Top 40 this evening at number 8! This means (as far as we can gather!) that Kate is the first female artist to have had Top 20 UK hit singles in 6 consecutive decades; the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s! Chart geek note: technically she’s actually the first female artist to have “Top 12” hit singles in 6 consecutive decades also, and the record WOULD state “Top 10” only for the fact that her 1990s UK chart peak was 12 with Rubberband Girl in 1993…these things matter, okay?! (sorry, we looked into this chart stuff till it made us dizzy!). Some might ask “hey, okay we know about King of the Mountain hitting number 4 in 2005 but what hit single did she have in the 2010s? The answer is her 2012 remix / new vocal of Running Up That Hill from the closing ceremony of the London Olympics which reached number 6. This is Kate’s 7th Top Ten single overall in the UK, or 8th if you also count her duet with Peter Gabriel, Don’t Give Up in 1986.

Irish IRMA Top 40 Chart: Kate has entered the Irish singles chart at number 10! This is her highest entry on the Irish chart since her placing at number 6 with The Sensual World in 1989.

Australia ARIA Singles Chart: Kate has today entered the official chart down under at NUMBER TWO! This is her best singles chart performance in Australia since Rocket Man also placed at number 2 in 1991 and it beats the number 6 placing that Running Up That Hill achieved first time round in Australia in 1985.

US Billboard Hot 100: On Monday we will find out exactly what Kate’s unprecedented performance on iTunes and Spotify in the US means for an official chart placing. This article in Billboard Magazine makes the case that Kate could very well be looking at her highest ever appearance on this famous American chart – her best to date was also with Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) which reached number 30 in November 1985. “….the song had experienced a particularly overwhelming spike in streams on Spotify, with the song rising by 9,900% in U.S. plays from Thursday to Monday (May 30). Indeed, despite pulling in daily streams in the 20,000s as recently as last Thursday, “Running Up That Hill” has since Sunday begun to net millions of U.S. streams on a daily basis, according to Luminate — while also selling thousands of copies daily — and currently sits at No. 1 on both Spotify’s US Daily chart and the iTunes realtime sales chart. It should all add up to the song debuting on a number of Billboard sales and streams charts next week (dated June 11) — and potentially re-entering the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100, as well.” We will be keenly watching that official chart, and others worldwide, next week and will update you here.

Rest of World: Also today, Kate has entered the official German singles chart at 14, entered at 17 in Sweden, 3 in Lithuania and entered the Netherlands chart at 26. Now let’s try to capture some of those incredible online digital music stats…

Spotify: With over 82 million songs, Spotify is the biggest streaming music platform in the world. As of today, on the daily Spotify charts, Kate is Number 2 in the world (Global Daily Chart) and Number 1 in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia. Kate is Number 2 in Belgium, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Emirates, Bulgaria, France and Luxembourg. Kate is Number 3 in Germany, Czech Republic and Austria and Number 4 In Kazakhstan and South Africa.

iTunes: The second biggest digital music platform is from Apple with over 70 million users. As of today, on the current iTunes Charts, Kate is Number 2 in the world (as with Spotify, “As it Was” by former One Direction member, Harry Styles, has been holding on to the top spot for weeks now). Kate is Number One on iTunes in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France. She is Number 3 in Germany and Number 4 in Belgium, Mexico and Switzerland.

Shazam: The stats from this amazing app are always interesting and it has had a huge impact on Kate’s success this week. Over 225 million users worldwide use this app that can identify music based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device. So, imagine when Kate’s Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) plays on Stranger Things, people love the song but have no idea what it is? They simply use the Shazam app to tell them. Today, Friday June 3rd, Kate is the number 1 most searched song on Shazam in the world! She is also number 1 in Ireland, USA, UK, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Spain.

Youtube: Believe it or not, plays of a video on Youtube can be used to go towards calculating an official chart placing these days in many countries. Kate’s beautiful 1985 video for Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) has had a spectacular surge, over 5 million views in the last week or so. It is currently the number 1 video on Youtube in Ireland, UK, Malta and the Netherlands.

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Running Up That Hill Stranger Things – Global Press

These are the press and media stories we have seen so far.

| Official Charts | How Music Charts |

| LA Times | New York Post | USA Today | USA Today 2 | NBC | Netflix | UPI | Chicago Daily Herald | The Times | NPR |

|Daily Mail | Daily Express | The Independent | Metro | Sky News | The Guardian | The I | Daily Telegraph | BBC News |

| NME | NME 2 | Classic Rock | Billboard | Billboard 2 | Billboard 3 | American Songwriter | Rolling Stone |

| Variety | Elle | Vogue GQ | Entertainment Weekly | RadioTimes | Vanity Fair | People | SyFy | Esquire | Harper’s Bazaar |

| Melbourne Herald-Sun | New Zealand Herald | Stuff |

| Toronto Star |

| Screen Rant | CNET | SlashFilm | SlashFilm 2 | Geek Culture | KentOnline | Music Times | Monsters and Critics | Winter is Coming | Radio X | Exclaim! | Netflix Junkie | Stereogum | Forbes | Digital Fix | Far Out | Pedestrian | Entertainment.ie | SportsKeeda | The Wrap | Ceng News | Bustle | EliteDaily | The Line of Best Fit | Uproxx | Elite Daily 2 | EpicStream | Dexerto | ComicBook | ETCanada | Hollywood Life | MassLive | Buzz | ContactMusic | Michigan Live | 8 Days | Sprout Wired | Financial World | News 18 | WS-FM | RUSSH | Daily KOS | Pop Culture | Movieweb | Verve Times | Breitbart | AceShowbizz | Tampa Dispatch | AVClub | Hot 107.9 | Women’s Health | Mxdwn | Bay93.9 | Noise11 | The Music | Glamour | WPTV | i-More | Benzinga | Pajiba | Fatherly | Upworthy | Music Times | I Like Your Old Stuff | Kiis1065 | Musicfeeds | Consequence | New Daily | Nerdbot | Randrlife | EdgeMediaNetwork | Superhype |

| Phillipine Star | The National (UAE) | AS (Spain) | Bol News (Pakistan) | The Star (Malaysia) | The Nation (Pakistan) | Gulf News (UAE) | MyKolKata (India) |

stranger things kate bush

Related:

| Classic Rock 2 | Classic Rock 3 | American Songwriter 2 | Smooth Radio | Men’s Health | YahooSport | Genius | The Sun | Woman & Home | Unilad | WeGotThisCovered | Distractify | Amomama | The Mary Sue | Salon | KentLive | New Statesman | Pink News | GQ | OK! | Relevant | Decider | Paste | Queerty | Out in Perth | Far Out | SuperDeLuxeEdition | Mamamia | Persephone & Co | Pink News |

Nearly 300 thousand videos on TikTok

Over 35 thousand posts tagged on Instagram

References:

| Kate’s official site | SecondHand Songs | Kate Bush Encyclopaedia | Who Sampled? | Wikipedia |

|BBC Wogan Performance 1985 | BBC Top of the Pops Performance 1985 | | Live version with Dave Gilmour 1987 | London Olympics Closing Ceremony 2012 |

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fourth season of Stranger Things accumulated 286.79 million viewership hours worldwide during its first weekend in release. According to YouTube the official video for Running UpThat Hill has now had over 51 million views, with over 31 thousand comments.

That’s a lot of people being introduced to Kate’s music.

Serious welcome from all of here at KateBushNews and HomeGround, to all new Kate fans. You have a treat in store!

Running Up That Hill now worldwide hit after Stranger Things!

Kate Bush and Max from Stranger Things

As I write this on Tuesday morning it has been a mere four days since the fourth season of the Netflix show Stranger Things landed but the impact of the inclusion of Kate’s song Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) as an integral part of the plot has had a phenomenal effect. Kate is currently number 3 in the world on iTunes, a new entry and climbing at number 13 on the global Spotify charts, and number 1 on both the UK and USA iTunes charts. It has outperformed other songs on the US iTunes store including Lizzo’s viral track “About Damn Time,” Harry Styles’ ubiquitous anthem “As It Was” and Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand,” which is from the soundtrack of the new hit film Top Gun: Maverick. Her albums Hounds of Love and The Whole Story (which feature the song) are also climbing the global download charts. We knew the show gets tens of millions of viewers, it’s one of the biggest shows on the planet, but these download/streaming numbers are unprecedented – Kate’s iconic 1985 single is an international smash hit all over again.

I have recorded a quick new episode of the Kate Bush Fan Podcast to discuss the song’s inclusion in the show and to put the song itself into context for all the new fans of Kate’s music the show has now created. More details on the podcast below. Kate (herself a fan of the show) has been trending on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok are some of the social media platforms now awash with tens of thousands of memes, posts and commentary all about Kate’s song and how in one momentous scene in the hit show it literally saves the life of the character Max, played by actress Sadie Sink. It is clear that a new generation of Kate Bush fans will emerge after this weekend, and we are so happy to have them.

Max and Lucas from Stranger Things discuss Kate Bush
The characters of Max and Lucas discuss Kate in Stranger Things

The song is heard several times throughout the season but the big climactic moment in Episode 4 (titled “Dear Billy”) is the one that has created the frenzy and focused so much attention on Kate’s song. Vulture’s Bethy Squires humorously proclaimed “Goth gatekeepers despair: Kate Bush is for normies now,” calling Kate an “iconoclastic English singer/avant garde dance weirdo/sampling pioneer.” It’s wonderful to even get a glimpse of the Hounds of Love cassette tape at one point. It is now confirmed that MORE Kate will be heard (with Kate’s enthusiastic approval) in the final, movie-length episode of this season which arrives on Netflix on July 1st (the season is in two parts). Erica Gonzales has written an excellent article in Elle Magazine entitled “The Unexpected Hero Of Stranger Things 4? Kate Bush.

“At the start of this season 4, Max seems to be trying to manage her extremely complex feelings of emotional estrangement from her friends, meshed with the devastating loss of her brother Billy. ‘Running Up That Hill’ is very deeply connected to Max and ultimately serves as her emotional touchstone and source of strength,” Stranger Things’ music supervisor Nora Felder explains. “Her friends also quickly realize that this song could be the key to freeing her from this powerful monster…in the climactic scene, the track’s pounding percussion adds to the adrenaline rush while Bush’s commanding vocals give it emotional weight. The version of the track in the show also includes swelling strings to make the moment feel even bigger…a lot of brainstorming went on as this song [selection] really had to be something unique and special serving as such an integral part of the story,” Felder says. “When I was running through varied ideas to present, as is part of the process, I remember getting instantly excited. ‘Running Up That Hill’ popped in my head. It is such an inspiring and soulfully centered song which seemed like something Max could really identify with. The song also has a great musical build which was also a key element Matt and Ross [Duffer, the Stranger Things creators] wanted. I was really quite pleased that it resonated for the Duffer Brothers. We were all thrilled that Kate Bush was a fan of the show and allowed the use of the song.”

The Duffer Brothers creators of Stranger Things
Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer

Meanwhile, the series creators, The Duffer Brothers, have been interviewed on a Netflix blog and reveal that Kate herself has been involved in viewing the scenes during production and approving the way her music is used, something the brothers are exceptionally grateful to her for.

Max’s arc of loss, grief and numbness is incredibly moving this season. “Running Up That Hill” was such a symbolic theme song for her. Why did you pick that song? And why did you want music to be what saves people from Vecna’s trance?

Ross: Music wasn’t in the initial season outline, but we knew Max was going to get cursed, and we knew we needed some way for her to defeat this curse. We were looking, just medically, into people that have comas and all of this stuff, and I think that’s honestly what led to the music. Music has a power to reach people, even when they’re in these catatonic states. But then we’re like, “Well, whatever the song is, it’s got to be perfect.” And by perfect, I mean, it needed to be cinematic in a way, in the music of it, because we knew that scene where she’s running through what we call the mind layer [at the end of Episode 4], we knew it needed to have a cinematic scope and build to it. But at the same time, it needed to be emotional, and Kate Bush’s lyrics are just so emotional.

Matt: And haunting. [“Running Up That Hill”] felt like the tone of the season. We locked in on it. It’s weird, Ross and I were looking on Spotify, we had our music supervisor, Nora [Felder], looking — she doesn’t really have to; she knows all these songs. And I’ll never forget, she sent an email that was like, “I think it’s ‘Running Up That Hill,’ Kate Bush.” And that was our [mine and Ross’] top choice, completely separately. Then we started to freak out a little bit because we’re like…

Ross: “What if it doesn’t work?”

Matt: “It has to be Kate Bush. What if Kate Bush doesn’t want it?” Because it wasn’t just licensing it, getting it to play once. It was like, “No, we need it a lot.” But she’s been awesome, and we’re sending her the scenes so she’s able to see how the music is used in the show. We keep going back because we keep wanting to put more Kate Bush in there. There’s an epic Kate Bush moment in the finale [Episode 9] that we weren’t expecting, that we kind of discovered as we were editing.

Ross: We’re like, “What if we tried a little Kate Bush here?”

Matt: The sequence was really cool and we were happy with it, but it was missing a little something. And I was like, “Well, let’s try Kate. Because when has Kate let us down?” And it just took it to this new height. Then we had to go back to Kate Bush and just… [demonstrates praying] We sent her the scene and she was gracious enough to let us use her song one more time. She’s been amazing. It’s arguably the most epic Kate Bush moment. It comes back in a major way.

Shawn Levy, The director of episode 4: “Dear Billy” has responded warmly to the news of Kate’s chart success on Twitter:

Sean watched Stranger Things by the pool
Seán watches Stranger Things by the pool…

Seán is on holiday (forgive the mic quality!) but I recorded a quick episode of the Kate Bush Fan Podcast to discuss the huge success of Running Up That Hill being featured on the phenomenally popular Stranger Things and to welcome the new fans discovering Kate’s music!

You can subscribe to the Kate Bush Fan Podcast on iTunes or on any podcast app you happen to use, such as Stitcher or Tunein or listen below on Soundcloud.

Kate’s Music in New Season of Netflix Hit Stranger Things!

What started as a rumour has now been confirmed. Kate’s music will serve as a “major plot trigger” in the upcoming fourth season of the massive hit Netflix show, Stranger Things according to a review in The Irish Times. Rumours were further fuelled recently when actress Winona Ryder (who plays the character of Joyce Byers) wore a badge with Kate’s face on it to the series premiere event in Brooklyn. USA Today asked the actress why she wore that badge: “She has a song that factors into this season’s plot, but are you just a fan?” Winona replied: “I’ve been obsessed with her since I was a little girl. I’ve also for the last seven years been dropping hints on set wearing my Kate Bush T-shirts. I don’t know if you did this, but in my school you had to dress down for P.E., and sometimes I just wouldn’t. I’d just sit there with my headphones listening to her. She’s a hero of mine.

Winona Ryder wears a Kate Bush badge
Winona Ryder wears a Kate Bush badge to the Stranger Things launch event

Stranger Things is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by the Duffer Brothers which streams on Netflix. The show has been massively successful worldwide with more than 40 million people watching the last season as soon as it premiered. As it is famously set it in the 1980’s that aesthetic is a huge part of the show’s appeal and of course the music soundtrack. It has been speculated that music from the Hounds of Love album will be featured, which makes perfect sense. Kate might just have a hit track on her hands, all over again – nice to think of tens of millions of people hearing (or possibly discovering) Kate’s music in this way. Season 4 (Part 1) of Stranger Things streams on Netflix from Friday, May 27th. The rest of the season (Part 2) follows on July 1st.

Just like the Netflix show’s fourth season, the soundtrack will get digitally released in two instalments: The first part is out on May 27, and the full soundtrack is out July 1. CD and cassette editions of the soundtrack are out September 9, and a 2xLP vinyl edition will arrive later in 2022. 

Baby Bushka return to Ireland/UK in May and June!

Hailing from San Diego in the US, Baby Bushka are 8 women who have wowed the UK and Ireland with their powerfully energetic, impressively entertaining and musically accomplished take on the work of Kate Bush – and they’re returning in May and June. They play Dublin (2 nights!), Cork, Belfast (2 nights!), Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Guilford, Leeds, Newcastle (2 nights!), Glasgow and Edinburgh! ALL TICKET LINKS HERE

The number of Kate Bush tribute acts actively doing shows is increasing, and more importantly, diversifying – each bringing their own take on Kate’s music to a live crowd. Natasha from the band tells us:  “Kate Bush means the world to us and sharing the beauty, joy and genius of her music with old and new fans in a fun and fresh live show is what we love to do.” Read more about Baby Bushka at their Facebook page here. On their last visit I spoke to the ladies backstage at their Belfast show for an episode of the Kate Bush Fan Podcast – an absolutely electrifying night of Kate’s songs – you can listen again here:

UPDATE: APRIL FOOL!!!!! Rock n Roll Hall of Fame turn down Kate’s instrument request

The following ‘report’ was fabricated by myself, Seán, earlier this morning. Thanks for taking it in the spirit it was intended! Obviously myself and HomeGround promise as always never to rely on rumour or unverified sources to bring you the latest Kate Bush news. Anyway, here is the FALSE report I posted this morning, for April Fool’s Day – Seán

Kate has been nominated for induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the US for the third time this year and reports this morning suggest Kate was in the final stages of accepting the honour in recent weeks, which would have been huge news for fans. However, her chances of finally being inducted seem to have been scuppered by the RRHOF Foundation’s unprecedented refusal to allow Kate her choice of performance at the ceremony later this year. While her fellow nominee Dolly Parton has formally excused herself from being inducted on the basis that she didn’t feel she was a “Rock & Roll” artist, Kate’s participation hinged on her request to be backed by an orchestration largely consisting of kazoos and some light percussion instruments.

A typical metal kazoo

The kazoo is an instrument that adds a “buzzing” timbral quality to a player’s voice when the player vocalizes into it. It is a type of mirliton (which itself is a membranophone), one of a class of instruments which modifies its player’s voice by way of a vibrating membrane of goldbeater’s skin or material with similar characteristics.

Kate wrote* in a statement that: “I am saddened that the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation feels that a kazoo-based performance does not adhere to their remit of promoting a certain type of music. To my mind the kazoo, which is in fact an American instrument, is a beautiful, unearthly sound, resonating deeply and soulfully, especially when played by the musicians I had hoped to work on with this performance. I have recently come to love the kazoo sound and had hoped to bring it to wider exposure on the stage in Ohio. I feel I have no other course of action but to withdraw the kind offer to take my place in the RRHOF and wish my fellow nominees, who are all absolutely wonderful, the very best of luck this year.”

It is reported that up to 30 individual kazoo players had been contacted in the early planning stages of Kate’s piece.

*not a real Kate Bush quote – April Fool!

Kate Bush Fan Podcast – Preston Heyman Interview Part 3!

Seán introduces the final instalment of Bush Telegraph’s interview with Preston Heyman. Here we get a further glimpse into the workings of the Tour Of Life and the special camaraderie that existed on tour, as well as the fun antics that happened offstage. Preston also remembers musical highlights and special moments with Kate during the show. Darrell and Paul mention their first meeting with Preston and the band at the 1980 Convention as young 13/14 year olds (being the youngest ones there), and fun memories of that meeting are remembered. Find out what other antics Preston and guitarist Alan Murphy got up to at the recording of the ‘Kate Show’ a few months after the tour. These memories and a whole lot more are revealed in this packed episode.

You can subscribe to the Kate Bush Fan Podcast on iTunes or on any podcast app you happen to use, such as Stitcher or Tunein or listen below on Soundcloud.

Gary Brooker 1945-2022

Gary Brooker

We were sad to hear of the passing of the great Gary Brooker, lead singer and keyboardist with Procol Harum. Aged 76, he had been receiving treatment for cancer, but died peacefully at home. Famous for his 1967 hit single with that band, A Whiter Shade of Pale, he played on Kate’s live performance of The Wedding List in July 1982 along with Midge Ure, Phil Collins and Pete Townsend. In 1993, Gary graced her 7th studio album, The Red Shoes, on the tracks And So Is Love, Constellation of the Heart and (perhaps most memorably) You’re the One with his trademark shimmering Hammond organ. In 2005 Gary provided backing vocals on Aerial‘s Sunset, vocals and Hammond organ on Somewhere In Between and Hammond organ on Nocturn. We send our condolences out to Gary’s family, friends and fans. Here’s a lovely tribute Gary paid to Kate in Uncut Magazine in 2010:

Read an obituary at the Procol Harum website here.

Gary Brooker RIP
Gary Brooker on keyboards with Kate performing The Wedding List at the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala concert in 1982

Uncut Magazine – Kate Bush cover feature on The Dreaming!

The April 2022 issue of Uncut Magazine in the UK has a Kate Bush cover and a substantial new 12 page feature by Peter Watts on the making of The Dreaming album – which will be 40 years old this year (we know!). It’s available to order here.

It’s great to see one of the major music mags giving Kate’s fourth album the cover treatment for a change, normally Hounds of Love or Kate’s very early career takes centre stage. Refreshingly this isn’t a re-hashed archive article and a considerable line-up of people involved in the creation of Kate’s dark masterpiece are interviewed by Watts for this piece, including Preston Heyman, Paul Hardiman, Richard Burgess, Brian Bath, Roy Harper, Hugh Padgham, Dave Lawson, Howard Gray, Danny “Dan Dan the Sushi Man!” Dawson, and Teri Reed. Fan perspectives are offered by our own Dave Cross (HomeGround) and our podcast pal Darrell Babidge. From the magazine’s site: “KATE BUSH: Donkeys and didgeridoos. Celtic ballads and ethno-pop. Harry Houdini and the Star Wars Cantina theme. Heady experimentation and creative freedom. Welcome to The DreamingKate Bush’s “she’s gone mad” album – and the record that ushered in her imperial phase. “‘Wuthering Heights’ gave Kate licence to do what she wanted,” one eyewitness tells Peter Watts. “With The Dreaming, she took it as far as she could possibly go.”

Kate nominated (yet again) for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Kate Rock and roll nomination

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in the USA has revealed its nominees for the Class of 2022, including, once again, Kate Bush. As we know there’s a fan vote (which has a slight impact) and we also know it seems very much dependant on a USA-centric vote situation and our guess is it seems unlikely Kate will be inducted if she decides not to attend the actual ceremony.

A body of more than 1,000 artists, industry members and historians will help decide which five acts out of the 17 will progress into the final round of induction consideration. Fans also have the chance to contribute to the selection process by voting every day here or at the museum in Cleveland, Ohio here. The Rock Hall’s rule is that an act must have released their first commercial recording 25 years earlier than the year of the nomination.

Five acts will then be tallied among the other ballots to ultimately decide the Class of 2022. You can visit vote.rockhall.com to cast a ballot daily. Fans will need to login to vote. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

Kate’s nomination has been summarised as follows: “Her radical experimentation with lush soundscapes, literary themes, sampling, and theatricality have inspired everyone from Johnny Rotten to Björk to Big Boi.” Nominees in 2022 (asterisk indicates first time nominees) are as follows:

Beck*
Pat Benatar
Kate Bush
DEVO
Duran Duran*
Eminem*
Eurythmics
Judas Priest
Fela Kuti
MC5
New York Dolls
Dolly Parton*
Rage Against the Machine
Lionel Richie*
Carly Simon*
A Tribe Called Quest*
Dionne Warwick

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