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Category: Stranger Things (Netflix)

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 – 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 | | 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


| 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


| 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.

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