Kate has posted a message remembering her friend, the wonderful actor Robbie Coltrane, who died on Friday, aged 72. Robbie’s voice (“You must wake up!”) can be heard among those trying to rouse Kate from sleep in Waking The Witch. In 2011, he starred in the official music video for Deeper Understanding. He played the actor playing the subject matter of Kate’s song “Ken” in the Comic Strip Presents film, G.L.C. For millions around the world, of course, he’ll be known as the loveable giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter films as well as starring in the BAFTA-winning UK TV series, Cracker. Kate’s message from her official site:
I was very upset to hear the news about Robbie. I’m really grateful that he agreed to star in a video that we made some years ago. It was incredibly exciting to watch him at work and to be in the presence of his deeply profound intelligence and earthy wit. He was so much fun. I’m really going to miss him. I had so much respect for his many talents and his generosity of spirit. We’ve lost one of our great treasures… Kate
Lovers of physical formats (and Kate collectors) rejoice! As Kate remains in the US Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 this week at No.5, with incredible radio airplay in the USA still, her US record label, Rhino, is releasing a two-track CD single version of Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) on September 2nd!As with the original 7″ vinyl release, the single also includes Kate’s stunning, fan favourite song, Under The Ivy. It is almost three months since her 1985 hit was first heard on the Netflix TV show, Stranger Things, but the song shows no signs of losing its grip on the US public’s affections – it has been a phenomenon all summer. The direct order link from the Rhino Records site is here – this is a US release so shipping will be calculated based on being shipped from the USA. This is the first time the single has been issued on the CD format. So far there’s been no official comment from Kate on her website about this release.
From the shop description: “The first single from Kate Bush’s fifth studio album Hounds of Love, “Running Up That Hill” was originally released to critical acclaim in August of 1985. Available once again, this CD single stays true to the original, featuring period correct artwork and b-side “Under the Ivy.”
1.RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD) 2.UNDER THE IVY
Well, it’s a fantastic, uplifting, moment captured on video that’s had almost 100,000 views on Facebook and it’s probably about to have a lot more. Brisbane Pub Choir, in Australia, have caught Kate’s attention! As they describe it themselves: “What happens when 1600 strangers have a few drinks, then learn to sing Running Up That Hill in three-part harmony? Turn up the volume and find out! Singing is for EVERYBODY! Thank you to Kate Bush for writing this timeless tune and for letting Pub Choir sing it. We hope we did you proud. Feel like having a sing with us? Join us at the pub some time!”
Kate has just written her response directly to them:
Dear Brisbane Pub Choir,
I’ve been so busy that I’ve only just had the chance to watch you all singing RUTH. It’s utterly, utterly wonderful! I love it so much! Thank you everyone. You sing it really beautifully. I’m incredibly touched by your warmth and all your smiling faces. Thank you!
Cancel all your plans. Quit your job. Throw all your books in the bin. Just sit down a minute and get a load of this. Life as we know it is over, and this email is all that remains.
We really did that, Brisbane.
According to a report in The Brisbane Times choir maestro Astrid Jorgensen was about to go for a run on Thursday morning, “up that hill” as it happens, when she checked her email on her phone.
“There it was. A personal message from the zeitgeist-defining Bush. “I ran home pretty fast,” Jorgensen said. “When we sent off the request for the song, the response that we got back from the publishers was pretty much along the lines of ‘have a backup plan, because this is probably going to be a ‘no’ because she doesn’t approve requests very often for the use of her music’,” she said.
“Even getting the song felt like a massive deal, and I told the crowd that on the night. “I think everyone felt like that was really special for us, but yeah, this is obviously a pretty big icing on the cake.”
A brilliantly erratic chord structure and a chorus that comes out of nowhere makes Running Up That Hill a difficult song to master in 90 minutes, but that was exactly what the Brisbane crowd managed. “It is a really complex song and I think that’s why her music has been so interesting for so long,” Jorgensen said. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea at all times, but it’s complex, it’s never boring.”
The song’s distinctive synth riff was replicated by a string section, courtesy of the Queensland chamber orchestra, Camerata. “The song itself is about a total breakdown of communication in a relationship and begging God to change places with the person so you can understand each other better, so I felt like that is a fairly big, heavy message,” Jorgensen said. “Strings are kind of similar to human voices in a spooky way, so it felt like a nice little extension of the choir.”
Kate is this week back at No.1 on the formidable Billboard Global 200 singles chart, the one that covers the combined chart performances from around the whole world! She has knocked Harry Styles off the global top spot, the second time Kate has achieved this staggering feat with her song, and once again basically has “the biggest song in the world” as Billboard describe it themselves. In the USA today, thanks to ever-increasing American radio airplay and formidable download sales and streaming figures, Kate has climbed back up the US Charts to No.4, returning to her highest ever placing in the Billboard Hot 100! Can she climb even higher? This is her SIXTH week in the US Top Ten. Anecdotally, we are hearing from fans in the US that Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) is being played everywhere.
Kate has also climbed back up several other national charts; to No.6 in The Netherlands, No.5 in Germany and No.2 in Switzerland. Tomorrow we will see if she has risen further in the Canadian charts and that incredible Billboard Global 200, where she is currently back up to No.3. See Friday’s news post for more current global chart news, including Kate at No.1 in Ireland and Australia for the 4th time in each country.
Spotify updates: The song is at No.1 globally on Spotify this week, and yet again on today’s Daily Global chart, her 13th time topping it! Also very significantly, Hounds of Love has climbed to No.7 on the Global Albums Weekly chart on the world’s largest streaming music platform! Spotify have launched a newly curated “This is Kate Bush” playlist (see it below) that features 50 tracks from throughout Kate’s career and could well help listeners explore other corners of Kate’s catalogue. Her monster hit just continues to astonish.
On her official website, Kate has graciously congratulated LF System who take over the No.1 position in the UK charts after Kate had a three week run at the top. The ACR rule now applies again to Kate’s track, so Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) has to achieve twice as many streams as other songs to achieve the equivalent in converted sales, hence the drop to No.3 on the chart. Kate writes:
Many, many congratulations on the UK No. 1 single for LF SYSTEM. So many of you have loved the last two episodes of Stranger Things, released last Friday. We’ve received an overwhelming number of messages. I just want to say again, how very proud I am that RUTH has been included in the shows in some small way.
Thank you everyone for supporting RUTH with such positivity. It’s lovely to see the song continuing to do so well around the world – it’s just boomeranged back to No 1 in Australia! Hope you can get a chance to enjoy the arrival of summer. Best wishes, Kate
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Finally, something we haven’t linked here before was this solid hour-plus Youtube discussion about Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) from the Produce Like a Pro Youtube channel. It includes chats with those involved in the song and Hounds of Love album, such as drummer Stuart Elliott, engineer Brian Tench and engineer Nick Launay (talking about his work on The Dreaming).
Kate’s extraordinary run of chart success continues this weekend as she is STILL No.1 in the UK singles chart for the second week in a row with Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) – we are starting to run out of superlatives here! In the week in which we heard Kate herself say “just extraordinary … quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad” – well, we will happily take the madness! Kate holds off the ubiquitous ‘As it Was’ by Harry Styles at no.2 and a fast rising chart hit ‘Afraid To Feel’ from LF System at No.3. And as we know, this is the third week running that Kate has outsold every other song on the chart, and the chart rule reset two weeks ago has rightfully sent her to the top spot for two weeks.
Kate has written about her second week at the UK Number 1 AND her Irish Number 1 on her official site:
It’s so exciting! RUTH is at No. 1 in the UK for the second week running and is now No. 1 in Ireland. My mother was Irish and would’ve really loved this.
I’ve received so many positive messages in response to the interview on Woman’s Hour this week. I’m a great admirer of Emma Barnett who now presents the show with fellow host, Anita Rani. I really enjoyed Emma’s uncompromising stance on Newsnight and I love to hear her challenging and championing so many different issues on Woman’s Hour now. It seemed the perfect place for me to express my gratitude for the extraordinary attention the song is receiving. It took me a long time to build up the courage to listen to the interview. I was so touched, not just by Emma’s lovely comments but also by Caitlin Moran’s ‘warm up’, as she put it. Both Emma and Caitlin responded with such genuine affection to my work. It means a great deal. It really does.
I’d also like to thank everyone in the team around me, who are just as excited with the scale of the response to the song as I am. We’ve all worked together for many years and I feel very privileged to have people with such a huge range of talents and sensitivities who are involved in the many processes that are needed to get the work out there.
Just a week to go until the last two episodes of Stranger Things. I can’t wait to see how the story is going to unfold. I think we’d better all hang on to our hats…
Thank you so much for your beautiful feedback and for your continued support for the song, Kate
A wonderful interview with Kate this morning on the Woman’s Hour programme on BBC Radio 4. Kate said the situation was “just extraordinary … quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”
“It’s such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention. But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this,” Kate said. “The Duffer brothers created the series and actually we watched it from the first series onwards, so I was already familiar with the series. And I thought what a lovely way for the song to be used in such a positive way. You know, as a kind of talisman almost really for Max. And yeah, I think it’s very touching, actually.”
The news of Kate’s second ever Number 1 in the UK with Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) has become a huge story as the UK midweeks chart indicate that Kate could hold on to the Number 1 spot in her home country for a second week running, a story picked up by the NME here and Official Charts site here, though she of course faces competition from the likes of Drake and LF System…we will see what happens. The BBC have called it a “remarkable resurgence” in popularity for Kate. Music Week have described the result as “incredible.” The Guardian called her UK Number 1 “improbable and inspiring” while Billboard says that Kate has “run a UK chart race like no other artist.” Across the Irish sea, Entertainment.ie and The Journal celebrate her Irish Number 1 chart success here and here.
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Kate herself wrote yet another heartfelt post on her official site thanking everyone for supporting the song with the headline “On Top of that Hill.”
The Duffer Brothers have created four extraordinary series of Stranger Things in which the child actors have grown into young adults. In this latest series the characters are facing many of the same challenges that exist in reality right now. I believe the Duffer Brothers have touched people’s hearts in a special way, at a time that’s incredibly difficult for everyone, especially younger people.
By featuring Running Up That Hill in such a positive light – as a talisman for Max (one of the main female characters) – the song has been brought into the emotional arena of her story. Fear, conflict and the power of love are all around her and her friends.
I salute the Duffer Brothers for their courage – taking this new series into a much more adult and darker place. I want to thank them so much for bringing the song into so many people’s lives.
I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving and it’s all happening really fast, as if it’s being driven along by a kind of elemental force.
I have to admit I feel really moved by it all. Thank you so very much for making the song a No 1 in such an unexpected way.
By landing at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart, Kate achieves three all-time Official Chart records simultaneously; the longest-ever gap between Number 1 singles (44 years since Wuthering Heights), longest time taken for a single to reach Number 1 (37 years), and, as well as being the youngest ever with Wuthering Heights aged 19, Kate also becomes the oldest female artist (at 63) ever to score a UK Number 1 single, replacing Cher, who was 52 when Believe topped the Official Singles Chart in 1998. Cher has congratulated Kate on beating her record on Twitter:
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts Company, comments: “It has been fantastic to see the iconic Kate Bush climbing up the Official Singles Chart with Running Up That Hill – and to see her breaking a slew of records into the bargain. The way that a new generation of music fans have taken her classic track to their hearts really does cement Kate’s position as an all-time great, if that were at all necessary.”
BBC Radio 2 had an excellent hour long Sounds of the 80s Kate Bush Special hosted by Gary Davies on Friday night and featuring our own Dave Cross selecting his favourite Kate tracks from that decade – you did an amazing job, Dave! Also featured were Midge Ure, Suzanne Vega, Moya Brennan from Clannad, Sananda Maitreya and Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott. Listen back to the show here. BBC Radio 6 also had a two-hour Now Playing show hosted by Tom Robinson “celebrating her back catalogue with two hours of listener picked hits, hidden gems, lost classics and vintage album tracks.” Lovely to hear the likes of Houdini and Rocket’s Tail played on the radio! Listen back here.
On Celebrity Gogglebox on Channel 4 in the UK, some well-known faces were gripped by Kate’s song as they watched THAT scene from Stranger Things. Excellent.
Legendary producer, Alan Parsons has congratulated Kate in a Facebook post. He writes: “I am so thrilled for Kate Bush for making music history as the oldest song to hit #1 on the Streaming Charts and hitting #1 on Billboard Global 200! I have always had the highest regard for her artistry. Stuart Elliott and Ian Bairnson played on many of her records, and Andrew Powell (Alan Parson’s Project Orchestral Arranger) produced her first two albums.”
The Sunday Times Style Magazine has a quote from me, Seán (!), on Kate’s fashion sensibilities here. I was also briefly quoted in an article for the prestigious Christian Science Monitor newspaper by Stephen Humphries, syndicated to Yahoo News in the US, here.
Vanity Fair magazine has interviewed Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink about her thoughts on Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).
What was your familiarity with Kate Bush before filming this season?
I did not know Kate Bush beforehand, but then I immediately skimmed through her work and then became increasingly more obsessed, and then I was listening to her all the time. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve listened to “Running Up That Hill.” It’s been a lot, but I’m still not sick of it, which is good. [Laughs.] Knowing the emotional connection that she has to that song, and how it’s kind of her anthem, played into it. It’s something about the energy of the song, the synth and the lyrics and everything. It’s so perfect. They could not have picked a more perfect song.
So how were you listening to it as you filmed the sequence, and as you prepared for it?
I think on the day that we were filming the running sequence in episode four, we had the song playing. And I always would have it playing in my headphones. There was an actual cassette in the Walkman and I could listen to it if I wanted to, but I did do a whole day in my own time where I just was home and had it playing on in the background for the entire day, just to see if I would go insane, because that’s what Max was having to do. So I’m like, Oh, my God. Would you get sick of it? How is she doing this all day?
And you did not get sick of it!
Honestly! It just brings up so many emotions, and it’s such an epic sequence, and I feel like it’ll always be tied to that moment.
Finally, drummer Stuart Elliott, who played drums on Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) and also on the vast majority of Kate’s albums, has been interviewed by the Percussion Discussion podcast and has some great things to say about Kate and the current global success of the song here.
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Official Charts Updates: Kate is number ONE in the UK, Ireland, Australia (2nd week at the top!), New Zealand (2nd week at the top!), Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Austria. She is number 3 in France and remains at number 4 in Germany! She remains in the Top 5 in the USA, dropping one place from 4 to 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, and she holds at #2 in Canada. Hounds of Love has reached 12 in the US Albums charts, her highest ever US album chart placement.
Billboard Charts: Kate is Number 1 on the Global 200 and No.1 in the US on both the Streaming Songs and Digital Song Sales sales charts. Also number 1 in the Billboard regional charts in Belgium, Iceland and Luxembourg.
Spotify: Kate moves down one place to #2 on the Global Weekly Spotify chart after reigning at the very top of the world’s biggest music streaming platform for a week! On the national weekly Spotify charts, she is number 1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK and USA. Kate is No.1 on the daily Global Spotify viral music chart.
iTunes: Kate is number 3 in the world on iTunes, and number 1 in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.
Shazam: Kate drops 1 place to number 2 in the most searched for songs on the Shazam app in the world!
Kate has posted yet again on her official site as the chart excitement just continues to mount. She sounds very excited. Us too, Kate!
Running Up That Hill…
It’s all so exciting! Since the last post, Running Up That Hill has gone to No 1 in Norway and Austria. This is such great news and we just heard today that it’s up from No 8 to No 4 in the US. The track is being responded to in so many positive ways. I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before! I just want to say a really big thank you to everyone in the US who has supported the song. It’s the first time I’ve had a top ten single over there and now it’s in the top 5! Thank you so much again to the Duffer Brothers – because of their latest, extraordinary series of Stranger Things, the track is being discovered by a whole new audience. Best wishes, Kate
Kate has this morning posted yet another message to her fans via her official site, www.katebush.com – delighted for you, Kate! Enjoy it all, richly deserved.
Running Up That Hill has just gone to No 2 in the UK charts and No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden…. How utterly brilliant! It’s hard to take in the speed at which this has all been happening since the release of the first part of the Stranger Things new series. So many young people who love the show, discovering the song for the first time. The response to Running Up That Hill is something that has had its own energy and volition. A direct relationship between the shows and their audience and one that has stood completely outside of the music business. We’ve all been astounded to watch the track explode! Thanks so much to everyone who has supported the song and a really special thank you to the Duffer Brothers for creating something with such heart . All best wishes, Kate
It’s always great to hear from Kate and this year she sends a lovely message to her fans, via her official site. Wishing you a lovely Christmas, Kate and yes, a happier 2022 for us all x
With nearly two years of Covid, are any of us the same people we were before? It’s left everyone confused and uncertain of the future. It’s been a terrible time of loss for so many. I want to say a big thank you to all the people on the front line and in the NHS. I have such huge respect for all the nurses and doctors who’ve already been working flat out for nearly two years. These caring people are showing such extraordinary acts of kindness to others. Let’s hope they get the pay rises they rightly deserve. I’d like to mention something that happened a few weeks ago on a walk; stopping to look at the view, I noticed something moving in a tree right beside me. It was a Goldcrest – the smallest bird in Europe, even smaller than a wren. I stood still, hoping not to frighten it away. Its colouring is beautiful – a peacock’s eye on each wing and a striking yellow streak on its tiny head. This gorgeous little ball of fluff flew away after ten minutes or so. I’ve only ever seen one once before and very briefly. It made my day. In these strange times, I really hope you can get the chance to stop for a moment and feel nature around you. Please stay safe. Wishing you a restful Christmas and hoping 2022 is a happier year for everyone . With love Kate
Kate has left a nice message on her official site this evening – wishing Kate and her family a wonderful Christmas!
Hi everyone, There’s very little that hasn’t already been said about 2020… I just hope you’ve managed to cope and to stay safe through all the ins and outs of lockdown. Without the key workers on the front line, this year would’ve been so very different. A huge thank you to them, especially those working in the health services. Wishing you all the best possible Christmas in such difficult circumstances and hoping there’s a much happier and brighter year ahead. Kate
It’s been VERY difficult to bite my lip on the news site about this for over two years, but Kate has this evening finally, very publicly and definitively rebuked an insidious story, continually propagated on social media and in the press since 2016, about her supposed political leanings. Here’s Kate’s clarification:
It’s been very exciting to hear all the positive feedback around the Remastered project and the lyric book. Thank you so much for embracing both of them. It means a great deal to everyone involved. I didn’t do any interviews for either project hoping that the work could speak for itself. I read some articles that included a number of inaccuracies and usually I don’t respond. However I do feel I need to address one story which came from a phone interview I did two years ago. I was very disappointed that the use of a quote out of context was timed with the release of the live album and it seemed as if the focus went onto the quote rather than the work. It was deeply frustrating. At the time I discussed the idea of responding to it with close friends and we all agreed it was best to let it go. It seems the quote keeps being used and so I’d like to present my side of the story. Over the years, I have avoided making political comments in interviews. My response to the interviewer was not meant to be political but rather was in the defence of women in power. I felt he was putting a really negative slant on powerful women, referring to a witch hunt involving Hilary Clinton. In response I said that we had a woman in charge of our country, and that I felt it was a good thing to have women in power. I should have been clearer when I then said it was the best thing that had happened to us for a long time – because I greatly disliked the behaviour of the previous PM, who at that point I felt had abandoned us and everybody felt angry and let down. Again with no response from me to the latest resurfacing of this article, it could make it seem like I am a tory supporter which I want to make clear I am not. I won’t be commenting further on this, but feel it’s become so pervasive that I felt I needed to clarify this matter once and for all. Happy New Year, Kate
Happy New Year! On her official site, Kate has written an update thanking fans for their generous support of the Kate Bush Remastered Pop Up in December. She writes:
We will be announcing the total amount that has been raised for Crisis as soon as all the accounting is complete. It looks like this will be towards the end of January. Thank you again for all your generous support. Wishing you all a very happy new year. Kate