Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ Soars in Streams Thanks to ‘Stranger Things’: Inside the Preliminary Spotify Gains

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“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” Kate Bush’s classic 1985 single, has received an explosion of new interest thanks to its use in the recently premiered fourth season of Stranger Things – and while next week’s Billboard charts will reflect its overall surge, new data from Spotify demonstrates the Netflix series’ impact on its streaming totals thus far.

According to data collected by Spotify on Monday (May 30), “Running Up That Hill” posted an 8,700% increase in global streams compared to its total on Thursday (May 26), the day prior to the Stranger Things season four premiere on Netflix. Meanwhile, the song’s U.S. streams increased by 9,900% over the same time period. “Running Up That Hill” currently sits at No. 2 on Spotify’s top 50 U.S. chart and No. 4 on its top 200 global chart.

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“It’s incredible to watch iconic songs get rediscovered and have global moments with new listeners,” says Jeremy Erlich, Spotify’s global head of music, in a statement to Billboard. “‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) ‘ is one of those ‘perfect storm’ examples. It’s a classic song that has been introduced to a wide fandom and has now taken on a whole new meaning.”

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” the lead single to the British legend’s 1985 album Hounds of Love, soundtracks the story of Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), still reeling from a family death, in the fourth season of Stranger Things. Max plays the song on her Walkman in the first episode of season four, and the song serves as a recurring theme for the character leading up to a pivotal sequence in the fourth episode.

In addition to “Running Up That Hill,” the new season of Stranger Things, set primarily in 1986, is full of indelible ‘80s hits, from Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” to Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie” to Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus.” According to Spotify, the platform’s official Stranger Things playlist has scored 1,784% increase in daily global streams from Thursday to Monday, with “Running Up That Hill” scoring the biggest individual bump.

“More than ever, Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon that resonates with fans all over the world,” says Alexandra Patsavas, Netflix’s director of music/creative production for series, in a statement. “We are thrilled to see fans connect so enthusiastically with such a key part of the [showrunners] Duffer Brothers incredible storytelling — the music. It’s remarkable to see how the reaction to Kate’s song has engaged new and old fans alike, and has also transcended generations — 37 years later!”

Upon its 1985 release, “Running Up That Hill” became the highest-charting Hot 100 single of Bush’s career, reaching No. 30 on the tally. The song has been covered numerous times since its release, including a Placebo version in 2003 that was synched on The O.C., and a Meg Myers version in 2019 that topped Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart. Per Spotify, Bush’s full catalog has seen a 1,600% uptick in global streams since the Stranger Things premiere.

“We’ve watched the song grow tremendously over the weekend, showcasing the massive cultural impact of Stranger Things and streaming’s power to share and discover music instantaneously,” says Erlich. “Most importantly, Kate Bush has deservedly increased her fanbase to a new generation of music lovers. Max / Sadie Sink and the Stranger Things crew have great taste!”

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