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Among the stranger things to come from last month’s Netflix premiere of Stranger Things 4 has been the renewed interest Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill,” which is featured in the new season. Today the revitalized track returned to the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 30 some 37 years ago –It re-enters the chart at No. 8, becoming the first U.S. Top 10 for its singer-songwriter.
The track soared to No. 1 on the iTunes chart shortly after the May 27 season premiere of Stranger Things. Since then it has hit the Top 10 in a dozen countries, including Bush’s native UK. It sits at No. 6 there this week, close to matching its original No. 3 peak.
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The song — originally titled “A Deal with God” before her label rethought it — was Brit Bush’s biggest Stateside pop hit and her second-biggest in the UK. “Running Up That Hill” also was featured in 2019 episodes HBO’s Big Little Lies, Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, as well as the 2018 pilot of FX’s Pose.
It’s not uncommon for an older song to spike when introduced to a new, younger audience. A recent example is the resurgence of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which became a near-worldwide hit again after the 2018 Freddie Mercury biopic starring eventual Oscar winner Rami Malek. Of course that was a third go-round for the 1976 operatic classic after its raucous featuring in 1992’s Wayne’s World. It reached No. 2 on the Hot 100, besting its original No. 8 peak.
A humorous example was when Rage Against the Machine incendiary 1992 track “Killing in the Name” topped the UK singles chart at Christmastime in 2009. A Facebook group pushed people to buy the song in an effort to thwart a song from The X Factor from topping the UK chart at Christmas for a fifth consecutive year. It worked.
Farther back a bit, the Righteous Brothers’ classic 1965 cover of “Unchained Melody” popped anew when it was featured in a pivotal scene from the 1990 film Ghost. It hit No. 1 in the UK then and No. 13 in the U.S.
Watch the original 1985 video for “Running Up That Hill” here:
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