Stranger Things has turned the iTunes chart upside down. Only two days after Season 4, Part 1 of the 1980s-set series began streaming on Netflix, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” has leapt to the top spot — some 37 years after its initial release!
Those of you who have already begun your binge of the show’s penultimate season will know that Max starts playing the song in the premiere, and it only becomes more significant in subsequent episodes.
Back in ’85, “Running Up That Hill” was the lead single from the English singer/songwriter’s fifth album, Hounds of Love. Though it cut far deeper than other hits of the day — think: Starship’s “We Built This City” — it received considerable airplay on pop radio and reached the Top 30 on Billboard’s Hot 100. MTV put the video in rotation, too, but initially rejected the original clip, featuring Bush performing an interpretive dance, in favor of her lip-synching on a BBC talk show.
“Running Up That Hill” got a second wind in 2012, when Bush rerecorded her vocals down a semitone and laid them over the the backing track to 1985’s extended version of the song. This remix of the golden oldie was used during 2012’s Summer Olympics closing ceremony but — d’oh — not shown in the U.S.
Bush’s classic has also been covered several times, most notably by the alt-rock band Placebo, whose 2003 rendition was used in the Season 4 premiere of The O.C., and badass Meg Myers, whose version topped the Billboard Rock Airplay and Alternative Songs charts in 2020.
The resurgent song is featured on Stranger Things‘ Season 4 soundtrack, which is quickly climbing iTunes’s album chart (where it’s currently at No. 6).