Kate Bush Finally Reaches No.1 with "Running Up That Hill" - STranger Things have Happened!
By Mark Nobes
19 June 2022
Almost 37 years after its initial release, Kate Bush has finally reached No.1 with her 80s classic "Running Up That Hill", after the song featuried in a dramatic scene in series 4 of the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things.
I'm not going to bore you by re-describing the whole scene again (it is worth paying the subscription fee just to see this episode!), but, basically, the song releases the character Max from the psychological clutches of the villain Vecna.
Now, as someone who has struggled with their own inner demons and suffers with clinical depression, I can relate to the fact that the power of music has truly helped me through some very difficult times. Music can also bring people together and create new friendships. Indeed, I have made many new musical friends on Youtube, so anyone who dismisses the site as "unimportant" (something I've heard many times), I urge you to think again! Don't underestimate the power of music.
"Running Up That Hill" originally spent 17 weeks in the UK Top 100, reaching No.3 on 25th august 1985. Quite unexpectedly, the single re-entered the Official UK Top 40 at No.8 on 3rd June 2022, climbing to No.2 the following week and then claiming the top position on 17th June. The single also topped the charts in another seven countries, and reached the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 - it peaked at No.30 on the U.S. chart on its initial release.
At 53-years-old, Kate became the oldest female to reach No.1 in the UK, and the single also broke the record for the longest time to reach No.1 after its initial release. A third record was also broken, as "Wuthering Heights" was Kate's last number one in 1978, making the wait between number one's the longest for any artist.
Bush became well-known for her interpretive dance videos, and in the video for "Running Up That Hill", she is featured with the dancer Michael Hervieu. They can bee seen both wearing traditional Japanese Hakamas. The routines were choreographed by Diane Grey.
In all honesty, although I can appreciate that her dance movements are expressing many emotions and situations, I'm not really a fan of this style of dance. But Kate's music I am most definitely a big fan of. I guess, both her songs and videos are rather like Marmite, in that you either love them or hate them.
Interestingly, the song's original working title was "A Deal With God" but the name was dropped at the request of Kate's record label EMI, due to the religious theme. However, it was included in brackets alongside "Running Up That Hill" on the album listing of Hounds Of Love, and on a 2012 re-release, which I'll come to in a moment.
The song was originally recorded on an 8-track recorder by Kate in her home studio.
In 1986, the song was used as the theme music for the BBC1 children's drama series Running Scared. Don't remember it? Well, I don't either, but it was a six-part one-off series about a teenage girl called Paula Prescott, who's life is in danger after she discovers evidence about a criminal gang leader.
A 2012 remix entitled "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) 2012 Remix" entered the UK singles chart at No.6 for one week on 19th August, after it premiered at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. However,, it fell back to No.33 the following week and then No.63 on 2nd September.