It’s entirely possible that in the fifth decade of her career, Kate Bush is enjoying bigger global popularity than ever before — particularly in the United States — thanks to the use of her 1985 classic “Running Up That Hill” as a pivotal plot device in the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”
While the reclusive singer has long enjoyed superstar status in her native England, has collaborated with artists from Prince to Peter Gabriel and has written and recorded such well-known songs as “Wuthering Heights,” “This Woman’s Work” (made famous when covered in 1996 by Maxwell) and others, her highest chart placement on the Billboard Hot 100 was when “Running Up That Hill” peaked at No. 30 in November of 1985.
Yet all of that may change on next week’s chart, based on the numbers the song has posted in the days after the “Stranger Things” premiere last weekend. It is rare for Bush to approve the use of her songs in film and television, but it turns out she is a fan of “Stranger Things” and approved the multiple uses in the show (head here for Variety’s interview with the show’s music supervisor on how it all came together).
In overall audio consumption, “Running Up That Hill” saw its biggest surge between Monday and Wednesday, per data from Luminate, jumping from 12,000 on-demand streams on Sunday to nearly 34,000 stream equivalent songs on Wednesday (June 1). Compared to the previous week, when the song logged plays in the hundreds of streams, it represented a jump of more than 8,000%. Airplay also saw a bump of nearly 330% as audience for the song went from 41,000 to over 422,000 in a week.
Video saw the biggest increase, logging a nearly 15,000% rise from the previous week.
On Spotify, Monday saw an 8,700% increase in global streams of the song. There was a more than 9,900% increase in Spotify streams in the U.S., and a more than 1,600% increase in global streams of Kate Bush’s catalog.
On Apple Music, the song’s global streams soared more than 5,400% over the weekend, compared to the same three days in 2021. On May 30, the song saw nearly 100 times the number of plays it saw on the same day in 2021.
May 30th was Kate Bush’s biggest day on Apple Music in history, as well as the song’s. “Running Up That Hill” reached the daily Top 100 in 112 countries worldwide from May 28 through May 31, and by the 31st, it had reached the top 10 in 34 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Germany, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand, and it had reached No. 2 in eleven of them, including the U.K., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Australia.
At the time of this article’s publication (June 3), it was No. 2 on Apple Music Daily Top 100 Global chart and No. 3 on Apple Music Daily Top 100 USA.
Relatedly, May 29 was the biggest date ever for Shazams of Kate Bush; no other TV sync this year has had more Shazams within a seven day window. At the time of this article’s publication, it was No. 1 on Shazam’s global top 200 and the U.S. top 200.
Likewise, Pandora saw a 231.45% increase in streams for the in the in the past week, and a 224.2% increase in “thumbs up”.