'The world's gone mad': Kate Bush on 'Stranger Things' and chart revival in rare interview

Kate Bush is experiencing a cultural zeitgeist
Kate Bush is experiencing a cultural zeitgeist Copyright John Glanville/AP1980
Copyright John Glanville/AP1980
By Tim Gallagher
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The singer has her first US top 10 ever thanks to the hit Netflix show 'Stranger Things,' but how does she feel about it?


“The whole world has gone mad,” Kate Bush said today in a rare interview given to the BBC.

The singer was speaking on daytime show Woman’s Hour, after her track ‘Running up That Hill’ reentered the charts following its appearance on Netflix show, ‘Stranger Things’.

“It is just extraordinary,” Bush said to the show’s host Emma Barnett.

“I thought the track would get some attention but I never imagined it would be anything like this.”

‘Running Up That Hill,’ which reached no. 3 when it was released in 1985, has been propelled to no.1 in the UK official charts. It's the longest any song has taken to reach the top spot after its release.

‘Running Up That Hill’ is also currently topping the charts in the US, and is Bush’s first US top 10 ever. 

At 63 this has made her the oldest woman to ever have a top 10 US hit, beating previous record-holder Cher who released ‘Believe’ at 52.

Its feature on the Netflix show has brought Bush to a whole new generation.

“This is a whole new audience, they have never heard of me, and I love that,” said the singer.

Who is Kate Bush?

Kate Bush has experienced a surge in popularity thanks to Netflix show 'Stranger Things'AP

Bush, who has a cult following and enormous back catalogue, began her career in the late 1970s and first gained attention with the track ‘Wuthering Heights’.

The artist has enjoyed hits across the decades but due to her reclusive nature, the singer rarely tours or is seen in public, with a couple of notable exceptions: when she did two performances in 2014, garnering international attention.

‘Running Up That Hill’ was released 37 years ago and was from Bush’s fifth studio album.

“Music is very special, it is different from all other art forms. All art forms sit in their own space but music has a way of touching people,” Bush said.

She also admitted that, to her, the song retains its working title which was dropped by music execs for fear of causing offence. 

“For me it is still called ‘A Deal With God’,” she said.

Is Kate Bush a fan of Stranger Things?

The final season of ‘Stranger Things,’ tells the story of a plucky gang of teenagers up against a malign, otherworldly presence in a 1980s US town.

Bush used the one-off interview to praise the series creators, the Duffer brothers, and compliment the way ‘Running Up That Hill’ was used as a plot device.

In episode four of the season red-haired teenager Max is destined for a grisly fate in the nightmare realm of the Upside Down at the hands of the evil Vecna. However, her friends manage to save her by playing ‘Running Up That Hill,’ on her walkman.


“I thought what a lovely way for the song to be used as a talisman for Max. It is very touching really,” said Bush, who added that she loved the series and had binge-watched it with her family after being told about it by friends.

“We have watched it from the word go,” said the singer.

Is ‘Running Up That Hill’ popular because of TikTok?

Jordan Strauss/2022 Invision
The character of Max on 'Stranger Things' is saved from death by 'Running up That Hill'Jordan Strauss/2022 Invision

Since the release of the final season, ‘Stranger Things’ has beaten lusty period drama ‘Bridgerton’ to be Netflix’s most-watched English language series ever.

The resurgent popularity of the song thanks to the show has played out on social media and streaming services, creating a contemporary zeitgeist for an artist who gained fame almost four decades ago.

At one point ‘Running up That Hill’ was streamed 700,000 times a day on Spotify. Meanwhile, a clip of the show featuring the track was quickly clipped to 30 seconds and put on TikTok.


Entering the social media ecosystem the song garnered millions of views, inspiring jokes and memes and featuring in 500,000 videos within one week of the episode airing.

Bush, who confessed to having an ‘ancient brick’ for a phone so she won’t be bothered when she’s out of the house, was delighted by the attention for her music.

“This is a whole new audience they have never heard of me and I love that,” said the singer.

“Thank you very much, thank you to everyone. It is extraordinary what is happening.


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