Kate Bush spoke about the remarkable resurgence of her 1985 song Running Up That Hill in her first interview since the song returned to the charts.
Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Bush said the situation was “just extraordinary…pretty shocking, isn’t it?” I mean, the whole world has gone mad.
Running Up That Hill is at No. 1 on the UK charts and could spend a second week at the top on Friday despite high-profile new releases from Drake and Beyoncé. It’s at No. 5 in the US, down from a peak of No. 4 last week, making it its first US Top 10 hit.
The song is a key plot motif for character Max Mayfield in the fourth season of the hugely popular Netflix drama Stranger Things, which has created a whole generation of new Kate Bush fans.
“It’s such a great show, I thought the track would get attention. But I never imagined it would be anything like this,” Bush said. “The Duffer brothers created the show and actually we watched it from the first series, so I already knew the series. And I thought what a great way for the song to be used in such a positive way. You know, like some sort of talisman almost really for Max. And yes, I think it’s very touching, actually.
Earlier this month, series co-creator Matt Duffer said Bush’s music would return for the two climactic episodes of season four, released July 1. “There’s an epic Kate Bush moment in the finale that we didn’t expect, that we kind of discovered in the edit,” he said. “The sequence was really cool and we were happy with it, but there was a little something missing. And I was like, ‘Well, let’s try Kate. Because when did Kate let us down? brought it to this new height. This is arguably Kate Bush’s most epic moment. It comes back in a major way.
A new trailer for the final two episodes of Stranger Things has been released, featuring a heart-pounding reworking of Running Up That Hill.
Speaking to Barnett, Bush said she hadn’t listened to Running Up That Hill “in a very long time” before it returned to the charts, adding, “I never listen to my old stuff.” She last performed it in 2014 for her theatrical concert series in London Before the Dawn.
Bush said its original title was A Deal With God, but “I think they were just worried, the record company, that it wouldn’t play on the radio. That people would feel like it was a sensitive title.
On the meaning of the song, she said, “I really like people hearing a song and getting what they want out of it. But originally it was written as a man’s idea and of a woman exchanging with each other Just to feel what it was like on the other side.
In a previous interview in 1986, she elaborated on the song’s meaning, saying it was “about the fundamental differences between men and women, I guess trying to break down those barriers, being in someone’s shoes else; figure out how they see it and hope that it would eliminate problems in the relationship.
In his Radio 4 interview, Bush described 2022 as “an incredibly exciting time…OK, so it’s a horrible time on so many levels for people. Very difficult. But it’s also a time when amazing things happen. Technology is advancing at this incredible rate. It’s pretty overwhelming, really. But, you know, there are so many advances in medicine and there are positive things – you just have to search a little more to find them right now, I think.