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Why are Kate Bush fans upset about the new life given to “Running Up That Hill” by Stranger Things?

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you’ll know that an episode in the current season featured some very effective use of Kate Bush‘s 1985 hit, “Running Up That Hill.” If you missed it, we heard the song as Max played it through her headphones as she stumbled her way through the hallway of the high school, reeling from the death of her brother Billy.

Within hours, the song started rising up on every imaginable platform, seeing a rise of 9,900% of US streams. That will inevitably translate into an appearance on next week’s Billboard charts. And a quick search on Twitter for “#KateBush” will see a huge number of posts, many from people who, thanks to Stranger Things, have discovered the song for the first time. (Here’s a good story on how songs go viral, especially once they get on TikTok. And here’s a deep dive into the new numbers for the song.)

The song is, without a doubt, a timeless masterpiece, one that speaks of a very personal sense of emotional turmoil that everyone from every generation can identify with. It’s also another example of how an older song can capture the attention of a generation several times removed from its original era.

However, Kate Bush fans are very protective of their queen. Twitter has been alight with comments from fans who are livid that “Running” will become known as “that song from Stranger Things” and not from her Hounds of Love album. The Daily Beast reports on this situation. And then there are these tweets.

But then there are those who think that this is great for the young’uns.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

5 thoughts on “Why are Kate Bush fans upset about the new life given to “Running Up That Hill” by Stranger Things?

  • Most fans are thrilled that Kate Bush is being embraced by a new generation. Maybe she’ll release some of that music she’s been writing for the past few years in secret…

  • “Damn these young people for finding my legacy music on these newfangled platforms which pay me a royalty for every listen!”

    – said no artist ever

  • Gatekeeping in music has been one of the dorkiest pursuits ever.

  • I never understood the gatekeeping concept in music. Music is there for everyone to enjoy, and if it shows up on a TV show and suddenly is popular again, in my mind that is a win! I work with a lot of younger people and when they suddenly embrace a song that I grew up with, even if it is a remake, it makes me happy.
    I am sure that Kate is probably a bit surprised at the response, however I also hope that she is enjoying the new found fans.

  • ps

    And gosh, the best thing about going to shows is watching the parents bring their children and teaching them about ‘real’ music! Or seeing the younger audiences at (my) music which, of course is not as popular as I think it should be. Music is for everyone! Share the wealth!

    Isn’t diversity one of the best things about an audience???


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