It’s quite possible that in the fifth decade of her career, Kate Bush is enjoying greater worldwide popularity than ever before – especially 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’.
Although the reclusive singer has long enjoyed superstardom in her native England, she has collaborated with artists from Prince to Peter Gabriel and has written and recorded well-known songs such as “Wuthering Heights”, “This Woman’s Work” (made famous when she was covered in 1996 by Maxwell) and others, was her highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 when “Running Up That Hill” peaked at number 30 in November 1985.
But that could all change in next week’s chart-topping chart, based on the songs the song posted in the days following the premiere of “Stranger Things” last weekend. It’s rare for Bush to approve the use of her songs in film and television, but it turns out she’s a fan of “Stranger Things” and approved of its frequent use on the show (go to Variety’s interview with the show’s music supervisor here how it all came together).
In total audio consumption, “Running Up That Hill” saw the biggest increase between Monday and Wednesday, according to data from Luminate, 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 logged song played in the hundreds of streams, it represented a jump of more than 8,000%. Airplay also saw a nearly 330% increase as audiences for the song went from 41,000 to over 422,000 in a week.
Video saw the biggest increase, up nearly 15,000% from the previous week.
On Spotify, Monday saw an 8,700% increase in worldwide streams of the song. There was an increase of more than 9,900% in Spotify streams in the US and an increase of more than 1,600% in worldwide streams of Kate Bush’s catalog.
On Apple Music, worldwide streams of the song increased by more than 5,400% this weekend, compared to the same three days in 2021. On May 30, the song was played almost 100 times more than on the same day in 2021.
May 30 was Kate Bush’s biggest day on Apple Music in history, as well as that of the song. “Running Up That Hill” reached the daily Top 100 in 112 countries worldwide from May 28 to May 31, and by May 31 it had reached the Top 10 in 34 countries worldwide, including the US, Germany, Norway, Belgium and New Zealand, and it had reached number 2 in eleven of them, including the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Australia.
At the time of this article’s publication (June 3), it was #2 on the Apple Music Daily Top 100 Global chart and #3 on the Apple Music Daily Top 100 USA.
Related, May 29 was Kate Bush’s biggest date ever for Shazams; no other TV sync this year has had more Shazams in a seven-day period. At the time of publishing this article, it was number 1 in Shazam’s global top 200 and the US top 200.
Similarly, last week Pandora saw a 231.45% increase in streams for the past week and a 224.2% increase in “thumbs up”.