Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the attention of the music industry. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to get through, and they can all become ubiquitous in the blink of an eye from a TikTok clip.
This week: It’s an 80s edition of Trending Up, as ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Top Gun’ see Reagan-era pop hits soar in sales and streams, and we’re celebrating the anniversary of a ‘Rocky III’ soundtrack classic who in the first call.
Even ‘strange’ bumps from the new season
Although Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has gotten all the attention – understandable – from the 80s songs used in Netflix season four Weird stuffit is by no means the only one to record a large consumption gain in the past week.
Best of the rest is British-Jamaican reggae group Musical Youth’s perennial ’80s “Pass the Dutchie,” which is being used as a sort of stoner theme for the new season (notably for new character Argyle, played by Eduardo Franco) . The song, a number 10 Hot 100 hit in 1983, rose a whopping 1.437% in streams to 1.998 million in the past week (ending June 2), according to Luminate. Additionally, Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like a Record)”, a No. 11 hit in 1985, rose 78% in streams to 1,131 million, Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy” (No. 13 in 1986) was a rise from 89% to 502,000, and Extreme’s “Play With Me” (which never reached the Hot 100) saw a massive 842% spike in streams, albeit down to a more modest total of 222,000. † ANDREW ONDERBERGER
Beyond “That Hill”: Kate Bush’s catalog is rising too
Weird stuff Not only did “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” become the first top 10 Hot 100 hit of Kate Bush’s career this week (June 11 chart), but of course also boosted the entire discography from the legendary singer-songwriter – as viewers rushed to learn more about the artist so crucial to Sadie Sinks’ personality (and safety) Max Mayfield in the new season of the series. In the tracking week ending June 3, Bush’s entire catalog earned 20.6 million on-demand streams in the U.S., according to Luminate — a whopping 2.506% gain from the previous week, according to Luminate, prior to the Weird stuff season four will premiere on May 27. Even if “Running Up That Hill” and its 17.5 million streams were removed from that total, the rest of Bush’s catalog earned 3.1 million streams, a 1.789% increase from 163,000 in the previous week.
Not surprisingly, the biggest non-‘Hill’ recipients of streaming boosts have been the Bush songs that have already topped the artist page on streaming services like Spotify — with many unfamiliar listeners no doubt poking around her most notable songs after hugging her. biggest hit. Of that group of songs, “Babooshka” earned the most on-demand streams last week at 470,000, followed by “Wuthering Heights” at 311,000, “Cloudbusting” at 290,000, “Hounds of Love” at 287,000 and “This Woman’s Work” at 158,000. As regards dogs of loveBush’s classic 1985 album, which begins with “Running Up That Hill” and features Max in cassette form throughout Season 4, saw a massive jump in consumption across its full length – 17,000 equivalent album units, up 2.086% – and jumped to the top of the Top Alternative Albums chart, which gave Bush her first career number 1 album on a Billboard graphic. † JASON LIPSHUTZ
On the hunt for the top
The release of the box office sequel Top Gun: Maverick on May 27 resulted in some serious climbs in height for some of the 80s classics from the original Top Gun soundtrack.
Kenny Loggins’ action classic “Danger Zone,” a No. 2 Hot 100 hit in 1986 that also takes off Independent thinking person‘s opening scene, according to Luminate, saw both a 142% increase in streams to 3,875 million and a 235% increase in sales to 6,000 during the last chart week. Meanwhile, “Top Gun Anthem”, the original credits theme by Harold Faltemeyer and Steve Stevens, was up 169% in streams to 692,000 and by 277% in sales to nearly 2,000 – while the updated version of the theme used in the sequel, by the two original composers, as well as Lady Gaga and Hans Zimmer, debuted with 606,000 streams and over 1,000 in sales. And despite not being used at all in the new movie, Belin’s Hot 100 topping “Take My Breath Away” keeps the original theme. Top Gun also increased 103% in streams to 2,249 million, and 189% in revenue to nearly 2,000.
It’s not just the old songs of Top Gun who took advantage of the film’s popularity, though. Lady Gaga’s ‘Hold My Hand’, the closing ballad for Independent thinking person, jumping 33 spots to number 54 on the Hot 100 this week (dated June 11), with a 44% increase in streams to 4.268 million and a 180% increase in sales to nearly 12,000. (The song also starts to catch on in the ether, climbing 44-36 on Billboard‘s radio songs this week.) And OneRepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried,” which is the soundtrack to a beach soccer scene in Independent thinking person, is rising at supersonic speed, with a 245% increase in streams to 2,538 million and a whopping 624% in sales to nearly 4,000. † ANDREW ONDERBERGER
One Tears for Fears Eternal to “rule” them all
among the many Top Gun– and Weird stuffrelated 80s smashes to experience significant bumps, you may have noticed a Reagan-era Hot 100 topper with no apparent connection to either franchise: Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
The UK new wave duo’s number 1 hit from 1985 rises to a new peak of number 12 Billboard‘s Rock Streaming Songs are charting this week, thanks to a 33% increase in streams to 4.728 million in the tracking week ending June 2, according to Luminate. If those gains don’t seem that huge, it’s because the song’s recent virality (for the most part) on TikTok) has been relatively gradual, and because the song is enough of a perennial favorite, it racked up regular weekly streams in the high two million and low three million for most of 2022.
So what explains the slightly bigger-than-usual bump from last week? Well it may not have cost much more than Weird stuff and Top Gun reminding people, “Hey, remember how great 80s pop was?” and send them back to their other favorites from that period. (Unsurprisingly, “Rule” features prominently in both Spotify’s official Hits from the 80s and Pop Rock playlists from the 80s.) – ouch
Q&A: YouTube’s Main Music Catalog Ryan Thornton on What’s Popular in His World
How has your role evolved as more catalog numbers are revived into the public consciousness as part of viral trends?
Part of what excites me about my role is the phenomenon and potential of each song to go viral. Whether it’s social trends, short videos, or prominent syncs, the ability to watch or participate in a viral hit is a particularly fun part of the industry’s catalog segment. I’m also excited about the role YouTube Shorts can play in further amplifying these moments and for the full circle of music discovery experiences fans can all have within the YouTube ecosystem.
What music catalog-related trend have you been eyeing and do you think will have an impact in the near future?
The accelerated, slowed down and reverberated versions of official songs are a trend I’ve noticed, as with Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the summer [Sped Up Remix]† It was fascinating to see how the redesigned versions of songs encourage discovery of the original song, whether it’s from 2015, 2005, 1995 or 1985. I think this is definitely something we’ll be seeing more of.
How is YouTube preparing and responding to something like the new season of Weird stuffwith Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and other 80s hits that are garnering huge new interest?
Moments like these are really cool because “Run up that hill” now resonates with a whole new generation of music fans. This week the song debuted at number 7 on our American top songs and no. 26 on the Global Top Songs† Around the world, the song reached the charts in 35 markets and was viewed 18.7 million times worldwide during this hit period. It’s unbelievable to watch!
For YouTube Music, preparation usually comes in the form of optimization and response by responding to demand and being agile. Every release is different and we work closely with our partners to devise strategies from a holistic perspective. That includes general findability, planning of video releases, worldwide accessibility of the music and much more.
Fill in the blank: The most exciting thing that happens to catalog numbers on YouTube that no one is talking about yet is __________.
Demographic shifts in fandom. Since streaming has significantly reduced the barrier to discovery, it’s easier than ever to dig deeper into an artist’s catalog. And when these viral moments happen, you generally see both the big spike in views up front and (hopefully) an elevated baseline of listening afterwards. This can also cause the average age of the listener to drop, which is a benefit for any artist with a catalog yet to be discovered by new generations of music fans. –JL
When Trending: “Eye of the Tiger” Uncaged
On May 28, 1982, Rocky III, with Syvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion taking on Mr. T’s Clubber Lang and Hulk Hogan’s Thunderlips, was released in theaters. A week later, the film’s theme song — the heart-pounding “Eye of the Tiger,” by then-emerging Chicago rock outfit Survivor — debuted at number 73 on the June 5 Hot 100. Seven weeks later, it was the number 1 song in the country and became the second theme of the rocky franchise tops the chart (after Bill Conti’s instrumental “Gonna Fly Now” from the original rocky 1977). If current trends are any indication, the song could have another surge in consumption in early 2023, when the third installment of the Michael B. Jordan starring rocky sequel series Beliefs has been released. † ouch