Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” Hits #1 In UK After Chart Rule Adjustment

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” Hits #1 In UK After Chart Rule Adjustment

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The Stranger Things-fueled Kate Bush renaissance continues. In case you have somehow missed all of this, “Running Up That Hill” has been having a moment thanks to being a prominent plot point in the new season of Stranger Things. While the song was already iconic, it’s now had a different level of mainstream crossover than ever before, climbing the charts around the world. Even Bush, who typically rarely speaks on anything, has been issuing shocked statement after shocked statement, gushing about her love for the show and her gratitude that it’s sparked a renewed interest in the song.

Just a couple weeks ago, Bush hit a milestone Stateside, when the song gave her a new Hot 100 peak by breaking the top 10. “I just want to say a really big thank you to everyone in the US who has supported the song. It’s the first time I’ve had a top ten single over there and now it’s in the top 5!” Bush wrote in her most recent statement.

But over in her native UK, “Running Up That Hill” has now hit the coveted #1 spot. It took some rule adjustment on the UK charts to get there. As the BBC reports, “Running Up That Hill” is currently the UK’s most streamed song (700,000 per day), but wouldn’t have hit the top spot without a rule that “stops older songs being penalised if their streams surge.” The UK’s Chart Supervisory Committee have revoked the “accelerated decline” rule — in which an old song needs to rack up more listens in order to count for a single sale than a current hit does. In unusual circumstances like this, labels can request a “manual reset.” Now, streams “Running Up That Hill” will count the same as any other new single’s. As a result, Bush just scored her first #1 hit in the UK since 1978’s “Wuthering Heights.”

That marks at least one record Bush broke with her latest feat — surpassing Tom Jones for the longest gap between #1 singles. (His was 42 years, Bush’s is 44.) Official Charts also reports that Bush broke two other records. “Running Up That Hill” is now the song that has taken the longest to reach #1, its 37 years surpassing the 36 years it took Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” She is also the oldest female to ever score a #1 single on the chart — she’s 63 now, and the previous record holder was Cher, who was 52 when “Believe” hit #1 in 1998.

That BBC article also notes that “Running Up That Hill” is due to have an even more important role in the second half of the season, including in the finale. Looks like the year of Kate Bush will still be going strong.

UPDATE: Bush has released a statement on the achievement:

On Top of that Hill

The Duffer Brothers have created four extraordinary series of Stranger Things in which the child actors have grown into young adults. In this latest series the characters are facing many of the same challenges that exist in reality right now. I believe the Duffer Brothers have touched people’s hearts in a special way, at a time that’s incredibly difficult for everyone, especially younger people.

By featuring Running Up That Hill in such a positive light – as a talisman for Max (one of the main female characters) – the song has been brought into the emotional arena of her story. Fear, conflict and the power of love are all around her and her friends.

I salute the Duffer Brothers for their courage – taking this new series into a much more adult and darker place. I want to thank them so much for bringing the song into so many people’s lives.

I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving and it’s all happening really fast, as if it’s being driven along by a kind of elemental force.

I have to admit I feel really moved by it all.
Thank you so very much for making the song a No 1 in such an unexpected way.


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