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How Stranger Things Season 4 Has Caused a Resurgence in Popularity of Kate Bush’s 1985 Song ‘Running Up That Hill’

Kate Bush’s iconic 80’s hit single ‘Running up that hill’ has resurged in popularity after its feature in Stranger Things Season 4.

Credit: Rafal Werczynski/Unsplash

Kate Bush’s iconic 80’s hit single ‘Running up that hill’ has resurged in popularity after its feature in Stranger Things Season 4.

Stranger Things Season 4 has finally hit our screens after a three-year wait. Fans have been long awaiting the new season which aired on Netflix on the 27th of May and certainly did not disappoint. For those still hoping to watch or finish the series, be aware of spoilers ahead.

Season 4 follows the gang as they hunt down a new monster, Vecna. One of the most distinctive changes in the latest season is the characters being all grown up, now all in their early teenage years and facing the everyday struggles of high school and youth. Alongside this, the gang continues to find themselves in terrifying situations and in between realities; their normal reality and the upside-down.

The new season also explores the sub-plots of characters such as Joyce Byers, played by Winona Ryder, and Eleven’s previous guardian Hopper, played by David Harbour.

Amid all of the various sub-plots, the season comes to a climax when Max becomes possessed by the monster. The usual pattern is that once the teenager starts to have visions, they are soon after taken by the creature. As the gang hurries to find a cure, Max is reeled deeper into the curse.

It all comes to a head when Max reads a letter to her late brother, Billie. As she sits at his grave and reads out her heart-wrenching apology letter, she finds herself in another, much darker world.

The group decides to try playing Max’s favorite song in the hopes that it will break her out of the state of possession. Max’s favorite song happens to be Kate Bush’s 1985 ‘Running Up That Hill’, from her platinum album Hounds of Love.

Kate Bush performing in Hammersmith, London. Credit: Paul Charles, Flickr.

It is not the song’s first appearance in the series, it is first heard in the first episode as Max listens to it on her walkman. Its significance, however, is not revealed until Episode 4.

It seems an appropriate song choice with the lyrics themselves focusing on dealing with emotional struggles, guilt, and overcoming pain. Max’s letter to Billie reveals the immense guilt she feels surrounding his death and how she wishes they had more time to become closer. The monster, Vecna, feeds off guilt and latches onto Max’s weakness.

While in the other world, Max comes face to face with Vecna but sees a way into the outside once the song starts playing. This offers her a lifeline, and she runs towards it eventually escaping Vecna’s wrath.

The song represents hope, strength, and defines what is arguably the show’s most suspenseful and emotionally touching scene so far.

Stranger Things’ inclusion of the song has caused a resurgence in its popularity with the single now climbing up the charts and reaching number 1 on iTunes.

Written By

Digital Copywriter, Journalist, and Multimedia Content Executive.

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