Kate Bush’s "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" was released in 1985 as the lead single of the British artist’s fifth studio album and magnum opus Hounds of Love (1985).
The album was entirely written and produced by Bush herself, on the back of the success of the self-penned song "Wuthering Heights".
Now, also thanks to the mega-popular show Stranger Things (a joint success of Netflix and the Duffer brothers, now at its fourth season) the song is back, big time.
Recently, Bush's iconic single broke three world records: let's discover which ones!
Longest time for a track to reach No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart
Kate Bush’s chart-topper "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" took 36 years 310 days to reach No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart.
The track debuted at No.9 on 17 August 1985, accompanied by a simply filmed music video, to contrast with an era when music videos were often crowded and filled with dance moves.
Two weeks after its debut, the song climbed to the top three and placed No.3.
Later, it re-appeared on and off on UK’s Official Singles Chart.
After being featured in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London 2012, in a remix with re-recorded vocals, it reached No.6.
After that, in 2014, it reached position No.51.
The newest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things ushered the song to the newest generations, and on 23 June 2022 the single peaked at No.1.
Until the time it reached the top of the charts, "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" spent a total of several weeks among the most popular UK songs:
- Nine weeks in the UK Top 10
- 13 weeks in the Top 40
- 20 weeks in the Top 100
Oldest female artist to reach No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart
Born 30 July 1958, Bush was 63 years and 328 days old when "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" climbed to No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart on 23 June 2022.
Thus, the singer-songwriter snatched the title for oldest female artist to reach No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart from another music icon.
Cher (USA, b. Cherilyn Sarkisian, 20 May 1946) was formerly the oldest solo female chart-topper, having broken the record with her song "Believe".
The song ranked at the top of the charts for its seventh and final week on 12 December 1998.
At the time, Cher was 52 years and 206 days old.
Longest gap between No.1s on the UK’s Official Singles Chart
It took 44 years and 83 days for Kate Bush to return to No.1 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart.
First, her debut single "Wuthering Heights" spent the last of its four weeks at No.1 on 1 April 1978. Fast-forward 44 years, on 23 June 2022, "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" topped the charts.
Bush shattered Tom Jones’ record of 42 years 62 days, between "Green, Green Grass of Home" (18 January 1967 was the last of its seven weeks at No.1) and "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" on 21 March 2009.
However, Elvis Presley remains the record holder for the longest span of UK No.1 singles.
Between "All Shook Up" (peaking the charts for the first week on 18 July 1957) and the re-issued "It’s Now or Never" (5 February 2005), in fact, passed 47 years and 202 days.
It's much harder for older songs to make their way into the UK chart top 10 under the "accelerated decline" rule, which gives older songs tougher targets to reach the top spot - known as the Accelerated Chart Ratio. Older songs need double the amount of streams as new songs before a sale is registered.
Bush was able to claim the UK chart top spot once again due to a "manual reset" implemented by her record label EMI, returning "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" to the Standard Chart Ratio, so the song's streams could be calculated in the same way as new releases.
The newest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the massively popular sci-fi show that has now reached its fourth season, has renewed the love for this classic.
Kate Bush has been ruling the charts for weeks, also thanks to the beauty and dramatic power of the storyline that features the song: Max (Sadie Sink) runs for her life while the Upside-Down dark wizard Vecna tries to kill her, with the notes of "Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)" playing in the background.
While she escapes death, her favourite song guides her to salvation, allowing her to escape the Upside-Down and return to her friends.
The scene soon became one of the most iconic moments of a series already known for its incredible soundtrack.
But Stranger Things and its stars also hold some records of their own:
- In March 2022, Stranger Things broke the record for most in-demand sci-fi drama TV show. It had a global demand rating 52.4 times greater than that of the average TV show.
- In November 2018, Millie Bobby Brown, who portrays Eleven in the series, broke the record as the youngest UNICEF ambassador. She was 14 years and 274 days old.