August 8, 2022

Thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things, the 1985 classic Running Up That Hill is in the charts again, and a new generation are discovering the singer’s unique appeal

It tells you a great deal that when Kate Bush issued a short statement on her website, last week, about the fact that her 1985 single Running Up That Hill had re-entered the charts after its use on the soundtrack of Stranger Things, it turned into a national news story. It wasn’t that Bush had said anything particularly interesting – she apparently finds Running Up That Hill’s unexpected reappearance in the Top 10 “really exciting” and Stranger Things itself “fantastic” and “gripping”. It was that Bush had deigned to say anything at all.

The adjective frequently used to describe her is “reclusive”, which is perhaps pitching it a bit high: she can usually be prevailed upon to do a couple of interviews whenever she releases an album, although she doesn’t release albums very often. She has put out two collections of new material in the last 28 years, and the interviews are never terribly revealing. It’s more that Bush is a completely unbiddable artist. She allowed herself to be talked into some unsuitable promotional opportunities in the early years of her career – on YouTube, there’s a 1982 appearance on the TV show Looking Good, Feeling Fit, where the 24-year-old responds to questions about her skincare with the air of a woman who would happily strangle the interviewer with her bare hands. But she went on to do exactly what she wanted, when she wanted – a policy she has maintained for nearly 40 years. Her career is beholden only to her own standards and her own, occasionally imponderable, internal logic. “She must have breached her contract dozens of times,” said one executive from her longstanding record label, EMI. “But what are you going to do about it?”

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