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Issue 1805 (PDF)
The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Keep the Cat Free

Running Up The Charts

Kate Bush reaches number 1 in the singles chart with her song: ‘Running Up That Hill’ more than three decades after it was released


in Issue 1805

There’s nothing quite like a gripping soundtrack to enhance the viewing of all our favourite shows and movies. ‘Stranger Things’ creators found the perfect song for a struggle towards the light in Kate Bush’s song ‘Running Up That Hill’ and the reaction globally showed just how poignant the pairing was.

Reaching a whole new generation of fans through the hit TV show, the song immediately went viral on TikTok as a character’s favourite song became one of our own. With a thrumming drum beat and moving lyrics, the song builds to a climax as viewers watch the character of Max fight for her life. A struggle that reflects into our own daily challenges as you listen.

As per the lyrics, it almost seems Kate Bush has “made a deal with God” as this popularity has been reflected in streaming and sales of the song. As the weeks have gone on, this has built to Kate Bush dethroning artist Harry Styles and his best selling single – ‘As It Was’ – from the top of the chart.

Noticeably, whilst ‘Running Up That Hill’ has been the most streamed song over the previous weeks, it had been unable to surpass the newly released songs. This was due to a Top 40 rule to give newer artists a chance at breaking through the highly streamed classics. In this, older songs require 200 subscription service streams (e.g. Spotify Premium) or 1,200 ad-funded streams to make one “sale” whilst newer artists require half as many. This rule was revoked for ‘Running Up That Hill’ by the Supervisory Committee in a clause regarding percentage weekly sales increase. As this playing field was levelled and the stream-to-sale ratios became the same, a rapid lead was seen with Kate Bush receiving an additional 5,000 streams within a day compared to previous chart topper Harry Styles.

Alongside this, Kate Bush now holds the records for oldest female artist to have a number one hit and the longest time for a single to reach number one – a whopping 37 years.

This gap has highlighted the importance of exploring genres of music and being inclusive in usage throughout media as young listeners are now avidly working their way through her catalogue of work. Through this, cross-generational connections and cultural impact internationally can be made, uniting people in a true uniting force – enjoyment of music.

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