Kate Bush reportedly gave permission to Stranger Things to use her song “Running Up That Hill” because she’s fan of the series.
Streams of the ’80s synth pop track had increased by 153 per cent after the song appeared on the latest season of the Netflix show. Bush’s seminal hit features on the first episode, in a key moment involving Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink).
The song, taken from Bush’s Hounds Of Love, overtook “Wuthering Heights” on Spotify to become her most popular title on the service after it experienced a surge in streams on Spotify. It was described as “the biggest gainer on the Global Spotify chart” by the streaming giants.
Now, the show’s music supervisor Nora Felder has explained to Variety how they were able to get Bush’s permission to use the track on the show.
“Each of the prospective song placements in the initial scripts was tagged with the placeholder, ‘TBD Max song’,” Felder said. “From there, I made an effort to internally align myself with what the Duffers felt were the most important elements needed, and my own intuitive grasp of Max’s complex feelings.”
Felder went on to say that when she landed on “Running Up That Hill”, the song “immediately struck me with its deep chords of the possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush’s song marinated in my conscious awareness.”
“I sat with my clearance coordinator, and laid out all the scripted scenes for song uses that we knew of at that point,” she continued. “Knowing the challenges, we proceeded to create elaborate scene descriptions that provided as much context as possible so that Kate and her camp would have a full understanding of the uses. When we finished, we were on edge, but excited and hopeful.”
Next, the music supervisor had to track down the publisher, which brought her to Wende Crowley, Sony Music Publishing’s SVP of creative marketing, film and TV, received the request.
“Nora Felder came to us pre-pandemic to discuss the idea of using it as Max’s ‘song’ for this season,” Crowley said. “She wanted to make sure it was within the realm of possibility before she got the [executive producers] The Duffer Brothers on board with the idea since the song was going to be “such a focal point to Max’s storyline.”
Crowley continued: “Kate Bush is selective when it comes to licensing her music and because of that, we made sure to get script pages and footage for her to review so she could see exactly how the song would be used.”
Bush, being a fan of the show granted them permission after understanding the intent and vision meant for the song.