*SPOILER ALERT: This contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4: Part 1. So, open another tab, watch it, then come back.*
If Stranger Things will do one thing, it’s resurrect an 80s song and introduce a whole new generation to its wonders.
When the first installment of the Netflix hit show’s fourth season dropped, the stakes were high. Each season has to live up to the last and — with years having passed between the seasons — would anyone even tune in?
But tune in they did. In droves. Suddenly the internet was bombarded with memes about Will’s bob, the rapidly aging teen characters, and … the soundtrack?
This season, the song that’s now the entire world’s obsession is Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush. In the show, it’s this very song that pulls Max — played by the incandescent Sadie Sink — away from the antagonist’s clutches. In response, fans have been sharing their favorite songs and streaming Running Up That Hill incessantly — Kate Bush thanks you for your service.
Max’s Song (Full Scene) | Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill | Stranger Things | Netflix
This is not the first time the show has caused a musical revival. Music is integral to the show. It grounds the setting in the time period, reminding you yes, this is the 80s. Just in case you forgot, despite the Reagen/Bush signs littering suburban lawns and the high waisted shorts.
Season 1’s predominant song was Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash. The tune found a whole new fanbase with its Netflix audience while being integral to the first season’s plot. The same phenomenon is occurring now with Kate Bush’s anthem. And thanks to TikTok, it’s having an even bigger impact.
When the show launched on the Netflix homepage in 2016, we had no idea what to expect. Now, it is a record-breaking phenom that drives audiences to refresh their browsers when each new season is announced. The soundtrack has always played a major part of the story and claims credit for much of the show’s growth over the years.
Back in 2016, The New York Times predicted this, dubbing the Stranger Things’ soundtrack the “Secret Weapon.” They recently revisited this premise to more deeply examine 2022’s Kate Bush renaissance, saying: “Running Up That Hill is the latest example of a decades-old song finding surprising success. In 2020, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” became a streaming hit after an Idaho potato worker made a TikTok video of himself listening to it while drinking Cran-Raspberry juice. And this year, Nirvana’s 31-year-old “Something in the Way” made its first appearance on the Hot 100 after the song was used in “The Batman.”
Even Bush is a fan of the show’s radical success. In a note on her website, Bush — who rarely gives interviews — wrote, “How utterly brilliant!” in response to the song’s chart success. “So many young people who love the show, discovering the song for the first time.”
In typical internet fashion, the song’s significance in the show has become a meme. Just as the Stranger Things gang had to find Max’s favorite song to save her from a gruesome fate at the hands of Vecna — this season’s villain — fans have been asking: what songs would save you from Vecna?
From earnest discussions on timeless, favorite songs to actors on the show providing delightful answers like Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, this meme provided a wealth of amusement. But also generated earnest discussion about people’s favorite music, while reviving the 80s hit!
Spotify and Netflix have also joined in the fun. In anticipation of the new episodes coming out this Friday, July 1, Netflix has teamed up with Spotify to help you find your very own “Running Up That Hill,” so to speak! Spotify’s algorithms create your very own “Upside Down Playlist” using songs you love, and the first song that comes up is the one that may save your life.
As 80s music comes back in vogue — inevitably — so does the record player. Every few years, a new batch of teenagers discover vinyl. In my day, we all bought our pastel-colored turntables at Urban Outfitters. We all owned the same set of black and white vinyl records: The 1975’s self-titled album, Lorde's Pure Heroine, The Neighborhood’s I Love You, and Arctic Monkey’s AM.
While I stand by most of those albums, I don’t stand by that record player. I wish I hadn’t bought a trendy model that scratched my precious records and was engineered for aesthetics rather than sound. I wish I’d invested in a quality turntable to really get the most out of my sound.
After all, what’s the point of insisting that vinyl sounds better if your sound system totally sucks. So anyone looking to buy their first turntable — or replace their 2013 regrets — head to 1ByOne Audio for the ultimate sound experience.
With a focus on fine craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, these advanced systems make quality sound easy to access. Manufactured with high precision CNC machining, fine-tuned by experts, from the tiniest screws to the end of the chassis. They never skimp on minor details; everything is done by experienced technicians.
1ByOne Audio provides an awesome audio experience that you’ve never heard before. So go out, buy Running Up That Hill on vinyl, and listen to it like it’s the first time all over again.