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Why Kate Bush let ‘Stranger Things’ use ‘Running Up That Hill’

The song features prominently in the show's fourth season

By Sam Moore

Kate Bush in the 'Running Up That Hill' video
Kate Bush in the 'Running Up That Hill' video. (Kate Bush)

Kate Bush reportedly gave ‘Stranger Things’ permission to use ‘Running Up That Hill’ because she’s a huge fan of the Netflix show.

Bush’s seminal 1985 hit has rocketed up the charts worldwide since it was prominently used in the sci-fi series’ fourth season.

Now ‘Stranger Things’ music supervisor Nora Felder has spoken to Variety about how she got Bush to agree to the use of her music.

Talking about the process of selecting music for the show, she said: “Consequently, each of the prospective song placements in the initial scripts was tagged with the placeholder, ‘TBD Max song.’ 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 also revealed why she thought ‘Running Up That Hill’ would be perfect for the show: “It 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.”

Knowing that Bush rarely licenses her music for use in film and TV, Felder wanted the ‘Hounds of Love’ artist to have as much information as possible: “I sat with my clearance coordinator, and laid out all the scripted scenes for song uses that we knew of at that point. 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.”

She added: “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.”

As it turned out Bush is a big fan of the show which stars David Harbour and Winona Ryder and after understanding how her song would be used, granted permission.

Currently in its fourth season, ‘Stranger Things’ is due to conclude after a fifth and final season.

All episodes of ‘Stranger Things’ are available to stream on Netflix.