Kate Bush has done it.
Running Up That Hill has overtaken Harry Styles to claim a UK No.1 single - the first for Kate Bush since her debut hit Wuthering Heights 44 years ago.
A high-profile placement in Stranger Things was behind the streaming surge for the classic Kate Bush single.
In the latest chart result, Running Up That Hill climbed from No.2 to the summit with chart ‘sales’ of 77,903, according to the Official Charts Company. As well as 4,730 downloads, that No.1 finish was powered by 7,023,068 premium streams, 1,012,372 ad-funded streams and 605,526 premium video streams.
The chart has become much more complex since the single was first released in 1985. In fact, Kate Bush would have been No.1 in the previous week based on the raw streaming figures, but as a catalogue track it was penalised with the accelerated decline (ACR) rule, which requires double the streams to match sales for a current track.
The ACR rule was reset for the latest chart week after Warner Music made the request based on increased promotional activity. Ironically, RUTH actually streamed slightly more in the previous week when it had to settle for No.2 because of the ACR rule that then applied.
But Kate Bush, her label and fans now have the result they wanted.
Last week, Running Up That Hill was the highest streaming song on Spotify’s global chart. It was streamed over 57 million times last week alone.
The song has also become Kate Bush’s biggest ever hit in the USA, where it currently stands at No.4 in the main Hot 100 chart, and No 1 on the Global 200 chart.
Running Up That Hill is now in the Top 10 of 13 countries around the world and is No 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the UK.
I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving
Kate Bush said today: “The Duffer Brothers have created four extraordinary series of Stranger Things in which the child actors have grown into young adults. In this latest series, the characters are facing many of the same challenges that exist in reality right now. I believe the Duffer Brothers have touched people’s hearts in a special way at a time that's incredibly difficult for everyone, especially younger people.
“By featuring Running Up That Hill in such a positive light – as a talisman for Max (one of the main female characters) - the song has been brought into the emotional arena of her story. Fear, conflict and the power of love are all around her and her friends. I salute the Duffer Brothers for their courage - taking this new series into a much more adult and darker place. I want to thank them so much for bringing the song into so many people’s lives.
“I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving, and it’s all happening really fast, as if it’s being driven along by a kind of elemental force. I have to admit I feel really moved by it all. Thank you so very much for making the song a No.1 in such an unexpected way.”
Running Up That Hill was originally released by EMI, with Kate Bush one of the major’s star signings from the late 1970s. Her repertoire became part of Warner Music following the 2013 acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music, as a result of the regulatory requirements for UMG’s purchase of the EMI corporate group.
According to the Official Charts Company listing, Running Up That Hill is now issued on the Fish People label owned by Kate Bush’s company Noble & Brite. It means - lucratively for the British singer-songwriter - that recording rights have reverted to Kate Bush. Sony Music Publishing is the publisher.
Warner Music remains the licensed distribution partner for the single and works with the catalogue.
It’s why we work in catalogue music, for moments like this that have such broad cultural relevance and impact
Myn Jazeel, senior vice president, Rhino UK, said: “It’s long overdue that Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by the truly amazing Kate Bush should finally top the UK charts. This phenomenal cultural moment came about after close collaboration between Kate and her team, Netflix and the Warner Music sync team, and without doubt we’ve seen that a cross-generational connection has been made, with a new audience in the UK and around the world joining Kate’s existing fanbase to discover and honour her brilliance.
“The success of Stranger Things, backed by Netflix, has been instrumental in creating this moment, so we must thank them. But our congratulations go out first and foremost to Kate. Running Up That Hill went to No.3 in the UK when first released in 1985, so we’re delighted that it’s reached No.1 almost 40 years later, as well as now being top of the Billboard Global 200.
“It’s also gratifying that Kate’s wider catalogue is now being discovered and enjoyed by a whole new audience – when we compare the two week period after the sync aired to the two weeks prior, global streams of her repertoire have increased by over 2,000%. This whole occasion feels incredible for all involved, and that’s why we work in catalogue music, for moments like this that have such broad cultural relevance and impact.”
Running Up That Hill originally peaked at No.3 in 1985. It also returned to the Top 10 in 2012 following its inclusion in the Olympics closing ceremony.
Parent album Hounds Of Love is now re-charting around the world and is at No.95 in the UK this week.
The Whole Story greatest hit set is at No.24 with 2,964 weekly sales.
With the No.1 for RUTH, Kate Bush has set three new chart records: longest ever gap between No. 1 singles (44 years), longest time taken for a single to reach No.1 (37 years) and oldest female artist ever to score a No.1 single.
Running Up That Hill now has total post-1994 sales of 849,469. Kate Bush was sole writer and producer of RUTH as well as credited artist, making it the first such No.1 in eight years (Dave briefly claimed that feat until a co-writing credit was added to Starlight).
Martin Talbot, chief executive, Official Charts Company, said: “It has been fantastic to see the iconic Kate Bush climbing up the Official Singles Chart with Running Up That Hill - and to see her breaking a slew of records into the bargain. The way that a new generation of music fans have taken her classic track to their hearts really does cement Kate’s position as an all-time great, if that were at all necessary.”