Stranger Things and Kate Bush's chart-topping feat

LONDON • Kate Bush has described her return to the top of the music charts as "quite shocking" after Netflix drama Stranger Things (2016 to present) wowed a new generation of fans.

In a rare interview, the much-loved British singer-songwriter also dwelt on her lockdown experience of binge-watching and gardening, and revealed that she prefers an old-style phone when out and about.

Bush's classic song, Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), has surged to No. 1 in Britain and elsewhere after featuring prominently and movingly in the fourth series of the sci-fi Netflix series set in the 1980s.

"It's such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention," she told BBC Radio in the interview, which was recorded on Tuesday and broadcast on Wednesday.

"But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this. It's so exciting. But it's quite shocking really, isn't it? I mean, the whole world's gone mad."

The 1985 song now holds the record for the longest time taken for a single to reach No. 1, while Bush boasts the longest gap between chart-toppers - 44 years after Wuthering Heights (1978) revealed her astonishing talents to the world.

And at 63, Bush has also become the oldest female artiste to score a No. 1 hit in Britain.

"There was some great music in the 1980s, but I think it's an incredibly exciting time we're in now," she said.

"I mean, okay, so it's an awful time on a lot of levels for people. Very difficult. But it's also a time when incredible things are happening."

Bush has largely spent recent decades out of the public eye, but performed a 22-night residency in London in 2014, with tickets selling out in 15 minutes.

"Gardening is my thing now," she told the BBC, without going into whether she is working on any new music.

Bush's last studio album was 50 Words For Snow (2011), which featured aural trickery of the kind she pioneered in the 1980s with the Fairlight digital synthesiser used on her 1985 masterpiece, Hounds Of Love.

Running Up That Hill, the lead single from Hounds Of Love, has become the most-streamed song on Spotify in the United States, Britain and globally.

But Bush herself does not have a smartphone.

"I have a really ancient phone. But I like that because I spend a lot of time on my laptop," she said.

"And when I go out during the day, it means I don't have to deal with e-mail and everyone knows that. So I just get texts and calls on my phone, and it means that I have a bit of peace."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline Stranger Things and Kate Bush's chart-topping feat. Subscribe