Stranger Things bosses wrote an essay to convince Kate Bush to let them use 'Running Up That Hill'

Jess Hardiman

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Stranger Things bosses wrote an essay to convince Kate Bush to let them use 'Running Up That Hill'

Featured Image Credit: Netflix / United Archives GmbH / Alamy

Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ may have found an entire new generation of fans after being featured in Stranger Things, but it turns out it took a fair bit of effort to get the song included in the most recent season. 

Music supervisor Nora Felder has no doubt had a lot of fun with her role on the show, especially when the Duffer Brothers tasked her with finding a tune for Max’s big moment. 

Speaking to IndieWire, Felder recalled: “They asked me if I could brainstorm and come up with some ideas for that. Literally it was like a spitball session. 

“Then all of a sudden I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Kate Bush!’ And [fellow supervisors] Josh and Rand went, ‘Hmm.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I feel like that meets all the checkmarks for this'.” 

The Duffer Brothers tasked Felder with finding the right song for Max's big moment. Credit: Netflix
The Duffer Brothers tasked Felder with finding the right song for Max's big moment. Credit: Netflix

Felder said there were ‘a lot of things’ the co-creators wanted to achieve in the sequence, explaining: “They wanted it to be Max’s song and for it to express what she was going through. They wanted it to be something that had a lot of build to work with from various scenes in different ways. And they wanted something to just represent her and this season, going through her confusions and hopefully, somehow, be something that eventually could help her friend try to understand what she is going through and help to save her.” 

Felder picked out eight suggestions, but felt strongest about Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. 

The only problem was that she knew the musician was ‘very particular’. 

“As she should be,” Felder added, saying she called the publisher to ask if she was in with a chance, only to be told Bush was ‘very picky’ and ‘reviews everything’, but that as long as it lines up with a storyline she’s happy with, it could work. 

Felder decided to try and convince Bush by writing an essay – a task that made her feel like she was ‘back in college doing a thesis’. 

Sadie Sink as Max and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas. Credit: Netflix
Sadie Sink as Max and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas. Credit: Netflix

"I really zoned in on not only explaining the uses, but we were really trying to provide context with what Max is going through, from what it meant for the scene and how it helped her friends try to understand what she was going through to try to save her,” she said. 

“I think it really resonated with her because the premise of that song, it’s about switching places and it’s like me saying, ‘Hey, God', in this spiritual sense, ‘I wish men could switch places with women to better understand what we go through'.

“And that’s exactly what these characters do. They had to understand their friends. They really had to get inside to understand what Max is going through and the support she needed in order to save her. That song encapsulates all of that. So we sent it out, and we were really nervous.” 

But it transpired that Felder needn’t have worried, as Bush was already a huge fan of the series. 

“She loved the show, she’s a huge fan, and she loved the concept,” said. 

And the rest, as they say, is history.  

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Film & TV, Stranger Things, Music

Jess Hardiman
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