The penultimate batch of Stranger Things episodes are here to carry you away on waves of pure nostalgia to simpler times when the most anyone had to worry about was getting dragged into the Upside Down by Lovecraftian nightmares beyond mortal imagining. But nostalgia is such a potent force that it not only carries us back, but also forward. Case in point, the Netflix series’ astonishing cultural power has elevated an ’80s song to the #1 spot.
Not to spoil too much but Max (Sadie Sink) is really going through it in the new season and she does what any Reagan-era teen would have done to ease the trauma: listen to “Running Up That Hill” from Kate Bush’s 1985 masterpiece Hounds of Love. The timeless jam ends up playing a significant role in the series, and also in the lives of a new generation who’ve catapulted the 37-year-old song to the number one spot on iTunes and Spotify.
The song also kicked off a predictable debate around gatekeeping, with the Gen Xers who first received Kate Bush’s witness getting a little salty online about younger Millennials and Zoomers hearing her for the first time via Netflix memoryhole. But, hey, whatever it takes to get people listening to Hounds of Love.