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Kate Bush Returns to Top 10 on Alternative Airplay Chart After Record 28-Year Break

"Running Up That Hill," originally from 1985 and now featured in "Stranger Things," jumps 13-9.

After breaking the record for the longest span logged between appearances on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart by artists in a lead role, Kate Bush sets another record on the July 16-dated tally.

Bush’s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” rejuvenated thanks to its sync in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, lifts into the Alternative Airplay top 10 (13-9), marking her first top 10 on the chart since 1994, when “Rubberband Girl” spent its final week in the top 10 on the Jan. 8 list, after peaking at No. 7 in December 1993. Bush then went 28 years, five months one week between top 10s until the latest list.

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That’s the longest pause between top 10s in the chart’s 33-year history, exceeding the 14-year, six-month and one-week respite for The Strokes, whose “Bad Decisions” (first week in the top 10 on July 4, 2020) followed “Juicebox” (last week in the top 10 dated Dec. 24, 2005).

Bush now boasts five Alternative Airplay top 10s. She first appeared on the chart with the three-week No. 1 “Love and Anger” in 1989 and returned to the region with “The Sensual World” (No. 6, 1990) and “Eat the Music” (1993) ahead of “Rubberband” and “Running.” (The chart began in September 1988, three years after “Running” was originally released and nine-and-a-half years after Bush first appeared on any Billboard ranking.)

And “Running” may not be done rising. Take, for example, Jamie Hyatt, who programs Alternative Airplay reporter KUCD in Honolulu. “It’s huge,” Hyatt tells Billboard of the song. “Listeners love it. It’s one of the biggest songs on my station right now.” (Indeed, KUCD played the song 61 times in the latest tracking week, the most of any track in its library.)

“I think it’s a real No. 1 song, and in 2022, to boot,” Hyatt says. “I actually played it as a current the first time around when I was music director at top 40 KSND-FM in Eugene, Ore., back in 1985. I remember loving the song back then, but it didn’t really catch on and was always considered a mid-charter [having hit No. 30 on the Hot 100 that November].

“So, it wasn’t played a lot back then and certainly didn’t make it to recurrents or gold. And I think that’s led to less sign of fatigue on it this time around. To most people, the song is current. The masses aren’t going to remember it as a mid-chart hit from the ‘80s. They are going to remember it as the iconic song from a key dramatic scene of one of best television series we’ve seen in recent years.”

Concurrently, “Running” jumps 7-5 on the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock & Alternative Airplay chart with 3.6 million audience impressions, up 27%, according to Luminate. It’s Bush’s first top five hit on the ranking, which began in 2009. The song also reaches new highs of Nos. 14 and 24 on Adult Pop Airplay and Adult Alternative Airplay, respectively, and holds at its No. 14 on high Adult Contemporary, while bulleting on Pop Airplay at No. 18, down from its No. 17 best (but with a 31% gain in plays). On the all-format Radio Songs chart, the track advances 33-26, up 30% to 24.6 million impressions.

As previously reported, “Running” lifts 6-4, returning to its best rank, on the multimetric Billboard Hot 100, with its radio airplay joined by 22.3 million official U.S. streams and 17,000 sold. The track (which reached No. 30 on the Hot 100 in its original run in 1985) also rules Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Hot Alternative Songs for a fifth week each.