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‘Stranger Things’ Sparks Milestone Week for Kate Bush, Metallica & More ‘80s Hits on Global Charts

Bush's "Running Up That Hill" reigns, as Metallica and Journey debut.

Kate Bush crowns the Billboard Global 200 for a second week and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart for the first time with “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).” The song has infused the top five of both surveys since the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things premiered over Memorial Day weekend, and rules the rankings dated July 16 following the July 1 arrival of the season’s final two episodes.

“Hill” surged by 21% to 73.7 million streams and 33% to 28,000 sold worldwide in the July 1-7 tracking week, according to Luminate.

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While surely new to younger audiences thanks to its sync, “Hill” is the oldest song to crown either survey. Released in 1985, it has surpassed Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” originally from 1994 and which has led both lists in each of the two holiday seasons since the charts began in September 2020. Other than Yuletide classics, no track older than 2017 had reached the top 10 of either global chart before “Hill.”

Those numbers highlight the absolute anomaly that is Bush’s chart domination, 37 years after “Hill” was originally released. But while the song is surrounded by 2022 releases in the top 10 of each global tally, it is one of a dozen ‘80s tracks on this week’s Global 200, a weekly record for simultaneously charting songs from any decade prior to the 2010s. (This mark excludes charts from late December and early January, when double-digit totals of holiday hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s jingle in.)

Just as Stranger Things propelled Bush to the top of the charts, the ‘80s-set Netflix series is spurring additional songs from that era. Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” from 1986, debuts on the Global 200 at No. 26, up 586% to 23.6 million global streams (and starts on Global Excl. U.S. at No. 38), while Journey enters at No. 137 with “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Bryce Muller/Alloy Tracks Remix)” (8.2 million), a re-worked version of the band’s 1983 hit. Both songs were featured in the series’ newly released episodes.

Plus, after debuting on the June 18-dated Global 200, spurred by its inclusion in the fourth season’s first volume, Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie,” from 1982, re-enters at No. 158. And while The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” has weaved on and off the chart since May 2021, the 1983 ballad blasts to a new high of No. 107 on this week’s tally, in part sparked by nostalgia for its usage on the show’s second season. It previously peaked at No. 178 for two non-consecutive weeks.

Even further, excitement around the record-breaking series and its throwback soundtrack extends to songs that haven’t even appeared in the show. Tears for Fears’ 1985 anthem “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has been spreading on TikTok, often soundtracking scenes and montages from the series, despite never being included in an episode. It debuted alongside Musical Youth on the June 18-dated chart and, after the final episodes were released, climbing 41 positions to a new No. 117 best.

Beyond any Stranger Things bump, Toto’s “Africa,” from 1982, debuts on this week’s Global 200 at No. 188. Out of eight new entries, three are from the ‘80s, as it joins Metallica and Journey’s tracks featured in the series.

Other relative mainstays from the ‘80s have re-entered the Global 200 over the last month, from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981) to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (1982), and a-ha’s “Take On Me” (1985). Rounding out the ‘80s spotlight on the global charts, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” (1986) returns at No. 182 this week.

These recent re-entries and the handful of Stranger Things debuts up the presence of ‘80s songs to 12 on this week’s Global 200. Less than two months ago, there was only one: Guns N’ Roses’ 1988 smash “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” on the May 28 chart, at No. 155. It, too, hits a new best this week, rising 113-90.

(Also, notably: “Hill” is the only song of the 12 by a woman, and even the groups among the other 11 are all-male.)

In addition to the Netflix-aided nostalgia, catalog songs have slowly climbed their way up the Global 200 in June and July after being nearly washed out in May. Following a sleepy first quarter of 2022 in terms of new releases, Future, Bad Bunny, Jack Harlow, Kendrick Lamar and Harry Styles, one week after another, released albums that each spun off 10 or more Global 200 entries in the sets’ respective debut weeks. These album bombs pushed many songs, particularly older tracks closer to the bottom of the charts, all the way out, before allowing for re-entries as the new albums’ deep cuts faded.