Kate Bush on track to score UK number one with Running Up That Hill - thanks to a sudden change in the rules

Kate Bush
(Image credit: TV Times via Getty Images)

Propelled by the sci/fi horror series Stranger Things, Kate Bush's magical 1985 track Running Up That Hill has been pushed into stratospheric new heights of popularity.

Falling under the obsessive radar of new generations, Running Up That Hill is now the most streamed song in the UK, and currently resides in the second spot on the Charts, which are governed by The Chart Supervisory Committee.

Thanks to a new rule alteration within how chart positions are measured, it looks like Bush will be heading towards the list's peak. Originally, the rule penalised older songs if their streams were to suddenly to grow popular again, but now, it looks like this won't be taken into account. 

Currently, Running Up That Hill is being streamed at an average of 700,000 plays per day on Spotify. Prior to the rule change, those streams would have counted as 3,500 "sales", where as this week, that figure will double to 7,000.

The rule was originally implemented to stop overly popular songs from never leaving the charts, due to streaming being available everywhere all the time.

For example, if streams were counted on a like-for-like basis, endlessly popular indie floor-filler Mr Brightside by The Killers would never leave the Top 40.

To make sure other artists would be in with the chance of reaching the top spots,  the record industry invented the rule known as "accelerated decline".

Essentially, a new record earns one "sale" when it is streamed 100 times on a music streaming service, or 600 times on an ad-funded service. Where as older songs need to attract 200 premium / 1,200 ad-funded streams before a "sale" is counted. Now however, all streams share the same value. 

According to the committee, the "standard" streaming ratios can be applied to any single if its sales increase by 25% week-on-week, and record labels can request a "manual reset" to the ratio "in exceptional circumstances, where a track is being scheduled for promotion".

Now, it looks like EMI have adjusted things purely out of admiration for Kate Bush; she's now on her way to receiving her first number one single since 1978's Wuthering Heights.

On top of the UK, Running Up That Hill is also experiencing a renaissance in Australia, Germany and the US, where it's positioned in the top 10 charts of each country respectively. 

In response to the track's rejuvenated prevalence, Bush released a statement onto her website, stating: "It's hard to take in the speed at which this has all been happening. So many young people who love the show [are] discovering the song for the first time.

"The response to Running Up That Hill is something that has had its own energy and volition. A direct relationship between the shows and their audience and one that has stood completely outside of the music business. We've all been astounded to watch the track explode!"

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.