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How Stranger Things Ended Up With Running Up That Hill As Max's Song

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How Stranger Things Ended Up With Running Up That Hill As Max's Song

Warning: Major Stranger Things spoilers lay ahead...

Stranger Things music supervisor Nora Felder has revealed how she came to choose Kate Bush’s 'Running Up That Hill' for one of the most pivotal music moments in TV history.

The '80s classic is used throughout the series and ultimately saves Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) from the clutches of the villainous Vecna. Take a look below:

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And since the new season dropped on Netflix, viewers have become obsessed with the 1985 tune that much, it has seen an 8,700 percent streaming increase on Spotify, topped every chart and become the biggest Shazam'd moment from a TV series this year.

In a new interview, Felder explained how she was tasked by The Duffer Brothers to find a song that resonated with Max's 'complex feelings'.

She told Variety: "It immediately struck me with its deep chords of the possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush's song marinated in my conscious awareness.”

Discussing the importance of Bush’s lyrics to Max’s storyline, Nora added: "Kate Bush's lyrics can mean very different things to different people.

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Kate Bush's 1985 classic is pivotal to Max Mayfield's storyline this season. Credit: Netflix
Kate Bush's 1985 classic is pivotal to Max Mayfield's storyline this season. Credit: Netflix

“In the face of Max's painful isolation and alienation from others, a 'deal with God' could heart-wrenchingly reflect Max's implicit belief that only a miracle of unlikely understanding and show of support could help her climb the hills of life before her.

"In Max's situation, the need for a 'deal with God' can perhaps be metaphorically understood as a desperate cry for love — to manifest the extraordinary understanding and support Max needed while feeling so painfully alone."

The music supervisor, who has been nominated for three Emmys for her work on Stranger Things, added that for a long time the script simply said "TBD Max song" as she worked to secure the rights to the hit.

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Felder added that the process to getting Kate’s approval started pre-pandemic and, in a bid, to win over the singer, who 'does not typically approve' the use of her discography, she and her clearance coordinator created 'elaborate scene descriptions' to send to Kate and her team to know how the song would be used.

The use of the song has helped create one of the most praised cinematic moments on Netflix. Credit: Netflix
The use of the song has helped create one of the most praised cinematic moments on Netflix. Credit: Netflix

Sony music executive Wende Crowley explained: "Kate Bush is selective when it comes to licensing her music and because of that, we made sure to get script pages and footage for her to review so she could see exactly how the song would be used.”

Fortunately, Kate agreed to let Stranger Things use her song, and she even admitted she is a big fan of the series.

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Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1 is available to stream now on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Stranger Things, TV and Film, Music

Lisa McLoughlin
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