In news that should surprise no one, Deadline reports that “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” by Kate Bush climbed to number one on the iTunes charts this past weekend following the release of Stranger Things 4. Netflix’s paranormal drama has always featured plenty of ’80s references, and this season is no exception. “Running Up That Hill” was the lead single off Bush’s 1985 album Hounds of Love. The new season of Stranger Things is set in 1986, so it’s a recent hit.
“Running Up That Hill” is a recurring song that you can hear playing on Max’s headphones throughout the season, but it features most prominently in the climax of episode 4, “Dear Billy,” where Max (Sadie Sink) is trying to escape the curse of this season’s big bad, Vecna.
Weird Al Yankovic reacts to Stranger Things reference
Bush is far from the only ’80s musician referenced in this season of Stranger Things. In the season’s premiere episode, Hellfire Club D&D dungeon master Eddie Munsen (Joseph Quinn) recalls how he knew Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) were destined to join the club at first sight. “I knew it the moment I saw you. You sat at that table right over there, looking like two little lost sheep,” Munsen says, before turning to Dustin to add, “You were wearing a Weird Al T-shirt, which I thought was brave.”
Not only was it brave for Dustin to wear the shirt, but it was also brave for Stranger Things to include the line because Weird Al Yankovic himself ended up seeing it (per The Hollywood Reporter). The parody music star tweeted out his support by sharing the clip with the hashtags “brave” and “Stranger Things 4.”
The line from Eddie is likely a nod to an episode in season 3 where Dustin was wearing a shirt with the cover of Yankovic’s 1984 album “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D emblazoned on it. Season 3 also included one of Weird Al’s songs in its soundtrack, “My Bologna,” a comical take on “My Sharona” which just so happens to be about Dustin’s favorite lunch meat.
The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4 are out now on Netflix, with the final two episodes (one of which is a whopping two-and-a-half hours long) releasing on July 1.