Mia Blaauw

By now, most of you know the story – Kate Bush had a modest hit with “Running Up That Hill” in 1985 and almost four decades later, almost every Gen Z-er has this song on repeat on their Spotify playlist.

Since this song first featured on the Netflix series, Stranger Things, it was given a second chance at life, becoming one of the most streamed songs on the planet and propelling it to a Top 3 hit in America and No. 1 in eight other countries – not to mention, introducing several new generations to Kate Bush’s music.

The 37-year-old song is the latest older song to have a revival thanks to the way old and new songs alike go viral on social media platforms like TikTok. The new season of Stranger Things also helped Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” re-enter the charts (as well as created every teenage girls current comfort character: Eddie Munson played by Joseph Quinn).

In the case of “Running Up That Hill,” this resurgence feels like a success that’s been much-deserved for decades. Kate Bush was already one of the most inventive artists of her time, though her commercial success never quite matched her critical acclaim. Her music has continued to sound futuristic over the years, and she has influenced many other artists, like Tori Amos, Bjork and Halsey. Although this comeback may be nostalgic for some listeners, there are many people who are experiencing “Running Up That Hill” for the first time.

Traditionally, hits have been determined by an artist or record label who choose a song to promote as the single and then platforms like radio, MTV or official Spotify playlists promote the song. But with songs climbing up the charts due to viral usage on social media, their popularity is being determined by the people and the trends. It’s an organic path to a song’s success, and it feels like it could happen to just about anyone, as long as the song hits in just the right way. We have no idea what the next older song to go viral will be, but here is a list of a few golden oldies that were resurrected by various social media platforms:

  • “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
  • “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” by Paul Anka
  • “Dream” by Fleetwood Mac
  • “Rasputin” by Boney M.
  • “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
  • “Material Girl” by Madonna
  • “Something in the Way” by Nirvana