Stranger Things got Kate Bush song by writing her an essay

The epic Kate Bush needle drop in Stranger Things season 4 was an incredible moment, and here's how the team got the singer on board

Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in Stranger Things

It’s safe to say Stranger Things season 4 had its fair share of plaudits, with many praising the Netflix series for its use of horror elements, great acting, and stylish set pieces. But it’s Kate Bush who proved to be the real star of the show, with the epic needle drop of her song becoming one of the most iconic moments in Stranger Things history.

The use of music has always been a key element of the sci-fi series, with retro tunes from the ‘80s forming the backdrop to the chaos of life in Hawkins. With the latest season of the TV series introducing us to a new Stranger Things monster in the form of Vecna, audiences were terrified as he unleashed his evil curse on the likes of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), and the heroes of the Hellfire Club.

However, Vecna’s plan did lead to one of the greatest moments the streaming service hit has ever produced, and it’s all thanks to Kate Bush. Turns out, the creative team behind Stranger Things wrote Bush an essay, prompting her to approve the use of her song ‘Running Up That Hill’.

In an interview with IndieWire, music supervisor Nora Felder explained how she and the team landed on that track, and how they persuaded the iconic pop star to let them use the song in the dystopian drama series.

“They wanted it to be Max’s song and for it to express what she was going through. They wanted it to be something that had a lot of build to work with from various scenes in different ways. And they wanted something to just represent her and this season, going through her confusions and hopefully, somehow, be something that eventually could help her friend try to understand what she is going through and help to save her,” Felder said.

Getting the go ahead from Bush herself was going to be more difficult though. Apparently the singer is very particular about what she says yes to when it comes to people using her music, but Felder gave it a shot and wrote the musical legend an essay to convince her.

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“I feel like I was back in college doing a thesis but I really zoned in on not only explaining the uses, but we were really trying to provide context with what Max is going through, from what it meant for the scene and how it helped her friends try to understand what she was going through to try to save her,” Felder recalled.

Luckily, Kate Bush is a fan of all things strange. “She loved the show, she’s a huge fan, and she loved the concept,” Felder added. If, like Kate, you want more from the Upside Down, here’s our guide to Stranger Things season 5.