Watch David Gilmour and Kate Bush perform the Stranger Things 4 soundtrack smash Running Up That Hill

Kate Bush and David Gilmour
(Image credit: Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Image)

Kate Bush and David Gilmour go back a long way.

Her extraordinary talent originally piqued the Pink Floyd guitarist’s interest in 1973 when he heard the fledgling songwriter's earliest piano/vocal demo recordings.

That year, Pink Floyd reached new heights of success following the release of Dark Side of the Moon and the benevolent Gilmour was moved to reach out and help fellow artists.

“I was convinced from the beginning that this girl had remarkable talent,” he told New Statesman back in 2005.

Having installed a recording facility in his Essex home, Gilmour promptly assembled a crew to assist Bush. 

It was the first time she had tracked with a group of musicians and this initial studio foray filled her imagination with possibilities.

Kate Bush and David Gilmour performing at the The Secret Policeman's Third Ball Amnesty International fundraiser in 1987

Kate Bush and David Gilmour performing at The Secret Policeman's Third Ball Amnesty International fundraiser in 1987 (Image credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

In 1975, Gilmour paid for a recording session at London’s prestigious AIR studios. The results later secured her a record deal with EMI, though Bush would wait until she turned 18 the following year before the contract was fully agreed.

Released in early 1978, Wuthering Heights – the lead single from Bush’s debut album The Kick Inside – was an instant smash, reaching the number one spot in the UK charts where it stayed for four weeks.

Interestingly, Wuthering Heights is noted as the first UK number one to be both written and performed by a female artist.

Throughout the late ‘70s and early ‘80s Bush flourished as an artist, self-producing a string of albums while fulfilling her unique creative visions.

Often thought of as her studio masterpiece, 1985’s Hounds of Love spawned the lead single Running Up That Hill (a Deal with God), leading to Bush's second number one – albeit nearly 37 years after its original release!

Although the 1985 Running Up That Hill single managed to reach the number 3 spot in the UK charts while climbing to number 30 in the Billboard Hot 100 US charts, the track reached newfound success in both countries this month, thanks to the Netflix sci-fi horror series Stranger Things.

Released in May 2022, volume one of Stranger Things 4 prominently features Running Up That Hill in the soundtrack.

Held in the clutches of evil, the song serves as a spiritual lifeline for character Max Mayfield as it guides her back to the safety of her friends and saviours.

Set in 1986, Stranger Things 4 is a total nostalgia fest for many, but it appears a new generation of fans have discovered the genius of art rock queen Kate Bush via the series.

Although her live appearances were notoriously infrequent back in the day, this awesome clip from 1987 shows Gilmour joining Bush onstage, headless Steinberger electric guitar in hand, for a spirited rendition of Running Up That Hill.

The guitar parts on the original studio recording were performed by the late Alan Murphy (1953-1989). 

A highly respected session guitarist, Murphy played on numerous Kate Bush albums during the ‘80s and was also known for his work with Level 42 and Go West.

Buy Hounds of Love here.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.