Kate Bush recalls how record label made her change Running Up That Hill: ‘They were worried’

Kate Bush has opened up about how her record label made her change the name of “Running Up That Hill” in 1985 when the track was first released.

The English singer-songwriter opened up about the song’s rocky path to success during an interview on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio Four on Wednesday (22 June).

Speaking to Emma Barnett in a rare interview, Kate Bush recounted how her label made her change the name of the song from “A Deal With God” to “Running Up That Hill” because they feared it would be blacklisted in religious countries.

“I think they were just worried, the record company were worried, that it wouldn’t get played on the radio – that people would feel it was a sensitive title,” Bush said.

She added: “I think for me this is still called ‘A Deal With God’.”

Kate Bush ‘never could have imagined’ her song would top the charts

Kate Bush’s mammoth song, which served as the lead single off Hounds of Love, peaked at number three in the UK when it was first released in 1985. On Friday (17 June), the song stormed to number one for the first time after it was used prominently in the fourth season of Stranger Things.

In the United States, the song has reached the top five off the back of Stranger Things, making it her highest charting single in her entire career in that territory.

Kate Bush attends a champagne reception at the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the London Palladium on November 30, 2014. (David M. Benett/Getty)

Speaking to Barnett, Bush said she “never could have imagined” the song would get such a massive reception after being featured in Stranger Things.

“It’s such a great series, I thought the track would get some attention, but I never imagined it would do anything like this,” Bush said.

“It’s so exciting and it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? The whole world’s gone mad.”

I love that, the thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it, I think it’s very special.

Bush said she’s delighted a new audience is tuning into her music, including many younger people who might never have heard of her before Stranger Things.

“I love that, the thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it, I think it’s very special.”

Kate Bush promoting her new album ‘Hounds of Love’ at London Planetarium, September 9th 1985. (Dave Hogan/Getty)

Bush went on to describe the meaning of the song, saying it was written about the idea of a man and a woman swapping places so they could better understand each other.

However, she told Barnett she wants people to hear the song and “take from it what they want”.

Bush ‘never’ listens to her old music

The singer also revealed that she “never” listens to her old music, and said she hadn’t heard “Running Up That Hill” for a “really long time” before Stranger Things came along.

Elsewhere, Bush spoke about her love of gardening, why she has an “ancient” mobile phone that can’t connect to the internet, and why she thinks the current era the world is living through is an exciting but difficult time.

“I spend a lot of time on my laptop and when I go out during the day, it means I don’t have to deal with emails, and everyone knows that, so I just get texts and calls on my phone and it means that I have a bit of peace,” she laughed.

Closing out the interview, Bush thanked people for listening to “Running Up That Hill” and for helping her break chart records decades after the song was first released.

“Thank you to everyone, because it’s just extraordinary what’s happening and it’s very exciting. And thank you Emma, thank you for giving me the time to say thank you to everyone.”

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