100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #39 Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

Released : 1985

Telling Kate Bush’s story in three thousand words would be impossible, let alone around 300, so we should agree here to perpetrating the crime of it’s abridgement.

Following mediocre sales of 1982’s The Dreaming, there was a regrouping of sorts, the foundation of which was the construction of a home studio in which the singer would largely ensconce herself for the recording of Hounds of Love.  Consciously moving on from it’s predecessor’s darker themes, Bush’s fifth album would become one of the decade’s most ambitiously creative works, a glorious melding of cutting edge technologies (An almost omnipresent Fairlight sampler, a Linn Drum machine) and organic, more traditional folk instruments and voices.

It’s lead single, Running Up That Hill as Bush has explained is about both the complexity of relationships where genders share a bed but not empathy and also the magnitude of agreeing terms with God. It sounded as unique as it’s meaning, that voice urging “Come on darling/Come on baby/Let me steal this moment from you now”, whilst the plaintive synths and gently rippling undertow took pop art to it’s zenith.  It’s a measure of the song’s absolute perfection that nobody has even attempted anything like it since.


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