You can’t help but notice the Kate Bush revival recently. Following the use of Running Up That Hill, hordes of kids have been raiding their parents’ record collections to find out more. Maybe your kids have discovered the work of the singer, songwriter, dancer and all-round 70s and 80s enigma. Perhaps the Kate Bush revival is your introduction to her hits.
The Kate Bush revival
Bush doesn’t give many interviews at all, preferring to stay out of the media. But she spoke to Radio 4 about reaching number one in the charts with Running Up That Hill 37 years after release.
Speaking of its inclusion on the soundtrack of the latest season of Netflix hit Stranger Things and the subsequent interest in her work, Bush said “just extraordinary … quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”
But she’s not the first artist to get another shot at fame. TV shows, films, adverts and the internet seem to have a habit of resurrecting stars and thrusting them back into the limelight. Here are some examples:
Lancastrian Rick Astley was part of the famous Stock Aitken and Waterman hit factory and saw big success in the late 80s. He scored a number one with Never Gonna Give You Up and number two with Together Forever. But as we moved into the 90s, his popularity waned. No big deal. He had sold 40 million albums by the age of 27 so he retired and did his own thing.
In the mid to late 2000s, an internet prank meme went mainstream. The idea was that you send the victim a link purporting to go to a certain source, but in fact it links to the video of Never Gonna Give You Up. They called this Rickrolling and continues to this day. The video has racked up more than 1.2 billion views and led to Astley returning to music as well as making multiple TV appearances.
70s Scottish folk rock and Hollywood are not usually regular bedfellows. However, Stealers Wheel enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity in the 1990s thanks to Quentin Tarantino.
In 1973, core band members Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty released Stuck in the Middle With You with their band. It was pretty successful in both the UK and US, but then was forgotten by many. The band split in 1975. However, 17 years later, Tarantino took the band’s biggest hit and put it on the soundtrack of his first film, during a particularly memorable scene, and the tune has been played endlessly on TV and radio since.
80s and 90s Levi’s Jeans Ads
The undisputed kings of bringing old songs to a new generation were Levi’s. The jeans company produced a string of ads in the 80s and 90s that brought about reissues of songs and gave them a new run at the chart.
In 1985, commercials featuring Sam Cooke’s Wonderful World and I Heard it Though the Grapevine sent those songs into the top ten. Kids who had never heard the songs or dismissed them as their parents’ music flocked to record shops. 1987 saw Ben E King’s Stand By Me hit number one, thanks in part to the Levi’s ad and in part to the film of the same name. The Steve Miller Band topped the chart again in 1990 after a jeans ad and The Clash went to number one with Should I Stay Or Should I Go under similar circumstances in 1991.