#12. KATE BUSH - RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD) Points received: 87 (@Daniel!, #4 / @VivaForever, #6 / @Jacques, #9 / @CorgiCorgiCorgi, #14 / @strangekin, #14) Released: 1985 Artist appearance: 8 / 8 Given Kate’s strong performance across the countdown, it’s perhaps surprising to see ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ fall just before the top 10. It was released as the lead single to Bush’s fifth studio album, Hounds of Love, despite hesitation from her record label because of potential religious resistance. After years of mixed commercial returns, it placed Kate firmly back into the public conscious and became her biggest hit since spellbinding debut ‘Wuthering Heights’, back in 1987. ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ helped cement Bush’s legacy as a leftfield pop genius and reinvigorated her fan base; parent album Hounds of Love became her most successful to date. The single ascended to the top 10 in most major markets, including Australia, France and Germany. In the United Kingdom, it originally peaked at #3. After its core inclusion in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, a new mix peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart. Additionally, it peaked at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the highest position across her career. It was the first song written for the album. Kate pushed for its release as she believed it embodied the soul of the record, the most representative. “It is very much about the power of love,” she mused, “and the strength that is created between two people when they're very much in love, but the strength can also be threatening, violent, dangerous as well as gentle, soothing, loving. And it's saying that if these two people could swap places - if the man could become the woman and the woman the man, that perhaps they could understand the feelings of that other person in a truer way, understanding them from that gender's point of view, and that perhaps there are very subtle differences between the sexes that can cause problems in a relationship, especially when people really do care about each other.” Daniel!:The way Kate’s voice coos through the misty yet propulsive sonic landscape is spellbinding, and that crescendo of a middle eight followed by the almost chaotic set of choruses near the end is sheer brilliance. VivaForever:My first encounter with Kate Bush was Sat in Your Lap from my parents' 45 collection when I was young, but by my teens I'd practically forgotten her until my dad got me this '80s comp with Running Up That Hill (as well as Walking on Sunshine and Mickey!), which I totally loved. I tried to get into the rest of her material, and certainly there's a lot that I love (especially off Hounds of Love and The Red Shoes), but I don't think any of it matches up to this. And though the lyrics are meant to be about genderfucking, they're vague enough that they're applicable to so many situations - I came back to the song a lot during my past relationship as my ex and I were dealing with the huge differences between us, due in large part to our differences in economic class and consequently our upbringings. But I always remember the last night I spent in the house where I grew up, before my dad (by then straight-up emotionally abusive) and I had to move out because he'd sold it despite my strong emotional need to remain there, I went outside and ran around the yard, as I had almost every day after getting home from school to let off steam, and most Saturdays and Sundays as well, and listened to three songs in particular. I don't remember what the other two were, but I definitely remember the last was the Olympics version of RUTH ("who's Ruth?" @Deborux), because I wanted it to be the last song I did that with. Jacques:Picking two Kate songs was hard. My Mum always listened to Aerial growing up, but I never discovered this until 2010 or so. It's one of those songs everyone wishes they had written. Words can't describe this, but I'm certain others will have written about this one, summing up everything I could ever want to about it. CorgiCorgiCorgi:A masterpiece, through and through. I have songs higher up on my list because I have more of an emotional attachment to them, but this is one of the most expertly-crafted pop songs of all time. strangekin:Kate Bush is a fucking genius. What more is there to say?