Beyond Kate Bush: An ’80s resurgence is happening on the charts thanks to popular media

Netflix’s long-awaited fourth season stranger things brought more than just the next chapter in the history of the Hawkins gang. Thanks to her superbly retro soundtrack, pop singer Kate Bush re-entered the charts, earning her first Top 10 song with her 1985 single “Running Up That Hill,” 35 years after its release.

But Bush isn’t the only ’80s icon experiencing a renaissance this year. It seems the influx of nostalgia-fueled media is making the charts feel more like 1985 than 2022. From Reagan-era pop to hazy reggae, these songs are popping up on social media and growing in popularity. .

Although “Running Up That Hill” is undoubtedly the star of the stranger things 4 soundtrack, another featured song sees a major gain this week – “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth.

After being used as a kind of stoner theme song for main character Jonathan Byers and his new Californian “partner in crime” Argyle, the song was quickly picked up around Tik Tok, saving videos of daily routines, edits of celebrities and a vibrant aesthetic. movies.

Thanks to its success on the app, the song jumped 1,437% in streams over the past week. Its current tally is 1.998 million, according to Luminate. Other songs from the soundtrack that saw renewed success included Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like a Record)”, Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy” and Extreme’s “Play With Me”.

Elsewhere, the new Top Gun sequel ushered the 1986 film into a new era and brought its Kenny Loggins theme song with it. The action classic, ‘Danger Zone,’ features in both the original film and the reboot Top Gun: Maverickopening sequences. The song saw a 142% surge in streams, landing at nearly 4 million according to Luminate.

Tik Tok has also covered the song, with the men choosing it as the accompanying sound for videos of them shaving off the “Goose-esque” moustache, sported by Miles Teller, in the new film.

Meanwhile, “Top Gun Anthem,” the original theme song by Harold Faltemeyer and Steve Stevens, rose 169% to 692,000 streams. And while it wasn’t used in the film at all, the Berlin Top 100-topping love theme “Take My Breath Away” from the original film also saw a 2 million stream boost. last week.

Teller and his new look Burt Reynolds should get a thank you from Loggins and Berlin for boosting sales anytime now.

Not tied to either franchise, another perennial ’80s “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” from Tears For Fears is also enjoying a new rise. The song peaked at No. 12 on Billboard’s Rock Streaming Songs chart, seemingly out of the blue.

Its resurgence is once again due to Tik Tok and its penchant for reviving old songs. The British new wave duo’s 1985 track received a 33% surge in streams to nearly 5 million in that week alone.

If her newfound popularity doesn’t seem as meteoric as Bush and Loggins’, that’s because the song’s recent virality has been relatively gradual. The song saw average streams in the high 2 million and low 3 million for most of 2022.

So why is it only now hitting the charts? It could be that the rise of an 80s pastiche, via stranger things and Top Gun: Maverick, reminds music listeners of the insatiably catchy, heart-pounding hits of the era – of which Tears for Fear’s anthem track certainly tops the pack. The song is currently on Spotify’s official 80s Hits and 80s Pop Rock playlists.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

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