The Year in Rock 2022: Maybe the ’Strangest Thing’ was the music we listened to along the way
The middle of the Venn diagram between Kate Bush and Metallica fans probably wasn’t all that big at the beginning of 2022. By the end of the year, however, both the English art pop singer and the U.S. metal outfit shared one (stranger) thing in common.
The popular Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things’ fourth season made unexpected resurgent hits out of Bush’s 1985 single “Running Up That Hill” and Metallica’s 1986 thrasher “Master of Puppets.”
“Running Up That Hill” was featured in the first half of the season, which premiered in May. As the favorite song of the character Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, “Running Up That Hill” helps her — spoiler alert — escape the clutches of the evil Vecna.
Following its placement, “Running Up That Hill” began to run up the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at #3 on the all-genre chart — a career-high for Bush. In Bush’s home country, “Running Up That Hill” hit #1 on the United Kingdom’s Official Single Chart, breaking several records along the way; Bush became the oldest female artist to ever conquer the ranking.
The response to “Running Up That Hill” was so overwhelming that Bush issued several public statements, which was major news for an artist who’d developed a reclusive and press-shy reputation. It even got to a point where Bush gave an actual interview, her first in several years.
When the second half of Stranger Things season 4 premiered in July, it was Metallica’s time to shine. Like “Running Up That Hill,” “Master of Puppets” was featured in a pivotal scene, this time featuring Joseph Quinn‘s beloved metalhead and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast Eddie Munson, who — again, spoiler alert — shreds the metal classic in an effort to thwart Vecna.
While it didn’t quite match the enormous popularity of “Running Up That Hill,” “Master of Puppets” debuted on the Hot 100 for the first time, peaking at #35 — not bad for a nearly nine-minute metal song in the year 2022.
As Stranger Things was bringing in new fans, the “Enter Sandman” rockers reminded longtime ‘Tallica fans that “everyone is welcome,” no matter how long you’ve been listening.
Stranger Things also sparked renewed interest in Dio thanks to the Eddie character, who wore a patch dedicated to the “Holy Diver” metallers on the back of his denim jacket.
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