The image of Sadie Sink running through the Upside Down back to safety with Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ blasting behind her invoked a swelling of emotion across the world. So much so that Bush’s single soared to number 1 after originally peaking at number 3 in 1985.
In doing so, she broke some incredible records, including being the oldest female singer to get a number 1 and the longest time taken for a song to climb to number 1 (37 years).
The relationship between visuals and music has stretched back decades and the right combination can leave a lasting impact on the audience. The impact can be brought by original film score or from using music from other artists like Kate Bush.
If you have watched that Stranger Things scene multiple times, here are five more scenes to watch and get obsessed with.
Heroes by David Bowie in ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’
Some may argue that this one does not count, as it was less of an artistic choice of the production as it follows the book the film was adapted from.
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ was originally a book written by Stephen Chbosky who wrote and directed the film.
The use of Heroes in one of the final scenes perfectly encapsulates teenage adolescence in all of its beauty.
The song blasts as Charlie finally begins to move on to the next stage of his life.
This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
Stranger Things wasn’t the first time Kate Bush has been used in TV soundtracks. In the season 2 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, her single was used effectively to create an ominous fear. This time it was a much different way to Stranger Things.
The women in the scene are being punished for their disobedience in the dystopian world and are forced towards their deaths as Bush’s song plays overhead. Bruce Miller, the producer, said that the song choice was “shattering and perfect.”
Miller said: “One of the things I really like about the song is that on its face, there’s a bit of very interesting lyrical play. It’s nice that that’s going on while you’re watching.”
The lyrics in question have a bitter irony to them describing ‘a woman’s world’ and having more life to live. It makes the scene more poignant and Kate Bush’s music once again makes a memorable scene.
How to Save a Life by The Fray in ‘Scrubs’
In one of the most devastating episodes of the show, The Fray’s chart-topping single is there to amplify the emotions. After a tumultuous episode (‘The Lunch’), the doctors are finally able to help three organ transplant patients only to find they have given them infected organs.
The result is devastating and the lyrics of How to Save a Life made everyone’s heart ache when first televised.
This isn’t the only time the song has been featured in TV shows. The song has been used in eight episodes across six different shows. The most famous example is in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ where it became the commercial song after its titular episode on the show.
But in terms of melodramatic effect and tugging of the heartstrings ‘Scrubs’ takes the win.
Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin in ‘Thor Ragnarok’
Many might have expected a different Marvel film to feature on this list, namely one with a talking raccoon. In terms of creating impact for a specific moment, the use of Led Zeppelin in ‘Thor Ragnarok’ tops the list.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ has an incredible overall soundtrack but the image of Thor storming into battle is truly memorable. Certainly a scene to watch for a feel-good mood.
The iconic ‘ah-ah ah’ was inspired by the band’s time in Iceland. The lyrics spell a tale of Norse mythology referencing both Valhalla and Thor’s hammer.
Director Taika Waititi was determined for the song to feature from his first vision for the film back in 2015 despite the rumoured seven-figure licensing fee for any of Led Zeppelin’s songs, as well as them being notoriously picky in who gets to use them.
The fight for the song lasted the entire production time but was certainly worth it for the final battle sequence.
Clearest Blue by CHVRCHES in ‘Heartstopper‘
A much more recent choice from the most recent Netflix phenomenon, ‘Heartstopper.’ The series was commended for its soundtrack throughout but Clearest Blue stood out as a moment of young LGBTQ+ representation.
The timing and build-up of the song mirrored the build-up of how special this moment was. The first public kiss between Tara and Darcy was a momentous occasion for the characters and the audience alike.
What was so important about this moment is sapphic love stories rarely get such beautiful ‘rom-com’ style moments. Rarely do we see these big happy moments and it was wonderful to see it play out in ‘Heartstopper’.
Featured Image Credit: Charlotte Sutcliffe