Brian Molko Recalls Kate Bush’s Reaction To Placebo’s Cover Of ‘Running Up That Hill’


Placebo frontman Brian Molko recently spoke to the Guardian and remembered when Kate Bush reacted to their rendition of her song ‘Running Up That Hill.’

With the help of the series ‘Stranger Things,’ Kate Bush’s successful hit ‘Running Up That Hill’ received renewed attention. After its appearance in season 4 of the Netflix series, the song entered the mainstream again and topped charts around the world, including the U.K., where it had reached number three back in 1985.

‘Running Up That Hill’ was released in 1985, appearing in Kate Bush’s fifth studio album ‘Hounds Of Love.’ The song was written and produced by Kate and was later titled ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).’ With the ‘Stranger Things’ appearance, ‘Running Up That Hill’ began to be used on TikToks or Instagram Reels.

Apart from various artists who released a cover version of ‘Running Up That Hill,’ Placebo also covered the song in 2003 as the first track on their ‘Covers’ album. Later, this version was used for the fourth-season premiere of ‘The O.C.’ and received significant attention in both the U.S. and U.K.

Speaking to the Guardian, Brian Molko remembered when Placebo covered ‘Running Up That Hill.’ He said that the snare sound and the song’s tempo bothered him, so they slowed the tempo down and kept it electronic with early 2000s sounds. Molko then recalled meeting Kate Bush at a party and receiving her approval, saying he was pleased to have her endorsement.

Here is what Brian Molko told the Guardian about ‘Running Up That Hill’:

“I loved almost all of ‘Running Up That Hill,’ but a couple of things bothered me. One was the snare sound: really 80s and quite generic. Then as I got more and more into the lyrics and they touched me further, it occurred to me that the song’s tempo was a little bit fast for the gravitas of the lyrics to really land.

We were already in the habit of covering our favorite songs from the 80s, so I suggested that we do ‘Running Up That Hill’ but that we slow the tempo down as much as we could without it becoming a dirge. Obviously, we wanted to keep it electronic with sounds from the early 2000s.”

He then continued:

“I met Kate once at a party: it was a record company do, and there was an orderly queue to speak to her. When I got to the front, the first thing she said to me was: ‘I like your cover of my song.’ That was enough. I’m very, very pleased that it got Kate’s endorsement.”

You can watch Placebo’s cover of Kate Bush’s song ‘Running Up That Hill’ below.