Kate Bush

Running up That Hill

Song Review by Amy Hanson

Another huge UK hit for Kate Bush, 1985’s ”Running Up that Hill”, became the key that finally opened the door for Kate Bush in America, in part due to ample MTV rotation of the video trilogy which also included ”the Hounds of Love” and ”the Big Sky”. Alongside ”Cloudbusting”, one of the highlights of the Hounds of Love album, ”Running Up that Hill” not only opened that set, but also acts as its keynote, introducing many of the themes she would explore across it. With a relentless beat to drive the song, Bush’s lyrics spill out, barely keeping time with the rhythm. The line “You don’t want to hurt me, but see how deep the bullet lies. Unaware I’m tearing you asunder, there is thunder in our hearts” cuts to the root of the tenuous thread that connects love to lust, loss to pain. Always adept at emotion and beautifully able to manipulate even the most bitter of hearts, rarely has Bush penned such a brutally truthful, painfully sensual song. Originally released as ”Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)”, the song’s title was shortened to the more manageable ”Running Up that Hill” for its appearance on the 1986 hits compilation The Whole Story.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hounds of Love 1985 EMI 5:00
The Whole Story 1986 EMI Music Distribution 5:00
The Whole Story: The Videos 1986 Pioneer
Best of 1980-1990 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:59
This Woman's Work [Box Set] 1990 EMI Music Distribution 5:46
This Woman's Work, Vol. 2 1990 EMI Music Distribution
Greatest Voices [Dino] 1992
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 4:54
Breakaway 1992
Various Artists
Teledisc 5:00
Living in Oblivion: The 80's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:52
Ladies of the 80's, Vol. 2 [Import] 1994
Various Artists
5:00
Pop & Wave, Vol. 5: The Neverending 80's [#2] 1994
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:57
Pop & Wave, Vol. 5: The Neverending 80's [#1] 1994
Various Artists
Columbia 4:59
Every Song Tells a Story 1995
Various Artists
Shock Media 4:57
The Women of Rock, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 0:00
Retro 80's, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:43
Rolling Stone Women in Rock 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 5:01
Women & Rock 1998
Various Artists
Madacy 4:52
Class Reunion: The Greatest Hits of 1985 1999
Various Artists
Rebound Records / Polymedia 4:58
Now: 1985 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 4:34
Respect: A Century of Women in Music 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Greatest Hits of the 80's [1999 Disky] 1999
Various Artists
Disky 4:59
Bitchin' Hits: Fantastic Femmes [Delta/2 Disc] 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:58
Essential Eighties 2, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:00
Lipstick Hits: Femme Favorites 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:58
Journeys 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 4:58
Totally Awesome '80s: 1983-1985 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:59
Hidden Treasures [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 2000
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 4:58
Top Ten Hits of the 80s [EMI] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:02
Drivin' Music Hits 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:58
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 4:59
Don't Stop the 80's 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 5:00
A Year in Your Life: 1985, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 4:59
Sedated in the Eighties, Vol. 6 2002
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 4:57
Twogether Pop 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:56
Essential Eighties, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:00
The Original 80's Album 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 0:00
#1's: 38 of the Greatest #1 Singles of All Time 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:59
Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground 2004
Various Artists
Rhino 5:00
1S - 38 of the Greatest Number 1 Singles of All Time 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:58
Now That's What I Call the 80s [3 CD] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:57
Natural Woman [Emd] 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 4:54
Ministry of Sound: Anthems Collection 2011
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:59
A Symphony of British Music: Music for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games 2012
Various Artists
Decca / Umc 5:33
Remastered, Part I 2018 Rhino 5:01
Remastered, Part II 2018 Rhino 5:49
Remastered, Pt. 4 2018 Rhino 5:49
Selection From 'The Other Sides' 2018 Rhino
The Other Sides 2019 Rhino 5:49
Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) PLG
The Power of Love [Time Life]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
This Woman's Work, Vol. 2 [Extended Edition]