‘Stranger Things’ brings millions of streams to classic songs

A year ago, as Emmy voters considered potential nominees for Outstanding Music Supervision, would any of them have guessed that Kate Bush would enter the top 10 song consumption in the United States? ? Or that Metallica would see a resurgence based on a key synch? But such is the power of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” soundtrack, which can catapult a song from a few thousand streams to hundreds of millions.

Credit Music Supervisor Nora Felder for identifying and clearing placements to use in Season 4. Bush’s story is particularly impressive. The reclusive singer saw her 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” receive an increase of more than 22,000% since the week the series dropped and has since become one of the 30 most streamed songs of 2022. At this day, she has logged nearly 600 million streams on Spotify alone.

Emmy-nominated Felder says the show’s executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer — better known as the Duffer Brothers — searched for a song that resonated with the intense and varied emotional experiences that Max (Sadie Sink) suffered. Says Felder, “It immediately struck me with its deep chords of possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush’s song marinated in my consciousness.”

Clearing the sync was Felder’s next task. Bush is selective when it comes to using her songs. So Felder made sure to get script pages and footage for Bush to review so the singer could see exactly how the scene — and the song — would pan out.

It might not be a coincidence that Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” also came out less than a year after Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” He also benefited from Felder’s needle drop. In the season finale, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) performs the song in Upside Down with the rest of Hawkins’ team and promises to take on the evil Vecna. Felder says the song was incorporated into the script during pre-production.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” music director Robin Urdang researched period-appropriate needle drops. Because when Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge goes to a lesbian bar, Urdang wanted to avoid “a typical and well-known lesbian song. We wanted something underground, and nobody knew that. I was looking and looking for the property. The song she used (“I’m Nobody’s Baby” by Miss Beverly Shaw) may be destined to remain a cult hit, having amassed just 5,000 streams, according to data from Luminate.

The original songs are less predictable, but the hugely influential “Euphoria” is about the best possible musical launchpad. Zendaya and Labrinth’s “All for Us” has garnered over 300 million streams since its first drop in 2019.


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Grace D. Erickson