First there was Kate Bush, scoring a No. 1 hit with Running Up That Hill 37 years after its release. Now, Stranger Things’ supernatural power to resurrect old hits continues, giving Metallica its first UK Top 40 hit since 2008.
Like Running Up That Hill, their 1986 song Master of Puppets was used as a key plot point in the Netflix series, appearing in the fourth season finale in an epic opera scene.
The drama’s popularity – season four became Netflix’s second show after Squid Game to reach over a billion hours of views – brought new global audiences to Metallica’s song, which has since charted in the top 50 of Spotify’s most-streamed songs since, and Apple’s top 100 music.
Streams and downloads combined to take Master of Puppets to No. 22 on the UK Singles Chart this week, his very first spot. Metallica’s first UK hit single was Harvester of Sorrow in 1988, which reached No. 20, and since then they have had 17 other Top 40 hits, including four Top 10 hits: Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, Until it Sleeps and St Anger. Their albums reached the Top 40 12 times, with three No 1s: Metallica (1991), Load (1996) and Death Magnetic (2008).
After Master of Puppets was used in Stranger Things, the band said, “The way the Duffer Brothers have incorporated music into Stranger Things has always been next level, so we were beyond thrilled that they not only included Master of Puppets in the series, but to have such a pivotal scene built around it. We were all thrilled to see the end result and when we did we were totally blown away.
When some veteran fans complained about the influx of new listeners into the band, Metallica wrote on TikTok, “EVERYONE is welcome to the Metallica family. Whether you’ve been a fan for 40 hours or 40 years, we all share a connection through music. You all started at ground zero at some point.
Master of Puppets also entered the US Billboard Hot 100 for the first time this week, at No. 40.
Elsewhere on the UK Singles Chart this week, Scottish duo LF System are enjoying a second week atop the Singles Chart with their disco edition Afraid to Feel, featuring Harry Styles, George Ezra, Beyoncé and Kate Bush – in its seventh week in the Top 10 – completing the top five.
Styles returns to the top of the albums chart after being deposed by Paolo Nutini last week, to mark a fifth non-consecutive week at No. 1. Nigerian pop star Burna Boy has his best chart at No. 2 with his new album Love , Damini, while his single Last Last climbs to No. 7 and could soon vie for the top spot with an upcoming remix featuring British rapper Dave.