"Hammer Horror" was Kate Bush's third single release and first single from her second album Lionheart. It was released on 27 October 1978. Following the top ten success of her first two singles, this charted at a much lower #44 in the UK singles chart. The parent album released a few weeks later was unaffected however as it entered the top ten. "Hammer Horror" proved to be a temporary blip as Bush's next single returned her to the top 20. In other countries it fared better, such as Ireland where it reached #10.
The song is a tribute to Hammer Films, a company specialising in horror movies. The story of the song concerns an actor who gets thrust into the lead role of The Hunchback of Notre Dame after the original actor dies in an accident on the film set. The guilt-ridden narrator of the song ends up being haunted by the ghost of the jealous original actor, who was a former friend. A promotional video was made for the single featuring Bush and a black-masked dancer performing the song against a black background.
The B-side of the song was "Coffee Homeground", which also featured on Lionheart.