The HBO series ‘The Last of Us’ is providing Linda Ronstadt with a revival similar to Kate Bush from 2022.
The third episode of the series aired Sunday night and sent the song from the ’70s skyrocketing up the Spotify charts. According to a tweet shared by the music streaming company, the song “Long Long Time” featured in the episode saw 4,900% more plays after the episode aired.
The song features heavily in a pivotal moment for characters Bill and Frank, played by Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett, respectively.
Frank sits down at a piano and discovers a Linda Ronstadt songbook and begins to play the song, only for Bill to sing the first few lines of the song. The actual sync only features towards the end of the episode, but when it was written, the actual piece was a placeholder, explains episode writer Craig Mazin to IndieWire.
“I’m not sure what the song is; I just know that it has to be this incredibly sad song about yearning for love, and never getting love, and just making your peace with the fact that you will always be alone,” Mazins says he needed of the song chosen. “But it can’t be on the nose. It can’t be a song that we all know.”
Mazin says he texted his friend Seth Rudetsky, a host on SiriusXM On Broadway for help. Mazin says he described what he needed and within 30 seconds, Rudetsky replied, “Long Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt. “I kinda remembered that song,” Mazin says. “I played it and was like, ‘Oh my. There it is.'”
“Long Long Time” came from Linda Ronstadt’s sophomore album Silk Purse and earned her the first of her Grammy nominations. The song helps seal a pivotal moment between characters and has helped Linda Ronstadt’s music find an entirely new audience.