The Last Of Us Makes A Long-Forgotten Song A Top Stream On Spotify

Linda Ronstadt's song "Long Long Time" has exploded on Spotify after being featured in The Last of Us.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Linda Ronstadt

From the very first episode of The Last of Us, music is used to set the tone. Following the third installment of the HBO series, Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 hit “Long Long Time” surged on the Spotify charts as fans clamored to listen to the ballad. On January 29th, between 11 pm and midnight ET, there was more than a 4900% increase in streams of the song, the music site said in social media post.

The Spotify streaming numbers are not surprising since Bill and Frank perform part of the song during a touching moment in the episode. The scene sees Frank sitting at a piano with a Linda Ronstadt songbook nearby. As he starts to play, Bill comes in and sings, “Love will abide, take things in stride. Sounds like good advice but there’s no one at my side.”

The actual song is played toward the end of the episode, prompting viewers to search for it on Spotify. The tune was chosen by executive producer and director Craig Mazin after his friend suggested it. Speaking to Variety, Mazin said he wanted a song that touched on feelings of longing and endlessly unrequited love.

“I could not find the right song for the life of me,” he told the publication. After an unsuccessful search, Mazin texted his friend Seth Rudetsky, the host of Sirius XM on Broadway, for some help. “I told him all the things I need and two seconds later… Linda Ronstadt “Long, Long Time,” he said. He immediately knew that it was the perfect fit. However, he may not have anticipated the Spotify surge.

Written by Gary White, “Long, Long Time” is featured on Linda Ronstadt’s Silk Purse album. Following its release, the single spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1971, the song earned the singer a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance. The longevity of its resurgence is yet to be seen. But the Spotify numbers indicate interest from a new generation of listeners.

A similar musical rediscovery happened in 2022, when “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush was streamed thousands of times on Spotify after a key scene in Stranger Things. In the Netflix series, the song is used to maintain the link between Max and the real world. The track also went viral on social media as TikTok users used it to create trends, Deadline reports.

Away from Spotify, The Last of Us takes place twenty years after a mutation in the genus Cordyceps creates a mass fungal infection that causes a global pandemic. Infected people are transformed into hostile, cannibalistic zombie-like creatures. Based on the 2013 video game from Naughty Dog, the story follows Joel and Ellie as they journey across the post-apocalyptic United States.

The project was filmed in Alberta, Canada from July 2021 to June 2022.  The Last of Us is the first HBO series based on a video game and consists of nine episodes. It will be interesting to see if any more songs from the post-apocalyptic drama manage to top the Spotify charts.