The third episode of HBO‘s The Last of Us aired on Sunday, January 29, and it was an emotional affair that left many viewers reeling. But there is at least one person in a happy mood after the episode: singer-songwriter Linda Ronstadt.
Ronstadt’s 1970 hit “Long Long Time” was featured in the latest episode of the post-apocalyptic drama, which focused on the relationship between two survivors, Frank (Murray Bartlett) and Bill (Nick Offerman). In one scene, Frank plays “The Best of Linda Ronstadt” sheet music in a sweet moment that ends with the two survivors sharing their first kiss.
The original version of the track was played at the end of the episode, leading to more than a 4900% increase in U.S. streams on Spotify, according to a tweet from the streamer. The song, which peaked at No. 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100 at the time of its original release, hit No. 2 on the iTunes’ Top 100 Songs Chart on January 31.has has
— Spotify News (@SpotifyNews) January 30, 2023
Written by Gary White, “Long Long Time” appeared on Ronstadt’s second album, Silk Purse, and became the singer’s first solo hit. The ballad also earned her her first Grammy nomination (for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance/Female). She would go on to win 11 Grammys over the course of her career before retiring in 2011.
The Last of Us director and executive producer Craig Mazin spoke to Variety about choosing the song for the episode, saying, “I knew that song needed to hit certain things about longing and aching and endlessly unrequited love. I could not find the right song for the life of me.”
He continued, “I was trying and trying, and then I texted my friend Seth Rudetsky, who is the host of Sirius XM on Broadway and a savant. I told him, ‘Here’s all the things I need,’ and two seconds later: ‘Linda Ronstadt, “Long, Long Time.”’ I was like, there it is. That’s it!”
This is the latest classic track to see a boost from its use in a hit TV show, following Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” in Season 4 of Stranger Things and The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” from Jenna Ortega‘s dance scene in Netflix’s Wednesday.
The Last of Us, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO