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31 January 2023

Linda Ronstadt Song Surges In Popularity Post-‘The Last Of Us’

Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt
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Linda Ronstadt has soared up the streaming charts following the acclaimed latest episode of the HBO series The Last Of Us.

After the episode aired, her 1971 song Long Long Time saw streaming numbers increase by 4,900% , according to Spotify

The song soundtracks a pivotal scene in which the characters Bill (played by Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) are first brought together, sparking a love story that had viewers gripped. Executive producer and director Craig Mazin told Variety about the moment he knew that he’d found the perfect sonf for the scene. “I knew that song needed to hit certain things about longing and aching and endlessly unrequited love,” Mazin said. “I could not find the right song for the life of me. 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!”

In the scene, Frank is sitting down at a piano and discovers a Linda Ronstadt songbook. He starts to play before Bill comes in to take over and sing the first few lines of the song, “Love will abide, take things in stride. Sounds like good advice but there’s no one at my side.”

“I had the thought that this would happen, that there was a song that would be played, and that we would be surprised by who was good at it and who was bad at it,” Mazin told IndieWire. “I remember saying to Neil, ‘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. But it can’t be on the nose. And it can’t be a song that we all know.’”

The song has already led to an increase in interest in the rest of Ronstadt’s catalogue, which includes hit albums Don’t Cry Now (1973), Heart Like A Wheel (1974), Hasten Down The Wind (1976), Simple Dreams (1977), Living In The USA (1978), What’s New (1983) and Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind (1989).

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