This ’70s Song is Seeing a Huge Boost in Streams Thanks to ‘The Last of Us’

The 1970 Linda Ronstadt song “Long Long Time” was used in the third episode of new HBO hit series The Last of Us.

Rock vocalist Linda Ronstadt might be replicating the same Gen-Z popularity as Kate Bush. Rondstadt’s 1970 song “Long Long Time” was featured in the emotionally-charged third episode of The Last of Us, and the song saw a 4,900% increase in streams on Spotify after the HBO show aired.

During a scene of the third episode, also titled “Long Long Time,” characters Nick Offerman (Bill) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) play a cover version of Ronstadt’s hit song before the full version was played at the episode’s end. Written by Gary White, “Long, Long Time” was a single from Ronstadt’s sophomore album, Silk Purse. During the album’s debut in 1970, “Long Long Time” peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent 12 weeks on the list, followed by Ronstadt receiving a 1971 Grammy nomination for Contemporary Female Vocal Performance category. In total, the singer has 11 Grammy wins and 27 nominations.

Kate Bush’s 1985 single “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” saw similar success in 2022 when it was featured on the fourth season of Netflix series Stranger Things. The song became a viral phenomenon, notably on TikTok, also generating Bush $2.3 million in streaming royalties.

“I was so delighted that the Duffer Brothers wanted to use RUTH for Max’s totem but now having seen the whole of this last series, I feel deeply honoured that the song was chosen to become a part of their roller coaster journey,” Bush wrote in a message on her website at the time. “I can’t imagine the amount of hard work that’s gone into making something on this scale. I am in awe. They’ve made something really spectacular.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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