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Why ‘The Last of Us’ used that Linda Ronstadt song

Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 song ‘Long Long Time’ was used during the emotionally-charged ‘The Last of Us’ episode on January 29.

Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 song ‘Long Long Time’ was used during the emotionally-charged ‘The Last of Us’ episode on January 29.

The most recent episode of ‘The Last of Us’ has helped Linda Ronstadt’s song ‘Long Long Time’ soar up the streaming charts, and co-creator Craig Mazin says he has a friend to thank for its use.

The 1970s song saw streaming numbers increase by 4900 percent according to Spotify after it was used in the January 29 episode.

According to the streaming service, the spike came between 11 p.m. and midnight ET, right after the episode aired. The song was used when Bill (Nick Offerman) allows another man, Frank (Murray Bartlett), into his home after spending the last three years in isolation due to a global pandemic.

After being let in, Frank notices a piano. He looks through the sheet music on Bill’s bench and finds ‘The Best of Linda Ronstadt’.

“Oh my god, it’s my favorite,” he says and starts playing ‘Long Long Time’.

Bill stops the performance, but Frank gets up and insists that Bill perform the song instead, which he does.

“Love will abide, take things in stride,” he sings. “Sounds like a good advice, but there’s no one at my side / And time washes clean, love’s wounds unseen / That’s what someone told me, but I don’t know what it means.”

The song is also used in a later scene with Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). The two come to the house looking for Bill and Frank, and find a suicide note and keys to the truck they need.

Ellie finds a cassette tape labeled “Mix for Bill”, and though Joel initially tells her not to play it, once he hears the song, he says: “No, leave it. Leave it, this is good. This is Linda Ronstadt.”

How Mazin chose ‘Long Long Time’

Mazin told IndieWire that he was looking for a song that the two characters could connect over. After struggling to find one, he enlisted help from a friend.

“I went through hours and hours and hours,” said Mazin. “And finally, I was like, ‘I know what to do. I’m going to text my friend Seth Rudetsky,’ who is a host on Sirius XM On Broadway, and has this encyclopedic knowledge of all music.

“I described what I needed and within 30 seconds, it was [incoming text noise] ‘Long, Long Time by Linda Ronstadt.’ I kinda remembered that song. I played it and was like, ‘Oh, my. There it is.’”

‘Long Long Time’ spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 and earned Ronstadt a Grammy nomination.


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