Sunday night’s emotional “The Last of Us” episode titled “Long Long Time,” which featured the 1970 Linda Ronstadt song of the same name, had fans in tears – and hitting up streaming services to download the song about unrequited love.
In one scene, zombie apocalypse survivor Frank (Murray Bartlett) chooses “The Best of Linda Ronstadt” sheet music to play after being rescued by Bill (Nick Offerman), whose rendition of the song expresses his own loneliness. They then share their first kiss.
On Monday afternoon, the song had hit No. 5 on iTunes’ Top 100 Songs chart. It was written by Gary White and released as a single from her 1970 album “Silk Purse” and peaked at No. 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
In 1971, Ronstadt was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance for the ballad. It was later covered by Alannah Myles and Mindy McCready.
Max Richter’s heart-rending instrumental “On the Nature of the Daylight,” is also used in the episode. It’s been featured in movies including “Arrival” and “Shutter Island.”
“Long Long Time” is just the latest classic song to get a major boost from a TV show: Jenna Ortega’s dance to The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” on “Wednesday” and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” playing a pivotal role in Season 4 of “Stranger Things” both soared to previously uncharted positions.
Ronstadt is an 11-time Grammy winner whose other hits include “You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou” and “Heat Wave.” In the ’70s, she was one of the highest paid female rock stars, with Rolling Stone magazine dubbing her “Rock’s Venus” in 1978. She was considered one of the “Queens of Rock” of the era, along with Carly Simon, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell.
She went on to record the hit Spanish album “Canciones de Mi Padre” and tackle classic showtunes.
Ronstadt announced her retirement in 2011 and in 2013 revealed that she had Parkinson’s disease and could no longer sing.
She was the subject of the 2019 documentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” from directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.