It's quickly becoming apparent that the best way to pump up the numbers on a classic song is to make the song in question an integral part to a hit show. "Stranger Things" is responsible for the kids of today knowing Metallica and Kate Bush, and that was just from one season! "Master of Puppets" and "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" went absolutely bonkers on streaming music apps. Spotify said that streams of the Kate Bush song jumped up 9,000 percent overnight and the song ended up in the Billboard Top 10, a feat Bush didn't achieve even when the song was originally released.
And Metallica has seen "Master of Puppets" find a whole new crowd (to the point where there's even an emote using the song in the popular tween video game "Fortnite"). To their credit, the band has embraced these new fans, even paying tribute to fan-favorite Eddie Munson on TikTok. There's also "Wednesday" giving a massive boost to The Cramps' 1981 song "Goo Goo Muck" after Jenna Ortega's memorably weird dance became a social media sensation.
HBO's "The Last of Us" is proving that Netflix doesn't have a stranglehold on pop culture, though. Linda Ronstadt's 1970 song "Long Long Time" plays a key role in the relationship at the heart of the newly released episode 3 which focuses on the rare happy love story that can happen post-apocalypse and now, not even 24 hours later, that song has already hit #5 on iTunes's Top 100 chart.
People Connect To The Meaning Of The Music
What's interesting about the popularity of these older songs among the younger generation is that they're all tied to some kind of heavy emotion. Yes, most of TikTok was more focused on Jenna Ortega's wild dance moves, but beneath all that was a kind of jubilation of letting your weird out in a celebratory way. "Goo Goo Muck" is a perfect pairing with a character who is absolutely not afraid to be her true self and I'd wager that many new fans will forever pair that feeling with that song.
"Long Long Time" is expertly woven into the narrative of "The Last of Us." It's the catalyst for the relationship that develops between Bill and Frank. Frank starts to play this tune (badly) and the closed-off machismo prepper, Bill, then completes the song, showing his tender side for the first time.
There's a beautiful and emotionally gut-wrenching callback to the song in the final shot of this episode where you get to hear Ronstadt's original version, but this time you know it's their song and the waterworks start up one final time before the episode ends.
In short, it's not enough to just put good music in your movie or TV show. What gives these artists that well-deserved bump is how the song is portrayed in the film or series. It can be sad, like "Long Long Time" or "Running Up That Hill," or it could be an epic power moment, like Eddie standing atop that trailer and jamming out "Master of Puppets" to save his friends or Wednesday going all out on the dance floor.
I'm oddly proud of the young folks out there for embracing all this older music the way they're doing and I hope that only opens the door for more bangers to get their time back in the spotlight again.
Read this next: 12 Things We'd Like To See In HBO's The Last Of Us
The post The Last of Us is Giving Linda Ronstadt a Stranger Things-Style Soundtrack Boost appeared first on /Film.