This year marked an unprecedented string of forgotten favorite soundtracks, simultaneously born from television shows, films, and TikTok. From the 1970s rock stylings of Linda Ronstadt and Fleetwood Mac to 2000s club anthems, here are eight songs that TikTok surprisingly carried back up the charts.
“Long Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt
A gay love story with a tragic ending was greeted with thunderous applause when it served as a pivotal moment in the record breaking run of HBO’s “The Last Of Us.” Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett portrayed the unlikely couple of Bill and Frank as they survive a post-apocalyptic America by hunkering down on a farm in Massachusetts. Here, they fall in love after an exhausted Frank is taken in by Bill and plays him a cover of Linda Ronstadt’s “Long Long Time.” The track plays at the end once again as it is revealed that Bill and Frank have since passed away, leaving behind their resources to their old friend Joel (Pedro Pascal) who they once met through a botched radio call.
The stand alone episode aired to offer further back story to the friends and allies of its titular characters, Joel and Ellie. The video game-to-television adaptation follows a smuggler named Joel and a young girl named Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey) as they journey across a deadly post-pandemic America to a facility that could offer answer’s about Ellie’s immunity to the cordyceps virus that has ravaged the world. The impassioned and haunting Ronstadt track served as an incredibly moving soundtrack for the episode, and created lasting commentary surrounding the singer’s unique 1970s Latin and folk rock genre blend.
“Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac
1970s rock cemented a new Gen Z fan base this year, in part due to the release of Amazon Prime Video and Hello Sunshine’s “Daisy Jones & The Six.” The book-to-television adaptation was born from author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel of the same name, and follows the rise and fall of a rock band in Los Angeles akin to that of the real life Fleetwood Mac.
The show stars Riley Keough as the titular Daisy Jones alongside Sam Claflin, Sebastian Chacon, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Will Harrison, Camila Morrone, Nabiyah Be, Tom Wright, and Timothy Olyphant. Reid previously revealed that the fictional Six’s album, “Aurora”, was recorded at Sound City studios, which was the birthplace of the Fleetwood Mac’s American career, when Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were invited to join the famous rock band.
The novel and TV show are loosely based on Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album “Rumours”, which examined the complex interpersonal relationships between several of the band members. Reid specifically recalled seeing and feeling inspired by the infamous Fleetwood Mac 1997 reunion performance of then vault track “Silver Springs.” Many fans of the band joke that that the performance was so powerful that Nicks put a spell on Buckingham with her vocals. The track was written exclusively by Nicks, and details her perspective on her breakup with lead guitarist Buckingham.
The songstress previously explained the track’s name, saying “I wrote ‘Silver Springs’ about Lindsey. And we were in Maryland somewhere driving under a freeway sign that said Silver Springs (sic), Maryland. And I loved the name…Silver Springs sounded like a pretty fabulous place to me. And ‘You could be my silver springs’, that’s just a whole symbolic thing of what you could have been to me.”
The song went viral on TikTok when predominantly young women used it to soundtrack their own coping mechanisms in breakups and their journeys towards taking their power back. Nicks’ gritty vocals and promises to haunt Buckingham through her sonic legacy continue to live in infamy, even drawing comparisons to Daisy Jones & The Six’s final performance on the hit television show, for which a number of its actors received Golden Globe nominations.
“Linger” by the Cranberries
2023 was the year of letting it linger. Irish alternative rock band The Cranberries was formed in Limerick, Ireland in the late 1980s. The band’s late lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan, famously penned the lyrics of “Linger” when she was only 17 years old, and the track ultimately launched the band to global success. O’Riordan passed away in 2018 in an accidental drowning, and her surviving bandmates continue to honor her legacy. The group released “Remembering Dolores” in 2021, which included a collection of previously unreleased tracks.
Thirty years after its release, “Linger” made its way into TikTok’s trendiest sounds, which has historically signified an impending soar up the Billboard charts. As of now, “Linger” has soundtracked approximately 130,200 videos on the platform. The Irish folk rock track’s yearning lyrics for a lover whose intentions just maybe got lost in translation has proven incredibly timeless.
“Linger” memes took over socials earlier this year, with many combining humorous videos and images with the caption “letting it linger” paired with the Cranberries’ track.
“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer
The eclectic 1997 indie pop surprise hit “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer has served as a backdrop a number of pivotal rom-com scenes from the 1990s. From “She’s All That” to game changing contemporary teen drama “Dawson’s Creek”, the track served as a backdrop for Gen Zers discovering the seemingly lost era of romantic comedies.
Now, the track continues to circulate as young women recreate some of the fashion styles of their favorite film and television characters, or put into words the feeling that the song evokes. Others have revealed that they played the song on dates in an attempt to drop hints for their special someone to make a move.
any song that includes this is a favorite i cant lie #fyp
“Say Yes To Heaven” by Lana Del Rey
Grammy nominated alternative singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey unearthed a previously unreleased track due in part to the power of TikTok. Del Rey, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, carved a unique niche for herself with her old Hollywood crooner style vocals coupled with rich retro Americana aesthetics depicting the brutality of love and life. “Say Yes To Heaven”, which includes references to life, death, and John Lennon, has served as the unwitting backdrop to a number of TikTok trends, including quinceañera performances.
Del Rey is known for her carefully conceived artistic image, resulting in a large volume of leaks of unreleased tracks that she did not feel matched her previous projects. Upon her official release of “Say Yes To Heaven,” fans continue to call for more releases of her secret vault songs.
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
Presley’s timeless 1961 hit cemented a solid trending status on TikTok, in part due to the recent release of Sofia Coppola‘s “Priscilla.” The film is based on the real life Priscilla Presley’s memoir “Elvis And Me” about their previous relationship, and the film stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi in the titular roles. The love song continues to transcend generations as TikTok creators now test out an AI powered aging filter on the platform alongside their partners to see a preview of how they’ll grow old together.
watching each other age 👵🏻👴🏻❤️
“Hurricane” By Bridgit Mendler
Disney star turned musician turned PhD candidate Bridgit Mendler traded in “Good Luck Charlie” for a career in space law. Mendler has since left Hollywood for a dual degree program between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She previously starred as Teddy Duncan on “Good Luck Charlie” and also had supporting roles on “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Lemonade Mouth.” Amid 2023’s summer hurricane season, Mendler’s song “Hurricane” soundtracked a meme of a cat driving a car in a chaotic fashion, coupled with humorous captions about the extreme weather.
maybe my toxic trait #fyp
In the months following the initial trend, TikTok creators went on to comically describe chaotic situations and facing their fears to the lyric “everything is fine when you’re standing in the eye of the Hurricane.”
“Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis Bextor
Director Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” continues to shock audiences, with its memorable ending scene including an almost hilariously on-the-nose song choice. After systematically taking out each member of the Catton family one by one, Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) manages to inherit the coveted Saltburn estate, in which he dances in the nude while high on cocaine. The memorable dance is choreographed to the tune of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s 2002 song “Murder On the Dancefloor.”
The scene is now inspiring a number of other TikTok creators to craft dance moves of their own to the Brit pop track.
i may have killed the groove
2023 was the year of time transcending music, all with the help of the power of TikTok.