We already know that The Last of Us was on for an epic start, thanks to the awesome first episode that set the tone for the new HBO series. Not surprisingly, it's also turning out to be a major boost for Depeche Mode. Never Let Me Down Again, the song that plays in the final moments of the episode, has gained 200% more streams since the premiere.
In The Last of Us Episode 1, it was revealed that Joel and Tess had been using a radio to get updates from their smuggling allies Bill and Frank. We learn that the smugglers are using songs to communicate. By the end of the episode, Joel and Tess are away to help a young girl named Ellie to the State House. Unknown to them, the radio comes on and plays a song.
The song being played is Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode and it's a clear message to Joel and Tess. As Ellie had previously learned, songs from a specific decade indicate a special message, with 60s songs confirming that Bill and Frank have nothing new while 70s songs announce that there is new merchandise. After tricking Joel, Ellie realized that 80s songs indicate trouble.
It's certainly a catchy song and Luminate confirms that people can't get enough of it (via Billboard). The music sales tracker revealed that Never Let Me Down Again had more than tripled in official on-demand U.S. streams overnight. Amazingly, the track went from 26,000 on the day of the premiere to 83,000 the following day. It's an impressive gain of 220.5% and a feat similar to Kate Bush's Running Up The Hill after the song was featured in Stranger Things Season 4.
Interestingly, this isn't the last time that we'll get to hear Never Let Me Down Again on The Last of Us. Co-showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed that the song will be featured in future episodes but it will be heard "in a very different way and different context."
The Last of Us Episode 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.