As I’ve previously noted, Linda was the subject of one of the two times I was involved in a buycott involving a musician, the other being the Dixie Chicks. NOT a boycott, I tell my spellchecker, it is, in fact, “the opposite of a boycott: deliberately purchasing a company’s or a country’s products in support of their policies, or to counter a boycott.”
In 2004, she had been escorted from a Las Vegas casino “after she had dedicated a song to the filmmaker Michael Moore.” This sufficiently irritated me that I decided to purchase some Linda Ronstadt music. But what? I had most of her earlier albums on vinyl and many of her later collections on CD.
I decided to order her 1999 box set, which is a great collection. Disc 1 and about a third of Disc 2 are pop album cuts, not necessarily hits, from the most recent back to “Different Drum.” It was followed by selections from her three albums arranged by Nelson Riddle and songs from her two Spanish-language LPs. Disc 3 had duets and trios, and Disc 4 featured rarities. It’s a great collection, though it was sparse of cuts from Hasten Down the Wind, my favorite album of hers.
Someone put together a list of Top 10 Linda Ronstadt Songs, with links there.
10. ‘Heat Wave’ -From ‘Prisoner in Disguise’ (1975). #5 pop in 1975.
9. ‘Just One Look’ – From ‘Living in the U.S.A.’ (1978). #44 pop in 1979.
8 ‘That’ll Be The Day’ -From ‘Hasten Down the Wind’ (1976) . I used this song A LOT to describe what a triplet in music sounds like. One or two other songs on the album used the same device. #27 CW, #11 pop in 1976.
7. ‘Ooh Baby Baby’ -From ‘Living in the U.S.A.’ (1978). #85 CW in 1978, #7 pop in 1979.
6. ‘When Will I Be Loved’ – From ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ (1974). Written by Phil Everly and a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1960. #1 CW, #2 pop for two weeks in 1975.
5. ‘It’s So Easy’- From ‘Simple Dreams’ (1977). #81 CW, #5 pop in 1977.
4. ‘Poor Poor Pitiful Me’ From ‘Simple Dreams’ (1977) . I got really annoyed with the “purists” who complained that Linda didn’t sing it just as Warren Zevon wrote it, even (gasp) leaving out a verse. #46 CW, #1 pop in 1978.
3. ‘Hurt So Bad’ From ‘Mad Love’ (1980). #8 pop in 1980
2. ‘Blue Bayou’ From ‘Simple Dreams’ (1977). Baseball announcer Tim McCarver only mildly wrecked this great Roy Orbison cover for me by referring to a fastball as a “Linda Ronstadt – blew by you.” #2 CW for two weeks, #3 pop for four weeks in 1977.
1. ‘You’re No Good’ From ‘ Heart Like A Wheel’ (1974). #1 pop in 1975.
Then I picked a couple of dozen OTHER Linda Ronstadt songs that I enjoy, with links below. The order, save for #1 is fairly soft, and I might have picked a different dozen or more on another day.
24. Willin’ from Heart Like A Wheel (1974). A great Little Feat song. On a comment to a previous Linda Ronstadt post, Dustbury noted why Ronstadt earned his respect early on. “After signing with Asylum in 1973 and putting out ‘Don’t Cry Now,’ someone at Capitol, her previous label, did the math and found out that she owed them one more album. A lot of acts would have handed over a stack of outtakes or a live set. Instead, she did something that turned out to be [an album] which spent nearly a year on the charts and made her a legitimate superstar.”
23. (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons from For Sentimental Reasons (1986) – the title song of the third collaboration between Ronstadt and bandleader/arranger Nelson Riddle
22. Lose Again from Hasten Down the Wind (1975). A Karla Bonoff song. #76 pop.
21. What’s New from What’s New (1983) – the title song from the first Ronstadt/Riddle collaboration. #53 pop in 1983.
20. Don’t Know Much from Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind (1989). The song written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Tom Snow had been recorded at least five times, including by Mann, before Linda performed this with Aaron Neville. I’m fond of all their duets. #2 pop for two weeks.
19. Still Within The Sound Of My Voice from Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind. A song written by Jimmy Webb and originally recorded by Glen Campbell.
18. My Funny Valentine from For Sentimental Reasons (1986). I’m particularly fond of the instrumentation at the beginning.
17. Ruler of My Heart from We Ran (1998).
16. I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine from Get Closer (1982). Featuring James Taylor.
15. Freezing from Songs from Liquid Days (Philip Glass- 1986). Written by Glass and Suzanne Vega.
14. Trouble Again from Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind (1989). Written by Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards.
13. Different Drum from Evergreen, Volume 2 (Stone Poneys – 1967) – written by Mike Nesmith in 1965. Her first hit single. #13 pop in 1968.
12. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) from Winter Light (1993). Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, and of course, a great song from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. Love the intentional out-of-synch verse.
11. I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You) from Heart Like a Wheel (1974) – written and originally recorded by Hank Williams, a huge country single hit in 1951. The ever-wonderful Emmylou Harris is the duet vocalist. B-side of You’re No Good. #3 CW in 1975.
10. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself from Winter Light (1993) A Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, both Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick had recorded this.
9. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore from Heart Like a Wheel (1974). It’s a ballad written by Paul Anka, and became a posthumous hit for Buddy Holly. B-side of When Will I Be Loved. #54 CW, #47 pop in 1975.
8. Cry ‘Til My Tears Run Dry from We Ran (1998). Composed by Doc Pomus. Irma Thomas sang this.
7. Anyone Who Had A Heart from Winter Light (1993). A Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick and Cilla Black, among others had recorded this.
6. Faithless Love from Heart Like a Wheel (1974). Written by J.D. Souther and recorded by Glen Campbell.
5. Someone to Lay Down Beside Me from Hasten Down the Wind (1975). Another Karla Bonoff song. #42 pop in 1977.
4. Long, Long Time from Silk Purse (1970). Linda had to persuade her record company to include the song on the album. It garnered her first Grammy nomination. #25 pop in 1970.
3. I Never Will Marry from Simple Dreams (1977). A traditional song, sung with Dolly Parton. #8 CW in 1978. Here’s a version with Johnny Cash.
2. Round Midnight from For Sentimental Reasons. Love the strings at the end.
1. Telling Me Lies from Trio (Dolly Parton, LR, Emmylou Harris – 1987). The harmony vocals can just destroy me. #3 CW in 1987
Finally, my link to a live version of 1917.