Linda hit on the perfect mix of soulful, driving numbers (her smashes You're No Good and her irresistible spin of the Everly Brothers' When Will I Be Loved ) and soft, sweet ones ( It Doesn't Matter Anymore; Willin' ) on this 1974 classic. Her first #1!
It's often said that this 1974 set, Ronstadt's true commercial breakthrough after a half decade's worth of minor hits, set the formula for the platinum successes to follow: some underrecognized singer/songwriter jewels, a couple of semi-obscure early rock tunes, always with something for country radio as well as Top 40 to grab hold of. But Heart Like a Wheel
does it with a magic Ronstadt and her L.A. session crew would never touch again; for one thing, she was rarely again as convincingly tough ("You're No Good") or as fragile (the Anna McGarrigle
-penned title track) as she is here. --Rickey Wright