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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Rocks!
I remember first hearing Linda Ronstadt's amazing voice come crashing out of the radio sometime in the late sixties as the lead vocalist for the folk-rock group, the Stone Ponies. Her distinctive melodic scream of a vocal style is so distinctive it is hard not to compare with Roy Orbison, whose songs she sometimes recorded. This collection of her hit songs covers the...
Published on July 25, 2003 by Barron Laycock

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sound spoils the Show
What should have been a wonderful overview of Linda Ronstadt's early career is ruined by poor quality mastering, which makes her gorgeous voice sound like she's singing through a brick wall. Looks like I'll have to fork out again for the Rhino records 2002 best of version which reportedly sounds much better. The same goes for Volume 2.
Published on September 27, 2004 by M. Momsen


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Rocks!, July 25, 2003
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
I remember first hearing Linda Ronstadt's amazing voice come crashing out of the radio sometime in the late sixties as the lead vocalist for the folk-rock group, the Stone Ponies. Her distinctive melodic scream of a vocal style is so distinctive it is hard not to compare with Roy Orbison, whose songs she sometimes recorded. This collection of her hit songs covers the decade or so before she went for the big band and "lush" sounds of her more recent work. It is hard to not appreciate a voice so singular and versatile, even if it is most usually delivered with a fevered wail. I once saw her in a small venue in Lenox, Massachusetts in a small amphitheater setting, with the audience sprawled over an expansive lawn that gradually rose above the covered stage area. She was so good with just her guitar and small group that it is difficult to describe her in words short of superlatives such as phenomenal.
All of her seminal work is included here for you casual enjoyment, from "When Will I Be Loved" to "When Will I Be Loved?", from "You're No Good" to "It's So Easy", and all the others, including "Long, Long Time", "That'll Be The Day", "Love Is A Rose", "Different Drum", "Heat Wave", and many others. This album give us all of Linda's formidable hits, all her in a definitive play list that anyone would want to have to ensure an accurate representation of her volumes of work, from dozens of hit albums recorded and released over more twenty years of popular work. This is an essential album for your collection, and one I have both in the house and in the car. For easy listening as I zoom down the highway. Other than the Beach Boys, on the one hand, or Jackson Browne on the other, nobody articulates the southern California folk rock style as well or as consistently as Linda Ronstadt, the little woman with the big, big voice. Enjoy!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Linda, August 8, 2001
By 
Erik North (San Gabriel, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Linda Ronstadt's GREATEST HITS: VOLUME 1 sold more than five million copies; and while those sales have been surpassed by far lesser Ronstadt wanna-bes such as Faith Hill and Shania Twain, it proves that Ronstadt fans really saw her not as a fad singer but as a legend.
This album doesn't contain much of her early material--only the two country-rock standards "Different Drum" and "Long, Long Time". Still, those two songs ARE standards because of her intensely moving voice. Her 1973 version of "Silver Threads And Golden Needles" is a twangy country-rock bar band hoedown, fueled by Gib Guilbeau's fiddle. And who can possibly forget her searing versions of "Heat Wave" and "You're No Good"?
There's much, much more on this first GREATEST HITS album. Even if you have the albums from which these songs come from, pick this one up too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Where it All Started for Linda, September 26, 2000
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Anyone who has listened to Linda Ronstadt for the past several years knows that she has gone through many different styles, but this Greatest Hits package is the best place to hear how it all started. The disc shows Ronstadt's talents with love songs such as "Desperado" and "Love Has No Pride." Her covers of oldie greats "Tracks of My Tears," "When Will I Be Loved," "Heat Wave," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" bring a new freshness to these favorites, even though her renditions are over 20 years old. The gut-wrenching "Long, Long Time" is worth the price of the CD. If you're new to Ronstadt, buy this one first, then go to "Heart Like a Wheel." Good stuff!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woefully Incomplete, November 19, 2004
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Linda Ronstadt is one of those singers who can manage to put a country flavor to just about anything she sings. However, she has sung songs in a wide variety of styles, so it is difficult to rate her as a singer of a particular type of music. Her ability to put a country twang into a song does make me wonder how she would handle a song like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

Linda has a great talent and has had hits well beyond those on this collection. While this collection was fine in the days of vinyl, with the advent of CDs there is little need for this CD. There are bigger and better collections of music. The music included here is good, but the CD should be re-titled "Early Greatest Hits" or "Here's Our Way of Milking Fans for More Money Because You Still Need a More Comprehensive Collection."

Moving past my gripes about the CD, there is some really fun music on this CD. "Silver Threads" was a minor hit for the Springfields in the early 60s, after being sung by Wanda Jackson in the 50s. Linda's version is more rockabilly than the Springfield's version; a good cover of this song. "Desperado" is a cover of the Eagles song. Her clear voice brings a stronger country flavor to this song, but I prefer the Eagles version, which I believe has stronger feeling and power. Linda shows her flexibility in "You're No Good" as she manages a bit of soul.

Linda Ronstadt manages to sound as though she came right out of the hills on "Love Is a Rose." This heavily bluegrass flavored song still retains a rock influence, particularly with the percussion and a bass guitar. In the following song, "That'll Be the Day" she again manages yet another country-flavored song with a rock beat. Her voice is well matched to the requirements of this song and is an indication of how well she could have been a country music star had she remained in one genre.

"Long, Long Time" is one of those incredible songs that any singer with a good voice should have in their repertoire. Linda has both the range and ability to sing this song with the kind of emotion required to pull a listener into the words and music. This sumptuous ballad is one of the few songs on this CD that require substantial vocal talent to execute and Linda does it very well indeed.

"Different Drum" is yet another musical style, this time 60s pop. While the song has a standard pop beat and catchy lyrics, Linda's voice managed to flavor the song with a character that changes this song into a classic. One anachronistic touch is the use of a harpsichord. Many 60s songs used a variety of unusual instruments to achieve a different sound. This song was penned by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees. I like this song, but the fade at the end and my recollection makes me think that the end of the song may have been clipped. If the song was not clipped the fade was handled poorly.

Switching back to a country flavor is "When Will I Be Loved," a short, AM-friendly song. While the song is relatively simple Linda Ronstadt manages to take charge of the song with outstanding vocals. Another country styled song, "Love Has No Pride." While the style is familiar, the clear, powerful vocal is the focus of this soulful ballad. With the exception of the song discussed just below, the last two songs are also country style songs, a genre that Linda Ronstadt seems to favor.

This collection changes pace as she belts out a rocking versus of "Heat Wave." No fuzz on this song, this song is solid pop-rock.

To be a fan of Linda Ronstadt is to be a fan of power vocals. Her style is eclectic; her skill sublime.

This collection has some good music. However, as noted at the start of this review, this collection is woefully inadequate. Linda's career has spanned Spanish language recordings, numerous later hits including the phenomenal "Somewhere Out There" with James Ingram, and albums of classic standards with Nelson Riddle. Against the breadth of her ability is this relatively paltry album. If you are looking for just her earliest hits, you may stop here. But if you are out to appreciate Linda Ronstadt's career, pass this one by in favor of the bigger collection, or a future box set with much more scope.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars California Rock Epitomised on Ronstadt Hits Collection, July 4, 2003
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
This Linda Ronstadt greatest hits collection evokes its time and musical style as sharply and succinctly as her southern California contemporaries and former bandmates, the Eagles, who released their celebrated greatest hits collection the same year on the same label.
This best-of focuses on Ronstadt's first decade recording for Capitol and Asylum Records. Here, she recreates rockabilly for the 1970s by joining R&B (Motown's "Heat Wave," and "Tracks of My Tears"), folk (Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum," the Springfields "Silver Threads and Golden Needles.") and 50s rock (updating the Everlys' "When Will I Be Loved" and Buddy Holly's "It Don't Matter Anymore.")
Ronstadt would cover every chapter in the Great American songbook over her next 25 years, but never more naturally integrated songs like "You're No Good" (a #1 in 1974) into her own style. She seemed not to want to recreate an era (as with her Nelson Riddle standards collaborations from the 1980s) but to reinterpret previous decades' rock and roll for a new one.
This would template Ronstadt's music to this day: technically well sung, thematic LPs recorded with collaborators ranging from Aaron Neville to Emmylou Harris, with occasionally illuminating but sometimes embarrassingly clunky ("Hurt So Bad," "Ooo Baby Baby") results. All the more reason to pick up this first Greatest Hits set, which captures Linda Ronstadt at her most focused and an important musical period at its peak. Essential, but also check the occasionally in-print "Retrospective," which delves deeper into her more country-flavored work for Capitol.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Sampler of a Great Talent, February 6, 2005
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
I was such a little completist in high school and college that I would never have considered buying ANYBODY'S "best of" or "greatest hits" package. It only became an issue when some marketing genius--sometime in the 70s--came up with th idea of bonus tracks. When it was released on vinyl,--LINDA RONDSTADT'S GREATEST HITS didn't have any such extras. It was plainly a package for the casual fan, and so I avoided it. After all, it wasn't as though her actual albums were full of throwaways. Linda, especially after she hit her stride in the early 70s, could usually be counted on to come up with a rewarding package of varied styles (something old, something new, something country and something blues) to make all releases worth the purchase price.

At least throughout the 70s. By the late 70s and early 80s, the critics--and even some fans--ere starting to grumble that things were getting too formulaic, and Linda herself was starting to get a little restless stylistically (and started dipping her toe a into New Wave, and then taking on the Great American Songbook, mariachi and light opera). But there was a special feel to the 70s era, and that period is well documented on this particular collection (along with a few choice tracks from her earliest 60s era recordings as well).

The 70s material--especially the albums produced by Peter Asher--were marked not only by intelligent song selections and quality vocals, but also by quality production. Those early Asylum albums (and of course, HEART LIKE A WHEEL, her contract-closing release for Capitol) had a kind of aural sheen to them that seemed to mark a new era in r'n'r production values. Late 60s hippie slapdash was suddenly replaced by slick, but still warm production values. Some saw it as a SF vs. LA thing. I just thought of it as recording technology marching on.

And of course, Linda was growing as a singer and interpreter. Her work with the Stone Poneys and her early Capitol solo albums showed a singer with real potential, but also one who had yet to completely grow into her voice. By the DON'T CRY NOW and HEART LIKE A WHEEL era, she was singing with newfound confidence and conviction. Compare the charming, but slight "Different Drum" to almost any other track on this collection and you'll see how much she grew as a vocalist within the span of four or five years.

I suppose that if I had to pick the definitive Ronstadt track of the era, it would have to be this collection's opener (as it was on HEART LIKE A WHEEL as well) "You're No Good." It is almost a perfect rock recording. Tasty guitar, great vocal with excellent backup (by Clydie King and Shirley Matthews), and those elegant strings at the end. If anything just screamed hit, it was that song.

Whether it was necessary to follow that particular single, which was a remake of an old Doris Troy r'n'b classic--with a string of other remakes of classics, was doubtful The Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers remakes always struck me as somewhat less successful. Unlike "You're No Good," they didn't seem to recast the song in any new or meaningful way. And her albums were full of excellent tracks, so just why the suits at the record company (or companies) felt that every single needed to be a remake of a golden oldie was unclear to me.

Songs like "Deperado" and "Love Is Rose" by (then) contemporary composers proved that Linda could do more than just remake the hits of the previous two decades. Her albums offered even more testimony to her versatility, of course. And for more serious fans or even the curious, those might be preferable to any "greatest hits" collection. So why am I the original completist recommending this.

It's this simple. When the CD revolution came about, I was one of those holdouts who refused to give up my vinyl. When I finally did accept the inevitability of CDs, I resolved not to play into the industry's hands by replacing every single vinyl album with its CD equivalent. Linda Ronstadt ranks pretty darn high in my pantheon, but I still chose to go with the "best of" collection rather than replace six or seven entire albums. I still have a turntable and will drag out the vinyl versions from time to time. But this is a good enough package to meet my present needs. If you're like me, this or any of the other available "best of's" may suffice. If you are either an old diehard fan or a brand new convert, you may want to consider the complete works, however. I doubt you'll feel cheated.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS ONE'S THE PLACE TO START, July 26, 2004
By 
N. N Wahlert "nnwahler" (seattle, wa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Linda's had quite a few careers, now, as a singer. She sang old torch ballads; she sang the part of Mabel in The Pirates Of Penzance; she even tried to cut it as a new-waver. There was ALSO that period, many, many years ago, when she was the sexiest little country-rocker there ever was (and, in my book, still is).

Linda's been one of those cover artists--the kind who'll try to pip somebody else's version of some previously-recorded hit. Artistically she's had varying degees of success with this, but in the present collection there's not one misfire. The way she puts over "You're No Good" and "Heat Wave" (with a little help from her L.A. session boys, Peter Asher & Andrew Gold), not to mention that hoe-down "Love Is A Rose" and ESPECIALLY that irresistible sing-along approach to "When Will I Be Loved" let one know instantly why she's considered one of the biggies.

Linda's earlier discography was one of the many special things about the seventies.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sound spoils the Show, September 27, 2004
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
What should have been a wonderful overview of Linda Ronstadt's early career is ruined by poor quality mastering, which makes her gorgeous voice sound like she's singing through a brick wall. Looks like I'll have to fork out again for the Rhino records 2002 best of version which reportedly sounds much better. The same goes for Volume 2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIFE OF THE PARTY IN THE 1970'S, July 7, 2004
By 
Crabby Apple Mick Lee (INDIANAPOLIS, IN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Linda Ronstadt has had a long and varied career. She has roots in country, and has been a champion in folk, pop, rock, the American Songbook and Spanish/Mexican music. Indeed, Ronstadt was one of the most popular interpretive singers throughout the 1970's. Almost as legendary as her singing career has been the many twists and turns of her own love life as it was played out in the pages of newspapers and magazines. Along with her affairs with the famous and powerful, Ronstadt's sex appeal drew many to her concerts and her records. Many a young man fantasized spending the night with her as she crooned "You're No Good".
But Ronstadt was not without her critics. She did not write her own songs-instead she often took songs which had been hits for others and made them even bigger successes with a much wider audience. Yet it was said that compared to the originals, Ronstadt's versions were cold and distant having little of the emotional depth the lyrics called for. Defenders pointed to Ronstadt's successful track record and charged detractors with sexism-stating that her critics could not deal with a successful, powerful woman.
Even nearly thirty years later, opinion is not settled on the merits of Ronstadt's work. Any casual and fair-minded listener can marvel at the sheer power of her voice. Again, the same listener might also conclude that Ronstadt's versions of works of others are somewhat pale. Even so, there is clearly something uniquely appealing in her singing. It is also fair to say that had Ronstadt never recorded their works many a songwriter would never have emerged from obscurity.
GREATEST HITS was released just a short time after Linda Ronstadt first made her big splash with HEART LIKE A WHEEL, PRISONER IN DISGUISE and HASTEN DOWN THE WIND. These three albums quickly established Ronstadt as a major star. Yet Ronstadt had made only minimal impact since her hit single "Different Drum" released in 1970 up to that point. Ronstadt's record labels clearly wanted to cash in on her newfound success before the fire went out. As such, GREATEST HITS only catches Ronstadt in the middle of the upward arc to the pinnacle of her success. Still, to the public in 1976, this is who Linda Ronstadt was up to that point. GREATEST HITS did it's job of introducing vast audiences to her earlier work as well as the handful of hits she had up to that point. GREATEST HITS now serves as a kind of snapshot of what 1970's music was like at the time with the heavy flavor of "country rock" that saturated nearly everything before the advent of disco and punk.
Those less nostalgic will want a more comprehensive collection than is represented here
Some suggestions:
THE VERY BEST OF LINDA RONSTADT or
THE LINDA RONSTADT BOX SET
If you are to have only one Linda Ronstadt studio album then be sure to buy HEART LIKE A WHEEL.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid Analog Quality, August 19, 2012
This review is from: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
I have bought many older albums released on cd. CD didn't exist in my youth. Many have been fully remastered. They sound great. This isn't one of them. This has to be the worst ever. It sounds like the whole album was recorded underwater!!!!
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Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits
Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits by Linda Ronstadt (Audio CD - 1990)
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