It's so easy to fall in love with this Ronstadt retrospective-it's the first to span her whole career on one CD! Among the 1967-1993 Capitol and Elektra/Asylum tracks: her Top 10 hits You're No Good; When Will I Be Loved; Heat Wave; Blue Bayou; It's So Easy , and Ooh Baby Baby plus Just One Look; Adios; Winter Light; Hurt So Bad , and 11 more!
Linda Ronstadt, who emerged from SoCal's vaunted early-'70s country-folk scene, became the
American female rock superstar of the Me Decade. After the initial success of the Stone Poneys' Michael Nesmith-penned "Different Drum," Ronstadt expanded her horizons through interpretations of a long string of successful pop and R&B covers. Along the way she championed emerging songwriters like Warren Zevon
("Poor Poor Pitiful Me") and contemporary favorites like Neil Young
("Love Is a Rose") in the bargain. As the formula waned with the changing tastes of the '80s, she briefly turned to new wave before stepping boldly back to the pop standards of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Unfortunately, this collection inexplicably skips over that three-album collaboration with arranger-conductor Nelson Riddle, a body of work that presaged the 1990s' lounge-pop revival by a full decade--and outclassed it by miles. It also eschews a compelling contemporary Latin chapter of her career in favor of her winning collaborations with Aaron Neville
("Don't Know Much" and "All My Life") and less successful AC fodder like "Winter Light" and "Somewhere Out There" with James Ingram
. A good primer to Ronstadt's immense vocal talents and recording history, but one that's flawed by some crucial missing chapters. --Jerry McCulley