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  • The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt
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The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt

98 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 24, 2002
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Product Description

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

1. When Will I Be Loved
2. Heat Wave
3. You're No Good
4. It's So Easy
5. Blue Bayou
6. Just One Look
7. Different Drum
8. Poor Poor Pitiful Me
9. Tracks Of My Tears
10. That'll Be The Day
11. Ooh Baby Baby
12. Long Long Time
13. Back In The U.S.A.
14. Love Is A Rose
15. Hurt So Bad
16. Heart Like A Wheel
17. Adios
18. Somewhere Out There
19. Don't Know Much
20. All My Life
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra
  • ASIN: B00006J424
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,426 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Pearlman on November 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just about every major hit Linda Ronstadt has recorded is included on this excellent one-disc collection. The biggest hit missing is 1980's #10 hit "How Do I Make You" (aggravatingly, available on the British version of this disc). Many of the smashes here were already well-known in their original form, such as the Motown classics "Heat Wave," "Tracks of My Tears," "Ooh Baby Baby," and '50's rock standards "That'll Be the Day," "When Will I Be Loved," and "Back In The U.S.A." In addition to these huge chart successes are some excellent lesser hits and album tracks. "Love Is A Rose" and "Just One Look" did not do as well on the charts as, for example, "Get Closer" or her version of "Tumbling Dice," but they are clearly the superior records.
Ronstadt has been both praised and vilified for her many remakes (pretty much all her Top Tens). On one hand she was the first to bring songwriters like Warren Zevon, Karla Bonoff, Kate and Anna McGarrigle to the record-buying masses. On the other hand, some of her remakes are thought to lack emotional depth. Dave Marsh, in the good version of the Rolling Stone Record Guide, called Ronstadt a "horrid interpreter of...rock and soul material, frequently missing the essence...and never cutting below the surface." Scathing, and possibly accurate regarding "Tumbling Dice" (probably why it's not included here) and "Back In The U.S.A." I would side with Linda, however, on the hypnotically-beautiful "Ooh Baby Baby" and the uptempo hits "When Will I Be Loved," "That'll Be The Day," and the #1 "You're No Good." Of course, the duets with Aaron Neville are stunning--welcome comebacks for both singers--and I have always liked both "Somewhere Out There" and James Ingram.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Linda Ronstadt has one of the most expressive voices in all of popular music. While she didn't write any of her own hits, she and principal producer Peter Asher knew how to pick songs. Beginning with her first hit ("Different Drum") by Monkee Mike Nesmith to her final big hit in 1990, Karla Bonoff's "All My Life," Ronstadt put her own unique stamp on these songs. Whether it was outcharting Roy Orbison with her cover of "Blue Bayou," Chuck Berry on "Back in the USA" or Smokey Robinson & the Miracles on "Ooh Baby Baby," Ronstadt dominated the charts in the late-Seventies.
The only problem I have is that this collection is somewhat incomplete. It's missing minor hits like "Get Closer" and her cover of the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice." Even more disappointing is the exclusion of the Top 10 hit "How Do I Make You" from 1980. [And with a running time of 68:25, these could have been easily included.] But this does a nice job of including the big hits, a few key album tracks, and the 16-page booklet includes some great photos and track-by-track info. Overall, this is a very satisfying collection and will no doubt please casual fans with an overview of Ronstadt's career from 1967 to 1993. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on March 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Linda Ronstadt has one of the most amazing female voices in the music industry. I was very excited when I got this CD. It represents her music career well from the casual fan aspect. This woman has sang all different types of music and has been popular since the 60's which definitely displays some staying power. This album contains seven of her top 10 hits and sixteen top 40 hits. Although many of her hits were cover songs, she delivered them so well, they ptactically became her own. Her top 5 version of "Heat Wave" is fantastic and rivals the original. Then there's her #1 hit "You're No Good" which is undoubtably a 70's classic as is "Blue Bayou" (#3 hit.) Her first hit is graciously included being "Different Drum" (#13) from 1967. "It's So Easy" (#5) "Ohh Baby Baby" (#7) and "Hurt So Bad" (#8) are other highlights . Then who could forget her three smash duets which shot Linda back into the spotlight in the late 80's and early 90's. "Somewhere Out There" with James Ingram is now a pop standard and her vocal delivery in it is fantastic. Both her duets with Aaron Neville are also gems. "Don't Know Much" hit #2 and "All My Life" made it to #11 on the pop charts. The album then closes with her beautiful and stunning version of "Winter Light."
This hit collection is long overdue. Although there were previous collections of her earlier material, a more complete one was well deserved. Although this may not be all the way up to standards for the die-hards, this is a great collection for new fans. Linda Ronstadt's music should be enjoyed by all.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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 hit song of "Blue Bayou" is covered here in Linda's own hit cover version is included in this terrific collection of her hit songs over a ten to fifteen year period, 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 "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" to "When Will I Be Loved", from "You're No Good" to "It's So Easy", and all the others, including "Blue Bayou", Long, Long Time", "That'll Be The Day", "Love Is A Rose", "Different Drum", "Heat Wave", and many others. This album gives us all of Linda's formidable hits, all here in a definitive and fairly comprehensive 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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Topic From this Discussion
Jonathan Alter
I read somewhere that it was just Johhny Angel with the words changed up.
Jan 6, 2011 by V. stewart |  See all 2 posts
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