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Linda Ronstadt

With roots in the Los Angeles country and folk-rock scenes, Linda Ronstadt became one of the most popular interpretive singers of the '70s, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles. Throughout the '70s, her laid-back pop never lost sight of her folky roots, yet as she moved into the '80s, she began to change her sound with the times, adding new wave influences. After a brief flirtation with pre-rock pop, Ronstadt settled into a pattern of adult contemporary pop and Latin albums, sustaining her popularity in both fields.

While Ronstadt was a student at Arizona State University, she met guitarist Bob Kimmel. The duo moved to Los Angeles, where guitarist/songwriter Kenny Edwards joined the pair. Calling themselves the Stone Poneys, the group became a leading attraction on California's folk circuit, recording their first album in 1967. The band's second album, Evergreen, Vol. 2, featured the Top 20 hit "Different Drum," which was written by Michael Nesmith. After recording one more album with the group, Ronstadt left for a solo career at the end of 1968.

Ronstadt's first two solo albums -- Hand Sown Home Grown (1969) and Silk Purse (1970) -- accentuated her country roots, featuring several honky tonk numbers. Released in 1971, her self-titled third album was a pivotal record in her career. Featuring a group of session musicians who would later form the Eagles, the album was a softer, more laid-back variation of the country-rock she had been recording. With the inclusion of songs from singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne, Neil Young, and Eric Anderson, Linda Ronstadt had folk-rock connections as well. Don't Cry Now, released in 1973, followed the same formula to greater success, yet it was 1974's Heart Like a Wheel that perfected the sound, making Ronstadt a star. Featuring the hit covers "You're No Good," "When Will I Be Loved," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," Heart Like a Wheel reached number one and sold over two million copies.

Released in the fall of 1975, Prisoner in Disguise followed the same pattern as Heart Like a Wheel and was nearly as successful. Hasten Down the Wind, released in 1976, suggested a holding pattern, even if it charted higher than Prisoner in Disguise. Simple Dreams (1977) expanded the formula by adding a more rock-oriented supporting band, which breathed life into the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice" and Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." The record became the singer's biggest hit, staying on the top of the charts for five weeks and selling over three million copies. With Living in the U.S.A. (1978), Ronstadt began experimenting with new wave, recording Elvis Costello's "Alison"; the album was another number one hit. On 1980's Mad Love, she made a full-fledged new wave record, recording three Costello songs and adopting a synth-laden sound. While the album was a commercial success, it signaled that her patented formula was beginning to run out of steam. That suspicion was confirmed with 1982's Get Closer, her first album since Heart Like a Wheel to fail to go platinum.

Sensing it was time to change direction, Ronstadt starred in the Broadway production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, as well as the accompanying movie. Pirates of Penzance led the singer to a collaboration with Nelson Riddle, who arranged and conducted her 1983 collection of pop standards What's New. While it received lukewarm reviews, it was a considerable hit, reaching number three on the charts and selling over two million copies. Ronstadt's next two albums -- Lush Life (1984) and For Sentimental Reasons (1986) -- were also albums of pre-rock standards recorded with Riddle.

At the end of 1986, Ronstadt returned to contemporary pop, recording "Somewhere Out There," the theme to the animated An American Tail, with James Ingram; the single became a number two hit. She also returned to her country roots in 1987, recording the Trio album with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. That same year, Ronstadt recorded Canciones de Mi Padre, a set of traditional Mexican songs that became a surprise hit. Two years later, she recorded Cry Like a Rainstorm - Howl Like the Wind -- her first contemporary pop album since 1982's Get Closer. Featuring four duets with Aaron Neville, including the number two hit "Don't Know Much," the album sold over two million copies.

Ronstadt returned to traditional Mexican and Spanish material with Mas Canciones (1991) and Frenesi (1992). She returned to pop with 1994's Winter Light, which failed to generate a hit single, as did 1995's Feels Like Home. In 1996, she released the children's album Dedicated to the One I Love; We Ran followed in 1998. Two years later, Ronstadt delivered the holiday collection A Merry Little Christmas. Another collection of standards, Hummin' to Myself, arrived in 2004, followed by Adieu False Heart, a collaboration with Ann Savoy of the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band in 2006.

As it turned out, Adieu False Heart would be Ronstadt's last studio album. She supported it with a tour in 2007, including an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, and although it didn't rise above 146 on the Billboard charts, it did receive a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 2010, she appeared on the Chieftains San Patricio album, but a year later, she told the Arizona Daily Star she was retired. Three years later, she published her autobiography Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir and, in its pre-release publicity, Ronstadt confessed that she had Parkinson's disease, explaining that it was a factor in her retirement. Early in 2014, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; although she wasn't able to attend, an inter-generational all-star group performed in her honor, including Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Carrie Underwood. Around the time of her induction, the compilation Duets was released on Rhino. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hand Sown... Home Grown/Silk Purse

1. Baby You've Been On My Mind

2. Silver Threads And Golden Needles

3. Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad

4. Number And A Name

5. Only Mama That'll Walk The Line

6. Long Way Around

7. Break My Mind

8. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

9. It's About Time

11. Dolphins

12. Lovesick Blues

13. Are My Thoughts With You?

14. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

15. Nobodys

16. Louise

17. Long Long Time

18. Mental Revenge

19. I'm Leavin' It All Up To You

20. He Darked The Sun

21. Life Is Like A Mountain Railway

x

Track List: Hummin' To Myself

1. Tell Him I Said Hello

2. Never Will I Marry

3. Cry Me A River

4. Hummin' To Myself

5. Miss Otis Regrets

6. I Fall In Love Too Easily

7. Blue Parade

8. Day Dream

9. I've never Been In Love Before

10. Get Out Of Town

11. I'll Be Seeing You

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Linda Ronstadt

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

8. Poor Poor Pitiful Me

9. Tracks Of My Tears

10. That'll Be The Day

12. Long Long Time

14. Love Is A Rose

15. Hurt So Bad

16. Heart Like A Wheel

19. Don't Know Much (feat. Aaron Neville)

21. Winter Light

x

Track List: We Ran

1. When We Ran

2. If I Should Fall Behind

3. Give Me A Reason

4. Ruler Of My Heart

5. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

6. Cry 'Til My Tears Run Dry

7. I Go To Pieces

8. Heartbreak Kind

9. Damage

10. Icy Blue Heart

11. Dreams Of The San Joaquin

x

Track List: Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind

1. Still Within The Sound Of My Voice

2. Cry Like A Rainstorm

3. All My Life (feat. Aaron Neville)

4. I Need You (feat. Aaron Neville)

5. Don't Know Much (feat. Aaron Neville)

6. Adios

7. Trouble Again

8. I Keep It Hid

9. So Right, So Wrong

10. Shattered

11. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (feat. Aaron Neville)

12. Goodbye, My Friend

x

Track List: Canciones De Mi Padre

1. Por Un Amor

2. Los Laureles

3. Hay Unos Ojos

4. La Cigarra

6. Y Andale

8. La Charreada

9. Dos Arbolitos

11. La Barca De Guaymas

12. La Calandria

x

Track List: Greatest Hits - Volume 2

1. It's So Easy

2. I Can't Let Go

3. Hurt So Bad

4. Blue Bayou

5. How Do I Make You

8. Poor Poor Pitiful Me

9. Tumbling Dice

10. Just One Look

11. Someone To Lay Down Beside Me

x

Track List: Mad Love

1. Mad Love

2. Party Girl

3. How Do I Make You

4. I Can't Let Go

5. Hurt So Bad

6. Look Out For My Love

7. Cost Of Love

8. Justine

9. Girls Talk

10. Talking In The Dark

x

Track List: Living In The U.S.A.

1. Back In The U.S.A.

2. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

3. Just One Look

4. Alison

5. White Rhythm & Blues

6. All That You Dream

7. Ooh Baby Baby

8. Mohammed's Radio

9. Blowing Away

10. Love Me Tender

x

Track List: Simple Dreams

1. It's So Easy

2. Carmelita

3. Simple Man, Simple Dream

4. Sorrow Lives Here

5. I Never Will Marry

6. Blue Bayou

7. Poor Poor Pitiful Me

8. Maybe I'm Right

9. Tumbling Dice

10. Old Paint

x

Track List: Hasten Down The Wind

1. Lose Again

2. The Tattler

3. If He's Ever Near

4. That'll Be The Day

5. Lo Siento Mi Vida

6. Hasten Down The Wind

7. Rivers Of Babylon

8. Give One Heart

9. Try Me Again

10. Crazy

11. Down So Low

12. Someone To Lay Down Beside Me

x

Track List: Linda Ronstadt: Greatest Hits

1. You're No Good

2. Silver Threads And Golden Needles

3. Desperado

4. Love Is A Rose

5. That'll Be The Day

6. Long, Long Time

8. When Will I Be Loved

9. Love Has No Pride

10. Heat Wave

11. It Doesn't Matter Anymore

12. Tracks Of My Tears

x

Track List: Prisoner In Disguise

1. Love Is A Rose

2. Hey Mister, That's Me Up On The Jukebox

3. Roll Um Easy

5. Prisoner In Disguise

6. Heat Wave

7. Many Rivers To Cross

8. The Sweetest Gift

9. You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down

10. I Will Always Love You

x

Track List: Don't Cry Now

1. I Can Almost See It

2. Love Has No Pride

3. Silver Threads And Golden Needles

4. Desperado

5. Don't Cry Now

6. Sail Away

7. Colorado

8. The Fast One

9. Everybody Loves A Winner

10. I Believe In You

x

Track List: Linda Ronstadt

1. Rock Me On The Water

2. Crazy Arms

3. I Won't Be Hangin' 'Round

4. I Still Miss Someone

5. In My Reply

6. I Fall To Pieces

7. Ramblin' Round

8. Birds

9. I Ain't Always Been Faithful

10. Rescue Me

x

Track List: Get Closer

1. Get Closer

2. The Moon Is A Harsh

3. I Knew You When

4. Easy For You To Say

5. People Gonna Talk

6. Talk To Me Of Mendocino

7. I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine

8. Mr. Radio

9. Lies

10. Tell Him

11. Sometimes You Just Can't Win

12. My Blue Tears

x

Track List: Heart Like A Wheel

1. You're No Good

2. It Doesn't Matter Anymore

3. Faithless Love

4. The Dark End Of The Street

5. Heart Is Like A Wheel

6. When Will I Be Loved

7. Willing

8. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)

9. Keep Me From Blowing Away

10. You Can Close Your Eyes

Comments

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The music is very beautiful to listen to
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El Crucifijo De Piedra: música muy hermosa
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sheldonrs
A beautiful voice and a face that the word 'adorable was created for.
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I HAVE LOVED THIS WOMAN'S VOICE FOREVER!! I AM HEADED FOR 60 YRS. and I have loved her ever since I can remember. Songbook of my life, from Different Drums & ' Tracks of My Tears to It Doesn't Matter Anymore & Poor, Poor Pitiful Me and everything before & after (if you haven't guessed I wish she was my Sister) Love You Forever
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La Calandria: My Savo loves this music right here AND this song. :-) I love it.
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What a voice. I wish the younger generation could appreciate peop who can actually sing vs worshipping Beyoncé and the like.
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1976 Greatest Hits Best on Earth !!!
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The Original Sweet Pea.
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Love her voice so strong
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Agradable cantante, canta con mucho sentimiento.
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evinha
Seu
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she was the best God love her
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armandohindm a n
Nothing but class!
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jim.meta
Such a powerful voice,you can feel the emotion in her singing,love it.
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Classic
AND
Classy
Woman
& talented artist!!

❤️0;o))))
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One of the best she makes me proud.
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I will love Linda for 'a long, long time'
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I don't know much!! But I know I love you<3 the first love of my life! My husband te amo since 1987 still we stand together! Amen
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Nice
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Ijajai canta bien la morra
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Yes it is true at the time when everybody loved farah I loved her and her poster O.M.G. AND WAS IN THE 4TH grade! but did you she had huge roll in forming the Eagles? look it up it true two of her band mates went on to become the iconic band. she had meet together with other band members also friends of hers.
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brendabice
Linda Ronstadt is my all time favorite! She could sure give you goosebumps at a live concert! Have seen her more times live than I could count. She has given me many hours of beautiful music, and lots of sing along with Linda!
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aestrada223
Such a great voice. Child of the 70's, I do miss songs like Just One Look and I've Been Cheated. Now we have slime like Katy and Lady Gag Me. No talent artificial feeling road toads.
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Finally hearing what a great album Prisoner in Disguise is.
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Best female vocalist. Like her Latin touch.
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LOVE this Woman!!! ❤️
Come on Pandora and play some more Linda Ronstadt she rocks!

0:o)))
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Boy did I wear-out this album.
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omg love to hear her sing
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So sad to hear about your Parkinsons. You will be forever in my heart with that sweet voice of yours. Wishing you health.
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For a long long time, my favorite artists.
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Bonnie Linda Karla Joni Nicolette Yep!
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I think I wore out this album. loved her
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I love your songs. Especially in Spanish. It reminds me of my daddy. He is gone now along with my mom.
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Q Tal Canta Mi Vieja Cabrones Aáaaaa???jaj a j a j a j a
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canta muy bien la Linda Senora un 100/%
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Linda Rontadt, what a voice 10.
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"Conciones de mi Padres ", will never be forgotten. My mother and I are sitting here enjoying your music. Tata loved your songs. You made him dance at 100 years old. Wow...and he loved your voice... Thank you!
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Beautiful an very strong voice. A very talented woman
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Love this song... Some where out there...
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So smooth, so strong, so effortlessly beautiful. .. sing to me baby .
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Las mañanitas
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Will always love your music!!
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My girl!!! I always have a crush on you. Love You!!.Linda.
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Youre voice is one of the most beautiful. U are one of the very few artists I listen to & you give me goose bumps, esp. when I listen to Cry Like a Rainstorm. Still one of my favorite albums of all time. U bleed your heart out when you sing & thats what makes you so remarkable. I feel u when u sing.
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great super voices Linda and Aaron....per f e c t . . . . s i n g like angels...Dan e
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Un excelente vocalista, con mucho entusiasmo!
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Beautiful duet...PEACE
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drsean007
Still in love. God bless you, Linda.
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One of my all time duet favs! Brings back lots of my youth memories!
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