Friday, July 15, 2011

Linda Ronstadt--You're No Good (1974)

     Linda Ronstadt turns 65 today....

     She had a top 30 song in 1970 with 'Long, Long Time', and a country hit in 74' with, 'Silver Threads and Golden Needles'. However the woman with the gorgeous voice couldn't make a connection. on vinyl. She had a cult following due to her previous four albums partially because of her voice, partially because of her killer good looks (and as a young teenager...I did extensive research on this subject). No one doubted her talents, but finding a way to harness it was another thing altogether. She seemed a bit unfocused at first, but with each release became more assured of herself and her ability to choose material that was right for her.

     The key to unlocking everything turned out to be Peter Asher. She had chosen him to be the producer of her fourth album ('Don't Cry Now') on the advice of James Taylor's sister Kate. His biggest contribution was to let Ronstadt take charge of the studio, and to provide stellar arraignments to back her interpretative skills. There was improvement in not only her song selection, but in the arrangements of voice to band.  The next album, "Heart Like a Wheel", was very close to perfect for Linda, for the times, and (in my opinion) the best she has ever done. It began her huge success in America which gave her the financial and creative freedom to follow her muse wherever it took her....and for those who have followed her over the years, you know it has taken her to MANY places. Asher, by the way remained her producer up to the late 80's.

      "You're No Good" was written by Clint Ballard Jr. and was first a hit for Betty Everett in 1963 reaching #51. In 64', the Swinging Blue Jeans had a hit with it in the UK actually reaching the bottom of the charts here in the US as well. But it was Linda's take on the song, and Andrew Gold's prowess on virtually all of the instrumentation that took it to number 1 and the first of 11 to reach the top 20. ...Happy Birthday Linda.



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