If you wonder why Linda Ronstadt was such a big deal back in the ’70s, allow me to offer the following into evidence:
And, of course …
(That said, Ronstadt didn’t care much for the image such photos suggested.)
I see in the paper that Linda Ronstadt turns 62 today. That simply is not possible.
You know plenty of her songs. Here’s one you probably know, but may not have realized she’d covered.
“Girls Talk,” Linda Ronstadt, from “Mad Love,” 1980.
This album often is dismissed as “Linda goes New Wave,” and dismissed because it lacks the edgy qualities of the New Wave. Well, duh. This was, and is, a mainstream artist and a mainstream release … even if she did cover three Elvis Costello tunes, including this one.
Ronstadt’s cover of “Girls Talk” — with Nicolette Larson and Rosemary Butler singing backup — is good enough, but Dave Edmunds’ cover remains the definitive version as far as I’m concerned.
This album came into the house when my albums and the lovely Janet’s albums became our albums. It also has the hits “How Do I Make You,” “I Can’t Let Go” (covering the Hollies) and “Hurt So Bad” (covering Little Anthony and the Imperials).
“Mad Love” more or less marked the end of Ronstadt’s dominance on the rock charts. It was the last of six straight Ronstadt albums to crack the Top 5, debuting there and reaching No. 3.
The end of that dominance had nothing to do with fading popularity. Rather, the 34-year-old Ronstadt — who by then had spent 14 years as a folk and rock star — simply decided she wanted to pursue other interests, among them performing on Broadway and recording in a variety of musical styles.