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Linda Ronstadt

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Linda Ronstadt, "Heart Like A Whcel". Capítol 11 358 .When Linda Ronstadt left Capitol Records to sign with Asylurn (to be with her friends Jackson Browne and the Eagles) she still owed Capitol one more album of new material. This disc "Heart Líke a fWheel" fuifills her obligación. Here we have ten songs, none of them brand new, with the possible exception of "Faithless Love" a J.D. Souther tune which I don't believe has been recorded before. The material ranges f rom mediocre to superb with only one tune "You're No Good" being really unsuited to Linda Ronstadt's style. It's an old Betty Everett single and Linda is really not a rhythm and blues singer. The rest of the cuts are more into Linda's country styie. Side one contains the only slow spots on this LP. The aforementioned "You're No Good" and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart ÉLike a Wheel" are good tunes, but the latter is a bit too heavily dramatic for the Ronstadt delivery. ft's about time the McGarrigle sisters, Kate and Anna, were given the chance to record and interpret their own material. Also Paul Anka's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" couldn't be saved even by Linda Ronstadt. Despite the presence of a really weak musical back-up, side two of this album is a beauty. All fïve tunes here, along with "Faithless Love" and 'vDark End of the Street" on side one, really demónstrate how this womanYskill as a vocalist has grown. She hits the high notes with power and conviction and vocally expands every lyric. The Everly Brothers tune "When Will I Be Loved" is the real stand-out here teaturing especially beautiful male back-up vocals. The tune is followed by "Willis"' possibly the best written tune in the popcountry idiom. This cut has all the power of Lowell George's two original interpietations of his song, and, at the same time, Linda infuses it with new melodie ness. The tact that she is one of the few women who can convincingly sing a truck - driving song like this may be a result of her hangin' out at truck drivers" bars when she was a teen-ager. The album doses with three of the best "weepers" around. "I Can't Help It If I'm Still in Love With You" is given one of the nicest renderings since'theHank Williams original and is helped along by Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel. The LP doses with "You Can Close Your Eyes", from James Taylor's "Mud Süde Slim," and manage? to sound more inspiring than the song really is. Apparently, the strongest voice this side ot Tracy Nelson is getting stronger.