The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years

The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years

by Linda Ronstadt
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The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years

The title of Capitol's 2006 collection The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years is a little misleading: this isn't a mere single-disc overview of hits; this double-disc set is a virtual complete recorded works of Ronstadt's stint at Capitol between 1969-1974, encompassing the entirety of four albums -- her 1969 solo debut, Hand Sown..Home Grown, its 1970 sequel, Silk Purse, 1972's self-titled third album, and its 1974 follow-up, Heart Like a Wheel, which brought her stardom -- plus five bonus tracks, two of them capturing her live at The Troubadour. Apart from Heart Like a Wheel, these LPs for Capitol were not hits, due partially to the fact that Ronstadt was still finding her footing as a record-maker during this time. It wasn't until her eponymous third album that everything began to click, thanks to her finally finding a sympathetic backing band (who would become Eagles not long after this record was cut), and then producer Peter Asher came in for Heart Like a Wheel and helped her find a slick, streamlined variation of her soft country-rock. And while it's true that her first two albums sometimes find her stumbling as she tries to blend country, pop, and folk while working with session musicians (some less-charitable listeners might find such period flair as fuzz-toned steel guitar as a detriment, too, although there's a certain undeniable charm to these dated sounds), they have aged remarkably well, warts and all, because they showcase a singer with excellent taste and restless ambition. Ronstadt was never a songwriter, but she had a terrific ear for good songs, choosing them primarily from the plethora of great singer/songwriters who cluttered the landscape in the late '60s and early '70s -- not just Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and Randy Newman, but Fred Neil, Mickey Newbury, Paul Siebel, Gene Clark, Bernie Leadon, Livingston Taylor, Eric Andersen, John D. Loudermilk, Wayne Raney, and Lowell George, among others. Her interpretations, while not idiosyncratic, were energetic and impassioned, an appealing blend of laid-back Californian country-rock, folky songs, and pop attitude that was enjoyable even when it wasn't always entirely successful. Yet, in retrospect, especially in the context of this generous collection, the awkwardness of her first two albums no longer seems so pronounced. In fact, Hand Sown...Home Grown and Silk Purse look like flawed minor gems, while Linda Ronstadt and Heart Like a Wheel still stand as high-water marks of '70s Californian soft rock. And this double-disc set, boasting fine remastering and liner notes (which remain good even if there are no details about the bonus tracks and Lowell George is credited as "George Lowell"), is the definitive portrait of Ronstadt at her creative peak, when she was a vital part of Los Angeles' thriving music scene of the early '70s.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/30/2006
Label: Emi Europe Generic
UPC: 0724356075122
catalogNumber: 5607512
Rank: 8718

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Linda Ronstadt   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Mickey Newbury   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Eric Andersen   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Fred Neil   Composer
Paul Siebel   Composer
Paul Anka   Composer
Jackson Browne   Composer
Gene Clark   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Linda Ronstadt   Arranger
James Taylor   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Phil Everly   Composer
Lowell George   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Eric Kaz   Composer
Livingston Taylor   Composer
Dewey Terry   Composer
Dan Penn   Composer
Earl Ball   Composer
Hank Cochran   Composer
Paul Craft   Composer
Chip Douglas   Composer
Cliff Friend   Composer
Steve Gillette   Composer
Don "Sugarcane" Harris   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Fred Karlin   Composer
Bernie Leadon   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
John A. Lomax   Composer
John D. Loudermilk   Composer
Elliot Mazer   Arranger
Anna McGarrigle   Composer
Chips Moman   Composer
Ralph Mooney   Composer
Wayne Raney   Composer
Dick Reynolds   Composer
J.D. Souther   Composer
Gary White   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Ken Edwards   Composer
Barry Alfonso   Liner Notes
Tylwth Kymry   Composer
Raynard Miner   Composer
Tom Recchion   Art Direction
Ivy J. "Jimmy" Bryant   Composer
Clint Ballard   Composer
Chuck Seals   Composer
Jack Rhodes   Composer
Roy Cash   Composer
Tom Campbell   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Linda's solo efforts after the Stone Poneys also includes her smash "Heart Like A Wheel" that put her on the road to megastardom. All four solo efforts are here in pristine 24 bit remastering including some rare alternate/bonus tracks (a particularly fine live version of her hit "Long, Long Time". This release is historically important to show Ronstadt's growth as a singer. Although few can beat her when it comes to her "chops", when you hear tracks from "Heart" and compare them to the earlier Lps, the listener will find a songstress in search of a consistently fine full Lp. Now if WEA would release some of her great 70s material on 24 bit, many fans would be happy. Her CD counterparts and compressed and lack the depth and clarity of their Lp counterparts. WEA, through Mobile Fidelity has released her recording for the group "Don't Cry Now". So let's see more.