- Album name: Heart Like a Wheel
- Artist name: Linda Ronstadt
- Year: 1974
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Capitol Records
- Collection: Selman
- Distinguishing characteristics:
- Hole drilled through top right corner of album
- Scratched into side one of LP: ST-1-11358 25
- Scratched into side two of LP: ST-2-11358 25
- Buy it on Amazon: $38.73
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve never heard this record before, but it will be my ninth review of a Linda Ronstadt record. The previous eight were:
- Don’t Cry Now (1973): 2/5
- Different Drum (1974): 5/5
- Prisoner In Disguise (1975): 2/5
- Simple Dreams (1977): 3/5
- Living in the USA (1978): 3/5
- Mad Love (1980): 3/5
- Get Closer (1982): 3/5
- What’s New (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra) (1983): 1/5
What I expected
This appears to be another country and soft rock style record of cover songs, and I don’t anticipate anything nearly as bad as What’s New.
What it was actually like
Ronstadt’s rendition of the Dee Dee Warwick song You’re No Good was great, but I did not love some of the instrumentation choices. I did, however, love everything about her outstanding rock version of the Everly Brothers song When Will I Be Loved, with an electric blues sound and great guitar.
The highlight of the record, however, was her cover of the Hank Williams song I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You), with great harmonies and steel guitar (and I think this was the definitive version of that song).
Her version of the Buddy Holly song It Doesn’t Matter Anymore was much more country than his, and I thought it was really good, but that it could have been faster. Several other songs were also, in my opinion, too slow: Keep Me from Blowing Away; The Dark End of the Street, which has been performed by many artists, and this version was pretty much average; and Faithless Love, which had some banjo that I enjoyed, but I was definitely not a fan of the soaring vocals.
Willin’ was a totally ok country song, but nothing special.
You Can Close Your Eyes was not one that I recognized, but was credited to James Taylor, and in my view it should have been a rock song.
The title track Heart Like a Wheel was a bit of a train wreck, with piano at the beginning, bad violin, vocals that sounded excessive, and an annoying vocal harmony.
3/5: interesting, but not for me
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