The number of female figures in music today makes it a bit difficult for members of younger generations to wholly grasp the impact Linda Ronstadt had through several decades before other figures such as Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and who knows who else came along. I am not going to discuss the merits of such performers – all I am going to say is that many of them are not artists but mere entertainers. Linda, on the other hand was, is and will always be not just an artist but a person who promotes art in its purest form, and that has opened a door into music that shows the way to female artists in an industry where roles are sadly (and constantly) painted in black and white.
Born in 1946 in a family that loved music and that actively encouraged its children to immerse themselves in such a form of expression, Linda was to become the first female artist to release a full country album, and eventually the highest paid woman in music. She initially devoted herself to country and folk, and as a result many people associate her with just those genres. That happens all the time, sadly, and with artists ranging far and wide. The truth is she has had a career that took her through rock, pop, Mexican songs, musicals and anything that was not a mere fad or a trend. She always knew where things were at musically, and her ability to perform songs written by others might as well be her most cherished asset. She has introduced younger generations to the works of composers going as far back as the ‘50s, and put those recordings across in a way that does showcase the spark of the original composer while fitting her own artistic vision minutely.
I hope the reviews I am publishing shortly will give you a good idea about how to approach her catalog. I am reviewing the “Greatest Hits I” & “Greatest Hits II” packages first, and then her regular studio albums. In the meantime, you will find her first country hit below along with a cover of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is The Deepest”.