The New RS 500: #490 Linda Ronstadt — Heart Like a Wheel
Release Date: November 1974
Label: Capitol Records
Have I heard this album before? Nope
2003 List Ranking: 164; 2012 List Ranking: Unranked; Does the move feel appropriate?: No lol. What’s happening here? The album dropped out of the ranking, despite being in the top 200, over the course of a decade and now it’s back in? Baffling.
Is This Album One of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time? It really, really might be. I’m gonna say yes. Hell yeah, Linda.
Review: I’m a little embarrassed how long it took me to check this one out, given that I’m a fairly big fan of most of Linda’s well-known collaborators, including the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor, to name a few. I was also pretty surprised to find this entire album is a covers album. While listening, I could pick out two or three covers — most notably the great cover of Little Feat’s “Willin’” — but I wasn’t aware that the entire thing was covers. Man, Linda’s voice rocks! It’s so good! I really loved this. It feels pretty prescient on a lot of singers in today’s music, from country to more indie stuff. You can hear a lot of these melodies on stuff from Sharon Van Etten, or Phoebe Bridgers, or Amanda Shires. It’s pretty cool to hear what I have to imagine is pretty close to the “origin” of this sound. Definitely an album I’ll be adding to the rotation, and I’ll be happy to dig a little deeper into Linda’s catalog after this.