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Linda Ronstadt - Prisoner In Disguise (1975)

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Linda Ronstadt - Prisoner In Disguise (1975)

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01. Love Is A Rose
02. Hey Mister, That's Me Up On The Jukebox play
03. Roll Um Easy
04. Tracks Of My Tears
05. Prisoner In Disguise
06. Heat Wave
07. Many Rivers To Cross play
08. The Sweetest Gift
09. You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down
10. I Will Always Love You
11. Silver Blue


"Hey mister, that's me up on the jukebox," Linda Ronstadt sings on her 1975 album Prisoner in Disguise, and it was no idle boast. The album yielded two of her finest singles, thanks to the retooled Motown classics "Heat Wave" and "Tracks of My Tears." The album's support material is just as strong, ranging from a banjo-strumming version of Neil Young's "Love Is a Rose" to a plaintive pop reading of Jimmy Cliff's reggae classic "Many Rivers to Cross." There's also a simple but lovely cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" that predates Whitney Houston's glass-shattering take on it (for the movie The Bodyguard) by more than a decade and a half. One thing about Ronstadt and producer-manager Peter Asher: they knew good material when they heard it and almost always turned it into something truly special. ---Daniel Durchholz


This is a classic Ronstadt album, recorded when she was really in her prime, busy cranking out the volume of hits and those seemingly effortless and sometimes facile interpretations of other people's songs, showing just how original an artist she was. Like the legendary Johnny Rivers, who always seemed to have a magical touch for turning other people's work into brilliant covers and best-selling albums, Ronstadt here does a star turn with other people's songs.

The title tune, written by friend and collaborator JD Souther, "Prisoner In Disguise" is a haunting, powerfully performed song. Then too, James Taylor's "Hey Mister, That's Me Up On The Jukebox," is powerfully interpreted. "Heat Wave" and "Tracks of My Tears" are sizzling, as is a banjo-strumming version of Neil Young's "Love Is a Rose". She soars with an interpretation of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross," and a lovely effort at blue-eyed soul with Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You". I personally preferred this version of the song, which is quite beautiful without the vocal histrionics of the Whitney Houston recording, which I think ruin the song as a vehicle. All in all, this is a terrific album and one that is really a showcase for Linda at her very best. Enjoy! ---Barron Laycock

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Last Updated (Saturday, 25 March 2017 20:34)


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