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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Linda Ronstadt - Don
Don't Cry Now (1973)
Image © Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2007

Reviews of Linda Ronstadt
Original Master Recordings:
Don't Cry Now (2007)
Prisoner In Disguise (2008)
Hasten Down The Wind (2009)
Simple Dreams (2010)

gatefold photograph: Terry Wright
Image © Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2007

Linda Ronstadt circa 1973


(19 September 2009) Few artists approach their work with the grace and dignity of Linda Ronstadt. For more than four decades, she has remained one of the most beloved singers of our generation. One of the first artists to spawn our interest in female vocalists in the early 1970s, her career is a virtual testament to the idea that nothing quite lifts the human spirit like a good song. With an impresario's ear, and a voice that resonates with a haunting gift-like quality, she's crossed all genres, always defying expectations as to what a pop record should be.

Linda Ronstadt has released 29 albums and 60 singles, contributed to 11 compilation albums and has had four No. 1 singles. Wikipedia presents an outstanding biography and an equally astounding view of her full discography. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Original Master Recording of Prisoner in Disguise (UDCD 768, 2007) delivers the "ultimate listening experience" to Linda's timeless 1973 classic.

Ronstadt made her pop debut in 1967 with the Stone Poneys. It was soon after that she began working with Neil Young. "I sang backup on a lot of his records. He'd call up and say 'I'm making a record, come on down.' He had a recording studio on this ranch. We'd record all day and end up with so much stuff I'm still not sure what made it on to the records." Few knew in those early days that both artists would go on to rewrite pop history. With seven Grammy awards and over 50 million albums sold to her credit, Ronstadt says the only formula she's ever lived by is an undying allegiance to the slow craft of songmaking. With a platinum track record, it's obvious the workmanship has never wavered. Her love for the art of recording helped her form a long standing partnership with legendary engineer George Massenburg, whom she proudly calls a "friend as well as a musical guiding light."

"What I've always done is set myself in a traditional genre and tried to be completely faithful to what the genre demands," says Ronstadt. Whether it be rock, country, pop, or stylistic ventures in big band music, jazz, opera, Broadway standards or Mexican and Afro-Cuban music, Ronstadt has worked with an incredible dedication to her craft. Her albums reflect her virtuosity, overall style and tremendous vocal prowess. Photographers have captured evocative photographs of Linda Ronstadt for many years.

Don't Cry Now is Linda Ronstadt's seventh studio album and her first record to achieve gold status. Mobile Fidelity has been setting the audophile standard for thirty years. Their first Original Master Recording of Ronstadt's work is presented on a Ultradisc II 24KT Gold CD. The eleven tracks were mastered at MSFL in Sebastopol, CA by Shawn R. Britton on the GAIN 2 System™. As with all of Mobile Fidelity's Linda Ronstadt albums, Don't Cry Now is also released in the GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog 180g LP format.

The ten-track 35 minute recording is full of Linda Ronstadt classics from beginning to end. The tremdous country-style ballad "Love Has No Pride" with Linda's voice soaring over growing instrumentals is a stunning example the album also includes "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," an upbeat rock number that clearly illustrates Linda's tremendous vocal prowess and clarity in a style that only MFSL can deliver. The heartfelt classic "Desperado" is delivered with tremendous emotion and produced with a crisp crystalline texture. Linda is accompanied by Wendy Waldman on backing vocals on the lovely ballad and title track that concluded the original A-Side of the original record.

A choir comprised of Clyde King, Shirley Mathews and Marti McCall backs Linda Ronstadt's lead vocal in the gospel-country crossover styled tune "Sail Away." Listen for the especially 1970s style synthesizer treatment in the background, especially in the song's conclusion. Steel guitar and soft harmony vocals by Ginger and Mary Halliday provides a perfect backdrop for Linda's evocative vibrato-laden lead in the torch ballad "Colorado." "The Fast One" is a straight upbeat country and western track number and is illustrative of Ronstadt's roots. Her vocal excusions and the guitar solos at the conslusion are tremendous.

Thick background arrangements support Linda's lovely -- and never buried -- lead in "Everybody Loves A Winner." Background vocals by Herb Pederson and Linda herself add a tremendous texture in the chorus. We especially compliment the singer and MFSL for the production of the vocal part on this recording. The album concludes with the classic Neil Young track "I Believe In You."

Before "country" found its own section in the record stores, Linda Ronstadt effectively blended pop, rock and country in her own unique format. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs have done Linda Ronstadt's work proud with their Original Master Recording of Don't Cry Now. Bravo!

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