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An emendation.

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In the seemingly long-ago posts here where I used to review ’70s American Top 40 broadcasts, I used to regularly make fun of Linda Ronstadt.

In a hit-radio setting, it always seemed like she was tackling songs (“Heat Wave,” “Back in the U.S.A.,” “Tumbling Dice”) that had been more than adequately served in the hands of their originators.

Well, I had to do some work-related interstate driving yesterday, and Ms. Ronstadt’s 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel was among my musical companions.

And I feel obliged to publicly state: That’s a really, really good record.

The country is good honest country, not bad cloying country. The big pop hits are probably the two I liked most of hers anyway — “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved” (the latter of which improves on the original with a good dose of spit and fire, and gets in and out in two minutes).

She also does the cheatin’ soul anthem “Dark End of the Street,” which seems to me to be a singer’s song — one of those tunes that gives a really good singer an opportunity to go to town, no matter their gender or home genre. It’s like a gorgeous country house available to anyone who’s earned the keys.

Suffice to say that Ms. Ronstadt earns the keys. (That marvelous falling-all-over-itself guitar solo doesn’t hurt matters either.)

I wonder what other wonders lurk amidst Ronstadt’s Seventies body of work. I might have to look into that before my next car trip.

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