The Joup Friday Album: Linda Ronstadt – Greatest Hits, Vol. I

lindaronstadtgreatesthitsIf I were to be totally honest, the last two weeks have been about escape. It’s my luxury, as a white woman – I own the privilege that allows me the momentary slip away from the gaping maw of hate, insecurity, shallowness, petty weaknesses, and detestable outcomes this country coughed up like a big, phlegmatic hairball come Election Day. Some say we did this to ourselves. Others say we did it to each other.

There was a lot of escapism in my early years, as well. But despite being a tall, chunky young thing, I thoroughly loved singing and acting. Daydreaming and writing was my escape hatch, and one of the albums that keeps coming back to me, as I look for a comforting key to bellow some well-known songs, is Linda Rondstat’s first “greatest hits” compilation.

I was only one years old when it was released around Christmas 1976, but the cassette tape was one of the four on heavy rotation in my old man’s Dodge van. Linda’s voice is beautiful – a simple, sweet soprano that paired well with the California country ballads and light ’50s barn burners she tackled. A lot of them, I can’t justify – “Desperado” just needs to die in a fire, and “That’ll Be the Day” is a crappy reimagining of a crappy song (Buddy Holly = way overrated).

But “Different Drum,” “Love Has No Pride,” and “When Will I Be Loved” were simply made for a lonely 10-year-old to stand in front of her mirror and bellow along. Or the same 16-year-old whose unrequited crush on her nerdy band partner would ultimately to the same trajectory of repeated geek rejection (I know you saw me, Marc. I know you know we should have been together. Except you’re really Christian and happy with your suburban life now and I’m a fat feminist freak. Actually, nevermind.)

Greatest hits albums are hit or miss, more often a way to keep one’s favorite singles in one place. With the advent of digital streaming services, they seem less essential than ever before.

Except for nostalgia, And old tape decks. And singing into one’s hairbrush.

Tagging ….

Melissa Fowler

Melissa Fowler

Smart, opinionated, crabby, fortysomething who loves to word. Hates squirrels; rampant stupidity in the form of willful ignorance, bigotry and intolerance (yeah, reconcile THAT); and is starting to realize that Mike Judge is indeed a soothsayer.

One Response to The Joup Friday Album: Linda Ronstadt – Greatest Hits, Vol. I
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    I won’t lie – Linda Ronstadt makes me car sick due to hearing it as a very young child while being driven around to garage sales and what not by the folks. But you paint a pretty word picture and I’ll try to put that old prejudice to bed.

    Great write up.

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