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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Ronstadt, Linda - 1980 Mad Love
Ronstadt, Linda - 1980 Mad Love

ARTIST: Ronstadt, Linda
ALBUM: Mad Love
LABEL: Asylum
SERIAL: 5E-510
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1990, Asylum, 510-2


LINEUP: Linda Ronstadt - vocals * Andrew Gold - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Kenny Edwards - bass, vocals * Danny Kortchmar - guitars * Rick Marotta - drums * Peter Asher - guitar, percussion, tambourine * Bill Payne - keyboards * Nicolette Larson, Waddy Watchel, Rosemary Butler - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mad Love * 02 Party Girl * 03 How Do I Make You * 04 I Can't Let Go * 05 Hurts So Bad * 06 Look Out For My Love * 07 Cost Of Love * 08 Justine * 09 Girls Talk * 10 Talking In The Dark


One of the biggest selling female artists of the 1970's, Linda Ronstadt was definitely a schoolboy fave, even going so far as having a small poster of her on my bedroom wall. Yeah, she was fun to look at, although to be perfectly honest, I never cared much for her music up until 1980. Ronstadt was part of The Eagles, Jackson Browne, California country rock brigade that dominated the 70's ad nauseum. Her albums fit perfectly with the times and the denim and margarita crowd while selling mountains of vinyl and concert tickets, but later in the decade her popularity began to wane. Her 'Living In The U.S.A' album released in 1978 jumped into the cut-out bins just months after its release. Musical tastes were changing and the punk and new wave movement had much to do with it. None of this of course went unnoticed by Ronstadt, her management or the suits at the record company and Linda took a giant leap into the wonderful world of power pop with 'Mad Love' with excellent results.

The Songs
Recording three Elvis Costello songs for the album was definitely a step in the right direction and her version of 'Party Girl' is the clear winner. Costello's compositions an added plus, the record is full of classy material that stands quite well on its own thank you very much! The title track shows Ronstadt's playful side as does the upbeat and vibrant 'How Do I Make You'. My favourite track here is 'I Can't Let Go' and was a big hit in America, but not quite as popular as the cover of Little Anthony & The Imperials 'Hurts So Bad'. With Ronstadt's clear and powerful vocals, the song is a standout and one of the best in her extensive catalog.

In Summary
Unfortunately, despite the success of this record it seems to have just been a one-off experiment and Ronstadt returned to straight pop and country music. While 'Mad Love' is a bit lighter than the power pop tradition of The Cars or Cheap Trick, it definitely has it's place as one of the better, if slightly over looked albums of the genre and is very highly recommended.

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#1 | jeffduran on May 21 2008 09:08:58
Excellent power pop indeed! One of those overlooked classics I love so much!
#2 | reyno-roxx on October 03 2008 22:07:48
'How Do I Make You' is a Billy Steinberg song that was originally performed by his pre I-Ten band Billy Thermal. Pat Benatar's 'I'm Gonna Follow You' is another of Steinberg's songs from the same band and era (1979). He also wrote 'Precious Time' for Pat's third album.
#3 | gdazegod on November 26 2011 06:42:29
Would it surprise you that Linda has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone a couple of times, plus she also graced the cover of Time Magazine, back in the day. A gorgeous woman in her prime.
#4 | super80boy on July 06 2014 00:50:25
'I Can't Let Go' and the quick jaunt of 'How Do I Make You' are the standout cuts for sure, but other another runner up is 'Look Out For My Love'. The Costello numbers are well executed.
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