Linda Ronstadt is an American singer and songwriter who enjoyed a long and successful career in the music industry before her retirement in 2011. Her career spanned four decades. Along the way, she amassed a huge following of fans, who helped in ranking her albums by giving their opinions. Here are the 10 best Linda Ronstadt albums of all time, ranked from worst to best.
10. “Get Closer”
“Get Closer” was not as successful as most of Linda Ronstadt’s other albums. It lacked the balance and contained a collection of covers of songs written by other artists. There were no big hits from the tracks on this project, and it didn’t place very high on music charts. The album dropped in 1983, and from my point of view, it is an unnecessary member of her collection. It did little to bolster her popularity, but die-hard Ronstadt fans still purchased to give it a listen. It’s not a bad album but there is nothing especially remarkable about it either.
9. “Don’t Cry Now”
“Don’t Cry Now” was released in 1973. Ronstadt was on a roll with her career. This album was not one of her most classic, but it was good. It contained “Silver Threads and Golden Needles,” which she became well-known. “Sail Away,” and the titular “Don’t Cry Now” also made this a popular album, but one of her greatest vocal achievements was her cover of the song “Desperado,” which was also covered by The Eagles.
8. “What’s New”
“What’s New” dropped with an absolute plethora of Ronstadt hits. The famed “Blue Bayou,” was a track on this album. One of the biggest hits of the project is a track that is a duo with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville titled “Don’t Know Much.” The pair had a chemistry that blended their vocal qualities with precision to produce one of the most popular and most widely requested songs of the year.
7. “Mad Love”
“Mad Love” didn’t feature any of her mega-hits, but it was a solid and balanced album. Some of the best tracks include “Hurt So Bad,” “I Can’t Let Go,” and “Look Out For My Love.” It followed a consistent theme and was well=received by those with a romantic streak.
6. “Cry Like A Rainstorm”
“Cry Like A Rainstorm” features multiple tracks with the powerful duet couple, Ronstadt and Neville. “Don’t Know Much,” which appeared on other projects, along with “All My Life,” “When Something is Wrong with My Baby,” and “I Need You.” Other songs on the album include “Cry Like a Rainstorm,” “Still Within the Sound of My Voice,” “Trouble Again,” “So Right So Wrong,” “I Keep It Hid,” “Shattered,” and “Goodbye My Friend.” There’s no part of this album to find fault with, even though there are tracks that appeared on other albums. It highlights her solo vocal qualities but also features some of her best worth with Neville, who has a sweet high voice that is complementary to her amazing range. “Cry Like A Rainstorm maintains its theme perfectly and achieves remarkable balance.
5. “Linda Ronstadt”
This is her self-titled album that dropped in 1972. The album was not a big seller, but it did offer a look at her tremendous vocal potential. She performed the Johnny Cash tune “I Still Miss Someone” along with “Rock Me On The Water.” Although none of her biggest hits appeared as tracks on this project, it was a nice piece with some spectacular vocals.
4. “Prisoner In Disguise”
“Prisoner In Disguise” was released in 1976. This was a time when Linda Ronstadt was just entering what would be her prime. Another huge hit titled “Heatwave” came out as a track on this album. Other notable tracks include “Love Is A Rose,” “Many Rivers To Cross,” and the title song “Prisoner In Disguise.”
3. “Hasten Down The Wind”
“Hasten Down The Wind” dropped in 1976. It was Ronstadt’s third-best album. It appeared in numerous charts as one of the best albums of the year by popular vote and air time. She covered another Buddy Holly song on this album titled “That’ll Be The Day,” which became a Ronstadt hit from this day forward. The album was packed with hit tunes that received a lot of requests on radio stations, including “Crazy,” and “Someone To Lay Down Beside Me.”
2. “Simple Dreams”
It was tough to choose between “Simple Dreams” and the following album as they are both so iconic. Ronstadt shows off the amazing range of her vocals in the song “Blue Bayou,” which is included as a track in this 1977 release. Another big hit from the album is “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” along with “It’s So Easy,” which is a Buddy Holly cover song that she resurrected beautifully. Thi album went to the top going platinum three times over.
1. “Heart Like a Wheel”
Fans on Quora rate “Heart Like a Wheel” as the best album of Linda Ronstadt’s career. The album was released in 1974 and found instant success with audiences. It charted on Billboard’s Top 200 with one of the most successful songs of her career titled “You’re No Good.” This song received the most airplay of all the big hits that Ronstadt churned out. The album was loaded with hits including another iconic tune, “When Will I Be Loved.” “Heart Like a Wheel” cemented her posturing as one of the best singers and songwriters of the 1970s era and beyond.