Linda Ronstadt, Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. III
|Linda Ronstadt, Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. III|
|Studio album by The Stone Poneys|
|The Stone Poneys chronology|
|Linda Ronstadt chronology|
Linda Ronstadt, Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. III is the third and final album by The Stone Poneys. Linda Ronstadt would release her first solo album the following year. The volume number is a reference to this being the third album by the band, though with a Roman numeral rather than the Arabic numeral used on the previous album. While all three band members are shown on the covers of the first two albums, only Linda Ronstadt appears on the front cover of this album, while the back cover photo depicts friends surrounding Ronstadt in front a house on Hart Ave in Santa Monica CA.
As on the second album (though with a few exceptions in that case), Linda Ronstadt sings lead vocals on all tracks. While ostensibly a Stone Poneys album, Vol. III represents a transition between the work of this band and Linda Ronstadt's solo career. Many of the songs are in more of a country-rock style that would mark her most popular work in later years, rather than the folk-rock music of the first two Stone Poneys albums. This is particularly true of the two songs that were released as singles from this album, "Some of Shelly's Blues" and "Up to My Neck in High Muddy Water"; the latter song reached #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
The album was released in April 1968 in the LP format by Capitol in both monaural and stereophonic editions (catalogue numbers T 2863 and ST 2863, respectively). In 1995, Capitol reissued the album on CD (catalogue number 80130).
In 2008 – 40 years after this album was released – Raven issued a 27-track "two-fer" CD simply called The Stone Poneys, featuring all tracks from the first two albums by the Stone Poneys, The Stone Poneys and Evergreen, Volume 2, plus four tracks from this album: "Hobo", "Up to My Neck in High Muddy Water", "Some of Shelly's Blues" and "Stoney End".
Notes on the tracks
Unlike the first two albums, when they composed most of the songs, the other bandmembers, Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards were the songwriters on only two of the songs. (In fact, Edwards had already left the band before work began on this album). For the remaining tracks, Linda Ronstadt sought out material by well regarded musicians such as Tim Buckley and Laura Nyro; and there are additional songs by others whose work had appeared on the two earlier albums, like Steve Gillette, Tom Campbell and Mike Nesmith. There are several previously unreleased tracks included on the album, such as the very short "fragments" that open the album.
The only charting success by the band from this material was from the single release "Up to My Neck in High Muddy Water". This is an original song by the Greenbriar Boys and appeared on their 1966 album Better Late than Never!. This was the same album that introduced the band to Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum", their major hit song from the previous album, Evergreen, Volume 2.
Another Nesmith song, "Some of Shelly's Blues" (sometimes spelled "Some of Shelley's Blues") was also released as a single. Michael Nesmith is best known as a member of The Monkees, and this band recorded the song in the 1960s also (though it would remain unreleased until the early 1990s). Nesmith himself included it on his solo album, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973). "Some of Shelly's Blues" was the opening track on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1971 album, Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy; and as one of two follow-up singles from this album to their biggest hit, "Mr. Bojangles", this song hit #64 on the Billboard charts. The following year, the Dirt Band backed Earl Scruggs in a cover of this song on his album I Saw the Light with Some Help from My Friends; and the band also included it on their 1982 live album The Dirt Band Tonite. Mary McCaslin – who recorded another song from this album early in her career, "Aren't You the One" – included this song on her 1981 album A Life and Time. Other versions of "Some of Shelly's Blues" have been recorded by many artists over the years, among them Continental Drifters and Bill Miller.
Several other now-familiar songs are also included on this album. The Laura Nyro song that closes the album – which came from her debut album More Than a New Discovery (1967) – was the title track of Barbra Streisand's 1971 album Stoney End. The album reached #10 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums – Streisand's first Top Ten album in five years – while as a single, the song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Peggy Lipton also released "Stoney End" in 1968 (as a single).
"Let's Get Together" – also known as "Get Together" – is regarded today as a quintessential hippie/flower power appeal for peace and brotherhood. The song is best known as the Top 5 hit by the Youngbloods in 1969 (though it was originally released by that band in 1967); but the song was also recorded in the 1960s by many other artists ranging from Judy Collins, to Jefferson Airplane, to the Byrds. In 1965, We Five reached #31 on the singles charts with this song, which was a follow-up to their major hit "You Were on My Mind". It is perhaps surprising that the original recorded version was by the mainstream folk-pop band the Kingston Trio in 1964.
"Morning Glory" – which was on Tim Buckley's second album, Goodbye and Hello (1967) – was renamed "Hobo" by Linda Ronstadt (the allmusic website does not reveal any other artist that used this name for the song). In this same time period, the song appeared on Blood, Sweat and Tears' first album, Child Is Father to the Man (1968); and also on McKendree Spring's 1969 debut album. Fairport Convention made a live performance of the song in 1968 that was included as a bonus track on the 2003 reissue of their debut album Fairport Convention.
The other two Tim Buckley songs come from his first album, Tim Buckley (1966). During her brief time with Capitol, Mary McCaslin recorded "Aren't You the One" at about the same time as the Stone Poneys' version and also using the same producer (Nik Venet); along with considerable other previously unreleased material, the song was included on her 1999 release Rain: The Lost Album.
Linda Ronstadt is well known in the music industry for having among the most meticulous credits on her albums, particularly with regard to musician credits. As an example, both of the interior album panels on the gatefold covers in her first two greatest hits LP's listed credits for the songs on the album. Also, on the second Stone Poneys album, Evergreen, Volume 2, a total of 22 musicians were listed, including 9 in the string section alone. However, allmusic lists only the original bandmembers in this case; and Kenny Edwards left the band before work on this album was begun (although he likely played on some of the songs that had already been recorded, such as the "Fragments").
- Fragments – 1:40
- "By the Fruits of their Labors" (Bob Kimmel/Ken Edwards) – 2:05
- "Hobo" (Tim Buckley/Larry Beckett) – 3:00, originally titled "Morning Glory"
- "Star and a Stone" (Kimmel/Edwards) – 3:33
- "Let's Get Together" (Chet Powers) – 3:10
- "Up to My Neck in High Muddy Water" (Kathy Wakefield/Robert Yellin/John Herald) – 2:35
- "Aren't You the One" (Tim Buckley) – 2:30, originally titled "Aren't You the Girl"
- "Wings" (Tim Buckley) – 3:00
- "Some of Shelly's Blues" (Mike Nesmith) – 2:10
- "Stoney End" (Laura Nyro) – 3:35
- Allmusic review
- Better Late than Never, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- I Saw the Light with Some Help from My Friends, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- The Dirt Band Tonite, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- A Life and Time, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Some of Shelly's Blues[dead link], allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Cleveland Scene". Gypsy Eyes, Interview 1968. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
- McKendree Spring, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- Rain: The Lost Album, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Bandmember List Only, allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-26.