Prisoner in Disguise

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Prisoner In Disguise
Studio album by Linda Ronstadt
Released September, 1975
Recorded The Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California;February–June 1975
Genre Rock, Classic Rock, Country Rock
Length 35:57
Label Asylum, Rhino
Producer Peter Asher
Linda Ronstadt chronology
Heart Like a Wheel
(1974)
Prisoner In Disguise
(1975)
Hasten Down the Wind
(1976)

Prisoner In Disguise (1975) is Linda Ronstadt's sixth solo LP release and her second for the label Asylum Records. It followed Ronstadt's Multi-Platinum breakthrough album, Heart Like a Wheel, which became her first of three #1 albums on the Billboard album chart in early 1975.

This album has never been out of print.

History[edit]

Ronstadt chose songs from friends and songwriters such as James Taylor, Lowell George of Little Feat, J. D. Souther and Anna McGarrigle as well as one written and originally recorded by Jimmy Cliff and a heartfelt interpretation of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You". The album features string arrangements by David Campbell.

The original vinyl album release was a gatefold design, and the center section featured a photo of various sheets with written lyrics to the songs, most of which were in the original songwriters' own handwriting.

The album has been influential to the development of country music. For instance, Trisha Yearwood brought the album to her producer at the start of her career and said, “This is the kind of music that I want to make."[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B[3]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[5]

Steve Simels in Stereo Review's December 1975 issue described Ronstadt's singing on Parton's "I Will Always Love You" as "absolutely gorgeous, full-bodied and intense".[6] The album peaked on the Billboard album chart at #4.[7] It also reached #2 on the country album chart,[8] and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

"Heat Wave", a rockified re-make of the 1963 hit covered by Martha and the Vandellas, peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Its B-side, a countrified version of Neil Young's "Love Is A Rose", generated its own airplay and peaked at #5 on the Hot Country Songs chart.[9]

The double-sided hits "Tracks Of My Tears", a re-make of a 1965 hit by the Miracles, and "The Sweetest Gift", an older country standard then most recently recorded by the Seldom Scene,[10] also made it to the Country singles chart, peaking at #11 and #12 respectively in early 1976. "Tracks" also peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the adult contemporary songs chart. An album track composed by Lowell George, "Roll Um Easy", was very popular on the burgeoning AOR (album-oriented rock) format.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Love Is a Rose"   Neil Young 2:46
2. "Hey Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox"   James Taylor 3:56
3. "Roll Um Easy" (featuring Lowell George on slide guitar) Lowell George 2:58
4. "Tracks of My Tears"   Warren "Pete" Moore, William "Smokey" Robinson Jr., Marvin Tarplin 3:12
5. "Prisoner in Disguise" (featuring J. D. Souther on harmony vocals) J. D. Souther 3:54
6. "Heat Wave"   Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland 2:46
7. "Many Rivers to Cross"   Jimmy Cliff 4:05
8. "The Sweetest Gift" (featuring Emmylou Harris on harmony vocals) James B. Coats 3:00
9. "You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down" (featuring [[Maria Muldaur[11]]] on harmony vocals) Carol S. Holland, Anna McGarrigle 3:17
10. "I Will Always Love You"   Dolly Parton 3:00
11. "Silver Blue" (featuring J. D. Souther on harmony vocals) J. D. Souther 3:03

References[edit]

  1. ^ "100 Greatest Women / #8 Trisha Yearwood". CountryUniverse.net. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Robert Christgau review
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 701. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  6. ^ "Album Review / Linda Ronstadt- Prisoner in Disguise". Ronstadt-linda.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  7. ^ "Linda Ronstadt Top Pop Albums". Ronstadt-linda.com. 1946-07-15. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  8. ^ "Prisoner in Disguise > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  9. ^ "Linda Ronstadt Top Country Singles". Ronstadt-linda.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  10. ^ "Act Two". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  11. ^ Cited on Album Cover