Heart Like a Wheel

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Heart Like a Wheel
Heart Like a Wheel Ronstadt.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1974 (1974-11)
RecordedJune–September 1974
StudioThe Sound Factory and Clover Recorders, Los Angeles, Track Recorders, Maryland, Record Plant and The Hit Factory, New York City, Trident Studios and AIR Studios, London[1]
GenreRock, country rock
Length31:40
LabelCapitol
ProducerPeter Asher
Linda Ronstadt chronology
Don't Cry Now
(1973)
Heart Like a Wheel
(1974)
Prisoner in Disguise
(1975)
Singles from Heart Like a Wheel
  1. "You're No Good"
    Released: November 25, 1974
  2. "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)"
    Released: November 25, 1974
  3. "When Will I Be Loved"
    Released: March 31, 1975
  4. "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"
    Released: March 31, 1975

Heart Like a Wheel is the fifth solo studio album by Linda Ronstadt, released in November 1974. Her first to reach the top of the Billboard 200 and winning a Grammy Award, it is considered Ronstadt's breakthrough album.

It was Ronstadt's last album to be released by Capitol Records. At the time of its recording, Ronstadt had already moved to Asylum Records and released her first album there; due to contractual obligations, though, Heart Like a Wheel was released by Capitol.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[3]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[4]
Pitchfork8.5/10[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[6]
Tom HullB[7]

Heart Like a Wheel became Ronstadt's first album to hit the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and spent four weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Country Album chart in early 1975. "You're No Good," a reluctant first single release from the record company, reached number 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. A cover of The Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" spent two weeks at number 2 on the Hot 100 in June 1975 and reached number 1 on the Cash Box Pop singles chart and on the Hot Country Songs chart. Buddy Holly & the Crickets song, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", also appeared on the Pop, Adult Contemporary and Country charts.[8]

Stephen Holden's 1975 review Rolling Stone described the title track as "a masterpiece of writing and arrangement" and lauded the album's expansive repertoire, production and song selection.[9] The album's cover of Hank Williams's "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," peaked at number 2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.[10]

Heart Like a Wheel spent 51 weeks on the album chart.[11]

Retrospective reviews of Heart Like a Wheel widely regard it as a high-point in Ronstadt's oeuvre. In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine described it as "a landmark of '70s mainstream pop/rock."[3] John Lingan claimed in his review for Pitchfork that "[Ronstadt] had one power, but it was a superpower. Viewed from one angle, Linda Ronstadt’s career is the story of a woman gradually recognizing the power of her own voice. She had the tone early, but you can hear her control improve in each successive album. Her breaths sound more natural, her vibrato becomes more pronounced. By Heart Like a Wheel, she’d mastered it."[5]

In 1976, the album earned Ronstadt four nominations at the Grammy Awards. She won Best Country Vocal Performance Female for the track, "I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love with You". She was also nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. Producer Peter Asher was among the nominees for Producer of the Year.[12]

In 2006, CMT ranked "Heart Like a Wheel" No. 34 on its list of the 40 greatest albums in country music.[13] The album was ranked #490 on the September 22, 2020 edition of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[14].

Heart Like a Wheel was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2013 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important."[15]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."You're No Good"Clint Ballard Jr.3:44
2."It Doesn't Matter Anymore"Paul Anka3:26
3."Faithless Love"J. D. Souther3:15
4."The Dark End of the Street"Chips Moman, Dan Penn3:55
5."Heart Like a Wheel"Anna McGarrigle3:10
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."When Will I Be Loved"Phil Everly2:04
2."Willin'"Lowell George3:02
3."I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)"Hank Williams2:45
4."Keep Me from Blowing Away"Paul Craft3:10
5."You Can Close Your Eyes"James Taylor3:09
Total length:31:40

Charts[edit]

Chart (1974/75) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[16] 35
United States (Billboard 200) 1

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from album's liner notes.[17]

  • Linda Ronstadt – lead vocals, backing vocals (2, 4, 6, 9)
  • Andrew Gold – electric piano (1, 3), electric guitar solo (1), drums (1, 2, 3, 7), percussion (1, 2, 3), acoustic piano (3, 4, 5, 8, 10), electric rhythm guitar (4), tambourine (4, 6), guitars (6), backing vocals (6, 7), acoustic guitar (7, 8), ukulele (8). Credit on album cover: "Special thanks to Andrew Gold for his help with the arrangments."
  • Eddie Black – electric guitar (1)
  • Bob Warford – acoustic guitar (2, 4, 8), electric guitar solo (4), electric guitar (7)
  • Sneaky Pete Kleinowpedal steel guitar (2, 7, 8)
  • J. D. Souther – acoustic guitar (3), harmony vocals (3)
  • Herb Pedersen – banjo (3), backing vocals (7)
  • Paul Craft – acoustic guitar (9)
  • John Starling – acoustic guitar (9)
  • Danny Pendleton – pedal steel guitar (9)
  • John Boylan – acoustic guitar (10)
  • Glenn Frey – acoustic guitar (10)
  • Kenny Edwards – bass guitar (1, 2, 6-8), backing vocals (6, 7)
  • Chris Ethridge – bass guitar (3)
  • Emory Gordy Jr. – bass guitar (4)
  • Tom Guidera – bass guitar (9)
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass guitar (10)
  • Dennis St. John – drums (4)
  • Russ Kunkel – drums (6)
  • Lloyd Myers – drums (8)
  • Don Henley – drums (10)
  • Peter Asher – percussion (2), cowbell (6), backing vocals (10)
  • Jimmie Fadden – harmonica (2, 7)
  • David Lindley – fiddle (5, 8)
  • Gregory Rose – string arrangements and conductor (1, 2, 10)
  • David Campbell – string arrangements (5), viola (5)
  • Dennis Karmazyn – cello (5)
  • Richard Feves – double bass (5)
  • Clydie King – backing vocals (1)
  • Sherlie Matthews – backing vocals (1)
  • Wendy Waldman – backing vocals (2)
  • Cissy Houston – backing vocals (4)
  • Joyce Nesbitt – backing vocals (4)
  • Maria Muldaur – backing vocals (5)
  • Emmylou Harris – harmony vocals (8)

Production

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1975 Billboard 200 1[18]

Reissues[edit]

Year Label Edition
2009 Audio Fidelity 24 Karat Gold HDCD
2017 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab SACD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. 1976-11-13. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  2. ^ Moore, Mary Ellen (1978). The Linda Ronstadt Scrapbook: An Illustrated Biography. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. p. 61. ISBN 0-441-48411-5.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Heart Like a Wheel at AllMusic. Retrieved 3 December 2005.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  5. ^ a b John, Lingan. "Linda Ronstadt: Heart Like a Wheel Review". Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Linda Ronstadt". The Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 701–702. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  7. ^ Hull, Tom (April 1975). "The Rekord Report: Third Card". Overdose. Retrieved June 26, 2020 – via tomhull.com.
  8. ^ Linda Ronstadt > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  9. ^ Holden, Stephen (January 16, 1975). "Linda Ronstadt Heart Like a Wheel > Album Review". Rolling Stone (178). Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  10. ^ "Country Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (April 1, 2007). Joel Whitburn presents The Billboard Albums (6th ed.). ISBN 978-0-89820-166-6. Cited in "Linda Ronstadt Top Pop Albums". Ronstadt-linda.com. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  12. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1976 - Grammy Award Winners 1976". Awards & Shows. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  13. ^ https://rateyourmusic.com/list/CurtisLoew/cmt_40_greatest_albums/
  14. ^ Stone, Rolling; Stone, Rolling (2020-09-22). "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  15. ^ "2013|View Registry by Induction Years | Recording Registry | National Recording Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress". Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 258. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  17. ^ Heart Like a Wheel (booklet). Capitol. 1974.
  18. ^ Heart Like a Wheel - Linda Ronstadt > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 March 2008.

External links[edit]