Living in the USA

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Living in the USA
Living in the USA Linda Ronstadt.jpg
Studio album by Linda Ronstadt
Released September 19, 1978[1]
Recorded May 5-July 3, 1978
Studio The Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock, Classic Rock, R&B, Country rock
Length 35:06
Label Asylum, Rhino
Producer Peter Asher
Linda Ronstadt chronology
Simple Dreams
(1977)Simple Dreams1977
Living in the USA
Mad Love
(1980)Mad Love1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
Circus Magazine4/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauB[4]
Crawdaddy!3.5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[7]

Living in the USA is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter and producer Linda Ronstadt, released in 1978. The album was Ronstadt's third (and last) No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. As a measure of her impact on popular culture in this time period, the front cover photograph of a roller skating Ronstadt in an exercise outfit was noted to have increased the popularity of skating in the United States at the time.

It was Ronstadt's record sixth consecutive million-selling —and thus Platinum — album. It was certified by the RIAA for 2 million copies sold in the US alone and has estimated real sales of 3 million US units sold.[8] It was the first album in history to ship Double Platinum.


The album was originally released by Asylum in the LP format in September 1978 (catalogue number 155 or 6E-155). Subsequently, in 1990, Asylum released the album in the Cassette format (TCS-155) and in the CD format (2-155).

In addition to the standard 1978 release, collector's-item editions of the LP were made in the same time period of the album in red vinyl (catalogue number K53085) and also of a picture disc (catalogue number DP 401) featuring a photograph of Ronstadt's lacing up the roller skating boots that she is wearing on the front cover (this photograph is also included on the record sleeve in the standard release).

Single releases and radio play[edit]

The album's first single release was Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA" which reached #11 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. (It was listed at #1 on many Album Rock playlists.) The disc's biggest success was Ronstadt's version of Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby" (featuring alto-sax work from David Sanborn) that hit #7 Pop and #2 Easy Listening as well as the Country and even the Soul chart. "Just One Look" and "Alison" later became hit singles for Ronstadt as well, while "All That You Dream" and Warren Zevon's "Mohammad's Radio" were popular tracks on AOR (Album-Oriented Radio) stations.

Although not released as a single, Ronstadt's version of "Love Me Tender" was edited together with the original version of the song by Elvis Presley, creating a duet between the two famous singers that was played by many radio stations at the time. Elvis did the first verse alone, straight from his original recording, as Ronstadt didn't sing this verse on her version for some reason.

Critical reception[edit]

The album received largely positive reviews at the time of release.[3][6] Ronstadt covered her last Warren Zevon song for this album ("Mohammed's Radio"). The album largely consisted of material that had previously been recorded and released by other artists including covers of songs written and performed previously by Little Feat, Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello.

Ronstadt's cover of Elvis Costello's "Alison" has been criticized by Costello himself after he heard her version of the song, although he did admit he "liked the money." Ronstadt had her management reach out to Costello and asked if he had any other material she could cover. He responded by sending her three songs that she recorded for her follow-up album. After the release of Mad Love, Ronstadt's follow-up album with the three Costello songs she solicited, Costello again had negative comments about her versions of his songs.[9][not in citation given]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Back in the U.S.A."Chuck Berry3:02
2."When I Grow Too Old to Dream"Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg3:52
3."Just One Look"Gregory Carroll, Doris Payne3:20
4."Alison"Elvis Costello3:20
5."White Rhythm & Blues"J.D. Souther4:17
Side two
1."All That You Dream"Paul Barrere, Bill Payne3:43
2."Ooh Baby Baby"William Robinson, Warren Moore3:18
3."Mohammed's Radio"Warren Zevon4:20
4."Blowing Away"Eric Kaz3:15
5."Love Me Tender"Elvis Presley, Vera Matson2:39




  1. ^ "September 1978". Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Circus Magazine review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau review
  5. ^ Crawdaddy! review
  6. ^ a b Rolling Stone review
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Ronstadt Facts". The Real Sales from German fansite Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 30, No. 9" (PHP). RPM. 1971-11-25. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  12. ^ " Linda Ronstadt – Living in the USA" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2012-04-04.Note: user must select 'Linda RONSTADT' from drop-down
  14. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  15. ^ " Linda Ronstadt – Living in the USA" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  16. ^ " Linda Ronstadt – Living in the USA" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  17. ^ "Linda Ronstadt : Artist: Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  18. ^ a b "Allmusic:Living in the USA : Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  19. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1978". RPM. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  20. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1979-12-22). – Year End Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Linda Ronstadt – Living in the USA". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-04-04. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Living in the USA in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Linda Ronstadt – Living in the USA". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-04-04. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.