Living in the USA is a 1978 album by American singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt. The album was Ronstadt's third No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and was the first album in history to ship Double Platinum. As a measure of her impact on popular culture in this time period, the front cover photograph of a roller skating Linda in a satin 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 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.
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 Linda'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).
The album's first single release was a revved up remake of 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 Linda 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.
The album received largely positive reviews at the time of release. 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 had negative comments about her versions of his songs.