Winter Light (Linda Ronstadt album)

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Winter Light
WinterLight.jpg
Studio album by Linda Ronstadt
Released November 23, 1993
Recorded 1993, The Site, San Rafael, California; Skywalker ranch, California
Genre Pop, New-age, Art rock
Length 45:47
Label Elektra/WEA International
Producer George Massenburg, Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt chronology
Frenesí
(1992)
Winter Light
(1993)
Feels Like Home
(1995)

Winter Light is an out of print album by American singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt, released in late 1993. Although its total sales capped at 248,410 copies - according to Nielsen SoundScan - at the time of its deletion, it still stands as one of Linda's most acclaimed albums.

History[edit]

Winter Light was Ronstadt's first solo album since Don't Cry Now not to be produced by Peter Asher. She elected to produce it herself along with George Massenburg. The album maarked Ronstadt's increased responsibilities and confidence behind the boards, this time achieving a multi-layered Enya-styled New Age-oriented sound, as in Anna McGarrigle's "Heartbeats Accelerating" — the album's first hit single — and Brian Wilson's "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on my Shoulder)". "Heartbeats Accelerating" featured a popular music video while another track, a remake of the classic 1960s R&B hit, "Oh No Not My Baby", was a Top 30 Adult Contemporary hit for Linda in the spring of 1994.

Other aspects of the album show Ronstadt paying tribute to great female vocalists of the 1960s with a combination of rock n roll, oldies, and rock ballads. Three of the songs - "Anyone Who Had A Heart", "Oh No Not My Baby" and "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" - had been previously recorded by Dusty Springfield. Ronstadt selected classic compositions from various songwriters such as Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Jimmy Webb as well as contemporary ones such as Tish Hinojosa. The album also showcased Ronstadt the singer-songwriter and music arranger, introducing her own composition, "Winter Light," which was notably covered by Sarah Brightman on her 2001 album, Classics and Chloë Agnew for her Walking In The Air album.

The title track was also prominently used in the Warner Bros. distributed 1993 film production The Secret Garden, but was not featured on the film's original soundtrack release.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[4]
Q 4/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]

Considered one of Ronstadt's most underrated and highly acclaimed recordings. Rolling Stone magazine rated the album '4' (out of a possible '5') stars. Ironically, it was a rare commercial failure for Ronstadt and peaked at a disappointing #92 on the Billboard album chart. The disc had modest sales, moving 248,410 copies in the United States. In 2008, it became Ronstadt's first Elektra/Asylum release to be taken out of print. (In 2009, several more classic Ronstadt albums were deleted from her catalog.)

Allmusic critic Jose Promis praised the album and wrote "Winter Light could arguably be classified as Linda Ronstadt's best pop album of the 1990s... there is not a single dud on this impeccably produced album, which, in fact, gets better and better with each listening. This sadly overlooked album is nothing short of a shining gem, and an absolute must for fans of this amazing singer."[1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Heartbeats Accelerating" Anna McGarrigle 3:49
2. "Do What You Gotta Do" Jimmy Webb 3:24
3. "Anyone Who Had a Heart" Burt Bacharach, Hal David 3:26
4. "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" Brian Wilson, Tony Asher 3:15
5. "Oh No Not My Baby" Gerry Goffin, Carole King 3:05
6. "It's Too Soon to Know" Deborah Chessler 2:30
7. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" Burt Bacharach, Hal David 3:11
8. "A River for Him" Emmylou Harris 4:31
9. "Adonde Voy" (Where I Am Going) Tish Hinojosa 3:09
10. "You Can't Treat the Wrong Man Right" Jimmy Webb 3:29
11. "Winter Light" Eric Kaz, Linda Ronstadt, Zbigniew Antoni Preisner 3:17

The original 1993 USA release as Elektra 61545-2 had the songs on the back of the tray card listed incorrectly. One can notice that there is no track number 8 listed. The listing order goes from track 7 to track 9. The glitch had gone unnoticed when it went into print. Although all the songs are listed there, it would give the impression that there are 12 tracks on the CD instead of eleven. The discrepancy would then be noticed when the CD was being played because the playback readout would truly show its 11 tracks.

Personnel[edit]

Musicians

  • Linda Ronstadt – vocals
  • Dean Parks – guitar, mandolin
  • Leland Sklar – bass
  • Bob Glaub – bass
  • Russ Kunkel – drums, percussion
  • Matt Rollings – piano
  • Robbie Buchanan – piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer
  • Jon Clarke – flute, recorder
  • Dennis James – harmonica
  • Dave Boroff – saxophone
  • Plas Johnson – saxophone
  • Joseph Powell – background vocals
  • Alex Brown – background vocals
  • Donny Gerrard – background vocals
  • Mortonette Jenkins – background vocals
  • Marlena Jete – background vocals
  • Valerie Carter – background vocals
  • Arnold McCuller – background vocals
  • Aaron Neville – background vocals
  • Emil Richards – vibraphone

Production

  • George Massenburg – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Linda Ronstadt – producer, mixing, engineer
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • Gavin Lurssen – mastering
  • Kevin Scott – assistant engineer
  • Craig Silvey – assistant engineer

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Promis, Jose F. "Winter Light - Linda Ronstadt". Allmusic. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Linda Ronstadt - Winter Light CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ Galvin, Peter (December 9, 1993). "Winter Light". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (December 5, 1993). "Album review: Linda Ronstadt, Winter Light". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2011.