This is another one that made its way into my collection after the 1989 BBC Radio 1 interview where Neil Young paid tribute to other artists who, like him, had gone through a series of stylistic changes in their careers. Bobby Darin was one, and I got an album of his pretty soon afterwards. I didn't rush out to buy some Linda Ronstadt. I knew enough about her to anticipate that her work wouldn't be right up my street. But I never forgot Neil's reference to her as a really 'out there' artist, and fifteen years later when I saw this career-spanning compilation discounted at Fopp, impulse finally got the better of me.
To be candid, I think I maybe listened once to the CD, and quickly reverted to the not-up-my-street assessment. I guess I'd been hoping that the career overview offered by a compilation would give a sense of the changes Linda had gone through. The problem with that is that any compilation that spans more than two decades of recording is going to have some changes in it. Short-term fads, production styles and the compiler's goal of a rounded portrait all help ensure that. An Iron Maiden compilation (is there one?) would doubtless evidence some changes, even though, as seen from a distance, their formula has stayed pretty consistent.
So I can't really test Neil's conjecture about Linda. Yet her extensive Wikipedia entry backs him up, and it's clear from the sleeve notes that — to anyone other than the record label marketing people who choose her promotional photos — she's a lot more than just a pretty face.
MusicBrainz entry for this album
Wikipedia entry for this album
Rate Your Music entry for this album
Some metadata about this album at Last.fm