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4.4 out of 5 stars27
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2012
It seems this set has been updated and now replaces "Cry like a rainstorm" with "Hasten down the wind" as it should have been in the first place.These are all excellant albums by a high class singer.
Buy with confidence.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 November 2011
I am not going over the other reviewers comments. I will just say - Buy this boxed set because it contains 'Living In The USA' sometimes cheaper than buying the individual album (if you can get it as it goes in and out of stock, mostly only available as an import or used.

The is a superb set but remember these albums come from the days when you only got 30 minutes playtime per LP and that is exactly what you get on each of the CD's. Every album has great tracks, good tracks and OK tracks but no dud tracks so you will get full value for money.
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on 16 February 2011
Superb value - 5 albums for the price of one ( or of 2 discounted) And what a mix of songs by this speerb songstress ! Something for everyone, from Rock'nroll to 1980's pop - most tracks finely produced to bring out the best of.in my view, the greatest voice ever. Even if you are getting on a bit like me and are not keen on the more modern 1980's stuff, worth buying for the classic (in my view) Living in the USA and Prisoner in Disguise. Listen and expect to be moved. You will be dissappointed.
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on 12 January 2011
Ronstadt - iconic '70's country rock. The voice. The looks. The reputation. This box set includes 3 of her late '70's albums, 1 from the '80's, and the Aaron Neville album from the late '80's. I got this for the '70's albums which was definitely her heyday, and consider the other 2 as a bonus, tho' they are not bad albums. Her patronage of Warren Zevon and Andrew Gold in the early days of their careers was considerable, and established the LA mafia sound along with the Eagles, JD Souther, Andrew Gold, and Jackson Browne, who shared the same troupe of backing musicians, whose names on the credits of an album back then guaranteed a top level of musicianship and playing second to none. Superb as a companion piece to the "Capitol Years" set, to show the development from a pure country singer to AOR goddess. Not many people remember that in the early '80's, she made 3 very successful albums of American standards with Nelson Riddle, long before Rod Stewart reinvented himself. As an overview of why Linda Ronstadt is so important in American pop culture these 5 albums present a very strong and persuasive argument. A very good set and a great introduction to Linda's canon of work.
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on 17 February 2011
A great reminder of what a fantastic singer Linda Ronstadt was in the 70's. My own favourite here is Prisoner in Disguise which has a great range of tracks and is probably worth the price alone with her version of I Will always love you and even stronger songs like Silver Blue and the title track. Simple Dreams includes a cracking version of Blue Bayou and Its so easy another greta mix of songs . Living in the USA includes a lovely version of Elvis Costello's Alison. True the albums aren't remastered but for this price its a great introduction to Linda's music and voice which is seldom if ever bettered by any contemporary female artists.
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on 6 November 2010
these five albums are in many ways classic in their own genre and showcase Ronstadt's incredible ability in dealing with pop music at its best. she was more that a pretty face as she picked the songs, befriended the songwriters, launched them, and arrange modern songbook of talented authors when it was not so common to do so. "Prisoner" is by far the best, each song is a classic in its own, building her status as tormented singer of love lost. she was declared the queen of torch rock with "Simple Dreams" which became her biggest success, showcasing a strong rock band with simple and minimal arrangements. "Living in The USA" is the routine one, and she immediately recognizes that. so for "Mad Love" she embarked in finding new music in the new wave scene that was starting in those years: a dramatic hair cut, more rockish and edgy. 3 songs from new born Elvis Costello gave her some troubles but now in retrospect all has been settled in her favour. "Howl" came years later when she had already killed her star as America's Sweetheart with jazz, opera and songbook albums. it was a nice suprise and in a way a breath of fresh air: her duets with Aaron Neville are classic, material from Jimmy Webb and others is again showing her magic touch in picking right songs, while great orchestral arrangements are a plus. in our times of trouble with music that is no longer capable of delivering a real artist even in pop music, these albums are like bibles to be read and listened to (but Linda was capable to do so in other records too!)
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In the 1970s Linda Ronstadt established herself as a leading member of the West Coast mafia that included Jackson Browne, The Eagles, J D Souther and the fledgling singer-songwriter, Warren Zevon. But Ronstadt did not write her own material and her reliance upon the work of others did result in some patchy albums.

Although "Heart Like A Wheel", Ronstadt's first (and best) album from this period, is not included in this set the powerful "Simple Dreams" showcases her emotional brand of country rock. Produced by Peter Asher, with the pick of West Coast session musicians, there is a compelling version of Blue Bayou and a down and dirty reading of the Jagger/Richards composition, "Tumbling Dice". Warren Zevon benefits from her patronage as she delivers stylish performances of "Carmelita" and "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me".

Together with a driving version of Buddy Holly's "It's So Easy" and a duet with Dolly Parton on "I Never Will Marry" this was a definitive album of the time.

"Living In The USA" from 1978 was another Asher production. Although, once again, she has the pick of the Californian sessionmen this album never hits the heights of "Simple Dreams" although her reading of J D Souther's "White Rhythm And Blues" is worth the price of admission on its own. A simply stunning performance of a sadly overlooked song. There are also decent performances of Elvis Costello's "Allison and" Zevon's "Mohammed's Radio" but the rest is ill advised filler.

"Prisoner In Disguise" from 1975 received some critical praise and followed the formula of "Heart Like A Wheel". The are two Motown covers ("The Tracks Of My Tears" and "Heatwave") that are not especially memorable but were perhaps included to give the album an appeal to a broader audience. However, it is her interpretations of two J D Souther numbers, ("Prisoner In Disguise" and "Silver Blue") and the glorious Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You" that elevate the album.

"Mad Love" signalled her departure from the country rock scene and her arrival in the world of new wave. There are some interesting takes on Costello's "Party Girl", "Girl's Talk" and "Talking In The Dark". She secured a hit with "Hurt So Bad" The Little Anthony and the Imperials song. Although different from anything before or after the album has stood the test of time.

"Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind" her 1989 collaboration with Aaron Neville, and another Asher production, features a 60 strong symphony orchestra and a 80 voice gospel choir. It produced the hit single "Don't Know Much". Four songs by Jimmy Webb, two Paul Carrack and Nick Lowe collaborations and offerings by Karla Bonoff promise a sense of pedigree but ultimately it is a disappointing foray into adult oriented pop.

So, a boxed set of Peter Asher productions spanning fifteen years that will appeal to Ronstadt completists wanting to upgrade their vinyl collections on a budget. But for the casual Ronstadt listener uncertain of which of her styles they prefer the content will probably be played once and then left to gather dust.
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on 6 October 2015
I`ve given these cd`s 5 stars as the songs on all the discs are great, however had I known they would have been in cardboard sleeves I would`nt have bought them as they look like those you get in newspapers, I had blank cd cases lying around so put them in those.
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on 7 December 2015
Got all the albums on vinyl but no record player now
All fantastic reminders of a great artist, sadly now not well
What a voice. Forget the current crop of rubbish this was great stuff at a time when albums were the thing
Cannot fault it
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on 13 September 2010
A bargain. 5 original albums I first purchased many years ago on vynil.
Forget Lady GaGa, Kylie, Cheryl Cole etc and so many of that ilk that to be blunt could be your grandmother or anybody else and what you are buying is a freakish look. Linda deals mainly in covers but most of the time her covers are better than the originals. "Many rivers to cross", "I will always love you", "Girl talk", I could go on. Great songs, great series, great value and from Amazon great service.
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