Sounds heavy, but this will be a fun post. I have been listening to my Linda Ronstadt playlist over and over this week. Some of my favorites are: Love has no pride, Long long time, Desperado, Faithless love, Silver threads and golden needles. Her voice and arrangements are superb, sublime and, in my humble opinion, the best out there. Just for fun, I decided to listen to other renditions of Love Has No Pride. There was Bonnie Raitt, a close second, Rita Coolidge and Lynn Anderson tied for third, and the rest: Rod Stewart, Adam Wakefield, American Flyer, Tracy Nelson, Michelle Wright, Libby Titus (wrote the song), Jessica Vosk, Jane Monheit, Paul Kantner (formerly of Jefferson Airplane!), Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks wife) lots of others, even a group called Disorder On The Border.
All this exercise did for me is remind me of how great Linda and Bonnie are! Also, the women were mostly very good, and the men pretty much butchered it with arrangements that sounded like a different song. So I thought, who is the modern “incarnation”, in the sense of singing talent and beauty, of Linda Ronstadt? I settled on Katharine McPhee. I put together a playlist and listened a couple of times. She has a voice, that’s for sure, but the songs were so insipid and monotonous in comparison with the Linda and Bonnie playlists I compiled. Both lists were my favorites of each singer. I can hardly say my conclusion is definitive, but here it is: Something must have happened to songwriting in the interim between Linda/Bonnie and Katharine. Whatever it was, there’s no doubt I will be listening to older songs. Just found a YouTube video of Linda and Bonnie together, singing Blowing Away. one of the comments said “Ronstadt was an arena class superstar at this point. Bonnie was still playing clubs. Linda as generous of spirit as always helped arrange this tribute to Lowell (George) for his wife and children.” 1979.
I welcome the opinions of other Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers.
Oops, writing this a few days after posting. Just listened to Carrie Underwood/Vince Gill duet. How could I forget Carrie Underwood in the “modern incarnation” of Linda Ronstadt?