9 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After releasing several New Wave-influenced albums,Linda Ronstadt made a radical career move and recorded 1983's What's New, the first of three albums of pop standards. For material, she reached back to the golden era of American songwriting, selecting timeless tunes by the likes of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Sammy Kahn, and wisely tapped legendary arranger Nelson Riddle (of Frank Sinatra and Nat""King"" Cole fame). You can hear Ronstadt's love and respect for the music in her performances here, whether the mood is sultry ("Crazy He Calls Me"), wistful ("What'll I Do") or aching ("Good-Bye"). It takes chutzpah to cover tunes identified with Billie Holiday - fortunately, her versions of "Lover Man (WhereCan You Be)" and "I Don'tStand A Ghost Of A Chance" are more than credible. Overall, Ronstadt's vocals strike a balance between waif-like vulnerability and mature poise, taking these songs out of their period and making them valid for her own generation. What's New was a risky move that paid off, selling over two million copies. Impeccably sung and luminously arranged, it stands as a classic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After releasing several New Wave-influenced albums,Linda Ronstadt made a radical career move and recorded 1983's What's New, the first of three albums of pop standards. For material, she reached back to the golden era of American songwriting, selecting timeless tunes by the likes of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Sammy Kahn, and wisely tapped legendary arranger Nelson Riddle (of Frank Sinatra and Nat""King"" Cole fame). You can hear Ronstadt's love and respect for the music in her performances here, whether the mood is sultry ("Crazy He Calls Me"), wistful ("What'll I Do") or aching ("Good-Bye"). It takes chutzpah to cover tunes identified with Billie Holiday - fortunately, her versions of "Lover Man (WhereCan You Be)" and "I Don'tStand A Ghost Of A Chance" are more than credible. Overall, Ronstadt's vocals strike a balance between waif-like vulnerability and mature poise, taking these songs out of their period and making them valid for her own generation. What's New was a risky move that paid off, selling over two million copies. Impeccably sung and luminously arranged, it stands as a classic.

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