Great Rock Albums of 1980: Linda Ronstadt- Mad Love


Throughout the entire decade of the 1970s, Linda Ronstadt produced a string of hits, most of which I liked. Her countryfied sound had a rock feel to it made her well known to many listeners, me included. I really enjoyed her sound and as a teenage male, liked the look of her as well and unlike some of my peers, I didn’t give a shit to the fact that she never wrote any of her songs. I still listen to great singles such as “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “It’s So Easy” and “Poor Poor Pitiful Me.” These were the songs that mad her a household name in the seventies.

I wasn’t surprised that when she brought out “Mad Love” in 1980, she, like Billy Joel with “Glass Houses,” decided to go for a more harder rock sound. The first song to reach my attention was “How Do I Make You” which let everyone know that Linda Ronstadt wanted to rock. She really propels herself into the vocals with this song backed up by a pretty decent guitar solo. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you took out the piano and added a harder guitar, a thrash band could easily do a cover of this song and it would sound pretty good. If one song wasn’t enough to convince people of her willingness to rock, the track “I Can’t Let Go” goes further to back up the statement. I love the guitars mixed in with her repeating backing vocals. The rest of the album is also full of some hard rocking, at least for her, tunes and even the more progressive sounding “Girls Talk” and the ballad “Hurt So Bad” does nothing to lessen the album’s sound.

Track Listing:

1. Mad Love

2. Party Girls

3. How Do I Make You

4. I Can’t Let Go

5. Hurt So Bad

6. Look Out For My Love

7. Cost of Love

8. Justine

9. Girls Talk

10. Talking in the Dark

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt- vocals

Doug Dugmore- electric guitars

Waddy Watchel- guitar, backing vocals

Mark Goldenberg- electric guitars, backing vocals

Bob Glaub- bass

Russell Kunkel- drums

Bill Payne- keyboards

Danny Kortchmar- electric guitars

Mike Auldridge- dobro

Peter Bernstein- accoustic guitars

Peter Asher, Steve Foreman- percussion

Michael Boddicker- synthesiser

Rosemary Butler, Kenny Evans, Nicolette Larson, Andrew Gold- backing vocals

 It has been said that in the early 80s, rock ruled the world. I don’t know if I agree with this but there was a move by some artists in 1980 to a more harder rock sound. I always believed that Linda Ronstadt always had the ability to do this and the album “Mad Love” is offered in evidence to the fact.

Next post: Grace Slick- Dreams

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4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Linda Ronstadt- Mad Love”

  1. I’m a big Ronstadt fan, too, and I recently discovered more about her backing band. They were known as “The Section” and they played on dozens of hits, including things like Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty”. Here’s a great article about them.


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