Linda Ronstadt

Duets

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By nature, Linda Ronstadt isn't a solo singer. She started her career in the Stone Poneys and during the height of her fame she was happy to harmonize on records by friends; later still, she joined Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris in the group Trio. Duets, a compilation released on the eve of her 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, doesn't concentrate on this considerable legacy as a harmonizer, preferring instead to pick 14 previously released duets from throughout Ronstadt's career, adding an unreleased version of "Pretty Bird" with Laurie Lewis as mild collector bait. Much of this dates from the latter part of Linda's career: it opens with three selections from Adieu False Heart, her 2006 album with Ann Savoy, and is anchored by her hit duets with Aaron Neville ("Don't Know Much," "All My Life") and James Ingram ("Somewhere Out There"), making a sideways glance at her career as a standards singer via an OK selection from Frank Sinatra's Duets album ("Moonlight in Vermont"). The liveliest stuff comes from her golden age of the late '70s -- "Hasten Down the Wind" with Don Henley, "Prisoner in Disguise" with J.D. Souther, "I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine" with James Taylor, "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)" with Emmylou Harris -- but generally, this Duets emphasizes the sweeter, softer, and slower side of Ronstadt, a move that makes for pleasant listening.

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