Linda Ronstadt

How Do I Make You

Song Review by

With some help from California's the Cretones, Linda Ronstadt managed to put two of Mad Love's tracks on Billboard's Top Ten singles chart. Ronstadt's cover of Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Hurts So Bad" went all the way to number eight in April of 1980, but, two months earlier, one of the rockiest songs that she had ever sung went to number ten. "How Do I Make You"'s quick tempo and pulsating pace had Ronstadt showing some new wave spunk mixed with a desire to rock out a little. It was a far cry from the ballads, the love songs, and the ample amount of cover versions that she had charted with in the past, and despite Mad Love's number 65 placing on the album charts, it was this releases most refreshing cut. Short but chock-full of life, "How Do I Make You" was quick on the draw, both lyrically and rhythmically. With Nicolette Larson on backing vocals, the song also sports excellent guitar work via Mark Goldenberg and some frantic drum playing which pulls Ronstadt's voice right along. The song attracted audiences who wouldn't normally pay much attention to Ronstadt's music, while it proved that she could just as easily put a mover on the charts and didn't have to rely on easy listening or adult contemporary-styled tunes if she didn't want to. But Ronstadt wanted to, since that was the formula that gave her 13 Top 40 hits before Mad Love's release. The song still stands as one of Ronstadt's catchiest tunes, even though it may stick out from the rest of her material.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Greatest Hits, Volume Two 1980 Elektra / Asylum 2:21
Mad Love 1980 Elektra / Asylum 2:25
Rockin' Ladies of the 80s 1990
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:22
Sounds of the Eighties: The Early '80s 1996
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:20
3 for One 2000 WEA International 2:21
All the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Bros. / Warner Music 2:24
Collector's Edition 2009 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:19
Original Album Series 2010 Rhino 2:24
Just One Look: Classic Linda Ronstadt 2015 Elektra / Rhino 2:17
Greatest Hits [2015] 2015 Elektra / Rhino 2:17
The 80's Studio Album Collection Elektra / Rhino 2:25