Essential Listening: Linda Ronstadt – A Party Girl In Dallas (CD)

A Party Girl In Dallas (CD)

By the end of 1978, Linda Ronstadt had solidified her role as one of rock and pop's most successful solo female acts, and owing to her consistent platinum album success, and her ability as the first-ever woman to sell out concerts in arenas and stadiums hosting tens of thousands of fans, Ronstadt became the highest paid woman in rock. She had six platinum-certified albums, three of which were number 1 on the Billboard album chart, and numerous charted pop singles. In the summer of 1980, keen to show she was more than a pop singer, Ronstadt began rehearsals for the first of several leads in Broadway musicals.

Cast in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, alongside Kevin Kline, she said singing Gilbert and Sullivan was a natural choice for her, since her grandfather Fred Ronstadt was credited with having created Tucson's first orchestra, and had once created an arrangement of Pirates. The production opened for a limited engagement in New York City's Central Park, eventually moving to Broadway, where it became a hit, running from January 8, 1981, to November 28, 1982. Newsweek was effusive in its praise: "... she has not dodged the coloratura demands of her role (and Mabel is one of the most demanding parts in the G&S canon): The Pirates of Penzance won several Tony Awards, including one for Best Revival.

In 1982, Linda released the album Get Closer, primarily a rock album with some country and pop too. It remains her only album between 1975 and 1990 not to be officially certified platinum. It peaked at number 31. The release however continued her streak of Top 40 hits with "Get Closer" and "I Knew You When" - a 1965 hit by Billy Joe Royal - while the Jimmy Webb song "Easy for You to Say" was a surprise Top 10 Adult Contemporary hit in the spring of 1983. "Sometimes You Just Can't Win" was picked up by country radio, and made it to number 27 on that listing. Ronstadt also filmed several music videos for this album which became popular on the fledgling MTV cable channel.

The album earned Ronstadt two Grammy Award nominations: one for Best Rock Vocal Performance/Female for the title track and another for Best Pop Vocal Performance/Female for the album. To support the release of Get Closer, Ronstadt embarked on a North American tour, remaining one of the top rock-concert draws that summer and fall. On November 25, 1982, her "Happy Thanksgiving Day" concert was held at the Reunion Arena in Dallas and broadcast live to NBC radio stations in the United States. The complete broadcast is presented in delightful re-mastered digital quality on this CD.

1. Tumbling Dice 03:47
2. It s So Easy 02:57
3. Party Girl 04:23
4. Get Closer 04:08
5. Willin 03:59
6. Sometimes You Just Can't Win 02:44
7. Heart Like a Wheel 03:17
8. I Can't Let Go 02:56
9. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress 03:20
10. That ll be The Day 02:41
11. Blue Bayou 04:32
12. Prisoner in Disguise 03:55
13. Silver Threads & Golden Needles 01:05
14. Easy For You to Say 04:44
15. Poor Poor Pitiful Me 03:51
16. You re No Good 06:14
17. Back in the U.S.A. 03:09
18. Heat Wave 02:46
19. Desperado 03:53

2 thoughts on “Essential Listening: Linda Ronstadt – A Party Girl In Dallas (CD)

  1. Nice writeup but the sound quality of this CD is poor. I would think being a concert that was so widely broadcast, there would be a more professional quality CD around somewhere??

    Also, why does it not have a picture of Linda Ronstadt on the cover? That picture is of Holly Aprecio, of a Linda Ronstadt cover band called Just One Look. http://www.justonelookband.com/

    If not for that, I’d say this is a true collector’s item…

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