Sonic Grade: F
You’re looking at one of the worst audiophile disasters in recent memory. Talk about dead as a doornail sound, folks, if you own this pressing, take it from us, you don’t know what you’re missing. Buy the next domestic copy you spot at your local record store for five bucks and find out. No way it can sound as bad as this compressed, lifeless, dull “audiophile” record.
Shortly after the MoFi release of the album we decided not to carry their records anymore. Coincidence? We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The most common problem with these Ronstadt records from the ’70s is grainy, upper-midrangy sound. The average copy of Heart Like a Wheel, the album that followed this one, is pure transistory grain on most copies, making it practically unlistenable.
The average copy of Don’t Cry Now, though not quite as bad as HLAW, shares many of its shortcomings. The smooth copies that still have plenty of presence, life, energy and top end extension are the ones that really get this music sounding RIGHT.
I Believe in You
A funny thing happened while I was auditioning this record awhile back. I played side two about three times, and each time I found myself singing along with it. I Believe in You got stuck in my head, and it was driving me crazy. It’s a song I know well, I could sing the lyrics, but I could not for the life of me remember who wrote it. Bonnie Raitt? Emmylou Harris? I knew Linda didn’t make it famous, but who did?
What threw me off was the fact that I was hearing a woman sing it. It’s one of Neil Young‘s most famous songs, from the album After the Gold Rush, a record I must have played a hundred times and write extensively about on the site! I just couldn’t hear him in my head after hear Linda sing it.
Both versions are wonderful in their own right; I can’t say I prefer one to the other. When it comes to a Neil Young song, that’s high praise in my book.