Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Can Close Your Eyes

I can't say that I'm a tremendous fan of Linda Ronstadt. Her song selection is flawless; her early albums in the 1970's highlighted such songwriters as Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Neil Young. Here interpretations are hit-or-miss, often very much the product of their era. Still, sometimes everything comes together perfectly, and the 1974 album "Heart Like A Wheel" is a prime example. Choosing a country-rock feel, Ronstadt is in her element as she covers songs previously performed by Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, and The Everly Brothers. The most famous covers are well known: "You're No Good" and "When Will I Be Loved", both of which hit the charts at #1 and #2 respectively.

The album is really flawless, including today's song: the disc's closer, James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes". Ronstadt's version is much stronger than the original, beautiful but certainly with a haunting, world-weary vibe. The background strings are perfect, tasteful and fit nicely with the acoustic guitar that open the song, and the slide guitar that joins in mid-song. I have often sang this to my children as they are lying in bed. Truly, this is one of the most beautiful songs I know.

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