Part of her impeccable string of mid-1970s albums that defined Californiaâ€™s soft-rock scene, Linda Ronstadt's Grammy-winning Hasten Down the Wind is the vocalist at her bestâ€”and thatâ€™s saying something. Just consider the watertight repertoire: The Warren Zevon title track. Patsy Clineâ€™s (by way of Willie Nelson) â€œCrazy.â€ Buddy Hollyâ€™s â€œThatâ€™ll Be the Day.â€ Nelsonâ€™s â€œDown So Low.â€ This is a canâ€™t-miss affair.
Now the album finally has the exquisite sound it has always deserved. Listeners can now literally feel Ronstadtâ€™s deep-seated emotions. Even better, her covers of affecting ballads intentionally revolve around vocal-heavy arrangements. Itâ€™s no wonder that the album, which topped the country charts, also yielded two Top 20 hits and resulted in the artistâ€™s first platinum-record award.