Throughout her 45-year career, Linda Ronstadt wore many musical hats. She’s perhaps best known for her covers, but as she rose to pop fame in the 1970s, she garnered attention for beautifully blurring the lines between pop, rock and country. She also famously collaborated with other heroines of the pop-country crossover: In 1987, she released the aptly titled Trio with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, and they later returned with a sequel, Trio II, in 1999. But before all of that, Ronstadt was on her own, enchanting listeners with her ashy, folk-twinged country stylings, covering everyone from the Rolling Stones to Buddy Holly. She sadly lost her unforgettable voice to Parkinson’s disease in 2013, but her legacy remains intact, an influence on the soulful alt-country artists who followed her. Last year, her 1977 album Simple Dreams turned 40 and was treated to a remastered reissue.
On this day in 1975, Ronstadt enchanted concert-goers at the famed Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. She had just five days prior released Prisoner in Disguise, her sixth solo LP encompassing a collection of rock songs reimagined as Ronstadt country charmers. She played several of those covers that night at the Greek, including James Taylor’s “Hey Mister, That’s Me Up on the Jukebox” and Neil Young’s “Love Is A Rose.” She also performed her takes on the Eagle’s “Desperado” and Little Feat’s “Willin.’” From her own catalogue, she chose the dreamy banjo ditty “Faithless Love” (originally written by John David Souther). You can listen to the entire concert via the Paste vault below.
While you’re here, revisit our roundup of the 15 best Linda Ronstadt songs.