Linda Ronstadt & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra "What's New" LP (1983)
Details: Linda Ronstadt's certified triple platinum album of adult standards, dedicated to her father. Stephen Holden of The New York Times noted the significance of the album to popular culture when he wrote that What's New "isn't the first album by a rock singer to pay tribute to the golden age of pop, but is ... the best and most serious attempt to rehabilitate an idea of pop that Beatlemania and the mass marketing of rock LPs for teen-agers undid in the mid-60s. In the decade prior to Beatlemania, most of the great band singers and crooners of the 40s and 50s codified a half-century of American pop standards on dozens of albums, many of them now long out-of-print."
Description: "What's New is an album of traditional pop standards released by American singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt in 1983. It represents the first in a trilogy of 1980s albums Ronstadt recorded with bandleader/arranger Nelson Riddle. John Kosh designed the album covers for all three albums.
The album was a major change in direction because Ronstadt was then considered the leading female vocalist in rock. Both her record company and manager, Peter Asher, were very reluctant to produce this album with Ronstadt, but eventually, her determination won them over and the albums exposed a whole new generation to the sounds of the pre-swing and swing eras. The one-time popular music is sung by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, and their contemporaries who were relegated in the 1960s and 1970s to Las Vegas club acts and elevator music. Ronstadt later remarked that she did her part in rescuing these songs which she called "little jewels of artistic expression" from "spending the rest of their lives riding up and down on the elevators." The album's second single, "I've Got a Crush on You" had already been part of Ronstadt's repertoire for several years, as she'd performed it during a 1980 appearance on The Muppet Show."
Grade: NM (Cover) / NM (Record)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. What's New
A2. I've Got A Crush On You
A3. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
A4. Crazy He Calls Me
A5. Someone To Watch Over Me
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
B2. What I'll Do
B3. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)