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Linda Ronstadt | Live in Hollywood

This long-lost TV concert sheds new light on the oft-overlooked pop queen.

It’s so easy to overlook Linda Ronstadt. And sadly, it always has been. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, the supremely talented vocalist topped charts, sold out arenas and scored Grammys regularly — but still got short-shrifted by those who couldn’t see past her movie-star looks, soft-rock commerciality and gossip-column relationship with then-California Gov. Jerry Brown. Now that times have finally caught up with her greatness, she can’t reap the rewards: At 72, she’s unable to sing due to Parkinson’s Disease. So this vintage live album — her first official concert recording — is as close as we’re likely to get to anything new from her. Thankfully, it’s a winner. Taped in a TV studio in 1980 for an HBO special and recently unearthed after decades lost in the vault, the 12-track set (pared down by Ronstadt herself from the original 20-song performance) delivers a fine mix of big hits (You’re No Good, Hurt So Bad, I Can’t Let Go), old-school classics (Blue Bayou, Back in the U.S.A., It’s So Easy) and California rock gems (Willin’, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Desperado). Plus she’s backed by a band that includes guitarist Danny Kortchmar, drummer Russ Kunkel and Little Feat pianist Billy Payne. Granted, the broadcast-quality sound is a little thin and the synth drums date a few songs. Even so, Live in Hollywood serves as an excellent reminder of how great Ronstadt was in her heyday. Just one look is all it took.