Mobile Fidelity - MFS1 1-472 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Linda Ronstadt's 1974 Breakthrough Remains a Paragon of Extraordinary Performance, Arrangement, and Songwriting: Heart Like a Wheel Features an All-Star Instrumental Cast and Singer at Her Best
Audiophile Clarity, Profound Depth, Lifelike Naturalism, and Transfixing Warmth: Numbered, Limited-Edition Mobile Fidelity Meticulously Mastered for Supreme Sound
How to put the ageless appeal, artistic splendor, and imaginative instrumental variety of Linda Ronstadt's Heart Like a Wheel in proper perspective more than four decades after its original release? For starters, the 1974 landmark earned three major Grammy nominations and won for Best Country Vocal Performance – Female. But that feat pales in comparison to what the record did for Ronstadt, who became the decade's most in-demand, multifaceted, and cherished female singer soon after it captured the public's attention. Or the fact that it remains a paragon of songwriting, arrangement, and performance – a trifecta that still holds sway in this era or any. Mobile Fidelity's reissue puts it over the top to stay.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system, presents Heart Like a Wheel with astounding clarity, depth, and naturalism. Still the most difficult instrument to accurately capture, the female voice is here conveyed with transfixing realism, warmth, and feeling. The inner beauty of Ronstadt's flawless phrasing and passionate inflections bears out with obvious candor, her tonality and emotiveness pouring through every lyric and wordless expression.
Yet the advantages of this limited, numbered-edition audiophile version extend far beyond the intimacy afforded Ronstadt's singing. Specifically, the majesty of Peter Asher's crafty arrangements now come to life like never before. Free of the fatiguing high frequencies and flat, dull responsiveness inherent on previous remasters and the original Capitol issue, respectively, this reissue sets the sonic standard and lets the extraordinary instrumental blends blossom with openness, airiness, and organic textures.
While Ronstadt's interpretive skills and stunning vocals remain front and center, the all-star cast of California-based musicians that helped transform Heart Like a Wheel into a 1970s mainstream pop-rock staple – and a lasting example of the period's laid-back West Coast sound – cannot be forgotten. Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Herb Pedersen, David Lindley, J.D. Souther, and Andrew Gold are just a few of the luminaries that ensure the Billboard chart-topping set rests on an unassailable foundation. Asher puts everything in the right place and, in concert with the headliner, chooses a repertoire of standards that both shakes up traditions and pays homage to them.
The other secrets to the record's distinctiveness lie with Ronstadt's versatility and passion, her uncanny ability to inhabit every lyric with conviction and believability, and her graceful technique. As Stephen Holden stated in his review of the album for Rolling Stone in early 1975, "No other pop singer so perfectly embodies the Western mythical girl/woman, heartbroken yet resilient and entirely feminine in the traditional sense. There is a throbbing edge to Ronstadt's honey-colored soprano that no other singer quite possesses – the edge between vulnerability and willfulness that I find totally, irresistibly sexy."
Ronstadt indeed proves seductive and inviting throughout, whether on the bluesy reading of Clint Ballad Jr.'s "You're No Good," harmony-rich treatment of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," folk-rock lilt of Lowell George's "Willin'," or soulful send-up of Phil Everly's "When Will I Be Loved?" Complete with piano, double bass, cello, viola, and fiddle, as well as support vocals from Muldaur, the cover of Anna McGarrigle's title track reinforces the one-of-a-kind expanse and all-for-one chemistry evident throughout the double-platinum effort – the kind of record they just don't make anymore.
Following the same formula as her early records, Heart Like a Wheel doesn't appear to be a great breakthrough on the surface. However, Ronstadt comes into her own on this mix of oldies and contemporary classics. Backed by a fleet of Los Angeles musicians, Ronstadt sings with vigor and passion, helping bring the music alive. But what really makes Heart Like a Wheel a breakthrough is the inventive arrangements that producer Peter Asher, Ronstadt, and the studio musicians have developed. Finding the right note for each song -- whether it's the soulful reworking of "When Will I Be Loved," the hit "You're No Good," or the laid-back folk-rock of "Willing" -- the musicians help turn Heart Like a Wheel into a veritable catalog of Californian soft rock, and it stands as a landmark of '70s mainstream pop/rock.
Linda Ronstadt's fifth solo album released in 1974 is considered to be Ronstadt's masterpiece recording which pioneered the blueprint for country rock. The album spent 51 weeks on the Billboard album charts and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance Female for the single "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)".
A gorgeously arranged and beautifully sung record, featuring performances by J.D. Souther, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Tim Schmidt, Emmylou Harris (a frequent collaborator with Ronstadt), Maria Muldaur, Kenny Edwards and Andrew Gold.
"There's no way that I can be objective and say one album is better than another," Ronstadt told Rolling Stone in 1978. "I never listen to them anyway." But millions of other people did, especially to this record, where she displays her vocal flexibility and rock grit on "You're No Good" and a country twang on a cover of Hank Williams Sr.'s "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)." Collaborating with producer Peter Asher, Ronstadt blends quality oldies (the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved?") and hip songwriters of her era (Lowell George, Anna McGarrigle), gracing each composition with her golden voice." - www.rollingstone.com
"So very SoCal (her band became the Eagles), Ronstadt was more empathetic interpreter than songwriter. But she could knock out a pop song... (like) "Long Long Time," where she sounds like a girl next door with a voice that can peel chrome." - rollingstone.com
• Numbered, 33rpm eLimited Edition
• Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
1. You're No Good
2. It Doesn't Matter Anymore
3. Faithless Love
4. The Dark End of The Street
4. Heart Like A Wheel
5. When Will I Be Loved
7. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)
8. Keep Me From Blowing Away
9. You Can Close Your Eyes
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.