Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2190 - SACD Hybrid Stereo
3,000 Numbered Limited Edition - Hybrid Sacd Plays On All CD Players
Half Speed Mastered by Rob LoVerde from the Original Master Tape
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Ultradisc UHR™ Hybrid SACD
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 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
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.
Mastered on our world-renowned mastering system, this hybrid SACD 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 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 SACD 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.
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Super Audio CD
• SACD Stereo SACD Layer
• This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
Acoustic Guitar – Andrew Gold
Arranged By – Gregory Rose
Bass – Kenny Edwards
Fiddle – David Lindley
Harmonica – Jimmy Fadden
Producer – Peter Asher
Vocals - Linda Ronstadt
1. You're No Good
2. It Doesn't Matter Anymore
3. Faithless Love
4. The Dark End of the Street
5. Heart Like a Wheel
6. When Will I Be Loved
8. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)
9. Keep Me from Blowing Away
10. You Can Close Your Eyes
Mobile Fidelity believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artifacts.
It is worth noting that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab stands out as one of few record labels that independently invests in research and development of audio technology. With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware. Mobile Fidelity is pleased to work with a variety of engineering legends and companies including Tim de Paravicini, Ed Meitner, Pass Labs, Theta Digital and Sony Electronics.
Our joint efforts to seek out the ultimate audio experience, has resulted in significant advances for the technology of music reproduction.
GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR™ Hybrid SACD and Ultradisc II™ 24kt Gold CDs
For over twenty years, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has continually searched for the ultimate audio experience. During this search MFSL engineers and associates created The GAIN™ System, a proprietary mastering technology which brought warmth and ambience to the compact disc format. A few years ago - with higher resolution formats on the horizon - the vision of GAIN 2™ began. As it stands today, GAIN 2™ is one of the greatest technical advancements in analogue and digital technology in the last ten years. It consists of a series of critical modifications and new components to Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering chain.
We feel that GAIN 2™ has come extremely close to meeting this goal. The key accomplishments of GAIN 2™ System are 1) the ability to extract all the musical information as possible through the Ultra High bandwidth analogue tape playback system with proprietary custom tape playback heads, reproducer electronics and 2) transparently capturing and storing that information with the Direct Stream Digital recording system.