December 18, 2010 – 4:02 am

The music industry is killing itself when it no longer respects artists who helped them build their business.


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Ultrasonic Studios [Mid Valley Records, 1CD]

Live at Ultrasonic Studios, Washington Ave, New Orleans, USA; April 7, 1990. Excellent soundboard stereo.

Did you know that last year, Warner Music removed from circulation the following Linda Ronstadt albums - Get Closer, Cry Like A Rainstorm (Howl Like The Wind), We Ran and Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions? Winter Light went out-of-print a year earlier in 2008.

This year the Japanese bootleg label Mid Valley surprised collectors with the release of a Linda Ronstadt session, Ultrasonic Studios. The cover art has a 3M tape box naming the producer as Peter Asher and the engineer as George Massenburg. The session was held in New Orleans.

This appears to have been recorded right after the success of her 1989 album, Cry Like A Rainstorm, which also included duets with Neville Brother, Aaron. One track here, Close Your Eyes, would later be re-recorded with Ronstadt as producer for Aaron Neville’s solo album Warm Your Heart. Whatever tracks that were later released were all re-recorded elsewhere or had additional work done to them. Neville’s album was recorded in California.

By the ’90s, Ronstadt had already moved far away from California Rock or Soft Rock. She’d become a mature song stylist working with Nelson Riddle and offering a trio of world music albums. But the business beckoned and she’d made one more pop album with Cry Like A Rainstorm which earned her two Grammys and sold for her record label three million copies.

This session in New Orleans might have been an attempt to repeat that formula. However, with the exception of Close Your Eyes which was another duet with Aaron Neville, the rest of the songs did not make it out until 1998. Two remain unreleased. In the interim, Ronstadt made Frenesi, produced her first album with Winter Light and recycled her Trio II recordings and released Feels Like Home.

Two tracks from the New Orleans session were finally brought out when she attempted her second self-produced album, We Ran, in 1998. But poor health led her to send for producer Glyn Johns who made We Ran a rock album, rather than a rock ‘n’ roll album that Ronstadt had originally planned. It would be the last rock album, to date, that Ronstadt recorded. Here’s why:

“…it’s very important for me to not have my middle-age be a repeat of my youth, and my old age to not be a repeat of my middle-age. Whatever it is, there’s blessings and there’s disadvantages of all those things, and I want the genuine blessings.”

She said that in 1998.
Read the full interview here.

Ronstadt, 64, is no recluse. If she’s not chasing for chart action it’s because she’s been there and done that. Right now travelling and playing in big halls/arenas are not her “thing”. She’d rather be at home. Too bad her label has other ideas and not creative ones at that. Artists like Ronstadt need to be challenged to come out with something new and not made to recreate “glory days”.

Whoever passed that tape to Mid Valley, all Ronstadt fans are grateful. If anyone knows who played at the New Orleans sessions, please post the details.
- Professor Red

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Close Your Eyes :Vo  (3:30) (5.6MB)
Track 02. Close Your Eyes :Inst (3:18) (5.3MB)
Track 03. Wait, Wait, Wait :Vo (3:35) (5.7MB)
Track 04. Wait, Wait, Wait :Used For Intro (3:29) (5.6MB)
Track 05. Wait, Wait, Wait :Inst (3:25) (5.5MB)
Track 06. Ruler Of My Heart : Inst (3:49) (6.1MB)
Track 07. Ruler Of My Heart : Intro (Take.7-18) (4:39) (7.5MB)
Track 08. Cry Until My Tears Run Dry :Vo (4:09) (6.6MB)
Track 09. Cry Until My Tears Run Dry : Vamp-1 (0:46) (1.2MB)
Track 10. Cry Until My Tears Run Dry : Vamp-2 (1:11) (1.9MB)
Track 11. Cry Until My Tears Run Dry : Inst (4:06) (6.5MB)
Track 12. World I Never Made :Vo (3:55) guide vocal? (6.3MB)
Track 13. World I Never Made :Inst (3:38) (5.8MB)
Track 14. Too Soon To Know : Vo (2:58) (4.7MB)
Track 15. Too Soon To Know : Bass Od-1 (0:55) (1.5MB)
Track 16. Too Soon To Know : Bass Od-2 (0:40) (1.0MB)
Track 17. Too Soon To Know : Inst (2:29) (4.0MB)

Note: A different version of Close Your Eyes was released on Aaron Neville’s 1991 album Warm Your Heart.

Ruler Of My Heart and Cry Until My Tears Run Dry finally made it on Linda Ronstadt’s 1998 album, We Ran. Both were different recordings with input from We Ran’s producer Glyn Johns.

Too Soon To Know was rerecorded for the 1993 Linda Ronstadt album, Winter Light.

Both Wait Wait Wait and World I Never Made remain unreleased.

Don’t hesitate. You can still buy Linda Ronstadt’s out-of-print album Cry Like A Rainstorm (Howl Like The Wind). Click on the link to order the album.

  1. 4 Responses to “A WINTER’S TALE”

  2. now this is scary just mpoments ago i d/l a boot of hers from a n.o. session started to listen to her xmas set then figured let me check you gives out seeing that its been some six or so hours ago and i find this set atop all the other gifts you presented us with recently … excellent sound thanks it appears that not only the holiday spirit lingers among us

    By woodpeckerdeadwood on Dec 18, 2010

  3. sorry for the spelling mistakes[mpoments for moments,gives for guys etc.]i was caught up in the wonder of it all

    By woodpeckerdeadwood on Dec 18, 2010

  4. thanks for the linda!


    By I-) on Dec 19, 2010

  5. Thanks so much for this. Linda is awesome!!!

    By Gabriel on Dec 20, 2010

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