Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Linda Rondstadt - Different Drum, and the Stone Poneys

Linda Rondstadt.  This is her collaboration lp called Different Drum.  It is her first compilation albumreleased on the Capitol label.  Half of the songs (those recorded in the 1960s) were taken from the second and third albums of hers with the Stone Poneys, while the other half are from her first three solo albums.  This album was issued ten months prior to the November 1974 release of her last album for Capitol, Heart Like a Wheel - which became her breakthrough #1 album – but after she had already signed with Asylum.  The album reached #92 on the Billboard Top LP's & Tapes album charts.  Tapes?  She covers Jackson Browne's Rock me on the Water quite nicely.  And two songs here are penned by Mike Nesmith (hey hey he's a Monkee), including the title track.  She also covers a Dylan tune, and one by Laura Nyro.  And also Goffin/King's Will You Still Love me Tomorrow.

Here is more about the Stone Poneys.  Linda visited a friend from Tucson, Bobby Kimmel, in LA during Easter break from college in 1964, and later that year, shortly before her eighteenth birthday, she decided to move there permanently to form a band with him.  Kimmel had already begun co-writing folk-rock songs with guitarist-songwriter Kenny Edwards, and eventually the three of them were signed by Nik Venet to Capitol in the summer of 1966 as "The Stone Poneys."

              The trio released three albums in a 15-month period in 1967–68: The Stone Poneys; Evergreen, Volume 2; and Linda Ronstadt, Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. III.   More than 40 years later, the song remains one of Ronstadt's most popular recordings.  Many of her songs, including "Different Drum," were written and composed by male songwriters and had minimal lyric changes, allowing Ronstadt to toy with gender roles that were in ferment in the 1960s and 1970s.  While the Stone Poneys broke up before the release of their third album, Kenny Edwards recorded and toured with Ronstadt from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.  (In 2008—as a testament to the continuing interest in Ronstadt's early work with this band - Australia's Raven Records released a compilation CD titled The Stone Poneys. The disc features all tracks from the first two Stone Poneys albums and four tracks from the third album.)

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