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Living in the U.S.A.

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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Linda Ronstadt (vocals); Dan Dugmore (electric & pedal steel guitars); Waddy Wachtel (electric guitar, background vocals); David Sanborn (alto saxophone); Don Grolnick (piano); Mike Mainieri (vibraphone); Kenny Edwards (bass, background vocals); Russell Kunkel (drums); Peter Asher (cowbell, tambourine, background vocals); Andrew Gold, Pat Henderson, Sherlie Matthews, David Lasley, Arnold McCuller (background vocals).
  • Recorded at The Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California from May 5 to July 3, 1978.
  • As the '70s were drawing to a close, Linda Ronstadt began to make some slight alterations to her image and the kind of songs she sang. The cover for 1978's LIVING IN THE U.S.A. showed Ronstadt--who usually wore flowing dresses on roller skates, sporting short shorts and a satin jacket. And while she once again drew upon the work of songwriters whose work she had covered previously (J.D. Souther, Smokey Robinson), she also included songs by such bright stars of the moment as Elvis Costello (a nice reworking of "Allison") and Warren Zevon ("Mohammed's Radio.")
  • The biggest hit on the record was the lead track, an energetic version of Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A", in which Ronstadt continued her tradition of '50s covers (she had already scored big with Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison songs). She also enjoyed considerable chart success with Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby" and her perky version of "Just One Look," which was, unfortunately, later used as a jingle in a camera commercial.
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