Leon Russell was a multi instrumentalist who is known as much for his songwriting as his performances. “A Song For You”, the very first song on his debut album has been recorded by over 200 different artists; the most popular version being cut to vinyl by the Carpenters who named their fourth album after the song. The song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018 as a recording of qualitative or historical significance.
Before recording his first solo album, Leon Russell’s had already been noticed by many notables in rock and roll and many of them helped him out on this record. George Harrison and Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones), Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Joe Cocker are just a few who help to make this one of the best debut albums in rock and roll history.
Linda Ronstadt is probably my favorite female singer of all time. Simple dreams probably my favorite album by her. She had the ability to phrase the lyrics of a song perfectly to the emotion in it. She had one of the most beautiful voices and knew how to adapt it for country, rock, or pop. On “Simple Dreams” she used it for all three.
One of the things I really liked about Linda Ronstadt is that she never placed a lot of Focus on her image. She focused on the music. She had the unique ability to take anything she chose to sing and make it her own. Even if it was a song that was a big hit by another artist, her version never sounded like a carbon copy and it was always exceptional.
Simple dreams is Linda Ronstadt’s most successful album ever. It’s sold more than three and a half million copies in its first year, surpassing Carole King’s “Tapestry” as the most successful album by female recording artist and was nominated for several Grammy awards.