After the critical and commercial smash Heart Like a Wheel, Linda Ronstadt could have had her pick of material from the day’s top songwriters.
Instead, she chose the wares of a couple of young artists on the rise, Warren Zevon and Karla Bonoff. Each provided her with first-rate material for Hasten Down the Wind: Zevon wrote the title track and Bonoff supplied ˝Someone to Lay Down Beside Me,˝ ˝Lose Again,˝ and ˝If He’s Ever Near.˝
Ronstadt also bravely covers songs already done definitively by others--Patsy Cline’s ˝Crazy,˝ Buddy Holly’s ˝That’ll Be the Day,˝ and Tracy Nelson’s ˝Down So Low˝--and emerges not merely unscathed, but triumphant.
She also presages the turn toward Spanish material her career took in the ’80s with ˝Lo Siento Mi Vida.˝ It’s easy to see why the public went wild for Hasten, Ronstadt’s first platinum album.