Many artists have at least one unique idea during the course of their careers. Sometimes it works out well and at other times not so much. Dedicated To The One I Love is one of those other times for me.
Linda Ronstadt was about a month shy of fifty years old when she released this album. It was a compilation of lullabies for children. She took some classic rock ‘n’ roll songs and interpreted them for children or babies to be more exact.
I almost forgot I actually owned a copy of this album. It was released during June of 1996 when my children were in college and grandchildren were not in my immediate future. Maybe I picked it up second hand at a tag sale but it has resided in my collection for an indeterminate number of years. No doubt it appeals to someone with small children but if I’m going to listen to some Linda Ronstadt music, this is not a CD I would visit.
The choice of material is eclectic. The old classic “Dedicated To The One I Love,” the Ronettes “Baby I Love You,” plus “In My Room,” “Baby I Love You,” and “Angel Baby” are all interpreted with young children in mind. They are given gentle treatments. The purity of her vocals remains but the power is missing on many of the performances and for me at least, that is a loss.
The best track is a re-working of her own “Winter Light.” It was originally a sophisticated and complicated track. Here it is stripped down as it travels in a gentle direction and is an interesting counterpoint to the original. “Brahms’ Lullaby” is probably the type of material she should have sought out as it is perfect for the concept of the album plus Aaron Neville adds an additional relaxed feel.
The oddest inclusion is a slowed down version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” This rock classic is meant to be a high energy chant and not a children’s tune.
Dedicated To The One I Love is an oddity in the Linda Ronstadt catalogue but continued her resolve to travel in different directions and embrace many styles of music. It remains an interesting if odd stop on her musical journey. Its appeal is left for each individual to decide.