When Simple Dreams came out in September 1977, it became Linda Ronstadt’s fifth consecutive platinum-certified album. A few months after its release, Simple Dreams would also end Fleetwood Mac’s record-breaking 29-week stay atop the Billboard Album Chart when it replaced Rumours at #1.
And now, 40 years later, Rhino has endeavored to create a new version that features remastered audio plus a trio of live songs taken from a 1980 concert performance with Simple Dreams: Expanded Edition, which will be released on September 15, 2017 on CD, LP with bonus 7-inch, digital download, and streaming services.
And as the HRAC faithful well know, Ronstadt has a long history of supporting hi-res in general (something you can visit/revisit in my interview with her about it right here), and a good bit of her catalog is available in 96/24 and 192/24 over on HDtracks.
Simple Dreams spawned two massive hits, thanks to Ronstadt’s cover of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy,” which peaked at #5, and a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” that reached #3 on the Pop Chart and #2 on the Country Chart. In 1978, that platinum-certified single earned Ronstadt Grammy nominations for both Record of the Year and also Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. The album also won the Grammy for Best Recording Package.
Along with those two major hits, Simple Dreams also featured several tracks that would emerge as fan favorites, like Ronstadt’s take on Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” and The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” Country superstar Dolly Parton joined Ronstadt on the traditional ballad “I Never Will Marry,” a Top 10 hit on the Country charts. (And almost a decade later, Ronstadt, Parton, and Emmylou Harris would release their first Trio album.)
In addition to newly remastered sound, the Expanded Edition of Simple Dreams also includes bonus live recordings of “It’s So Easy,” “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” and “Blue Bayou.” All three are taken from a concert recording that originally aired on HBO in 1980, and are available here for the first time as standalone audio tracks.
The album’s success also spread beyond America, hitting #1 in Australia and Canada, as well as having reached the Top 20 in the Netherlands, France, New Zealand, and the U.K.
1. “It’s So Easy”
3. “Simple Man, Simple Dream”
4. “Sorrow Lives Here”
5. “I Never Will Marry”
6. “Blue Bayou”
7. “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”
8. “Maybe I’m Right”
9. “Tumbling Dice”
10. “Old Paint”
11. “It’s So Easy” – Live*
12. “Blue Bayou” – Live*
13. “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” – Live*
*Also included on bonus 7-inch LP version