Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good

Great song by the one and only Linda Ronstadt. “You’re No Good” was written by Clint Ballard, Jr., who also wrote songs for Connie Francis and The Hollies.

This song had been around for a while before Linda Ronstadt took it to the top of the chart. It was originally recorded by Dee Dee Warwick in 1963. Her version stalled at #117.

The song was on the album Heart Like A Wheel produced by Peter Asher and it peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart and #7 in Canada.

Heart Like a Wheel became Ronstadt’s first album to hit the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and spent four weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Country Album chart in early 1975.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #7 in Canada, and #24 in New Zealand in 1975.

Linda Ronstadt:  “I thought the production on ‘You’re No Good’ was very good but [that] I didn’t sing it very well. As a song it was just an afterthought. It’s not the kind of song I got a lot of satisfaction out of singing.”

 

From Songfacts

One of the most blatant and memorable songs in the “no-good man” milieu,

Betty Everett had more success with her version, which went to #51 in 1964. First released on her 1963 album of the same name, Everett recorded the song at Chess Records in Chicago, with Maurice White on drums (White, who later formed Earth, Wind & Fire, was a staff drummer at Chess early in his career). Everett was a former gospel singer who, like Ronstadt, had a very powerful voice. Her next single, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss),” became her biggest hit.

The song made one more chart appearance in 1964 when the British male band Swinging Blue Jeans switched the gender and took the song to #97 in the US and #3 in the UK, where it became the best-known rendition of the song.

A decade later, Ronstadt started performing the song and recorded it with her producer Peter Asher. Released as a single from her fifth album, the song was a huge breakthrough for Ronstadt, whose chart success to this point was sporadic (her biggest hit to then: “Long, Long Time” at #25). She became one of the biggest stars of the ’70s, known for her musical versatility and impressive vocal range. Most of her hits were cover songs, including the follow-up, “When Will I Be Loved,” originally recorded by the Everly Brothers.

This song makes it quite clear that the lowdown guy is no good, but in the second verse, Ronstadt turns it around, as she’s done some bad things herself and deserves some comeuppance:

I broke a heart that’s gentle and true
Well I broke a heart over someone like you
I’ll beg his forgiveness on bended knee
I wouldn’t blame him if he said to me
You’re no good

By the third verse, she’s back to bashing the guy:

I’m telling you now baby and I’m going my way
Forget about you baby ’cause I’m leaving to stay

Heart Like A Wheel was the first album Peter Asher produced for Ronstadt, and the results were spectacular. With his duo Peter & Gordon, Asher had a #1 hit in 1964 with “A World Without Love,” and later became head of A&R at The Beatles’ Apple Records, where he began a longstanding relationship with James Taylor.

In a Songfacts interview with Asher, he explained that getting the most out of Ronstadt meant listening to her and honoring her ideas. “I may have listened to her with a bit more attentiveness than others had in the past,” he said. “There was, particularly back in that era, an element of, ‘Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that, I know what’s best.’ Linda knew a lot and was not given credit for it.”

Van Halen recorded this for their second album. It was one of many successful cover songs by the group; Others include Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman,” The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” and Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street.” This is the only cover on the album. Between 1978-1983, Van Halen released an album a year. Since they toured constantly, including cover songs on the albums helped ease the songwriting burden.

You’re No Good

Feeling better now that we’re through
Feeling better ’cause I’m over you
I learned my lesson, it left a scar
Now I see how you really are

You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

I’m gonna say it again
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

I broke a heart that’s gentle and true
Well I broke a heart over someone like you
I’ll beg his forgiveness on bended knee
I wouldn’t blame him if he said to me

You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

I’m gonna say it again
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

I’m telling you now baby and I’m going my way
Forget about you baby ’cause I’m leaving to stay
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

I’m gonna say it again
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good
Oh, oh no
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_Like_a_Wheel

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good”

  1. Great tune! If you think about it, there’s a bit of irony Linda Ronstadt dismissed her performance of a song titled ‘you’re no good.’

    Not only isn’t the statement inaccurate but Ronstadt was an amazing vocalist and versatile artist, who was a “late discovery” for me. Possibly the only tune I had known for many years was “Blue Bayou.” But for the longest time, I didn’t care about country, dismissing it as hillbilly music.

    It was really thanks to John Mellencamp and his gradual transition to Americana and country that I started to appreciate these music genres. Plus, once you take a closer look, you realize the spectrum of country is enormous with lots of cross-over into pop and rock. Nowadays, and I never thought I would say this, I dig country music quite a bit!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea that country rock is great…the crossovers like The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda was part of it.
      I grew up with her music because my sister had her greatest hits…I listened to it a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the song! I always liked her in the 70s, put out some really great music. And she seems like a very nice , polite person too which is not that common in entertainment. I have a really random memory from my childhood – probably late-70s , when I was in the 11 or 12 range… a review of a concert of hers in the newspaper with a B&W pic of her performing wearing a Maple Leafs hockey jersey, like a mini-dress. Somehow that image stayed with me in my head.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Linda Ronstadt plus what could pass as a mini dress would stick in my mind also.

      My sister had an album of hers growing up maybe some greatest hits I don’t know but I would listen to the music and stare at the cover… I wonder why?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my first boyfriends bought me “Heart Like a Wheel” (along with “Dark Side of the Moon”) and I fell in love with both of them. Linda has the voice of an angel. So funny that she thinks she didn’t sing well on it. It’s one of those albums where every word and nuance is known.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was great gifts!

      That woman could sing anything…it’s cruel what happened to her…glad she is still alive but it’s cruel.

      I want to read her book…she talks about meeting Janis…it’s so cool that they met…the torch was passed. I love reading about lineage.

      I love to know what artists I like feel about others…like what does McCartney feel about CCR? I don’t know why but I really like hearing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, yeah… Got this on my playlist.

    I’ve read about her over the years. She had a drug habit. Rolling Stone even reported on her nose issues from cocaine use. Drug use can contribute to Parkinson’s. Ozzy has tremors.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember now…yea poor Patty…lol. I was never a McEnroe fan…I would always root for Jimmy Connors lol.

        Like

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