Following the same formula as her early records, Heart Like a Wheel
doesn't appear to be a great breakthrough on the surface. However, Ronstadt
comes into her own on this mix of oldies and contemporary classics. Backed by a fleet of Los Angeles musicians, Ronstadt
sings with vigor and passion, helping bring the music alive. But what really makes Heart Like a Wheel
a breakthrough is the inventive arrangements that producer Peter Asher
, and the studio musicians have developed. Finding the right note for each song -- whether it's the soulful reworking of "When Will I Be Loved," the hit "You're No Good," or the laid-back folk-rock of "Willing" -- the musicians help turn Heart Like a Wheel
into a veritable catalog of Californian soft rock, and it stands as a landmark of '70s mainstream pop/rock.