Even Linda Ronstadt fans dating back to the Stone Poneys could not have seen Heart Like a Wheel coming. The X factor in this 1974 multi-Grammy-nominated effort was Peter Asher, herein announcing himself a producer-arranger to be reckoned with. The scintillating song selection was not altogether different from country, folk, R&B, and rock repertoire Ronstadt had always embraced, but never had she sounded more in control, or more emotionally invested in every note she sang, as she did for Asher here. To this well-honed gift of hers Asher added a group of savvy SoCal musicians, many now familiar names, and brilliant musical touches, such as the winsome harmonica flittering through a torchy rendition of Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” a desolate banjo and weeping strings burnishing Andrew Gold’s “Faithless Love,” and—truly the heart of the matter, if you will—the anguished piano, the stark and lonely fiddle like a Greek chorus buttressing Ronstadt’s enveloping despair in the McGarrigle Sisters-penned title track. The simply superb sonics of this 180-gram audiophile vinyl version are crisp, clean, and clear as a chamber recording—a great album reborn in another Mobile Fidelity triumph.