The Story Behind Linda Ronstadt And Elvis Costello’s “Feud”

The Story Behind Linda Ronstadt And Elvis Costello’s “Feud” | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Linda Ronstadt in the trailer for her new documentary, Linda and the Mockingbirds - PCH Films / Youtube

Linda Ronstadt’s vocal prowess could easily adapt to any songs that are presented to her. But while she, unfortunately, stopped singing due to her illness, her absence in the industry is still a threat; in her career heyday, she singlehandedly dominated the charts with her covers.

Ronstadt resurrected songs that weren’t given that much appreciation before and rose its prominence in the pop charts. Fellow musicians and fans alike could tell you their tales on how Ronstadt deserves all the praise, yet, not everyone is a friend of hers, especially not with Elvis Costello.

Ronstadt’s 9th LP Living in the U.S.A was beloved by many as it blitzes through soul and rock favorites. Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ “Ooo, Baby Baby,” and Doris Payne’s “Just One Look” are among the highlights of this gem of an album. Moreover, the singer decided to end the first side with a contemporary rendition to Costello’s “Alison,” a track that the latter had released a year prior in his seminal album My Aim Is True.

In that sense, Costello quickly voiced out his opinion, calling the album “a waste of vinyl.” But the perplexed Ronstadt couldn’t understand why: for starters, she had been supportive to the musician’s career; her presence at Costello’s Hollywood High School set explains everything. Second of all, Ronstadt’s agents called day and night to ask permission if it’s possible for them to reach out to songs that the singer could cover. At the start of the 80’s decade, Linda’s back for more Costello covers: “Party Girl,” “Talking in the Dark,” and “Girls Talk” all inside her Mad Love album.

But years later, the pissed Costello has finally softened and even complimented Ronstadt’s acclaimed documentary about her life. “I urge you to see this wonderful documentary, whether or not you regard yourself a fan of the singer or her musical choices. Perhaps there are human qualities that endure beyond the fashionable poses we may have once affected,” he said back in 2019.