In the mid 1970s a young singer chose a popular song and took it to number one: You’re No Good by Linda Ronstadt.
Written by Clint Ballard Jr., the song was first performed by Dee Dee Warwick in 1963 as a single, who was a sister of singer Dionne Warwick.
The song was consequently covered by Betty Everett and UK group The Swinging Blue Jeans.
The versions each made the chart, but it was Linda Ronstadt who took the version higher. She had started using the song in live performances in 1973, and appeared on the Burt Sugarman’s The Midnight Special in December 1973, performing that song.
In 1974, Ronstadt was recording her album Heart Like a Wheel and added You’re No Good to the repertoire to be recorded, a last minute addition.
When Ronstadt’s album was released, Capitol Records decided at the last minute to release the song as her first single in November 1974. This was her fifth studio album, and became her breakout album.
Climbing the Billboard Hot 100 charts, You’re No Good hit number one in February 1975, and charted in several other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. Ronstadt’s cover became the most successful version of the song.
As well, the B side of the single, I Can’t Help It, hit number two on the Country Music charts. Heart Like a Wheel became a double platinum selling album and was nominated for the Grammy for Album of the Year.