Single Stories: Linda Ronstadt, LOVE IS A ROSE
In 1974, Neil Young worked on an album called Homegrown. When the project went unreleased, Young offered one of the songs to Linda Ronstadt: "Love is a Rose" (Young's version first appeared on 1977 compilation Decade).
For her version, Ronstadt kicked up the tempo and transformed it into the lead single from her 1975 full-length, Prisoner in Disguise, released August 19, 1975. The album's producer, Peter Asher, put together a crack band to perform on the down-home tune, including David Lindley on fiddle and Herb Pedersen on banjo. Kenny Edwards (who played with Ronstadt in her group The Stone Poneys) handled bass, Russ Kunkel played drums, and Andrew Gold was on acoustic guitar.
The single struck a chord with country fans, with "Love is a Rose" peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of November 29, 1975. The #1 song on the chart that week: Merle Haggard's "It's All in the Movies."
Over on the mainstream Hot 100, the tune reached #63 in September '75.