Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Linda Peters, Glasgow) Singer and songwriter who sang back-up for her ex-husband Richard (see below), a substantial artist in her own right. They split up c'82; his genius lay partly in transmuting loneliness bordering on misogyny into art, but her solo debut One Clear Moment '85 on WB was better than his Across A Crowded Room that year. She sang as well as ever on mostly her own fine songs, incl. 'Telling Me Lies' (co-written with Betsy Cook and soon memorably covered by the Trio with Linda Ronstadt singing lead: see Emmylou Harris). Linda also sang with the Home Service in their production of the Mediaeval Mystery plays. She played a week at Ronnie Scott's, but never enjoyed being on stage and subsequently lost her voice for a while: though a superb singer, she is not a born performer, like Richard (and one of her other old boyfriends, Martin Carthy). Her retrospective collection, Dreams Fly Away '96 on Hannibal, has 20 tracks ('72--87) mostly written or co-written by Richard (exceptions incl. 'Telling Me Lies' and her beautiful 'I Live Not Where I Love'); but her delivery of some of their best songs (as well as some that remained demos) raises the question: how much was he inspired by her voice? How is it that her versions sound like definitive ones? When it came to transmuting metaphysical unhappiness into art, they may have been partners in more ways than we knew. She is now happily married to an American, still writing with Cook (in '96 they were doing a song for Meat Loaf).