Don't Know Much

"Don't Know Much"
Single by Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville
from the album Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind
Released September 12, 1989
Recorded MarchAugust, 1989, Skywalker Ranch, Marin County
Genre Pop rock, pop, soft rock, adult contemporary
Length 3:35
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil & Tom Snow
Producer(s) Peter Asher & Steve Tyrell
Certification Gold
Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville singles chronology
"When I Fall in Love"
"Don't Know Much"
"All My Life"

"Don't Know Much" is a song written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Tom Snow. The original version of this song was recorded by Barry Mann in 1980 and was made famous when it was covered as a duet by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville in 1989.


The song had a rich history prior to its success in 1989. It first appeared on Barry Mann's self-titled 1980 album, released on Casablanca records. Bill Medley and Bette Midler (under the title "All I Need to Know") then had minor chart success with it in 1981 and 1983, respectively.

In 1985, Audrey Landers recorded the song as "All I Need to Know" for her second album for the German market, Paradise Generation, by Glenn Jones on his 1987 self-titled album for Jive Records, and gospel singer Cynthia Clawson also has a version under this title on her 1990 album Words Will Never Do.

In 2000, Barry Mann re-recorded the song with Brenda Russell on his album Soul and Inspiration released on Atlantic records.

Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville version

The song was covered on Linda Ronstadt's Triple Platinum 1989 album Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind. It was introduced to Ronstadt and Neville by Steve Tyrell. Co-produced by Tyrell and Peter Asher, it was released as a single in the U.S. in 1989, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December, 1989[1] (behind Phil Collins' Another Day in Paradise) and #1 (where it held for 5 consecutive weeks) on both the adult contemporary chart and pop sales charts. The single was certified Gold and eventually sold over 900,000 copies in the US alone. In the UK, the song peaked at #2 on the British pop chart. The song also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, Australia, and several other countries. The song proved to be Ronstadt's tenth Billboard Top 10 Pop hit.

"Don't Know Much" won Ronstadt and Neville the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and was nominated for Song of the Year.

Music video

In the music video, both Neville and Ronstadt portray a middle-aged couple that are remembering their past and all the difficulties that they seem to have faced together. The song is considered to be a symbolic representation of growing old together and being so unsure and unaware of the future, only knowing that it has been the same love which made it so much clear between them.


Chart Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 4
Canada (RPM)[5] 5
Ireland (Irish Singles Chart)[6] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 2
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[10] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 2



External links

Preceded by
"Healing Hands" by Elton John
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
October 28, 1989
Succeeded by
"Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins
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