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"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. Their version was a worldwide success, topping the Irish Singles Chart and reaching the top 10 in several territories.

"Don't Know Much"
Linda Ronstadt Don't Know Much.jpg
Single by Linda Ronstadt featuring Aaron Neville
from the album Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind
ReleasedSeptember 12, 1989
RecordedMarch–August 1989
StudioSkywalker Ranch, Marin County
Linda Ronstadt singles chronology
"When I Fall in Love"
"Don't Know Much"
"All My Life"


The song 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. Glenn Jones also included a version of the song on his best-selling 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 versionEdit

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 United States in 1989, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1989, behind Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise",[2] and number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The single was Ronstadt's tenth top 10 hit and was certified Gold, eventually selling over 900,000 copies in the United States alone. In the United Kingdom, the song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The song also hit number one in Ireland, number two in Australia, and the top five in Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

"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 videoEdit

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.




  1. ^ Chilton, Martin (April 11, 2014). "Linda Ronstadt deserves Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honour". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Linda Ronstadt Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  3. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6658." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  7. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Know Much". Irish Singles Chart.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 2, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  10. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ " – Linda Ronstadt feat. Aaron Neville – Don't Know Much". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Linda Ronstadt Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Year-End Charts '89 – Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 3 March 1990. p. 16.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1990". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1990" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1990". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15.

External linksEdit