Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best of Dolly Parton - Dolly Parton

Best of Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
RCA AHL1-1117

The CD era has rendered a lot of vinyl compilation albums obsolete.  You can cram more songs on a CD although I suppose it is debatable whether a lot of performers need more than 40 minutes to compile their “greatest hits”.  This album will never be obsolete though.  It is a perfect record, one of my favorites of all time.  I’m not a big country music fan, but that doesn’t matter because this is a great pop album that transcends genre.  Ten pristine tracks of Parton at her peak, before Hollywood and her regrettable attempt for mainstream success.  If you like Buddy Holly or Paul McCartney you should like “Jolene” regardless of how you feel about country music.  This album features heartfelt singing and brilliant songwriting throughout - pure American music at its finest.  Plus if you are lucky you might find a copy with a nifty poster of Parton inside.  I don’t know where to begin in singling out specific songs, they are all wonderful.  “Lonely Coming Down” gives me chills whenever I hear it and you’d have to be pretty heartless not to be moved by “Coat of Many Colors.”  "The Bargain Store" shows her typically inspired use of metaphors.  "My Tennessee Mountain Home" is warm and inviting, it makes me want to take a road trip to the Smoky Mountains.  I like the frankness of "Touch Your Woman," Parton lyrics are always worth paying attention to, she definitely has something to say.  The sweet sincerity of Parton’s original version of “I Always Will Love You” is infinitely superior to Whitney Houston’s histrionic cover version.  People might dismiss Parton because of her goofy persona and the mediocre music she made in the late 1970s and 1980s, but this record is proof positive that from 1969 to 1974, she was one of the great artists in American music, period, right up there with John Fogerty and Bob Dylan. A great, great record.  Recommended to anyone who has a heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment