Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good album, but beware the schmalz
Now, there is no doubt that at times this album lapses into hopeless schmalz ("Imagine" is a case in point) and, depending on your view of Dolly Parton, this will either be completely damning or completely redemptive. However, there is no doubting that underneath all the layered harmonies, backing choirs and bluegrass frills, Parton is still a fine singer and, when she...
Published on 15 April 2006 by J. A. Turnbull

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure
Dolly Parton...doing cover versions of her favourite 60's and 70's songs...and joined by a plethora of special guests such as Norah Jones and Keith Urban...it hardly fills one with feelings of joy does it? Especially when you add in the reports that this is Dolly's "anti-war" album, a move which is particularily brave for a country and western act. Indeed I...
Published on 27 Mar. 2006 by IWFIcon


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good album, but beware the schmalz, 15 April 2006
By 
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
Now, there is no doubt that at times this album lapses into hopeless schmalz ("Imagine" is a case in point) and, depending on your view of Dolly Parton, this will either be completely damning or completely redemptive. However, there is no doubting that underneath all the layered harmonies, backing choirs and bluegrass frills, Parton is still a fine singer and, when she hits her stride, as in "Me & Bobby McGee", she's incredible. Elsewhere on the album, there are tracks that seem, at first listening, like potential car crashes (such as "Where Do The Children Play?" and the almost disco speed "Both Sides Now") but actually, after repeated listening, do start to grow on you, and that, I think, is true of the whole album: it is a grower, and, actually, a testimony to Parton as an interpreter of other writers' material, but if you don't have a strong stomach for bluegrass-lite sentimentality, I'd be wary.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is excellent, 17 Feb. 2006
By 
Mr. D. Burrows (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
I'm sorry but dispite my initial misgivings - another covers album - I must admit that this is far beyond the best I've heard to date. The songs are given a very sympathetic backing and Dolly's vocals are superb. She has included the writer or original singer on the track and anyone who can get Tommy James ("Crimson and Clover") back in the charts deserves ten stars anyway ..
The whole album retains a bluegrass feel and although Dolly's voice came out a bit twee on the 30 sec sample, on the cd itself it fits extremely well with the songs. The cd opens with a superb "Those were the days" with one Mary Hopkin on backing vocals and a Russian folk band at the fade out and it goes from strength to strength.
I'm biased towards the "Crimson and Clover" track and for once I can hear the lyrics but really once you've heard it all you won't turn it off. Just listen to her version of "Turn, turn, turn" or "Both sides now" - this is not a singer just doing a covers album but rather one catching up with her past.
Listen to her duet of "If i were a carpenter" it even puts the Johnny Cash version to shame .. my only regret with this cd is that like all good things it comes to an end too soon ..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding covers album, 11 May 2008
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
This is often regarded as Dolly's third covers album (after Great pretender and Treasures), but Dolly also recorded a Christmas covers album (Home for Christmas) and a gospel covers album (Precious memories) as well as an album of Porter Wagoner songs (My favorite songwriter Porter Wagoner). Nevertheless, if you're going to make comparisons, Great pretender (recorded during the Hollywood phase of Dolly's career) and Treasures (recorded during the mid-nineties when Dolly's albums weren't selling well) are the obvious albums to compare with. Actually, each of these albums differ in style so much that comparisons are pointless, even though one song (Turn turn turn) from Great pretender is reprised here.

I see from other reviews that while many people enjoy this album, others don't like it for a variety of reasons. I can understand that, but my tastes in music are fairly eclectic. Furthermore, I've spent more time through the years listening to Dolly's music than I have listening to any other artist, so I know not to have any preconceived ideas about what she records. This particular album features songs from the fifties, sixties and seventies recorded with country and bluegrass instrumentation. A stellar cast of supporting guests looks very impressive, though fans of those guests shouldn't buy the album in the hope of hearing their favorites because they'd have a hard job making most of them out. The prominence given to the names of some of the guests on the front cover may lead people to believe that this is a duets album, but there are only two duets here. The other tracks here are Dolly solos although some of the backing singers on these tracks are easier to discern than others.

One thing I learned from reading other reviews is that Dolly intended this to be an anti-war album, but that this concept would escape most people. Well, it certainly would have escaped me if I hadn't read those reviews. There are some obvious anti-war songs (Blowin' in the wind, Where have all the flowers gone, The cruel war, Imagine) and maybe some of the others can be interpreted that way, but I don't see the connection. One of the other songs (Turn turn turn), which is an extract from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, actually acknowledges that there is a time for war as well as a time for peace. Another song (Where the children play) is about environmental destruction. While war certainly causes that, the song specifically mentions roads and their vehicles (lorries) as the villians. The title track is about memories of good times past, which could be interpreted as remembering how things were before the war, but there are no references in the lyrics to suggest it. So maybe Dolly felt that four out of twelve songs were sufficient to get her message across, or maybe she saw some ant-war sentiment in the other songs that I don't. But it doesn't really matter because most people buying this aren't likely to be looking for an anti-war album anyway. Indeed, this album comes across as a good-time, fun album.

The title track has alway been one of my favorite songs. Originally a Russian folk song, the Limeliters (an American folk group) recorded an English language version in the sixties but their version was never released as a single. Welsh folk-pop singer Mary Hopkin launched her career with her cover of the song and scored a huge worldwide hit wit it, going all the way to number one in Britain. Mary contributed vocals (recorded in the Welsh capital, Cardiff) to Dolly's cover, but other singers also joined the supporting cast on this track including the Opry Gang (Jack Greene, George Hamilton IV, Jan Howard, Brenda Lee, Mel McDaniel, Jimmy C Newman, Jeannie Seely, Pam Tillis, Porter Wagoner and Billy Walker) and a choir. Despite (or maybe because of) the abundant backing vocalists, this track works very well. I've heard a few versions of this song including Dalida's French version (Le temps de fleurs) but not (yet) the Limeliters. This one is as good as any version I've heard.

The title track sets the standard for the album, not only for the quality (outstanding) but also for the mainly feel-good mood, although none of the other tracks feature as many backing vocalists. Blowin' in the wind (with backing by Nickel Creek and others), Where have all the flowers gone (with Lee Ann Womack and Norah Jones), Both sides now (with Judy Collins and Rhonda Vincent) and Turn turn turn are all brilliant, as are Twelfth of never (with Keith Urban) and If I were a carpenter (with Joe Nichols), which are both genuine duets - you can clearly hear the male vocals on these songs. Of all the songs here, I've heard more versions of Me and Bobby McGee than any other song here, but Dolly brings a freshness to this song that I find most welcome.

This is unquestionably an outstanding album that will appeal to most (but not all) of Dolly's committed fans as well as plenty of people who have never bothered with her music previously.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dolly's take on songs of the 60's and 70's, 20 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
Although I prefer listening to Dolly singing her own compositions, this is an enjoyable CD. She is joined
by some of the original singers on some tracks (Mary Hopkins/Cat Stevens) and with Keith Urban on a nice
bluegrass version of the “Twelve Of Never”. Standout tracks are “Where Do The Children Play” and
“ Turn, Turn, Turn”. The production and sound is first class. Of course Dolly can write her own songs which are equal or better than the songs on this album, but maybe she’s recharging her song writing batteries and this is a good alternative while we wait for the next CD of originals.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, a true Dolly album!, 24 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Those Were the Days (Audio CD)
Not being around in the 60s or 70s most songs on album are new to me so I have no previous judge point!
The album compared to Dolly's recent roots albums is quite upbeat and there isn't really any slow sad song on the album, which I have previously liked on other albums!
Highlights are 'Those Were The Days' Jewish sounding and an excellent opening song, great little party tune! 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone' is one of the few slow songs on the album with Dolly going for a more restrained high vocal sound. 'Where Do The Children Play' is probably my 2nd favourite on the album, pure heaven to hear! 'Turn, Turn, Turn' yet again another catchy tune that goes well with the rest of the album! Imagine is out of this world, I never liked the orginal but this version brings a new light to the song!
Overall the album flows very well and Dolly sounds great on all tracks! Only bad point is that it is over to soon and that Dolly does quite a few of the same Oh's in the beginning of songs!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Until The 12th Of Never...I Will Love this CD, 12 Oct. 2006
By 
Joe Skelly "Joe Skelly (Partin Glances)" (Cumbria, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
Now then - at first I thought this Dolly project would be a little bit sugary. Well, I needn't have worried. The CD opens with the lovely rendition of the ole Mary Hopkin song THOSE WERE THE DAYS - a nice folky tune, you can't help tapping your foot along to this.

The song Twelfth of Never is awesome. It's sung with Aussie bloke Keith Urban and at first it seems a little too fast - listen to it a couple of times and you will be hooked.

Where Do The Children Play is great - indeed it's performed much better than the original Cat Stevens recording!!

The poorer track on the album is Me and Bobby McGee -I just doesn't work for me.

Both Sides Now is brilliantly done and Dolly's vocal range rings true on this song.

The most wonderful track on the album (and I always hated it in the past) is the song Imagine - Dolly say's 'You may say that I'm a Dreamer (Some say I am..)' so camp and excellent. This song will move you to tears - a remarkable album from the truest country icon of world - DOLLY.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still excellent after all these years, 7 Mar. 2006
By 
Leonard Fleisig "Len" (Virginia Beach, Virginia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
I've always thought Dolly had a wonderful voice. I've also come to realize that she is a genuinely good-hearted soul. I'm something of a long-time fan so I purchased "Those Were the Days" on an impulse and hoped for the best. I wasn't disappointed even if it doesn't quite come up to the matchless beauty of "The Grass is Blue" or "Little Sparrow", my personal Parton favorites.
Parton has taken 12 hits from the 60s and 70s and added bluegrass arrangements. These arrangements are lusher and more "Nelson Riddle-like" than the simple, classic blue grass arrangements found on Little Sparrow or Grass is Blue) but the blue grass influence is still very evident. Dolly invited `some friends" including some of the original artists to join in. For example, Mary Hopkins joins Dolly in Those Were the Days, Kris Kristofferson in Me and Bobby McGee, Cat Stevens in Where Do the Children Play, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and Judy Collins in Both Sides Now.
Dolly is in fine voice and carries these covers off with aplomb and showmanship. Those Were the Days, Where Have all the Flowers Gone (with Norah Jones and Lee Ann Womack), and Blowing in the Wind (with Nickel Creek) were excellent. I'm afraid I never did like Crimson and Clover and Dolly was not able to change my mind. Dolly closes "Those Were the Days" with John Lennon's Imagine. There are very few songs as closely linked to a singer as Imagine is to John Lennon. It is hard to imagine anyone being able to pull it off. Well, Dolly does - to an extent. Her rendition is excellent and she avoids the slavish imitation that bedevils many performers covering songs by Lennon or Sinatra for example. As good as Dolly's version is, my own memories of Lennon are too strong and probably caused me to pull back from complete acceptance of Dolly's version. This is no fault of Dolly's, just my own preference.
As mentioned, this may not be the best album that Dolly has ever made but it is darned good. More importantly, it was fun to listen to, particularly if you are old enough to remember the songs in their original incarnations. If you like Dolly, Those Were the Days will make an excellent addition to your collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Until The Twelfth of Never - I Will Love This CD, 20 Sept. 2005
By 
Joe Skelly "Joe Skelly (Partin Glances)" (Cumbria, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Those Were the Days (Audio CD)
Now then - at first I thought this Dolly project would be a little bit sugary. Well, I needn't have worried. The CD opens with the lovely rendition of the ole Mary Hopkin song THOSE WERE THE DAYS - a nice folky tune, you can't help tapping your foot along to this.
The song Twelfth of Never is awesome. It's sung with Aussie bloke Keith Urban and at first it seems a little too fast - listen to it a couple of times and you will be hooked.
Where Do The Children Play is great - indeed it's performed much better than the original Cat Stevens recording!!
The poorer track on the album is Me and Bobby McGee -I just doesn't work for me.
Both Sides Now is brilliantly done and Dolly's vocal range rings true on this song.
The most wonderful track on the album (and I always hated it in the past) is the song Imagine - Dolly say's 'You may say that I'm a Dreamer (Some say I am..)' so camp and excellent. This song will move you to tears - a remarkable album from the truest country icon of world - DOLLY.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun pop album, 23 July 2006
By 
Peter Uys "Toypom" (Sandton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
Those Were The Days is an delightful excursion into nostalgia as Dolly Parton covers hits from the 1960s and 70s, often accompanied by the original hitmakers. This is definitely not an album of authentic country music, despite the country instrumentation, but rather a set of pop covers of memorable songs from days gone by.

Mary Hopkin and Porter Wagoner assist on the title track with its pub ambience, whilst on the Dylan anthem Blown' In The Wind, Dolly is accompanied by Nickel Creek. Where Have All The Flowers Gone, with Norah Jones, gets a sensitive interpretation whilst Twelfth Of Never, with Keith Urban, is lilting and soulful.

Me And Bobby McGee, with Kris Kristofferson, is one of my favorites. The arrangement is close to the legendary version by Janis Joplin, especially at the climactic end. In other words, not at all similar to Kristofferson's original or Gordon Lightfoot's cover from 1971. Another stroke of brilliance is Crimson And Clover which sounds great with a simpler treatment, although the original psychedelic version remains a gem.

Other highlights include Turn, Turn, Turn with Roger McGuinn, the duet with Joe Nichols: If I Were A Carpenter with its lovely harmonies, and the robust Both Sides Now, where Judy Collins and Rhonda Vincent contribute their voices for a powerful and uplifting listening experience.

The music is mostly breezy and done in a singalong style, but no less enjoyable for that. It will appeal to fans of feelgood pop music, and not so much to those who prefer solemn or definitive country versions of these legendary songs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure, 27 Mar. 2006
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Those Were The Days (Audio CD)
Dolly Parton...doing cover versions of her favourite 60's and 70's songs...and joined by a plethora of special guests such as Norah Jones and Keith Urban...it hardly fills one with feelings of joy does it? Especially when you add in the reports that this is Dolly's "anti-war" album, a move which is particularily brave for a country and western act. Indeed I still don't think the Dixie Chicks have quite recovered from their anti-war backlash.
Fear not though, as the result is not as unimaginably bad as you might fear. Quietly Dolly has undergone a renaissance recently, ever since 2000's Grass Is Blue, and whilst this is not the bluegrass we have come to expect from Dolly recently the emphasis is still very much on the acoustic. And therein lies the problem. Some of the tracks are perfectly pleasant but few show any real spark or imagination. Exceptions though are to be found. Me & Bobby McGee (a song perfect for the Parton treatment) and If I Were A Carpenter, which almost outranks the Johnny Cash version, which give old classics a vivid, if again a not entirely fresh, update.
For the most part the tunes are handled respectfully and for those who like this sort of thing, you probably won't be disappointed. The anti-war doctrine will probably pass most casual listeners by as well which probably proves that for all her bluster, Parton knows where her bed lies. And hey, at least her version of Imagine is a hell of a lot better than Madonna's...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Those Were The Days
Those Were The Days by Dolly Parton (Audio CD - 2006)
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews