on 9 December 2013
A 3 CD collection consisting of 55 tracks recorded between 1966 and 1994. Mostly self-penned and sung without the technical wizardry so prevalent with artists today.
The songs are those made famous by Dolly, ie "Joshua", "Coat Of Many Colors", "Jolene", "Love Is Like A Butterfly", "My Tennessee Mountain Home", "The Bargain Store", "Applejack". (After the original recording of this track, Dolly was not satisfied, so she called in everybody that was at hand, be they other artists, technicians and cleaners to sing in the chorus. Listen out for the unscheduled spoken part by Chet Atkins.) Then we have, "The Seeker", "Two Doors Down", "Baby I`m Burnin`", "You`re The Only One", "Here You Come Again", "Islands In The Stream". (Originally intended as a solo track for Kenny Rogers, Dolly was invited in and it became the biggest selling country music track of the year.) We then have "9 To 5", "I Will Always Love You". This original version by Dolly was gentler and more heart-rending than that of Whitney Houston. Another version by Katherine Jenkins, sung in Italian as an aria, was according to Dolly, `The most beautiful thing I have ever heard`.
We then have some tracks which are covers of other artists hits ie. "D I V O R C E" (pre - Tammy Wynette), "The Last Thing On My Mind", "Yours Love", "Just Someone I Used To Know", "In The Ghetto", "The House Of The Rising Sun", "Save The Last Dance For Me" plus 2 tracks with Tammy and Loretta Lynn, "It Was`nt God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" and "Silver Threads And Golden Needles".
From "Dumb Blonde", CD 1 track 1 to "More Where That Came From", CD 3 track 19, we are entertained with a selection ranging from the sad, tragic, heartfelt songs to the uptempo rock ballads. Nothing appears in any way dated as all stand the test of time.
Anyone who has had the privilege of seeing Dolly `live` will tell you that she is a sincere person, despite her often self-deprecating humour, who means what she sings and really feels the emotions of the songs. Let us not forget, however, that she also wears another hat, that of a successful business woman, in her own right. Long may they both reign.
Easy to take Dolly Parton for granted, she's been one of the most high-profile country singers for decades now, but that should never hide the fact that she's still one of the best.
Pretty much my only quibble with this 3-CD extravaganza is that the opportunity to fill all three discs to the brim has not been grasped. The average timing for each disc is around an hour. No matter, you get enough DP for the low price.
Most of what is here is vintage Dolly, with only one or two tracks on CD1 that I could have lived without.
The big hits are here: the timelessly stunning bittersweet song Jolene, her still unimprovable original version of I Will Always Love You, the irrepressible 9 To 5, her signature song Coat Of Many Colors, the lovely Tennessee Mountain Home, Here You Come Again, Working Girl, as well as duets with early musical partner Porter Wagoner, Ricky Van Shelton and, naturally, Kenny Rogers on Islands in the Stream. There are also two very welcome songs with Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn.
Few sing a ballad as affectingly as Dolly, and there are plenty of those here, along with all kinds of country, from backwoods simplicity to Nashville glitz to versions of old blues numbers (House of the Rising Sun) and pop-soul (a superb reinvention of the Drifters' Save the Last Dance For Me). On each song she sounds like she means every word.
Perhaps my favourite of the three splendid discs is the middle one - and it really is 'in the middle' of this foldout digipak compilation. It has such great songs as Two Doors Down, I Really Got The Feeling, Touch Your Woman, We Used To, You`re the Only One, My Blue Tears, and Lonely Comin' Down.
The first disc has, for me, a few too many undistinguished duets with Wagoner, whose voice was never that compelling - the solo tracks we might have had instead are the main reason for my withholding of a fifth star.
There aren't any notes, and only minimal track listings, but what's here is pure gold. Since so many Dolly comps are so incomplete, or simply don't do justice to the lady`s varied talents, this is one to be grateful for. It ain't perfect, but that would have been a big ask, as they say.
As it is, there's plenty of unadulterated Dolly here.
Nine out of ten.
on 17 September 2014
Had all but one of the Dolly Parton tracks I wanted. I often find it frustrating that you need to buy two, three or four CD's to get all the songs you want. You could say 'Then download, don't buy CD's.' I love CD's! Dolly's CD's also look like mini vinyl discs. Even better! When you have the discs you also listen to a track or two you'd not heard before and find you like them as much, or even more, than the tracks you bought the CD for. Opens up your ears.
on 16 January 2014
Excellent cd for the Dolly beginner,takes you right through four decades of Dollys career. Personally i prefer her sixties and early seventies songs,nevertheless some great colloborations with such great country greats as Loretta Lynn. All in all a pretty good cd which pretty much covers most of Dollys career.