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Essential Dolly Parton
     

The Essential Dolly Parton

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by Dolly Parton
 

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A splendid tribute to a towering career, this double-disc, 37-track overview follows Dolly Parton through a host of milestones: her first charted single (1967's ironic "Dumb Blonde" -- ironic because she clearly wasn't one); her early autobiographical RCA monuments ("Joshua," "My Tennessee Mountain Home," "Jolene," and "Coat of Many Colors"); her tepid flirtation with

Overview

A splendid tribute to a towering career, this double-disc, 37-track overview follows Dolly Parton through a host of milestones: her first charted single (1967's ironic "Dumb Blonde" -- ironic because she clearly wasn't one); her early autobiographical RCA monuments ("Joshua," "My Tennessee Mountain Home," "Jolene," and "Coat of Many Colors"); her tepid flirtation with glossy pop productions ("Heartbreaker," "You're the Only One"); and her late-'80s/early-'90s return to a more contemporary country sound, as she finds her muscle again in self-penned numbers such as "Tennessee Homesick Blues" and "God Won't Get You" (both written for her movieRhinestone). Although many of the selections are geared to chart hits, some tunes still jump out as surprising. As a template for Dolly's cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" on her 2002 Halos & Horns album, consider the 1974 Porter Wagoner–produced, Parton-penned "We Used To," which cops the opening of "Stairway" and some of its melody and arrangement. Also worth a few more listens is the 1976 country-pop crossover hit "Light of a Clear Blue Morning," from Parton's first self-produced album, in which she meshes southern soul, gospel, and rock in a driving, visceral arrangement celebrating a triumph over hard times. Unfortunately, her wonderful duet recordings with Wagoner are represented only by the 1974 country chart-topper "Please Don't Stop Loving Me," and the Trio (Parton with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris) is also limited to one haunting track, a cover of Phil Spector's "To Know Him Is to Love Him." This is hair-splitting, though: In a catalogue this deep and rich, two discs cannot say it all. But these two say a lot in a condensed space.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There have been many, many Dolly Parton compilations over the years, but RCA/Legacy's 2005 set The Essential Dolly Parton is one of the handful that gets it right. Spanning two discs and 37 tracks, this set covers her entire career, from her 1967 debut, Hello, I'm Dolly, to her 2001 bluegrass comeback album, Little Sparrow, but the bulk of this set concentrates on her hitmaking years for RCA in the '70s and '80s. Since Dolly had so many hits, not all of them can be included even on a double-disc collection, but this does a tremendous job of picking the biggest and the best of them. Roughly, the first disc covers her first decade of recording, including a healthy dose of her inventive country-folk material from the early '70s, while the second disc covers her slicker crossover hits from the '80s. Dividing her material in this fashion makes each disc consistent within itself, and helps make this a more listenable set than such similar career-spanning collections as 1993's The RCA Years. While Raven's excellent Mission Chapel Memories: 1971-1975 documents her most creative period more effectively, this tells the story of her entire career, and it's the best of its kind of compilation yet assembled.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766924022
catalogNumber:
69240
Rank:
11925

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dolly Parton   Primary Artist,Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Vocals
Linda Ronstadt   Vocals
Nick DeCaro   Conductor
Kenny Rogers   Vocals
Ricky Van Shelton   Vocals
Porter Wagoner   Vocals

Technical Credits

Ricky Skaggs   Producer
Dolly Parton   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Donna Summer   Composer
Mike Post   Producer
Mort Shuman   Composer
Carole Bayer Sager   Composer
Robin Gibb   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Bruce Roberts   Composer
Phil Spector   Composer
Hugh Moffatt   Composer
Barry Gibb   Composer,Producer
Bob Carlisle   Composer
Albhy Galuten   Producer
Steve Buckingham   Producer,Audio Production
John Conroy   Packaging Manager
Nick DeCaro   Arranger
Bob Ferguson   Producer,Audio Production
Fred Foster   Producer
Val Garay   Producer
Maurice Gibb   Composer
Steve Goldstein   Arranger
Gary Klein   Producer,Audio Production
Charles Koppelman   Executive Producer
George Massenburg   Producer
Bill McElhiney   Arranger,Orchestration
Michael O'Donoghue   Composer
Dean Parks   Producer
Gregg Perry   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Doc Pomus   Composer
Karl Richardson   Producer
Ed Roland   Composer
Mike Settle   Composer
Bruce Sudano   Composer
Billy Vera   Composer
Porter Wagoner   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Holly George-Warren   Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Raeanne Rubenstein   Cover Photo
Margie Hunt   Executive Producer
Pebe Sebert   Composer
George Vaughn   Composer

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The Essential Dolly Parton 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These two CD's have great songs, but the sound quality is tinny and shrill--not good quality.