Dolly Parton


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This is an early-'70s effort that shows the great country songstress to be literally bursting with a spirit of independence, proud of her unique approach to the genre. Listeners who think she didn't really revel in the Appalachian sound until abandoning the commercial country world in the late '90s will find this to be an innovative blend of the country session band sound with mountain ballad-style chord changes, including some dark-sounding minor and modal action. She wrote practically every song on this record. And she co-wrote the exception, a fantastic number entitled "When Possession Gets Too Strong" that should be added to the country & western canon of possible counterattacks to "Stand By Your Man." The material is all strong enough to make this seem like an actual original album effort, but something is rotten in the state of Denmark, or should we say Tennessee. The liner notes hint at this being a repackaging or collection, although it doesn't exactly explain for where or from what. The painting on the front cover is, in a word, horrifying. This also has to be one of the shortest albums ever released. There are people who would be upset if these tracks represented the contents of one side of an album, let alone both sides of the vinyl slab. Perhaps the song "I'm Doing This for Your Sake" was written for the mastering engineer, who had to leave early for a golf date. Besides all that, vintage Parton.

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