Record #414: Dolly Parton – Best Of Dolly Parton (1975)

As a child growing up in the ’90s, Dolly Parton seemed a bit corny to me.

She owned her own theme park (which I’ve visited). She made random movie cameos. There was even a bit of a joke that she was more plastic than skin and bone.

​But lemme tell you what, suckers. Dolly Parton is a friggin’ saint.

And this Best Of album confirms it.

Released when she was just 29 and including only one song she didn’t write, the sheer variety and consistency of this compilation speaks volumes to the quality of her body of work (my dad would make a punchline here. Something about work done on her body. Shut up, dad). 

She shows herself a master of dark, mournful ballads (“Jolene,” “Corner Store), tender love songs (the indelible “And I Will Always Love You”), and unbridled country-western jubilance (“Coat of Many Colors,” “When I Sing For Him”). 

There’s not a bad track on here. And while I famously dismiss greatest hits comps, this one doesn’t have a bad second of music on it. Nothing seems out of place. It’s just pure Dolly, through and through, and that’s all it needs to be.

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