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The Essential Dolly Parton (Rm) (2CD) Original recording remastered, Best of

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Best of, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0009S2THU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,745 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Dumb Blonde
2. Just Because I'm A Woman
3. My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
4. Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No.8)
5. Joshua
6. Coat Of Many Colors
7. Touch Your Woman
8. My Tennessee Mountain Home
9. Jolene
10. Please Don't Stop Loving Me
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Here You Come Again
2. Two Doors Down
3. Heartbreaker
4. I Really Got The Feeling
5. You're The Only One
6. Starting Over Again
7. Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You
8. 9 To 5
9. But You Know I Love You
10. Single Women
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Product Description

37 digitally remastered classics on 2 discs, including a remarkable 19 #1 smash hits (Dolly has more charted singles than any other female in the history of country music)! Hear 9 to 5; Islands in the Stream (with Kenny Rogers); Jolene; Dumb Blonde; Please Don't Stop Loving Me (with Porter Wagoner); Coat of Many Colors; Mule Skinner Blues; Joshua; Shine , and much more!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By turbo on Jan. 23 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
what a wonderful voice!

great to listen to at home or in the car.

I'm going to buy some more.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ce sont les plus belles chansons de Dolly Parton. J'aime écouter cette voix qui me réchauffe le coeur après une rude journée de travail. Quand je suis dans mon auto, bloquée dans la circulation, je trouve le temps moins long. Ma chanson préférée est: Coat of many colors. Je suis bien heureuse d'avoir trouvé cette compilation sur un CD.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can remember listening to Dolly as far back as my memory will take me. This has many songs that I have been unable to find on cd over the years.
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By Madge offrey on July 28 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Best overview yet, but how about a box set? Aug. 9 2005
By Jim Bagley - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the recent merging of RCA/BMG and Sony/Columbia, the vast majority of Dolly Parton's catalog is now owned by one company. A comprehensive retrospective of Parton's best work is now possible but this 37-track, two-disc set - while the best overview yet put together on Parton - is still far from definitive.

The Essential Dolly Parton begins with Parton's first single for the Monument (a Sony subsidiary) label, the 1967 hit "Dumb Blonde." It's a shame its follow-up "Something Fishy" wasn't included here as well. Still in 1967, Parton moved over to the RCA label with the help of her new mentor Porter Wagoner and it is here that Parton recorded her best work over the next 8-10 years, the most consistent work by a female singer-songwriter in country music history. Highlights of this period fill up the rest of disc one and include the colorful, uptempo sagas of crusty "Joshua" and that tramp "Jolene," as well as the simple but effective devotionals "I Will Always Love You" and "Love Is Like A Butterfly," and most endearingly, the ruminations of Parton's youth on "My Tennessee Mountain Home" and "Coat Of Many Colors" (probably her best composition ever). Also included from this era is her biggest hit with longtime duet partner Wagoner, "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" (I prefer their heartbreaker "If Teardrops Were Pennies"). From this period, I would have also included her humorous romp "Travelin' Man" and the tragic tale "Down From Dover."

Disc two leads off with "Here You Come Again" and "Two Doors Down" from 1978, and it is at this point that Parton went pop for awhile. The five tracks that follow like "Starting Over Again" and "You're The Only One," are sluggish, bland middle of the road soundalikes - usually written by others - that failed to exploit her immense personality. Thankfully, the collection emerges from this sonic coma with Parton's spunky, self-penned "9 To 5" (1980) and the delightful yodelfest "Tennessee Homesick Blues" (1984). Mid-80s collaborations with Kenny Rogers on "Islands In The Stream" plus Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris on "To Know Him Is To Love Him" (the exquisite Parton-featured "Wild Flowers" should be here, not this ordinary, Harris-led effort) amply exhibit Parton's harmonizing skills, while other country chart-toppers from this period - the Rogers' duet "Real Love," the enchanting "Think About Love" - are inexplicably omitted from this set, along with my gaudy favorite "Potential New Boyfriend."

In 1988, Parton moved from RCA over to Columbia. Her relatively lengthy tenure there - six albums - is represented only by the chart-toppers "Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That" and "Rockin' Years," the latter a beautiful collaboration with Ricky Van Shelton. Several other Columbia singles should have been included as well, such as the gentle number one "Yellow Roses" and the gorgeous inspirational epic "He's Alive." The set then concludes with her poignant remake of Collective Soul's "Shine" from 2001's Little Sparrow album, the lone representative of her recent foray into bluegrass music (I would have included at least half a dozen more tracks from her fantastic Grass Is Blue/Little Sparrow/Halos and Horns trilogy).

There was room for about another ten tracks which if added could have made this collection live up to its name. Instead, we will go on praying for a Parton box set containing at least four jam-packed discs as well as the cd reissuing of her early RCA albums.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Better Than Average Parton Compilation But Still Deeply Problematic July 9 2005
By Avid Runner - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For reasons of cluelessness, that I have long since quit trying to figure out, RCA and BMG have spend the past 15 years or so constantly taking the same handful of Dolly Parton songs and put them on compilation after compilation while they continue to allow many, many of her songs and albums, particularly those from her pre-pop country phase (from circa 1977 back) languish in their vaults gathering dust and never ever even issued once on CD. Do a song search on Amazon for "Here You Come Again," "9 to 5," "Two Doors Down," "I Will Always Love You," "Old Flames," and "Islands in the Stream" and you'll find that there are already dozens of CD compilations that have these songs. Then do a search for "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy," "Just Because I'm a Woman," or "Down From Dover" and you'll find far, far fewer and for that later song you will find that only a new version, which she recorded for her "Little Sparrow" album remains in print.

OK. So this 2- disc compilation goes a little ways to correct some of that. Unlike most other compilations it does acknowledge that there was more to Dolly Parton before her mid to late 70's pop sellout than "Coat of Many Colors" and "Jolene" both marvelous songs (and in the case of CoMC magnificent) which are usually to two songs tossed on all the pop compilations that are supposed to make up for the absence of any comprehensive collection of Parton's most artistically compelling period, this one gives a decent, if far from complete, overview of it. Nevertheless, this compilation remains problematic.

For starters, rather than giving us a two disc set of songs that have generally been ignored in the CD era, it uses the second disc to, once again give us songs that have been released over and over and over again. Face it. Does anyone who really wants to have "Here You Come Again," "I Will Always Love You," or "9 to 5" on CD STILL not have it? And since a large number of people who have an interest in Parton's more traditional country period have little to no interest in her pop sellout phase why bundle these discs together and slap a twenty dollar plus list price on it meaning that we have to choose either between paying a premium cost for a single disc (since disc two will go unplayed) or (the more likely option) forgoing buying this altogether? And all of this doesn't get into the fact that the less satisfying pop stuff begins to creep in on disc one.

BMG & RCA: WAKE UP!!!! You have a treasure trove of material by this woman collecting dust in your vaults. Can't SOMEBODY give the American market a first rate collection of Dolly Parton's pre pop career? An Australian label released one a few years ago called "Mission Chapel Memories." What do they Aussies know that you all don't?

Given nothing but the song selection here, this compilation would warrant three to maybe three and a half stars (the second disc dragging down the overall rating) but given the overall problems I have to drag it down to two which alone resists strong temptation to vent my frustrations at BMG & RCA with a one star rating.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is a good highlight of her RCA years, but.... July 27 2005
By James Fenos - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Being released on the newly formed Legacy/BMG merged label, one would think Legacy would try to feature more songs from their vaults and tracks recorded from her brief stint with UMG. While the mastering of this cd with her over compiled recordings from RCA sound the best ever, I really feel Legacy missed out on a golden opportunity. While "Shine" closes out this set, the bluegrass album that preceeded it, "The Grass Is Blue," isn't represented at all, as isn't "Halos and Horns." Dolly's one off album with MCA/Decca "Hungry Again" could have be represented by "Paradise Road," and "Treasures" could have been represented by it's huge hit "Peace Train," which was subject to a number of remixes for club consumption. The Sony label could have been better highlighted with hits like "Romeo" and the gospel anthem "He's Alive." I think now we must move past compilations and focus on re-issues. A lot of Dolly's albums, there are a lot of them, have been langushing in the vaults for years; dust 'em off already.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Solid Overview of a Brilliant Career July 3 2005
By Steve Vrana - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There are literally dozens of compilations to sift through when it comes to one of country music's most prolific artists, but THE ESSENTIAL DOLLY PARTON is hands down the most thorough. Of course, you're not going to get every hit from a nearly 40-year career, but this 37-song collection touches on most of the highlights.

Beginning with the 1967 hit "Dumb Blonde" from her major label debut HELLO, I'M DOLLY and ending with "Shine" from 2001's bluegrass roots album LITTLE SPARROW, this is a chronological look at one of country music's most gifted artists. In addition to early classics like "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors," there are the crossover hits like "Here You Come Again" and "9 to 5." In addition there are duets with her late-sixties partner Porter Wagoner ("Please Don't Stop Loving Me") and Kenny Rogers ("Islands in the Stream"), along with her work with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt ("To Know Him Is To Love Him"). It's also worth noting that Parton wrote more than half of these songs, including her original rendition of "I Will Always Love You"--which, frankly, I prefer to Whitney Houston's over-the-top version.

If you're looking for a solid introduction to Parton's entire career, look no further. THE ESSENTIAL is exactly what you've been waiting for. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A good retrospective, but the Columbia years are underrepresented July 6 2008
By Razor X - Published on
Format: Audio CD
In the mid-90s, RCA finally began treating the back catalogs of its legendary artist with respect, with their Essential series, which included two volumes focusing on Dolly Parton's work during her 19-year stint with the label.

This new two-disc Essential collection from Sony BMG replaces the earlier RCA volumes. When RCA's parent company BMG merged with Sony, and the bulk of Dolly's catalog was controlled by one company, many fans, myself included, were excited at the prospect of finally getting an anthology that included hits from her Monument days through her 1987-1995 association with Columbia Records. It was inevitable that the RCA material would dominate, given Parton's long association with that label (1967-1986); however it is disappointing that her Columbia work remains under-anthologized. Only two of her Columbia hits - 1989's "Why'd You Come In Here Looking Like That" and her 1991 duet with Ricky Van Shelton, "Rockin' Years" are represented here. At the very least, "Yellow Roses", "He's Alive", "Eagle When She Flies", and "Silver And Gold", deserved inclusion in this collection. Instead, we get a single track from the Trio albums -- "To Know Him Is To Love Him" with Emmylou Harris on lead vocals, and a duet with Porter Wagoner, "Please Don't Stop Loving Me", which, though excellent, probably should have been excluded in favor of some of Dolly's solo work.

On the bright side, this collection does include a pair of brilliant early tracks that failed to catch on commercially at the time. It's nice to see that "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy" and "Dumb Blonde", her first (modest) hit for Monument Records, each earned a slot here. I'd have preferred more selections from these early years, instead of some of the later crossover hits which are widely available on other collections, but at least this was a step in the right direction.

The remaining tracks on this collection, are by and large, a rehash of the earlier RCA Essential volumes. It's impossible to do justice to such a long and successful career as Dolly Parton's with a two-disc set. It's also impossible to please everyone - I'd have made some different choices if I were the one compiling this collection - but overall, it is a good introduction to Dolly's work and the best retrospective of her career currently available, despite its shortcomings.

Diehard Parton fans might consider purchasing "The Tour Collection", a 4 CD boxed set recently released by Sony BMG in the UK that contains a handful of Dolly's hits, along with a generous sampling of rare tracks, several of which are making their first appearance on CD. There is some duplication with the Essential discs, but the two collections combined will provide a comprehensive look at this amazing singer-songwriter's entire career.