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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Coat Of Many Colors

Dolly Parton

1971

Coat Of Many Colors
Album Summary

Coat of Many Colors is the eighth solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. It was released on October 4, 1971, by RCA Victor. The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 1972 CMA Awards. It also appeared on Time magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time and at No. 257 on Rolling Stone's 2020 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Parton has cited the title track on numerous occasions as her personal favorite of all the songs she has written. The album was reissued on cassette in Canada in 1985. It was reissued on CD for the first time in 1999. It was reissued on CD in Europe in 2001 with 1971's Joshua. The album was reissued on CD again in 2007 featuring four previously unreleased tracks. In 2010, Sony Music reissued the 2007 CD in a triple-feature set with 1973's My Tennessee Mountain Home and 1974's Jolene.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.41

Votes

10846
Genres
Country

Reviews

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

My album of many plaintive country songs That Dolly made for me Made only from fiddle, bass, steel and vibrato voice But I listened so pleasantly Although they sounded pretty samey I was happy as I could be With my album of many country love songs That Dolly made for me

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

As someone who is not a fan of country music, this album was enlightening. I always knew Dolly Parton was something special, but this album reinforced that knowledge. She manages to take what I often times feel is a tired and repetitive genre and produced songs that are poignant, sweet, and funny. An absolutely fantastic album.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Exhibit A of old country music is so good, what the hell happened? I've always accepted Dolly as country royalty because of her chart toppers but this album really shows why she earned that crown. "Coat of Many Color," is a heartbreaking song that plays heads to the romping "Traveling Man's" tails. It's impressive that Dolly can write about such a broad range of topics and apparently back then it was impressive that she was writing her own songs at all. It's truly a songwriting showcase. For all the heartbreak and forlorn feelings on this album Dolly leaves you with a sense of joy when then whole thing wraps up. You really get that sunshine feeling from Dolly even on her most hard up songs. Her ability to make the darkness bright, and that deep FUNKY bass on "Early Morning Breeze," is what makes this one a classic.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

There was a phase of quarantine that I listened to this album a couple times (more specifically I think it was brought on by a post election playing of "Clear Blue Morning" on repeat). It didn't strike the same fondness for every track on this latest revisiting but there's still some gems on here for sure. You get Dolly's full range of story telling in the first two songs: first you have a heartfelt story of a mother scrapping by for her daughter and in the next a mom's running off with her daughter's lover. What a range. Early Morning Breeze is one I'll certainly return to in the future. And Coat of Many Colors is just a charmer in both lyrics and walking bass line.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
1

"And people say she's just a big pair of tits".

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

This makes an argument for Dolly being one of the great early 70s singer-songwriters. For those of us who started with later Dolly it is revelatory. She may make more popular music later, but not better music.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
4

Can't deny that voice. Her story is inspirational, and Coat of Many Colors is touching, beautiful, empowering, and telling about society. A very wise song. Obvioulsy a little preachy here and there, but a comforting album that is beautiful, human, and wholesome.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
3

Anybody else's pee taste weird after listening to this album?

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Tue Sep 14 2021
2

Full disclosure: I've never much cared for Dolly Parton's voice. I don't care for the way she uses vibrato and her voice is so sharp it could cut through steel. Which is not to say that she's a bad singer--her interpretative skills and phrasing are better than most and her pitch is dead on. It's really just a matter of personal preference, purely subjective. On Coat of Many Colors, while there is a fair amount of variety within the rubric of mainstream country (ballads, country-rock, etc.) it's all very generic, if well played but what I would guess are a bunch of Nashville studio cats. The melodies are nothing special either. The one area that Parton excels in is narrative songwriting. The opening two tracks, Coat of Many Colors and Traveling Man, are superb--I'd stack them up against the best of the giants of country music, like Hank Williams Sr., Lefty Frizzell, etc. Seemingly without effort, Dolly manages to cram in character writing, narrative, local color, comedy, and earned sentiment into three minutes or less! That's a rare talent and a golden ticket in popular music. Unfortunately, not all of the other songs she pens on the album are as magnificent. There's a nice ode to meeting God in the wonders of nature (Early Morning Breeze), but the rest of her lyrics could have come from a dozen other artists. To sum up, the terrific lyrics of the opening two songs overcome the bland music (although admittedly it might have sounded fresher back in 1971) and Dolly's voice (YMMV), but the rest of the album pretty much goes in one ear and out the other, not leaving much of a trace. Pleasant enough, but really slight.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

I fully admit I didn't know much about Dolly Parton until she became a recent resurgent media darling, but I truly love her attitude and care. It's so clear in what she sings about and how she lives. I hated country when I was young. But the older I get the more I realize I really just dislike a lot of pop country. I'm a sucker for American folk, western, and certain types of country music. This album has a few songs that definitely fit that bill. I think I'd cut it in half and turn it into an EP for regular listening, but very good overall. Great voice, full of emotion, love a heavy bass in the mix.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

Despite the sickly sweetness of a lot of Dolly's ballads and memoir songs including the title track, this album stretches into all the spaces the genre has to offer. 'Traveling Man' is Nancy Sinatra-style country punk, 'My Blue Tears' has that high lonesome bluegrass style, with harmonies and simple melody, and 'If I Lose My Mind' is classic Nashville country. It sort of tapers off toward the end in my opinion, but the first half is top-notch and as a piece it holds up very well.

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Sat Jul 22 2023
3

Ugh, another CaW album. Thankfully this one was tolerable and even enjoyable in parts. Good onya, Dolly.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
3

Pleasant to listen to but, on the whole, a little bit boring. I really like Dolly Parton's voice but no song really stood out to me here. Really nice cover by the way.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

A new one on me and loved it. Has proper country music titles like She Never Met A Man (She Didn't Like). Favourite track was Travellin' Man. Really uplifting album.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

I listened all the way through, and I didn't feel bored once. That's the gold standard.

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Wed Aug 09 2023
4

Beautiful production with that 70's country style. Dolly Parton has a great voice with a distinct twang. The songwriting is excellent on this album too. "Coat of Many Colors" had me tearing up.

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Tue Feb 13 2024
4

Nashville was a system that could, given the right artist and intent, produce artifacts that manage to sound both modest and flawless decades down the line. This is one of them. The personnel listing takes up a phone screen of space, but they seamlessly swap and flow from track to track, all framing Parton as she briskly catalogues a panoply of emotional states and incident. This isn’t my vibe today, but if offered a perfectly-weighted galette, I’m not going to sniff and say nah mate, I only eat trifle on Mondays. No-one cares a good cock about Trifle Monday, Simon.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
3

Upbeat in its songwriting, unassuming in its lyrics, and almost musically elementary - 'Coat Of Many Colors' (album) embodies traditional country simplicity, with welcome augments by Dolly Parton. Familiar ingredients with the likes of Bob Dylan, Parton employs storytelling-style lyricism that provide a 'sweet' quality to the record, of youth and child-likeness. Easily received but not necessarily provoking, a satisfactory record delivered nonetheless in the form of her personal life's narrative.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
3

The title track and Travelling Man are exceptional. Unsurprisingly, none of the tracks that follow match them. But they're all still good, pulchritudinous in a way that only someone with a voice and picking style this powerful can get away with. She virtually never belts. Doesn't have to. You can hear what she's capable of even in her faintest tremble. In a way, her vocal restraint is as gentle as her stories of Christian modesty. After all, towering above her audience and yodelling about the beauty of nature and her pauper's coat wouldn't sit quite right.

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Tue Feb 13 2024
3

Quite fond of this, listened many times through the day. Dolly is a good singer and fine songwriter. I'll spare you the David Brent quote

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Dolly is always great. Such a special voice and songwriter. I was surprised by the bass work on these tracks. Just solid gold.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
5

Really solid album with great stories told throughout

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Clear and beautiful as a bell

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

A masterclass in songwriting, arrangement, and production. Dolly Parton expresses a naiveté that is endearing and allows her to inhabit an almost childlike space of wonder and unrequited love. The musicianship on this album is tight. For me, the bass really shines in an album that is a joy to listen to from start to finish.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

The ultimate in feel-good music. While listening to Coat of Many Colors, Early Morning Breeze, and Travelling Man, I found myself smiling for no apparent reason apart from the joy in Parton's voice. Music therapy for sure.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

This was the first album in a while I really enjoyed! Dolly Parton is great!

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Imagine not thinking that Dolly Parton is one of America's finest songwriters

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Dolly. Love her in so many ways. I hadn't heard most of these songs, and they are very much Dolly, which is a high compliment. At a time when women songwriters and performers had it so tough, she pushed hard. This was genuinely enjoyable to listen to this morning.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

Just a masterpiece country album with beautiful production, especially with the vocals and chorus harmonies. Great run time and each song flows beautifully into the next.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

I listened to this three times. Always happy to listen to Dolly's voice! I found it funny that 'traveling man' followed 'coat of many colors' and definitely believe Dolly was behind that decision. I particularly loved 'here I am.'

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Beautiful voice, phenomenal songwriting. Iconic

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

Amazing. Surprisingly moving

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

https://youtu.be/bGv0sMxgLsE Apenas.

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

I'm not sure if this album really deserves the 5 stars. It's not really original, nor is the musicianship particularly outstanding in terms of songwriting. But Dolly Parton just is and always was a treasure to warm the heart. It feels like a sweet, pure and simple pleasure listening to her music and that's enough for me to round up my rating from 4.5 Now I'm going to listen to some more of her stuff.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

Shocked at how much I liked this

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Mon May 02 2022
5

Great album. Good old country music fronted by a classic voice.

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Fri May 06 2022
5

This album further supports my ongoing opinion that some of the best songs ever written in western music, across all genres, can be plucked from the first tracks of albums. The album's title track is brilliant - enough to bring a grown man to tears with its gorgeous vocal harmonies, heartfelt storytelling, and beautiful message. Fortunately, the album has plenty more to offer. I haven't listened to much of Dolly Parton but there's just so much to love here. She's an incredible vocalist and songwriter, and there's not a single song on here that isn't worth a listen (or several). 'Travellin' Man', 'My Blue Tears', 'Here I Am' are a few other highlights in my opinion.

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Fri May 06 2022
5

Rafraichissant, un bon album Country d'une merveilleuse chanteuse. J'adore et j'ai trouvé que c'était pas assez long 27 min. Un 5/5 bien mérité

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Tue May 10 2022
5

A less than bombastic great album, Coat Of Many Colors just has next to nothing to dislike. Dolly's voice is familiar, of course; I was impressed by the quality of the backing musical material, and the ground covered. In less than half an hour, pretty amazing.

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Sat May 28 2022
5

My kids have been absolutely obsessed with Dolly Parton lately after I picked up an old hits collection of hers on vinyl a few weeks back - so this one is very timely for me. I must say, in listening to her records with my kids, I have absolutely fallen in love with her music and the story of her life. I find myself singing her songs to myself in my head all the time (and my kids sing them out loud). The eponymous song from this album is perhaps the definitive example of how her life and music intertwined to produce some of her best work. My kids particularly love that track, as she adapted it to a picture book that is given away as part of her Imagination Library program, which gives out free picture books every month to any child under 5 - which, by the way, just might be the single most admirable and meaningful charity program I have ever heard of. If you have kids, or are close to any kids, under the age of 5 in the US, make sure they are signed up for the program. It is a Godsend for both parents and children. All her amazing charity work aside, this is the album where she really came into her own as a songwriter. She then went on an absolute tear from 71-75. And then there is her voice. Her voice is able to pierce me emotionally in a way most other country music isn't able to. She has another album a couple years down the line from this one, also based on her life, called "My Tennessee Mountain Home" that I can't listen to without choking up. "Coat of Many Colors" is her at the outset of her best work. Absolutely quintessential country music and some of the most sincere music of any kind you should ever hope to hear.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
5

"And people say she's just a big pair of tits"

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

Almost-perfect Dolly Parton from the 70s - the only DP album I know so a bit hard to compare it to the rest of her work. The album isn't nonstop 5-star but the first half and quite a few second half songs definitely are.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Dolly is such a national treasure. SO MANY ALBUMS! This album seems as good as any to check out her large volume of work. This album speaks to her blue collar country upbringing. Such a great voice! Great classic early 70s country that ranks up there with other country legends from this era.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

short and sweet, just like the queen of country herself.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Good solid fun country music. Nothing to complain about here

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

Love this. Has an authenticity that is sorely lacking in most modern country music. A lot of the songs are short, but they are more effective this way. They don’t overstay their welcome or repeat the chorus over and over again.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Amazing, far too short. God bless Dolly

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

I don't know where to start. There's a good reason why Dolly has the best voice of all time in my opinion. On some of the tracks she can even sound like a bird then she has the biggest range of all time in terms of notes she can sing but also style and tone. Dolly is probably my biggest inspiration in most areas of life to be honest. Then we can move to the song writing, story-telling, from the obvious to the abstract, even the track listing starting with a song about her mother's love then on to a story of a mother's sexuality and a heart breaking story of manipulation and betrayal from the travelling man. Oh my GOD it is heart achingly beautiful. Here I am is an absolute anthem, what a message, what a delivery. This album is no disappointment, I guess it doesn't include any of her big party bangers, that isn't a disappointment to me though I LOVE and appreciate Dolly for all her facets. I know she says Coat of Colours is perhaps her favourite of all the million or so incredible songs she's written and you can feel this is a super special album when you listen. Only sliiiiight down side for me is the songs written by Porter Wagoner but it won't bring my score down because they're still performed to perfection by the Queen herself.

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

Pure and true and uplifting, like the artist herself. One felt the quality just kept creeping up, overcoming concerns about corniness or sentimentality. She's every bit as distinct a writer, as she is a singer. This is timeless, a masterpiece on its own terms, sounding not at all dated and fully relevant. "Mystery of the Mystery" is tops, but every cut has ample merits, particularly "Early Morning Breeze," and "She Never Met and Man" and title cut, too, of course. Refined and understated playing throughout.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

An absolutely wonderful collection of songs, with lots of light and shade and lovely lyrics. The title track might be her best song, in terms of words and music, but I prefer the driving rythym of Travellin Man. Brilliant, and much better (in my opinion) than a lot of her later pop records.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
5

Ok, I really wasn't expecting to want to give a Dolly Parton album a 5. I hate the "we love you Dolly!" sentiment flying around some parts of the internet, and I thought working 9 to 5 is a lame song. But this was brilliant? The first song in particular was just amazing. It didn't really drop in quality, either. Some really nice thoughtful lyrics and that old school country vibe. I'll play this again for sure. 5/5.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

dolly always shines, early morning breeze is one of my favorites

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Thu Dec 01 2022
5

Classic country by a classic (and classy) singer/songwriter. Iconic.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

Rolling Stone lists this as the best country album of all time. I haven’t listened to enough country albums in full to know if I agree but I can certainly understand why it’s listed so high. There were a lot of well written songs here which told concise personal stories (especially the title track). I can also see why Dolly Parton is considered the Queen. I’m sure this was a very influential albums to lots of later country artists, and singer songwriters.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

Hell yeah, Dolly Parton! 'Nuff said.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Go Dolly go. I love an album under 30 minutes.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

An absolute pleasure of an album from an absolute pleasure of a person.

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Sun Jan 08 2023
5

I'm giving this a five because, well, I can. It's clever and engaging, even though there aren't any certified hits on it. Totally would listen to it again.

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Tue Jan 17 2023
5

So groovy, her voice is magic. Makes me want to live in 50s and 60s.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Loved the twist in Travelling Man. Super entertaining and her voice is absolutely one of a kind. Also liked that it was short and sharp.

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Wed Feb 08 2023
5

I love her 5 A joy to listen to

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Always love Dolly. Her joy comes through her music.

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Mon Mar 20 2023
5

I've never listened to a Dolly Parton album until now and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this album. I think this is an album that I believe must be heard, as it's a very good listen.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
5

Just 28 minutes and every song is a classic.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

Short and incredibly sweet. Loved this.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

Dolly is a national treasure. This is the kind of country music I could listen to all day.

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Thu Apr 27 2023
5

Gal got pipes. I wrote off Dolly because "country bad", but honestly this album slaps. There were no bad songs. Nothing overstayed its welcome, the lyrics told clear stories, and again gal got pipes. Likely wont enter my rotation due to religious themes on some tracks. Would love a gay punk version of Traveling Man. Stellar road trip music, 5

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Tue May 16 2023
5

My wife is leaving me for Dolly Parton now.

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Tue May 30 2023
5

If anyone rates less than five stars, we will find you and there will be pain

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Tue May 30 2023
5

Beautifully captured unbreakable spirit. True country.

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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

This woman can do no wrong in my book. Hope to get a lot more of Dolly

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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

Killer, I especially love the drumming in traveling man and the pedal steel intro to she never met a man.

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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

I love her singing and listen to her voice all day. Great writing and storytelling on the title track. Great rhythm section. Traveling man and My Blue Tears are great. Great rhythm section. The bass ( baritone?) intro in Early Morning Breeze is sick. “The way I see You” is a perfect song. “Here I am” is such a feel good chorus, probably my favorite tune on here. “The better way to live” another feel good tune. I love that she could do something that sounds so sincerely joyous and

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Tue Jul 11 2023
5

queen i love her this was great

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

One of my favorites so far. Never really dug into Dolly Parton as a songwriter but god damn can she put a story to the song. Definitely interesting to hear the stark difference between the old breed of country and a really honest look at poverty, family dynamics, relationship naïveté, etc. when compared to something a little more modern. Really liked Coat of Many Colors, If I Lose My Mind, and She Never Met a Man

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

Un espectacular álbum de country, donde Dolly Parton demuestra todo su talento al momento de escribir letras sentimentales, nostálgicas y pícaras, además de mostrar su impresionante registro vocal y carisma. Un indispensable del género.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

Is it possible for someone to be universally lauded and yet still be underrated? For my money, she's one of the best songwriters of all time.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

From a heartwarming tale of a handmade coat to the need in knowing how to improve the world we inhabit, Coat of Many Colors was proof that Dolly Parton was more than the sidekick of Porter Wagoner and that, if she could, she could break out and achieve greatness on her own terms. Across ten stellar, all killer and no filler tracks, Dolly stakes her claim as a rising star and things could only go up from here. If one needs a Dolly Parton album to start from that's not a compilation, it's this one.

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

Good old American country. It's wholesome, genuine and every song tells a story. Well produced for it's time, tight harmonies and well written. Dolly Parton is one of the greats.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

Its hard to believe she was so great at such a young age.

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Sun Sep 24 2023
5

moving, alway witty. Peak Dolly

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

Sweet as honey pie and so goddamn wholesome. If Coat of Many Colors doesn't make you wipe a tear from your face, then I don't think I want to be around your cold-hearted soul. I don't like looking back to my childhood and recalling all the bad jokes she was the brunt of. Even my dad who ADORED her and was not a vulgar man would make comments about her boobs and hair. So glad time's up on that shit. I've not listened to this entire album before and oh boy did it just make me feel nice. Happy that a kind person like Dolly is an American icon. Loved the choir on Here I Am. A Better Place to Live - Wonder why we didn't hear this during an Up With People performance? I hope we see her again on this journey.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

A beautiful singing voice. Her songs get straight to the point. I can see why she is so well-liked in music!

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