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
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
"And people say she's just a big pair of tits".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anybody else's pee taste weird after listening to this album?
Really solid album with great stories told throughout
Clear and beautiful as a bell
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.
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.
A voice to die for.
This was the first album in a while I really enjoyed! Dolly Parton is great!
Imagine not thinking that Dolly Parton is one of America's finest songwriters
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.
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.
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.'
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.
I listened all the way through, and I didn't feel bored once. That's the gold standard.
Beautiful voice, phenomenal songwriting. Iconic
Amazing. Surprisingly moving
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.
Shocked at how much I liked this
Great album. Good old country music fronted by a classic voice.
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.
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
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.
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.
"And people say she's just a big pair of tits"
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.
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.
short and sweet, just like the queen of country herself.
Good solid fun country music. Nothing to complain about here
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.
Luv u dolly
Amazing, far too short. God bless Dolly
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.
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.
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.
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.
dolly always shines, early morning breeze is one of my favorites
Classic country by a classic (and classy) singer/songwriter. Iconic.
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.
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.
Hell yeah, Dolly Parton! 'Nuff said.
Go Dolly go. I love an album under 30 minutes.
An absolute pleasure of an album from an absolute pleasure of a person.
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.
So groovy, her voice is magic. Makes me want to live in 50s and 60s.
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.
I love her 5 A joy to listen to
Always love Dolly. Her joy comes through her music.
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.
Very good. Very Dolly.
nice to hear dolly in what i take to be her prime - she's still going strong, but 'merican culture in 1970 was primed and ready for her music. it's not really my thing, but she does sing like a bird
4.2 + love that storytelling classic country music. Dolly Parton is an amazing songwriter and this is one of her best.
Love some Dolly, not the best of her album but solid all around. 3.5 but rounding up
country tunes, catchy, not one for heavy rotation but nice enough
Love me some Dolly!!
Was pleasantly surprised. This is a tight, concise, tuneful album. I wasn’t expecting it to be so accessible and so ‘pop’ based on the preconceived notion in my head of what I assume country music sounds like. This is really good stuff.
Can’t hate on Dolly. She’s a treasure even if her music isn’t my taste.
she captures a cuteness with this album that i don't think i've heard anywhere else.
Great album. Tapped my foot all the way through. I don't listen to this genre but enjoyed.
First experience with any Dolly Parton. Good stylistic range. Big fan of the song where she calls her neighbor a ho (euphemistically ofc)
Absolutely beautiful stories and songs. I don’t go out of my way for country music but Dolly really does a great job with this one. The production is clean and clear, and her message gets across the whole album.
Traveling man 👌
New to me. Has a very old school / country feel to it. Starts off slow but kicks it up a notch with the second song. Very wholesome lyrics. Rather short record with "only" 27 Minutes.
A great album. I've heard Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, I Will Always Love You, and a couple other songs from Dolly, but never a whole record. This was beautiful and enjoyable and felt like it should have been longer.
A living saint and a great album.
Dolly is such a timeless storyteller. Most of her music isn't really for me, but it's still really good music.
Chill out country, like it. Probably won't be going and listening to Dolly's back catalogue. Glad to give her this revenue for the vax though. Cheers Dolly
I listened to this album like it was one consistent track album. I didn't see the time fly. Very good lyrics, melodies and vocal.
Not a big country fan, but there is something about this which is somehow joyous. It just sounds like someone who is happy, which makes it difficult not to like. 3.5/5.
She's a national treasure. I'm not a country fan by any stretch of the imagination but I love Dolly.
This was a great listen! I'm not massively into country, and only really familiar with Dolly Parton's inescapable mega hits, so it was great to hear something from her I wasn't already passively sick of. Fave track - toss up between "Traveling Man", "The Mystery of the Mystery", or "Early Morning Breeze"
Traveling Man is a bop, everything I like about real country music. A few songs are too Bible-y for me, but overall, really solid album.
viraj gut 4/5 fav trackz: early morning breeze traveling man -------------------------stay cool 8 - )
Ms. Parton is a legend. 'nuf said.
Great easy listening, hard to find something not like about this, country at its most enjoyable
Coming back to Dolly, I feel less judgemental of sentimentality! I love "Coat of Many Colours" and "The Way I See You." The lyrics of "If I lose My Mind" makes you sit up and listen, particularly considering this was released in 1971.
I only really knew 9-5 and Jolene Dolly so this was great to hear! Kind of tragic though
4/5. Country usually ain’t my think but Dolly drives a hard bargain
Parton manages to invoke each short song with so much emotion and drama. A master storyteller