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The Fairest Of Them All

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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0019QIB1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,403 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terrance Richard TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 25, 2011
Format: Vinyl
Way before she would write "Jolene", "I Will Always Love You" and "9 to 5" Dolly Parton released this brilliant album in 1970 filled with songs that she penned herself, with the exception of one track. This LP marks the first time in Dolly's career that an album of hers was filled with songs she mostly composed herself and although many don't know how exceptional the record is it is well-known to her ardent fan base as being one of her best.

Released on March 14, 1970 on RCA, "The Fairest of Them All" would go all the way to #13 on the Country Billboard Charts and produce one single, "Daddy Come and Get Me", a co-write with her aunt Dorothy Jo Owens that only went as far as #40 on the single side. Dolly was finding it difficult to get radio programmers to play her solo material as they were more inclined to play her duets with Porter Wagoner.

The songs here are some of the best in Dolly's catalogue and many are simply "soap opera songs" that involve heartache, giving children up for adoption, incest, and mental illness.

Highlights include the fan favorite "Down From Dover" which Dolly would rerecord some 31 years later for her "Little Sparrow" CD that included an additional verse omitted from the original, "Before You Make Up Your Mind" (written by Dolly's uncle Bill Owens), "I'm Doing This For Your Sake" and many more.

In 2010 RCA in Australia released "The Fairest of Them All" on CD along with 1972's "My Favorite Songwriter, Porter Wagoner" in a "two LP on 1 CD" set.

Many years ago Dolly stated the album cover to this record was the worst cover she ever made. She wanted to look like a fairy-tale princess, but the cover was not of her liking.
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Format: Vinyl
This is a strong candidate for the saddest album ever recorded, although there is one joyful, upbeat song here (Just the way I am) to provide a striking contrast to all the grief. Unsurprisingly, this artistically brilliant 1970 album was not a commercial success. At the time, Dolly Parton was only successful as Porter Wagoner's duet partner, but solo success came soon after with Mule skinner blues, a cover of a Jimmie Rodgers song that didn't appear on this album but which was released as a single later that year. There are no covers here, with Dolly writing all but one of the songs, the exception being written by Dolly's uncle. Many of the songs are of a highly personal nature, offering insights into Dolly's childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

Side 1 opens with Daddy come and get me, a classic song about a woman imprisoned that sets the mood of the album. The remaining tracks on this side are Chas, When possession gets too strong, Before you make up your mind, I'm doing this for your sake and But you loved me then. Every one of them is a sad tale of relationship problems, even the song with the title that could be cheerful (I'm doing this for your sake) - in fact, that's a particularly sad story about a relationship in the final stages of breakdown.

Side 2 opens with Just the way I am, but as I've already indicated, that merely provides a respite before Dolly delivers another series of brilliant but very sad songs, these being More than their share, Mammie, Down from Dover and Robert. Dolly eventually re-recorded Down from Dover for Little sparrow, so you may be familiar with the song via that album even if you haven`t heard the original recording.
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