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Those Were the Days

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Audio CD, October 11, 2005
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Biography by David Vinopal

It's difficult to find a country performer who has moved from country roots to international fame more successfully than Dolly Parton. Her autobiographical single "Coat of Many Colors" shows the poverty of growing up one of 12 children on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, TN. At 12 years old she was appearing on Knoxville television; at 13 she was ... Read more in Amazon's Dolly Parton Store

Visit Amazon's Dolly Parton Store
for 409 albums, 11 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000AQDQ7S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,045 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Those Were The Days
2. Blowin' In The Wind
3. Where Have All The Flowers Gone
4. Twelfth Of Never
5. Where Do The Children Play
6. Me And Bobby McGee
7. Crimson And Clover
8. The Cruel War
9. Turn, Turn, Turn
10. If I Were A Carpenter
11. Both Sides Now
12. Imagine

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A year in the making, the album of era-defining songs from the 1960s and 1970s is an astonishing collection of indispensable classics, performed in Dolly Parton's signature style with a top-notch list of friends. Parton, who produced the album, invited several of the artists who wrote or made these songs famous to sing with her. Renowned musicians Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds), Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins, and Tommy James make appearances on Those Were The Days. She also asked recent chart-topping artists Norah Jones, Keith Urban, Nickel Creek, Lee Ann Womack, Rhonda Vincent, Joe Nichols, and Alison Krauss to join her in the studio. Sugar Hill. 2005.


Like 1996's Treasures, this covers collection by Dolly Parton might seem, on the surface, to be a gimmicky filler in her prestigious catalog of some of country's finest originals. Yet it's a vast improvement. Those Were the Days, largely bluegrass-inspired and featuring a plethora of famous duet and harmony partners, has more than a few sterling moments. And that's not just because songs like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Both Sides Now," and "Twelfth of Never" find her paired with the likes of Norah Jones, Lee Ann Womack, Nickel Creek, Judy Collins, and Keith Urban. If Parton takes John Lennon's "Imagine" too far over the top, she rescues Tommy James's overly processed "Crimson and Clover" from its original reverb hell, her understated banjo/Dobro/fiddle arrangement imbuing it with dignity. Other selections seem an obvious fit. "Me and Bobby McGee" (with a charmed Kris Kristofferson) resonates with longing and loss, while "If I Were a Carpenter," a duet with Joe Nichols, finds sensual heat smoldering above its solid musical underpinning. But the gem here is her rendering of "The Cruel War," on which Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, and Mindy Smith add feathery harmony vocals to Parton's gossamer lead--a performance so authentically poignant and heartfelt as to melt an Arctic ice cap. No matter how this odd collection hits you, give the Cantilevered One credit for being brave enough to tackle it, as well as extra kudos for coaxing two very special guests into the studio--Parton's old partner and one-time nemesis Porter Wagoner on the title track, and Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, who plays acoustic guitar on his own "Where Do the Children Play." You just never know what the Wigged Wonder will do next. --Alanna Nash

Recommended Dolly Parton

, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt

The Grass Is Blue

Little Sparrow

The Essential Dolly Parton

Mission Chapel Memories 1971-1975

20 Greatest Hits
, with Porter Wagoner

Customer Reviews

Dolly's vocals are great.
Dolly Fan For Life
My personal favorites from the cd are: "blowin in the wind", "where have all the flowers gone", "where do the children play" and the best cut "crimson and clover".
Some of the songs on the CD you cant just get out of your head like "Those were the days" the LA LA LA LA part will get stuck in your head for hours!
jack wall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Allen Chapman VINE VOICE on October 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Those Were The Days" marks Dolly's third full album of cover songs, although she has included cover material on albums thruout her career. The first full cover album was 1984's "The Great Pretender" in which Dolly covered songs from the late 50's and early 60's. Although "Pretender" is a good album, it suffers from the typical 80's production, heavy on the synthesizers. The next like album was 1996's "Treasures" which was kind of a mixed bag of genre's and era's. With "Days" Dolly sticks pretty much to the late 60's and early 70's. The songs are all done in bluegrass-y style of her most recent work. For the most part the results are fantastic. A few of the songs take a few spins to grow on you, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" and "Both Sides Now" have been sped up a bit but work once you become accustomed to the faster style. For me the stand out tracks are the title track, which has always been a favorite of mine, "Me & Bobby McGee", "Where Do The Children Play" and "Imagine".

After 40 years of making music, Dolly is making some of the best albums of her career. That's very rare for any artist. Although she didn't pen any of the songs on this album, that in no way detracts from it. This is a great album and a fun listen. Essential to any Dolly collection.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ryan M. Quale on October 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have long been a Dolly Parton fan. Like, we're talking, from when I was five and my parents brought home Dolly's 'Greatest Hits' on record. In the year 2005, this woman continues to amaze! Not only does she continue to make music, (she IS almost sixty years old, people!), but the quality of the work she puts out is still top-notch. "Those Were the Days" is no exception, deepening and expanding Dolly's repetoire and her legacy. It's time to just say it. The woman is a treasure to American Music and will, no doubt, go down in history as one of the greatest musicians/songwriters/recording artists of all time. This new compilation features no original Dolly songs and yet it shimmers and sparkles with some ethereal quality that only Parton seems to be able to hone and capture. Even I was skeptical when buzz about this album started building a year ago. I thought, "A cover album of sixties music?... Okay... We'll see..." After numerous listens, my initial fear embarrasses me. Dolly Parton comes through BIGTIME with twelve classics re-tooled Dolly-Style and given good 'ole bluegrass re-birthings. So, they're lively, they're poignant, they're fun. I don't think her voice has ever sounded greater, her timbre more melodious, her interpretation of each song more PERFECT... If you want a taste of just how brilliant Dolly Parton is as a vocalist, take a listen to one of the album's many highlights, "Where Do The Children Play", particularly the final verse where she makes the song absolutely soar... I got CHILLS, people! CHILLS! Up and down my arms!!!

But, above and beyond the toe-tapping, head-bobbing, shoulder shrugging fun with which this album practically drips, I'd like to point out what is truly amazing about Dolly Parton.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sonny Saggese on October 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I thought that this album would be a 'cheesy' tribute album like one of those oldie groups re-doing all of thier old famous songs in the same exact way, but with updated, and rinkity production and weaker/newer vocals. But I was wrong. These songs were all done with a very unique and fresh spin. I was sick of the originals of most of these songs...for most are very well known to all of us, but Dolly puts all heart, and grace into the vocals in a way that makes these old birds fly again. It's really nice.

I never thought that I would enjoy a fast blue grass version of Twelth of Never, but it works. This whole album is "but it works". It shouldn't, but it works. And how the hell did Dolly Parton get Cat Stevens? aka Yusuf Islam? He hasn't played music, to my knowledge for over 20 years, and he was just recently deported out of the country while traveling to the US with his daughter in a case of mistaken identity, still with no apology from Tom Ridge, or the Department of Homeland Security. It's absolutely shocking to me that he agreed to play with Dolly on this. But then again, it's not. Because who is sweeter then Dolly?

And this album is in deed very sweet, and goes right up there now, shocking so, with her Christmas Album with Kenny Rogers ,which is a consistent staple in my house when we decorate the tree each year.

Shockingly Good!

I don't know if the sound bites do this album justice. The songs are very well done, arrangements, musicians, vocals, production, etc.

I'd like to give it 4 and half stars, because of her choice of overly peace loving/campfire songs, but she pulls it off.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tee on October 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
THOSE WERE THE DAYS is Dolly Parton's first studio album since 2003's FOR GOD AND COUNTRY, an album which surprised many Parton fans well aware of her long deliberately apolitical stance for it's strong if unintentional right-wing undercurrents. This new album seems to be a very discreet peace offering (no pun intended) to her more liberal, pacifist fans. This is a collection of pop/rock and folk songs that were big hits in the days when Dolly Parton was just making a name for herself as a country star in the late 1960's singing some of the most stone-hard country music of any woman of the period (check out her wonderful 1968 album JUST BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN which is available on CD). While Dolly was singing her heart out in songs about lost love and ruined reputations, the "hippies out in San Francisco" as one country song from the era dubbed them were singing about for free love and against injustice in many songs that were more folk (and thus, country) than rock n'roll although certainly neither group would acknowledge this fact. Several of these songs in fact were covered long ago by country artists. "Me and Bobby McGee", written by Nashville's Kris Kristofferson, has been recorded by a slew of country singers, Country's own flower child of the era, Skeeter Davis, recorded "Both Sides Now" on an album, and Johnny Cash and June Carter had a hit with "If I Were a Carpenter".

Most of these songs are legendary peace anthems from the era, although some are pure mainstream pop (The Twelfth of Never) or slightly eccentric rock like the title track. Dolly at 59 remains a powerhouse singer and most of these songs fit her like a glove.
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