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Those Were the Days

Audio CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 11, 2005
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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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

Product details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000AQDQ7S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,045 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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