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Ultimate Dolly Parton Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2003 issued digitally remastered anthology of the Country music queen's best recordings drawn from her recordings on several different labels, giving you one of the most complete overviews of this great singer/songwriter's legendary career.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2003)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA / BMG Heritage
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B000099T49
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To anybody who already owns a compilation of Dolly's music for RCA, the track listing here has a familiar look to it with few exceptions. The exceptions are Please don't stop loving me, a sensational duet with Porter Wagoner not normally included on Dolly's solo compilations, To know him is to love him, from the first Trio album, and Why'd you come in here looking like that, from Dolly's period with Columbia.

The other tracks here include many Dolly classics, notably Jolene (her only UK top ten solo hit), Islands in the stream (a duet with Kenny Rogers that became a USA number one pop hit and UK top ten hit), Here you come again (a USA top three pop hit), Coat of many colors (Dolly's autobiographical signature song - the only song here that didn't reach number one on the USA country chart, peaking at number four), Bargain store (which some radio stations thought too risqué), 9 to 5 (a USA number one pop hit), It's all wrong but it's all right (much more risqué than Bargain store) and Love is like a butterfly (one of Dolly's finest romantic songs).

This is among the best single CD collections of Dolly's music BUT there is a 36 track double CD version, which contains all twenty tracks here plus sixteen more Dolly classics including Dumb blonde, Just because I'm a woman, Touch your woman, My Tennessee mountain home, The seeker and Two doors down and which I've already reviewed. The double-CD was eventually released in America in 2005 re-packaged and re-titled (Essential Dolly Parton) with one extra track (Shine). I recommend the double CD instead of this single CD - but this is still an excellent collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Though the title is a bit of a misnomer, "Ultimate Dolly Parton" captures the essence of the hit-making career of country-pop singer extrodinare Dolly Parton. It is both historic and enjoyable to listen to this disc, and it should belong in any casual Dolly fan's record collection.
The disc can be divided into three distinct sections. The first includes the first seven tracks, and easily qualifies as the best moments on "Ultimate." Here, Dolly's Smoky Mountain-bred sensibilites mesh into the "countrypolitan" leanings of musical partner Porter Wagoner to create some of the early '70s best country hits. Tracks like "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and the anthem "I Will Always Love You" secure Dolly's place in country music history and shold not be missed.
Tracks 8 though 16 follow Dolly's rise in popularity, and a general mainstreaming of her sound. This era is capped by great tracks like "Here You Come Again" and "9 to 5," but like her "Islands in The Stream" singing partner Kenny Rogers' music from the late '70s and early '80s, much of what you hear from this period is better forgotten. What stareted as well-intended country crossover degenerated into bad schmaltzy pop, which never holds interest for long.
The last few tracks show how Dolly redeemed herself from the horrors of Carter administration -era soft rock to reclaim her rightful position as the queen of modern country. The aforementioned "Stream" is a delight, as is "To Know Him Is To Love Him," with the equally endearing Linda Rondstat and Emmylou Harris.
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Format: Audio CD
The standard version of Ultimate Dolly Parton available through normal USA outlets is a single CD with 20 tracks. That CD contains nineteen number one country hits plus Coat of many colors, which only made number four. All 20 songs are included on this 36 track double CD, which is much more interesting because it contains many other songs that are regarded as Dolly classics. I will devote most of this review to the sixteen tracks not available on the standard CD, so that you can decide if you want to pay extra for them.

Dumb blonde was the first country hit that Dolly had as a singer. Her voice had a lot of vibrato in those days, something I like but a lot of people don't. Dolly worked hard to sweeten her voice and you can trace the changes in the first half of this collection.

Just because I'm a woman is a great song about how men get away with things that women don't. My blue ridge mountain boy is my all-time favorite Dolly song - it is a classic folk-country song about a girl who has left the country for the city and misses her country boy. Mule skinner blues is a cover of a Jimmie Rodgers classic on which Dolly demonstrates that she can yodel superbly. Touch your woman is a great mid-tempo romantic song. My Tennessee mountain home takes a rose-tinted view of Dolly's childhood, painting a picture of rural bliss. The seeker is another great romantic song, though it can also be interpreted as a gospel song. We used to is a reflective song that could be bitter but isn't.

All I can do is an up-temp song to get the toes tapping. Light of a clear blue morning shows Dolly beginning to move away from her traditional sounds. Two doors down, Single women and Heartbreak express are among her best pop-country songs.
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