Dolly [RCA/Legacy]

by: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton's story is mighty but it's never properly been told on record until this 2009 Legacy box set. Spanning 99 tracks over four discs, beginning with the early-'60s demo "Gonna Hurry (As Slow as I Can)" and running until the end of her stay with Columbia in the early '90s, Dolly may miss her bluegrass comeback of the new millennium but this is the only gap in the narrative, and it's not greatly missed, because this captures her prime. Dolly has genuine momentum, beginning with her earliest stabs at girl group pop, running through duets with the Merry Melody Singers, not getting to her star-making duets with Porter Wagoner until the end of the first disc, allowing plenty of time for her complex story to be told in some detail, including several rarities and seven unreleased cuts. Some fan favorites may be missed, but this hits all the hits, along with expertly chosen album tracks, creating a substantial and entertaining testament to Dolly's skills as an entertainer, song stylist and incisive songwriter. As it reaches its conclusion, it's hard not to agree that there's never been another talent like her. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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