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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Parton, Dolly - 1980 Dolly, Dolly, Dolly
Parton, Dolly - 1980 Dolly, Dolly, Dolly

ARTIST: Parton, Dolly
ALBUM: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2007, Sony BMG, A 716484


LINEUP: Dolly Parton - vocals * Buzz Feiten, Jay Graydon, Jeff Baxter, Ben Benay - guitar * David Hungate, Neil Stubenhaus - bass * Jeff Porcaro - drums * Jai Winding, Michael Omartian, Bill Payne - keyboards * Nick DeCaro, Michael Omartian - synthesizer * Lenny Castro - percussion * Tommy Morgan - harmonica * Tom Saviano - sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 Starting Over Again * 02 Same Old Fool * 03 Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You * 04 You're The Only One I Ever Needed * 05 Say Goodnight * 06 Fool For Your Love * 07 Even A Fool Would Let Go * 08 Sweet Agony * 09 I Knew You When * 10 Packin' It Up


Given the fact that almost every mainstream artist in the 80's attempted AOR at some point of their career, it shouldn't come as any surprise that country legend Dolly Parton got on board too, her most viable attempt coming as early as 1980. Parton had been branching out from her country roots prior to this and ostensibly this was the natural conclusion of those efforts. Glancing at the personnel above automatically indicates the type of classy AOR on offer, although predictably the album was met with resistance from Parton's traditional country fans. Critics seemed to revile it as well based on what I've read, typical perhaps, but not stopping this from being a goldmine for AOR and West Coast loyalists.

The Songs
One of the main accusations leveled at this album is the lack of Parton compositions, with the tracks all from outside writers, including the likes of Donna Summer, Leo Sayer, Tom Snow, Robbie Patton, Gary Portnoy and Rupert Holmes. Quite the accomplished list. It would be foolish to suggest this album is a classic, but there are some exceptional tracks on board. 'Same Old Fool' is an immediate melodic gem, with a chorus that's impossible to shake once heard. It's seamless AOR of the period, guitars and keyboards everywhere, with Parton's vocals a perfect fit for the genre. 'Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You' is pure country by comparison, but the Robbie Patton penned 'You're The Only One I Ever Needed' is another tasty piece of AOR, with Jay Graydon's guitar solo a definite highlight, one of those typical contributions that made the Airplay album so great. 'Say Goodnight' is a ponderous ballad contributed by Gary Portnoy of the 'Cheers' theme fame, not quite reaching any heights. Leo Sayer's 'Fool For Your Love' is give an upbeat arrangement, very breezy and pop influenced, with the guitar buried in the background but enough to earn the West Coast tag. Tom Snow's well covered 'Even A Fool Would Let Go' makes an appearance, just begging for a Kenny Rogers duet. 'Sweet Agony' seems to be a cross between funk and reggae, not as unappealing as it sounds, but Rupert Holmes' 'I Knew You When' is typical of his style, very orchestrated and lyrically descriptive, but a touch too restrained. Not to worry because 'Packin' It Up' is probably Parton's heaviest moment, a hard rocker with some chugging riffs from Jeff Baxter which verge on metal. The Jay Graydon solo is simply the icing on the cake.

In Summary
A well-executed album which is worth seeking to hear the highlights described above. Parton never tried anything this blatantly melodic again in an AOR sense, but this along with 1978's 'Heartbreaker' and 1979's 'Great Balls Of Fire' all show a side to Parton some may not have been aware of. This is by far the place to start however. [word count 480]

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#1 | gdazegod on April 08 2016 01:06:56
Jeez, this is gonna cause an uproar. lol! To be fair, the best of the L.A studio session musos are here, and the songwriters are out of the box. Shock
#2 | Nick C on April 08 2016 02:48:05
I tell you what...Dolly Parton might be a talent but she has got her knockers..but ....well.....she's got her knockers. eek [word count...not count 'em]
#3 | Explorer on April 08 2016 06:20:47
Like my Dollar review, this has its place here. I've never heard it, but I'm more than happy to give it a go. That's what it's all about isn't t?..expanding one's musical palette etc etc.
#4 | Eric on April 09 2016 21:10:17
An inspired choice! Seen this from time to time in shops, used of course but who knew!?
#5 | jefflynnefan on April 10 2016 00:40:48
This period in the CandW time period was unique with it's crossover songs. Most all were written from song writers from the Tom Collins roster. Interestingly enough though this period was a flash in the pan. RCA would in about the mid-80's fire the likes of Dolly, Sylvia, Barbara Mandrell, Juice Newton, Anne Murray, Ronnie Milsap and even Kenny Rogers. In favor of the more traditional country sounds like Randy Travis and other such new artists. Pretty ballsy move by RCA but they were right.
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