Dolly Parton Coat Of Many Colors on 180g LP
Of all the classic albums from Dolly Parton's late-60s/early-70s pure-country heyday, 1971's Coat Of Many Colors is perhaps her finest overall collection from this fruitful period. The iconic title track, of course, is one of Parton's most essential songs, but here, it's only one of many standouts. Written primarily by Parton herself (with three songs by Porter Wagoner, the mentor she was beginning to overshadow), Coat Of Many Colors is practically a concept record.
It's a ten deep selection of loosely-connected songs based on Parton's rural East Tennessee upbringing, including a slinky twist on the sound and themes of "Son of a Preacher Man" (on the sassy "Traveling Man"); the character study "She Never Met A Man (She Didn't Like)" about the town prostitute; and the downright disturbing "If I Lose My Mind," one of Wagoner's trademark tunes of mental illness, this time brought about by a cheating husband who forces his wife to watch his infidelities.
Home to top notch songwriting and equally as compelling performances throughout, Coat Of Many Colors served as Parton's true breakthrough as a solo artist with the album climbing to No. 7 on the U.S. Country Albums Chart and the title track topping out at No. 4.