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Coat of Many Colors

Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Originally released on RCA.
  • Personnel includes: Dolly Parton (vocals).
  • Producer: Bob Ferguson.
  • Reissue producer: Mikek Ragogna.
  • Recorded at RCA "Nashville Sound" Studios, Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by Robyn Flans & Dolly Parton.
  • Digitally mastered by Elliot Federman (SAJE Sound, New York, New York).
  • Part of Buddha Records' Original Masters series.
  • Kicking off a long-needed reissue program of some of Dolly Parton's best albums from her late-'60s/early-'70s pure-country heyday, 1971's COAT OF MANY COLORS is perhaps her finest album from this period. The 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 is almost a concept record. It's a collection 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 creepy "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. The album includes no bonus tracks and minimal liner notes, but the remastered sound is excellent and the songs are indispensable.
Professional Reviews
Dirty Linen (p.47) - "COAT OF MANY COLORS is a bittersweet childhood memory of growing up poor in the Smoky Mountains, framed in a way that's touched many..."

No Depression (p.76) - "[H]er work addressed complex subjects directly, yet with simplicity and nuance, her flair for stark, gothic Appalachian numbers comparable to ancient folk ballads."
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