So I was listening to “The Very Best of Dolly Parton” Album and thought hey this will be a perfect album to review because I love every single song , but then I was like wait a minute I love Ms Dolly Parton and her music, yet I have only ever gone so far to know of her music through this album and her “Greatest Hits Album” , which in my opinion is pretty ignorant of me, given that she is a living legend and has always been a positive influence around the world, so I thought I better buck up my ideas and listen to the individual albums of the songs that I love from her main hits and review them instead. And I enjoyed every single minute of it!
Just a little back story, when I was child I heard of Ms Dolly Parton for the very first time through her “Greatest Hits Album” that was thankfully and magically lying around the house, probably before I even existed and managed to stay around (which is a miracle since most of the items in the house particularly when I was a child did not even last a day without getting damaged and/or thrown away) until I was old enough to understand what it was, I was intrigued to see what it was about and so I decided to play it and as soon as I heard it I was hooked, the Album was constantly on repeat. And then recently when I picked up “The Very Best of Dolly Parton” I did the same thing and naturally put it on repeat. Ms Dolly Parton, is the first country singer I heard and knew of and through her work she introduced me to a whole host of great County Artists and Country Music in general. As well as me absolutely loving Folk, Indie, Alt Rock and Rap Music, I also love and appreciate Country Music, so if it wasn’t for Ms Dolly Parton I wouldn’t of discovered Country Music as early as I did, and who knows maybe not at all, so I have Ms Dolly Parton to thank for expanding my music genres.
While I was digging through all the albums I came across a title that I was very familiar with and that was “9 to 5” , which is the very first song I ever heard from Ms Dolly Parton, the full title of the Album is “9 to 5 And Odd Jobs”. I was just instantly and naturally drawn to his Album, I couldn’t wait to hear it, and I just knew I had to review this first, which made things a lot easier for me since there are so many albums from Ms Dolly Parton to chose from(43 Studio Albums in total), though I will get to the other Albums further down the line, but today it’s all about 9 to5 And Odd Jobs!
This Album was Dolly Partons 23rd Studio Album and was released by RCA Records on November 24 1980, and was produced by Mike Post , Greg Perry and Dolly Parton. It was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville. The writers on the Album are, Dolly Parton, Mike Post, Woody Guthrie, Martin Hoffman, Frieda Parton, Mark Anderson, Danny Dill, Mel Tillis, Mike Settle, Merie Travis.
When I was researching about the album, to my pleasant surprise the first track of the album ‘9 to 5’ was actually the main theme song of a movie with the same title that stars Ms Dolly Parton herself and she wrote this song on the set of the movie. In an interview I briefly saw of Ms Parton a while ago, I remember her telling the story of how she used her acrylic fingernails and clicked them together (to use to imitate sound of a typewriter) which formed the beat of the song . The song 9 to 5 is by far Dolly Parton’s biggest hit, its the first song I ever heard from Ms Parton. I haven’t seen the movie yet but now I know about it, I’m really excited to see it and will definitely do a review post on it too! I do love a good comedy! And to be honest the fact that Ms Dolly Parton stars in the movie is what makes me want to watch it.
So anyway I was drawn to this Album because of its title 9 to5 and Odd Jobs, because its very relatable title to us everyday people, with office jobs, factory jobs, labours etc. It’s something we all understand and relate to. The album itself continues the theme of the working life, all the songs have that depth and authenticity that we all love and I absolutely enjoyed listening to all the songs on this album.
Before I heard the entire Album I was only familiar with the lead song ‘9 to 5’, which is still my favourite song, but from listening to the album I have found some new favourites; “Sing for the Common Man”, “Working Girl” and “Detroit City”, which coincidentally are track number 5, 6 and 7 on the album, in that exact order!
‘Sing for the Common Man’, kind of reminded me of “Working on the Highway” by Bruce Springsteen, when I first heard it in terms of some the lyrical message , though Springsteen mixes other topics in there too. Parton’s version that was written by Frieda Parton and Mark Anderson is solely about exactly what the title says, it sings for the common man, that no one pays attention to and who works hard all day everyday to provide for his family. “I’m just the common man, the fool who understands, the pain you go through, when life takes you under” This song acknowledges the ones that get ignored and don’t have much a voice, I really like this message.
I love ‘Working Girl’ because of the way it sounds, especially when it hits the chorus “She is single and free, She’s a mother and wife and she’s proud to be, A working girl”. Not only do I like the sound but the message is brilliant too! This is a song Ms Parton wrote herself and back when this was written in the 80’s there seem to be a lot of gender in-equality even more so than we hear about today and its a great song to highlight the smarts and hard work of women all around the world. There’s just so many great and powerful women today and from the past that I look up to, with Ms Parton being one of them, that are just doing amazing things with their lives and achieving upon achieving for the benefit of society and its just so inspiring to see all the great work out there! Not just the big things but also everyday things, of how especially mothers can juggle work and home life, its just simply inspirational! And this song just nails it.
‘Detroit City’ is a cover of a song first made famous by Billy Grammer, it was written by Danny Dill and Mel Tillis. Billy Grammer’s famed version was titled “I Wanna Go Home”, its been covered many times and won several awards. I like the song because of the story it tells of a man who I guess was trying to make it in Detroit back in the day and pretty much turned his back on his country roots but now realises what a mistake he made and misses his home and family, “And I dreamed about the cotton fields and home, I dreamed about my mother, dear old papa, sister and brother” and he feels foolish for not going back home sooner due to his pride and now is ready and wants to go home. There’s just a real and authentic story behind this, that really sings to you in its words spoken, not many songs can have this affect and this is one of the rare ones from the few; hence why its been covered so many times!
Ms Dolly Parton is a true living legend! And has records that have evidently lived on from generation to generation and will continue on to do so. I absolutely love Ms. Dolly Parton, she has a beautiful personality, and has done so many great things not only in the world of music but other things too. I have a lot of respect for Dolly Parton as it is clear she has worked extremely hard throughout her career, and especially her coming from very humble beginnings, she did not have the advantage most others had and have and I’m sure she has dealt with a lot of nonsense in her time which would break anyone’s spirit, yet she still radiates light from her. She is a true inspiration and the one who introduced me to Country Music in the first place, so she will always hold a very special place in my heart. 9 to 5 And Odd Jobs is a spectacular Album, if you haven’t already heard it, I would definitely give it a listen, I’m positive you will love it!
Thanks for reading,