By Smith Galtney
The Definitive Collection
(MCA Nashville, 2004)
No matter if you�re in rural honky-tonk or a gay dive in the Bronx, there�s a reason this icon�s always on the jukebox. Starring one of the most pitch-perfect instruments in American music and crushed-velvet arrangements that cradle Patsy�s every fall, monuments like �Crazy� and �Sweet Dreams (Of You)� turn wallowing into a very classy affair.
Country Music Hall of Fame Series
(MCA Nashville, 1991)
Lynn sings a world-class weeper, and God knows the likes of �Success� and �Blue Kentucky Girl� hurt so damn good. But then she cold-cocks her hubby�s skank ho, groans about making too many babies, and reclaims her independence via �The Pill.� We�re still talking about Nashville, right? This isn�t the Pretenders� first album?
Coat of Many Colors
A heavenly singer and ace storyteller, Parton has a narrative flair that�s built more cohesive albums than those of her Music Row peers. Cry rivers to the title track, then marvel at the weirder shit, like Mom stealing her daughter�s beau in �Traveling Man,� and �If I Lose My Mind,� probably the first country tune about a m�nage � trois.
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