The Definitive Collection
(MCA Nashville, 2004)
No matter if youre in rural honky-tonk or a gay dive in the Bronx, theres a reason this icons always on the jukebox. Starring one of the most pitch-perfect instruments in American music and crushed-velvet arrangements that cradle Patsys 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 hubbys skank ho, groans about making too many babies, and reclaims her independence via The Pill. Were still talking about Nashville, right? This isnt the Pretenders first album?
Coat of Many Colors
A heavenly singer and ace storyteller, Parton has a narrative flair thats 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 daughters beau in Traveling Man, and If I Lose My Mind, probably the first country tune about a mnage trois.