Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection
Genres: Country, Pop
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Best overview available of the Queen of Country
James E. Bagley | Sanatoga, PA USA | 04/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loretta Lynn was the first woman selected Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association and was one of the first women to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. To many, she is the Queen of Country Music, yet until this box set was released in 1994, a 20 track greatest hits cd was the most in-depth retrospective available on Lynn's career. Honky Tonk Girl goes a long way towards revealing why Lynn is so special. It contains 70 recordings over three discs. Many of its tracks were appearing on cd for the first time with their enclosure here.Disc one covers Lynn's formative years (1960 - 1966). Leading off its Lynn's first single (and hit) on the Zero label "Honky Tonk Girl" as well as its B-side "Whispering Sea." Neither had been in print in over 20 years when included here and it is easy to see why. Lynn's voice is so wobbly throughout that you'd never guess a stellar career lay ahead at Decca Records under the guidance of top producer Owen Bradley.Lynn's early records at Decca were very much in the traditional female country vein. "Success," "The Other Woman," and "Blue Kentucky Girl" were the first big hits and all have a subservient theme. 1965's "You Ain't Woman Enough" and 1966's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin'" changed that mentality. These feisty declarations were also the first hits Lynn wrote at Decca. Suddenly, Lynn was a voice and role model for women everywhere. Not coincidentally, her singing became a lot stronger as well.The second disc showcases Lynn at her commercial and artistic peak (1967 - 1971). Lynn wrote most of her hits during this period and no subject appears to have been off-limits. "Fist City" finds Lynn willing to get physical to keep her man while "Rated X" discusses the stigma placed on divorced on women. "One's On The Way" humorously poked at the drudgeries of being a housewife with a lot of kids. Country pride also played a prominent role in Lynn's music during this era with "You're Looking At Country" and "Coal Miner's Daughter" which has become Lynn's signature song and spawned an autobiographical book and film.Disc three covers Lynn's later years with Decca and its parent company MCA. With 1972's controversial "The Pill", Lynn stopped writing her own material. Her musical stylings expanded as well, with "Trouble In Paradise" finding Lynn experimenting with rock (and sounding extremely ill at ease). Pop-flavored ballads like "When The Tingle Becomes A Chill" also became more common as Lynn's distinctive sound became watered down during the mid-to-late 1970s. In the 1980s, Lynn's recording career went into severe decline, and the box set wisely limits the representation from this time period to the sumptuous ballad "I Lie" (her last top 10 hit) and her final MCA single "Who Was That Stranger."In addition to Lynn's solo recordings, duet hits with Ernest Tubb and Conway Twitty are sprinkled throughout the set. The major hits with Twitty missing here ("Louisian Woman Mississippi Man" and "Feelings") can be found on Twitty's equally well-done four-disc companion set. There are a few major singles by Lynn that weren't included ("Home," "You've Come A Long Way Baby," and my personal fave "Red, White, and Blue"), but it is undeniably one of the best done box sets on a country artist."
Good, but not good enough
Ronald George Reagan | Steele, MO | 09/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must agree with the person who reviewed this last-no box set could ever satisfy any one person and this set does leave some to be desired. Everything on here is presented in stellar sound quality-no evidence of vinyl sources or anything less than first generation master tapes. That's one reason it gets 4 stars. Another is the wealth of information contained in the book. But, this totally misses all of her Zero label recordings except for "Honky Tonk Girl" & "Whispering Sea". It also misses all but one of her gospel songs-"Who Says God Is Dead?". Considering Loretta put out 2 gospel LP's, this is definite oversight on the part of MCA records. One thing that you'll see me stress in my review of a lot of CD's is the fact a CD can hold up to almost 80 minutes of playing time & not one of the 3 CD's even come close to it! Now, of course, I'm not even hinting that they could've included EVERY song she recorded, but I'm stressing more could've been put on here without driving up the cost. But, the biggest majority of American record companies seem to bent on ripping off the consumer. Loretta needs and deserves a better box set than this one. If Bear Family won't do a set, perhaps MCA could do what Polygram done for Hank Williams in the 80's & release a multi-volume set available in installments for dedicated email@example.com"
Book 'Em, Danno | Minneapolis, MN USA | 08/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this collection as my birthday gift to myself this year and am so glad I did. I love this box set. Especially the songs, "Rated X," "As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone," and "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly." Shows how much emotional depth Loretta has in her singing (her voice is absolutely heartbreaking in "As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone") and also her lighter side as far as casual bantering in some songs (the funny, light-hearted bickering with Conway Twitty at the end of "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly"). Some real gems here, some that I knew well and some that I had forgotten about. All in all, well worth the price."