Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Loretta Lynn - All Time Greatest Hits

Continuing in my country education, this is the first Loretta Lynn record I have discovered. She is a bit sassier and snappier than some of the other singers that I've found and this is an enjoyable set, including 16 number one hits, along with some lesser known tunes.

"Wine, Women and Song" sets the pace at the start - a bit more rock'n'roll and less schmaltzy than people like Tammy Wynette, though still quite country. I'm not positive of the authorship of all of these songs, but I know that Lynn wrote many of her own tunes and her lyrics show that she was a strong woman who didn't want to take any gruff from anyone - whether it's other females - "You Ain't Woman Enough" and "Fist City" (amazing lyrics) - or her men - "Don't Come Home Drinkin'" (one of my faves). Of course, she occasionally shows some vulnerability, as in "You Just Stepped In" (though she ends up with the upper hand) and "Woman of the World" so that women who were not quite as strong could still related to the songs. Her signature song was the autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter", telling of the hardships of her younger days. There are a couple of nice duets with Conway Twitty ("After the Fire is Gone", "Lead Me On", "As Soon As I Hang Up" [both corny and effectively different at the same time], "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" and "Feelin'") and some social commentary in a dig at marital bliss in "One's On the Way" and the stigma of divorce in "Rated X". She even gets a bit risque with "Out of My Head and Back In My Bed"!

Yes, there are a number of ballads, as well, but this is one of the stronger country records that I've found - Loretta is the real deal!