As if to compensate for the resolutely pop-oriented focus of RCA's best-of overview THE ESSENTIAL DOLLY PARTON and its follow-up, this 2001 collection is a sterling compilation of Parton's best work from her first flush of success--the period before she became an international superstar known more for her physical endowments than her music. A 24-track compilation focusing almost entirely on Parton's own songwriting gifts (a few songs written by her duet partner Porter Wagoner are added for balance), MISSION CHAPEL MEMORIES 1971-1975 has all the hits, including of course "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors," but it focuses at least as much on standout album tracks like "She Never Met A Man (She Didn't Like)" and "Pleasant As May." The well-designed package also features remastered sound and perceptive liner notes. Those who only know Parton from her Dollywood era will find this collection most illuminating.
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