Marketing a box set to a fanbase that’s likely already shelled out big bucks for concert tickets can be a dicey practice. Any straight-forward greatest hits compendium would serve only to insultingly flog punters the same music twice. Happily, that’s not the case here.
Four cleverly themed discs means there’s ultimately no space for Nine To Five, Here You Come Again, not even Jolene. Instead, we have 20 tracks apiece under the headings Love, Covers, Duets and Mountain Memories. The last is the real joy, a refreshing hoedown highlighting Parton’s finest bluegrass recordings (Daddy’s Moonshine Sill, Early Morning Breeze) so often overlooked on previous compilations.
The covers set offers some surprises, such as Jackie Wilson’s Higher & Higher and a heartfelt version of Elvis Presley’s In The Ghetto, while the duets disc casts its net wide enough to include the standard Baby It’s Cold Outside in tandem with Rod Stewart. A nononsense one-disc best of hits the shops at the same time, but the shinier trinkets can be found in this treasure chest.