All Time Greatest Hits album cover

Loretta Lynn, All Time Greatest Hits

MCA Nashville, 2002, country

B, 1966: The first ‘greatest hits’ record on the list thus far, and a good one. A strong woman singing songs of heartbreak, love, and maybe a bit of empowerment in there too. My pick: “As Soon As They Hang Up The Phone”, a great breakup duet/call-and-response with Conway Twitty.

C, 2002: Great record and man what a voice she has. Great country tunes and I actually enjoyed this album. Kinda defeated the purpose for me, it being a greatest hits record and not an actual record but to me “Happy Birthday” takes the cake (pun intended). So many great songs on here love Loretta Lynn.

H, 1951: I’m not really a fan. The lyrics, tunes, singing and instrumentation all sound fairly conventional. These tracks just sound to me like they came out of the country sausage factory, mixing the usual ingredients together to produce more of the same old stuff. It’s interesting to see the progression from the early songs written by Lynn herself, to the later ones that were written by others (even including one hit written by Shel Silverstein). There are also interesting political implications, starting with the song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and ending with our current president’s obsession with reviving the coal industry. Whereas art is supposed to broaden the listener’s perspective, Lynn’s songs seem expressly designed to do the opposite: to reflect and reinforce a perspective already familiar to her listeners.

Published 15 Sep 2019