March 07, 2006
MCA Nashville

Album Review

Add Gold to the running list of Loretta Lynn best-of compilations issued by MCA Nashville during the early 2000s, a list also including The Definitive Collection (2005), All Time Greatest Hits (2002), and 20th Century Masters (2001), as well as holiday and inspirational collections (20th Century Masters -- The Christmas Collection [2005] and The Gospel Spirit [2004], respectively). Obviously, MCA Nashville is doing its best to monetize Lynn's rich back catalog, as each of these successive releases is a bit more complete than its predecessor. Gold is the first to expand its reach to a second disc, encompassing 39 songs spanning 35 years, from 1960 to 1995. Truth be told, The Definitive Collection was plenty definitive, cramming 25 of Lynn's absolute biggest hits onto one disc. And while its time line was a bit shorter, from 1964 to 1979, without question those were Lynn's peak years. So if you're a thrifty consumer who wants to maximize your economy, stick with The Definitive Collection. You'll be mighty satisfied. On the other hand, if you don't mind spending a little extra money, Gold does paint a fuller picture of Lynn's illustrious career. In particular, it includes "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," a 1960 single released by Zero Records that is historically interesting, and it also includes a couple latter-day recordings that are likewise interesting historically. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," from 1993, is a fun cover featuring Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, and "Country in My Genes," recorded in 1995 but not released until 2000, is produced by Randy Scruggs and is a surprisingly strong performance with lots of Lynn's trademark vigor. The latter foreshadows the sort of stark, traditionally styled production that Jack White would grace Lynn with several years later on the wonderful Van Lear Rose album. That 2004 album is about the only milestone of Lynn's career not represented here on Gold, in fact. A few more of Lynn's duets with Conway Twitty would have been welcome, granted, but above all, her solo career is well accounted for on Gold, a best-of that falls somewhere between a standard greatest-hits collection and a full-fledged box set.
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. I'm a Honky Tonk Girl
  2. Success
  3. Before I'm Over You
  4. Wine, Women and Song
  5. Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be
  6. Happy Birthday
  7. Blue Kentucky Girl
  8. Dear Uncle Sam
  9. You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)
  10. Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)
  11. Fist City
  12. You've Just Stepped In (From Stepping out on Me)
  13. Your Squaw Is on the Warpath
  14. Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone)
  15. To Make a Man (Feel Like a Man)
  16. You Wanna Give Me a Lift
  17. Coal Miner's Daughter
  18. After the Fire Is Gone
  19. You're Looking at Country
  20. I Wanna Be Free
  21. One's on the Way
  22. Rated "X"
  23. The Pill
  24. Love Is the Foundation
  25. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
  26. Hey Loretta
  27. They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy Anymore
  28. Trouble in Paradise
  29. When the Tingle Becomes a Chill
  30. Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missing Tonight)
  31. She's Got You
  32. Out of My Head and Back in My Bed
  33. I Can't Feel You Anymore
  34. I Lie
  35. Silver Threads and Golden Needles
  36. Country in My Genes