The moving cat sheds, and, having shed, moves on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I ain't dumb, and I ain't blonde. 

I know it's dreadfully uncool (or whatever) to like covers albums. And yes, I know it's dreadfully unhip (or whatever) to like country music. And, yes yes don't go on, I know it's dreadfully not with it (or whatever) to like oldsters. But you got me - I like covers albums. I like country music. I like Dolly Parton. And I like Dolly Parton's new album, which is, you may have realised by now, a covers album.

Those Were The Days, it's called, and, unsurprisingly, it has that very same song featuring among the twelve. Fine, fine rendition it is too. And guess what! It's got Mary Hopkin on it! Yes - THE Mary Hopkin! The blonde Welsh teenager spotted on New Faces by Paul McCartney way back in nineteen-sixty-plonk and signed to the brand-new Apple record label! The very same Mary Hopkin who made famous this song - English-language lyrics added to an old Russian (or Ukrainian or summat) folk song. Except she isn't blonde any more, or a teenager. But she is still Welsh, at least. As far as I know, she came out of retirement especially to record this song with our Dolly!

Another great and mostly retired singer featuring on a song on Dolly's new album - Yusuf Islam. Yes - THE Yusuf Islam! "Who?" I hear you ask. Oh, you know, Yusuf Islam. Old Yusuf. You know the fella, born as Steven Demetre Georgiou, went on to find fame and acclaim under the moniker Cat Stevens. Yes - THE Cat Stevens! He's been peeking his impressively-bearded head above the parapet of music biz retirement quite a bit, lately. He keeps appearing on Channel 4 talking about music, and he re-recorded his old hit Father & Son not long ago with dear sweet Ronan Keating, and now here he is again re-recording his old hit Where Do The Children Play? with dear sweet Dolly Parton. He doesn't sing on this one, though; he's only playing guitar. But I'm still holding out hopes that he's easing his way back into the studio long-term. Maybe there'll be a new album in the next couple of years?

Another oldie recorded by Dolly on this new record is John Lennon's soppy peace paean Imagine. She didn't manage to convince him out of the grave and into the studio to help out, though. Shame.
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