The Definitive Collection: Loretta Lynn
In the mid-1960s, the direction of country music was changed forever by a coal miner’s daughter from Butcher Holler, Kentucky. Loretta Lynn brought a new, uniquely feminine perspective to Nashville as she poured out her songs of frustration, defiance and resolve, and she did it with grace, smarts and humor, as the tracks here make plain. Decades later, tunes like “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’(With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “One’s on the Way,” and “The Pill” still carry a kick. Back when it counted, Lynn spoke the truth fearlessly and made the country music establishment like it. But feminist manifestos are only part of Lynn’s achievement. Her unvarnished singing delivers romantic laments like “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” with utter believability. Her duets with Conway Twitty — especially the rueful “After the Fire is Gone” — are classic dialogues between the sexes. And beyond all this, there’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” of course, as perfect an expression of down-home pride as anyone has written. Fortunately for us all, Lynn’s iconic songs remain to show new generations of artists the way.