"Jolene" by Dolly Parton is one of my all-time favorite songs. (Editor's note: I cry every time I hear "Jolene" - also one of my favorites.) Dolly’s voice is high yet controlled; there is just enough bounce and twang between her voice and the instrumentals to cement "Jolene"'s status as a country classic. The lyrics are so raw and powerful that the tension Parton sets up with the beauty of the melody feels like the listener's own tension.
A video released recently shows the original 45 rpm record played at a speed of 33 rpm, slowing the recording down a full 25%. Dolly's voice drops an octave, gains a certain depth, and the harmonies take on a whole new dimension. The result is hauntingly beautiful. One wonders if this wasn't how the record wasn't originally meant to be played - slowed, pained, as hurt as the speaker is about Jolene.
Listen to the track below - keeping in mind that this isn't a cover, it's Dolly herself.
Listen to the original to compare:
Which do you prefer and why? I’d love to hear what y'all think about this beautiful song at any speed.
Thanks to 22 Words and YouTube
Photo via last.fm