Emmylou has always been a singer that focused on albums. Her music covered a wide variety of styles, but each album had its own style, although the changes in style became even more dramatic in the nineties. This compilation brings together tracks from all those differently styled albums from the mid-seventies to the late eighties. If you are familiar with her more recent music via albums like Wrecking ball and Red dirt girl but not her earlier music, I must warn you that this is a country music anthology.
During the period covered by this compilation, Emmylou had many hits on the American country charts including five solo number one hits, all cover versions and all included here. They were Together again (Buck Owens), Sweet dreams (Patsy Cline), Two more bottles of wine (Delbert McClinton), Beneath still waters (George Jones) and a live recording of Lost his love on our last date (Floyd Cramer). Emmylou also had a number one hit with To know him is to love him (a cover of the fifties pop hit by the Teddy Bears), which she recorded with her friends Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt and which is also included here. We believe in happy endings, a duet with Earl Thomas Conley, also reached number one but you have to buy Emmylou's Duets album to get that - it's not here.
Emmylou had many other big country hits with cover versions, including If I could only win your love (Louvin brothers), Here there and everywhere (Beatles), which was a minor UK pop hit, You never can tell C'Est la vie (Chuck Berry), Save the last dance for me (Drifters), Blue Kentucky girl (Loretta Lynn) and The boxer (Simon and Garfunkel).
Dolly Parton wrote To Daddy and recorded it for her 1976 album All I can do, but Emmylou heard it and recorded it herself. When Dolly heard Emmylou's version, she substituted another song for her own album, although Dolly's version was eventually released on a compilation CD many years later. Thus, Emmylou's version, included here, is the first one the public heard.
Another notable feature of Emmylou's career is the vast number of duets that she has recorded, though the only ones here (apart from the Trio track) are That loving you feeling again (with Roy Orbison) and If I needed you (with Don Williams).
In the early years, it was rare for Emmylou to write songs, but she co-wrote Boulder to Birmingham, one of her earliest successes. She wrote more as the years went by, particularly on the concept album Ballad of Sally Rose, an album she co-wrote with Paul Kennerley and which is represented here by Rhythm guitar, White line and Timberline, but she didn't really write much until the nineties - after the period covered by this anthology.
This is a great introduction to Emmylou's music of the seventies and eighties for any country music fans new to it.