Slowed “Jolene” Makes Dolly Parton An Internet Star
Record collectors know that some of the world’s best hidden treasure are discovered by playing a 45 rpm single at 33 rpm. Many times, the results aren’t that great. However, sometimes, a song sounds even better and/or more epic than it does when played at the proper speed.
One example of this made the rounds on the internet this week. YouTube user “goodlittlebuddy” uploaded the audio of the Dolly Parton’s 1973 number-one hit “Jolene” slowed down by 25%–effectively playing a 45 at 33 rpm–and it became a web sensation. Similar videos slowing down “Jolene” have been posted to YouTube as early as 2010, but this one spread like hotcakes after numerous outlets picked up on it.
The song is even more melancholy and haunting when slowed down. It adds more depth to the emotion in Dolly’s voice and helps convey the desperation of the lyrics even more. The only drawback to the slowed-down version is that Dolly’s voice now sounds like that of a man (possibly, Bill Withers in “Ain’t No Sunshine”), which certainly puts a new spin on the love triangle described in the tune. But, then again, the vocal also has an Alison Moyet feel to it and is reminiscent of her vocal on Yaz’s “Only You.”
Hopefully this internet meme will introduce a new legion of fans to Dolly Parton’s music.