Retro Single Review: Dolly Parton, “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right”/”Two Doors Down”

“It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right”

Written by Dolly Parton

Peak: #1 Country

“Two Doors Down”

Written by Dolly Parton

Peak: #19 Pop | #12 Adult Contemporary

In a caffeine-fueled all night writing session while struggling with a crash diet, Dolly Parton wrote both sides of this double-sided hit.  Following a popular trend of the time, one side was sent to country radio and the other to pop radio.

The country hit, “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right” is a classic tale of turning to a one night stand for comfort. Parton is vulnerable, but also resolute. She knows she’s using the gentleman as a band-aid to her loneliness, and that it’s wrong, but she’s going to follow through anyway. It’s one of her strongest self-penned hits of her crossover years.

Grade: A

The pop hit, “Two Doors Down,” has been a staple of her live show since its release. Interestingly, the original album version had a different first verse.  She re-recorded the song for this single, and replaced the album version with the new version on future printings. The song is stronger without the original opening verse, which drags the loneliness on for a little too long.  Zella Lehr covered the original version and took it to the top ten of the country charts, while Parton’s revised, more uptempo take earned her another pop and AC hit. Parton’s record is fun, but the song is simply better live, without the burden of its dated pop production.

Grade:  B+

Next: Heartbreaker

Previous: Here You Come Again

 

4 Comments

  1. I still say “Here You Come Again” is her best album (well, other than those amazing bluegrass albums of late 90s early 00s).

    Just off the top of my head, there was the title track (reviewed earlier), the two great songs above, Me And Little Andy, God’s Coloring Book, Cowgirl And The Dandy, As Soon As I Touched Him, and an amazing cut of Kenny Rogers’ Sweet Music Man.

    I know I’m forgetting a couple of songs, but that was an amazing album.

  2. CAJ, Here You Come Again was an amazing album. It always seems like Dolly has one stellar album from each phase of her career.

  3. The funny thing is that neither “It’s All Wrong” nor “Two Doors Down” sound even the least bit country, save of course for it being Dolly. But I think that goes for Dolly’s ability to have crossover appeal and still be recognizably who she is. And when you look at it, who could possibly match her, at least in Nashville, for her brand of unalloyed flamboyance, professionalism, and songwriting craft all wrapped up in one?

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