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Dolly Parton’s original recording of “Jolene” slowed down by 25% is surprisingly awesome

Aug 16, 2013 By Abraham 152

“Jolene” has been covered numerous times, but despite how it sounds, this is not a cover by a pretty-sounding dude. It’s a 45 rpm record of Dolly singing that has been slowed to 33 rpm…

Here’s the original for reference.

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152 Comments

      1. Frances Loveland says:

        “Jolene” has been covered numerous times, but despite how it sounds, this is not a cover by a pretty-sounding dude. It’s a 45 rpm record of Dolly singing that has been slowed to 33 rpm…

    1. pattid says:

      Are you f*cking serious? I just watched it & it sucks! I like the White Stripes, but that was horrible!

          1. scudmiss says:

            Ok, so either there are a bunch of trolls hanging around this site, or a bunch of idiots…Either way, I’m scared and irritated.

    2. Lou says:

      Was JUST about to make the same comment. :) And Chris, listen to the words, it SHOULD be damaged and scary!!

    1. Allen says:

      “Imaginary Lover” when first released, was accidentally played on 45 from the 33 rpm LP on a radio station somewhere. That station was bombarded by phone calls wanting to know what this new Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac song was. Ha Ha! Try it, if you have it on vinyl. It really does sound like Fleetwood Mac. LOL.

  1. Chelsi says:

    This is beautiful. I think it works with Dolly Parton especially, because she has kind of a shrill voice normally. When you slow her down, she still sounds like a woman rather than some sort of swamp monster.

      1. Chelsi says:

        Haha. Don’t get me wrong. I love Dolly Parton! But I just googled to find out if anyone else ever thought of her as “shrill” and Dolly herself is quoted as describing her voice as “a cross between tiny tim and a nanny goat”. Got to love her.

        1. Nearlysomebody says:

          The book Jukebox Loser describes her as a screeching barn owl on nitrous oxide, or something like that.

    1. David Gray says:

      Yeah, this kinda gives her voice a Nina Simone vibe. Nina Simone with less power, but still that kind of drama and masculinity.

        1. Daev Mulholland says:

          Nina Simone’s voice came to mind for me as well.
          I’m amazed that this sounds so normal! 25% is a big leap down in speed and pitch, but except for the letter “S”, nothing about this sounds very unusual or as though it has been modified.

      1. KG says:

        ^ This!!! I head this version last year sometime, and that’s exactly what I thought, and exactly what I intended to say here.

  2. Stuart Strickland says:

    Going the other direction, there are very few women with a low enough voice to sound normal speeded up from 33 to 45 rpm. My favorite example is Karen Carpenter’s take on “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” from the Carpenters’ 1975 “Horizons” LP.

      1. Stuart Strickland says:

        [To Bob:] The original Carpenters recording has a very slow tempo in addition to her singing at the very lowest of her range. The result sped up is a moderate tempo well within range of the majority of women. The take is so low and so slow, I wonder if Richard (brother, producer, arranger, keyboards on the tune) and she didn’t do it that way on purpose.

        Sorry, I don’t have a link to a video, I just own the LP and a phonograph.

    1. Carlos Glitzchango says:

      I bet Happy Rhodes would sound great speeded up but not on the Kate Bush parts of her songs. On ‘When The Rain Came Down’ you’d need to both speed it up and slow it down at the same time! Could be tricky.

  3. Emmett Furrow says:

    If you speed up Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” from 33 to 45 rpm, it sounds like a Dolly Parton song.

  4. Multiple wicked says:

    It’s a bit rubbish that this was an article on BBC radio 4 this week, yet you gave it zero credit and claimed it as your own original material.

    1. double wicked says:

      Not quite. “Claiming as your own original material” would mean not including the link to where he found it under the video, where the BBC 4 radio show is mentioned or posting a video that is not uploaded by either BBC4 or 22words and from more than a year ago.

      The point of this website is re-posting stuff from other websites and what’s wrong with that? The link is always included.

      Less moaning, more enjoying please. :)

      1. Carlo Rossi says:

        Actually the link goes to the original normal speed version on youtube, not the BBC 4 article so it doesn’t reference the original article at all.

  5. Tammie says:

    Why is this surprising? The original is also incredible. I love Dolly Parton. She’s an amazing person and a talented songwriter.

  6. jeste says:

    Just saw the movie IN A WORLD written/directed/starring Lake Bell in which she plays a voice coach often dealing with women whose voices sound just the way Dolly describes herself: wild vibrato & ultra high pitch. Reminds me of typical VO female singers in Bollywood, too. Slovakian singers, as well. So the take-away from this exercise in slowing down the speed for me as a singer is that if you’re open to trying new things you could probably train to sing in another fach, in much the same way singers do Early Baroque–straight tone–or opera–full vibrato. My teacher maintained that there is no such thing as verticality, just whatever length your vocal cords happen to be. Obviously, not every body can sing as high as Dolly, but I think she probably could sing a lot lower than she does, no problem.

  7. catsareassholes says:

    I could see a man singing the song in this key.
    With a couple pronoun changes it’d be a man falling into temptation even though he loves his wife/girlfriend.

    Hmmmm

    Might have to run it past my band mates.

    caa

  8. Mike Gee says:

    Great tune…….I saw and heard “Jolene” performed by The Sisters of Mercy in concert in San Diego a few years back, at San Diego State College. It was mesmerizing in my opinion. I have searched for a recording of it, by them, ever since but, alas, no luck.

  9. cncden says:

    Please do this to “I Will Always Love You”, or have you already? I’d rather eat glass than hear even a portion of Houston’s rendition! Dolly has a beautiful voice (unaltered), but this “Jolene” is AMAZING. Thank you for it!

  10. Dan says:

    Funny about the Cher references. The song by Cher ‘gypsies Tramps And Thieves’ sprung into my head listening to this. Love it.

  11. ECN says:

    I’m not sure who Dolly sounds like slowed down, though Cher’s not the worst suggestion… but damned if that backing track doesn’t sound like Neil Young.

  12. Joe says:

    Love the song either way, the only thing about this song that doesn’t make sense to me is.
    There isn’t any woman on the face of the Earth that could steal a man from Dolly! (o)(o)
    ).(
    ( )( )

  13. Trey Stoner says:

    Any artist,male or female who tries to cover a Dolly Parton song does himself/herself a grave disservice They always pale in comparisonIt’s like tryonbg to cover a Patsy Cline recording. I resect the great singer/songwriter,Gail Davies, who tells her audiences that shout outrequests for her to to sing ” Creazy”Gail has one of the most amazing voices with an incredible range. Her response consistently is ” I don’t try to cover Patsy because nobody can.”She is a one of the kind. I think the same is true of Dolly.

  14. Trey Stoner says:

    Any artist,male or female who tries to cover a Dolly Parton song does himself/herself a grave disservice They always pale in comparison. It’s like tryonbg to cover a Patsy Cline recording. I resect the great singer/songwriter,Gail Davies, who tells her audiences that shout outrequests for her to to sing ” Ceazy”Gail has one of the most amazing voices with an incredible range. Her response consistently is ” I don’t try to cover Patsy because nobody can.”She is a one of the kind.
    I think the same is true of Dolly.
    Reply ↓ August 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

  15. Denny Crane says:

    This reminds me of the recording of “Imaginary Lover” by Atlanta Rhythm Section. When the playing speed is increased by about 9.6%% it sounds just like Fleetwood Mac.

    1. Manfred says:

      I seem to remember some DJ on an L.A. radio station playing the LP version of ARS’s “So Into You” at 45 RPM and fooling people into thinking it was Fleetwood Mac.

  16. Robert Reid says:

    That was great and here is a remake of “Jolene” that my niece Sam (Samantha) Roark just cut in Nashville and a rough cut video for preview to go with it. If you get a chance please check out her debut Joe Sun produced “Check Out Girl” CD on CD Baby and Reverbnation, made in Aug. 2010 and her first 3 released singles all made The Top 10 of several Secondary Country Music Charts and she was written about twice by Robert K. Oremann in Nashville’s Music Row Magazine and featured on the main page of Microsoft Window’s Music Media Guide for over 2 weeks and labeled “Kentucky’s Country Gem”. Thanks very much !!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0uMWDLxNIMk

  17. Bork says:

    Dolly sucks really bad, I would never listen to her do anything, but this slowed down version is great. Slowed it even gets rid of her trimolo voice which is disgusting and irritating.

  18. SaugusMan says:

    I feel bad for Bork. He is a man (I think) with no ears. I have to wonder how he hears the dinner bell.

  19. SaugusMan says:

    This recording clearly shows her perfect Dolly’s phrasing is. I think most songs would fall apart if slowed down like this.

  20. marie speranza says:

    Dolly should sing alongside this recording, (same time) with her regular voice..l.what a nice record that would be…
    Dolly and Dolly…

  21. Luke says:

    It’s also dropped a perfect fourth…so “slowing it down” probably had little to do with making her voice sound more masculine.

  22. JerryBall says:

    With the Masculine slant on the slower voice, it makes the context very gay. Kinda clever thinking about it. I like it.

  23. Em says:

    A great song and a very interesting tweak. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned Nora Jones and The Little Willies who did and excellent version as well.

  24. mark says:

    it’s sung very well with a guy singer, a little more folky and smooth, but one has to ask; with a guy singing it, does that mean that he’s gay. after all he’s begging her not to take his man. just curious

  25. mark says:

    ahh, never mind, I see it was just slowed down and it’s still her singing, I assume. it sounds good anyway

  26. Matt Sweeney says:

    THIS IS FAKE. There are plenty of programs that slow down recordings–try it yourself and you’ll see. This isn’t Dolly Parton. Sorry to rain on the parade.

  27. Miles says:

    Fun! This reminds me of the time I realized that if I slowed down Des’ree’s “Gotta Be”, it sounds like Antony and the Johnsons.

  28. Chris says:

    I don’t care what it says, you should not believe everything you read on the internet anyway. This is not Dolly singing! Its some guy. I believe in Unicorns more than I believe this is a slowed down record. Get grip people.

    1. Stu Gotts says:

      Yeah, people. GET A GRIP. We all know that if you take the Jolene 7″ single and play it at 33.5rpm it’d NEVER sound like some guy singing. This is obviously some giant piss take designed to launch some cross dressing tranny’s career! Oh look,,,,a unicorn! Gotta fly!

  29. Greg says:

    I really like a song by Tube, Berger called ‘Soulgood” and thanks to this slowdown I now realize where the sample that carries their piece comes from. Funny how some puzzles get solved out of the blue.

  30. Chris says:

    Awesome. Many are saying it sounds like a dude, but it sounds like a deep-voiced black woman blues singer performing it to me.

  31. Jan D. de la Cour says:

    Please, pay attention to this way of singing Jolene. This gives new life to a too well-known song. Very touching and interesting

  32. UncleHammy says:

    This sounds suspicially lilke Niel Young. Has anyone ever seen Neil and Dolly together? Maybe Neil made the origial record and sped it up 25% to make the “Dolly” voice.

    Man that guy is a genius, rock and country, man and woman… he had it all covered.

    Well played Mr. Young um er Ms. Pardon.

  33. R.Brain says:

    We’ve finally been able to post a full-motion video version of plunderphonicist John Oswald’s original 2-speed Jolene:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZCE-r8y6S4
    (just over 30 years late!)
    The audio track was performed way back in 1981 for a radio show.
    And even back then he wrote that he wasn’t the first to discover Dolly’s hidden talents as a tenor.
    There are more details about this at:
    http://dangerousminds.net/comments/attention_slow_ass_jolene_dolly_parton_uploader_plunderphonics#disqus_thread

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