"If I'm gonna be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'm going to have to earn it," Dolly Parton commented upon her 2022 induction into the Cleveland hall. She promised that a rock and roll album was on the way, and today, she made good on that promise...with what essentially amounts to two such records! On November 17, Dolly's own Butterfly Records in association with Big Machine will release Rockstar, a whopping 2-CD or 4-LP collection with 30 songs featuring some of the biggest names in the genre including Sting, Lizzo, Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, Simon Le Bon, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Steve Perry, John Fogerty, Peter Frampton, Joan Jett, Michael McDonald, and many more...oh yeah, and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr!
Rockstar features nine originals and twenty-one classic covers, almost all of which feature one or more special guests. Among the debuts is "What Has Rock and Roll Ever Done for You," a duet with Stevie Nicks featuring veteran guitarist Waddy Wachtel. The song was demoed (and subsequently bootlegged) by Nicks, but the duet with Parton marks its first official release. "I Dreamed About Elvis" welcomes Ronnie McDowell (who scored a 1977 crossover hit with another tribute to Presley, "The King Is Gone"). Other originals include "World on Fire" and the title track "Rockstar" with ex-Bon Jovi lead guitarist Richie Sambora.
A number of the guests reinterpret their own classic songs with Dolly, including Blondie's Debbie Harry on "Heart of Glass," Elton John on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Sting on "Every Breath You Take," Peter Frampton on "Baby, I Love Your Way," Parton's goddaughter Miley Cyrus on "Wrecking Ball," REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin on "Keep on Loving You," Heart's Ann Wilson and Howard Leese on "Magic Man," John Fogerty on Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See the Light," Steve Perry on Journey's "Open Arms," Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on "Heartbreaker," and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on an all-star "Let It Be" which also welcomes Frampton and Mick Fleetwood. The voice of the late Ronnie Van Zant, who died in 1977, is heard on the album's closing track, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," on which Dolly is also accompanied by Skynyrd's late Gary Rossington (who died on March 5 of this year) and Artimus Pyle.
Parton also revisits Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," which she previously recorded on her 2002 bluegrass album Halos and Horns. She had expressed her hope to get Robert Plant and Jimmy Page reunited on the track, and while that didn't pan out, she's welcomed Lizzo playing the instrument she's dubbed Sasha Flute. Similarly, Parton wished that Mick Jagger would join her on The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Mick was unavailable but P!nk and Brandi Carlile now join Parton on the track. Dolly cuts loose herself on solo covers of Prince's "Purple Rain" and Queen's "We Are the Champions," and pays homage to her Trio friend Linda Ronstadt with a new recording of "You're No Good" with fellow Trio member Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow.
The Dolly-palooza known as Rockstar arrives on November 17 in CD, LP, and digital formats. Target has an exclusive gold LP edition while Vinyl Me, Please will carry the title on white vinyl with an alternate cover. The U.K. has a pink vinyl variant with another different cover. There's still more: independent record stores including Rough Trade will carry an opaque "deep purple" LP with an alternate cover. All formats are available now for pre-order at the links below. The lead track "World on Fire" featuring Richie Sambora hits digital services this Thursday, May 11. Various bundles and a pink vinyl variant are available at Dolly's official store.
Dolly Parton, Rockstar (Butterfly/Big Machine, 2023)
- Rockstar (special guest Richie Sambora)
- World on Fire
- Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting)
- Open Arms (feat. Steve Perry)
- Magic Man (feat. Ann Wilson with special guest Howard Leese)
- Long As I Can See The Light (feat. John Fogerty)
- Either Or (feat. Kid Rock)
- I Want You Back (feat. Steven Tyler with special guest Warren Haynes)
- What Has Rock And Roll Ever Done For You (feat. Stevie Nicks with special guest Waddy Wachtel)
- Purple Rain
- Baby, I Love Your Way (feat. Peter Frampton)
- I Hate Myself For Loving You (feat. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts)
- Night Moves (feat. Chris Stapleton)
- Wrecking Ball (feat. Miley Cyrus)
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (feat. P!nk & Brandi Carlile)
- Keep On Loving You (feat. Kevin Cronin)
- Heart Of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry)
- Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (feat. Elton John)
- Tried To Rock And Roll Me (feat. Melissa Etheridge)
- Stairway To Heaven (feat. Lizzo & Sasha Flute)
- We Are The Champions
- Bygones (feat. Rob Halford with special guests Nikki Sixx & John 5)
- My Blue Tears (feat. Simon Le Bon)
- What's Up? (feat. Linda Perry)
- You're No Good (feat. Emmylou Harris & Sheryl Crow)
- Heartbreaker (feat. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo)
- Bittersweet (feat. Michael McDonald)
- I Dreamed About Elvis (feat. Ronnie McDowell with special guest The Jordanaires)
- Let It Be (feat. Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr with special guests Peter Frampton & Mick Fleetwood)
- Free Bird (feat. Ronnie Van Zant with special guests Gary Rossington, Artimus Pyle and The Artimus Pyle Band)