Our next three Country Records of the Month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Country in July, August and September 2021 — feature three of the reigning queens of country music, each in their own right. Read below to find out more:
July: Reba McEntire’s For My Broken Heart
In July, VMP Country will feature a special 30th-anniversary edition of Reba McEntire’s heart-wrenching classic, For My Broken Heart. Recorded after McEntire lost her entire band in a tragic plane accident, the album was McEntire’s best selling record to date, reaching No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and eventually selling more than 4 million copies, marking Reba’s biggest crossover — at a point where country-pop crossovers were rare. Now, on a major occasion of this landmark record, we have it on exclusive 180g Magenta Galaxy vinyl, with a Listening Notes booklet by Natalie Weiner and featuring a note from Reba inside the album’s gatefold.
Weiner writes in the album’s listening notes: “The album is essentially divided between songs like “Broken Heart” — about recovering from loss, about moving on — and full-blown weepers … These are stories without redemption, without a cheerful twist or upbeat perspective. If country music so often pulls from the blues’ signature blend of pathos and humor, For My Broken Heart doesn’t shy from expressing heartfelt, deep sadness without an easy antidote.”
Sign up now to receive For My Broken Heart.
August: Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors
Celebrating another monumental landmark of a foundational country record, in August, VMP Country will feature Dolly Parton’s breakout album, Coat of Many Colors, just ahead of the album’s 50th anniversary. Our August Country ROTM pressing is AAA remastered, cut from tapes by Sterling Sound’s Ryan Smith and comes on 180g Rainbow Splatter vinyl.
“Especially knowing VMP got to work closely with a legend like Dolly and her team around an occasion as special as the record’s 50th anniversary, featuring Coat of Many Colors in VMP Country is nothing short of a dream,” said VMP’s Head of Editorial and Dolly fanatic, Amileah Sutliff. “It’s an essential Dolly record. It’s an essential piece of country music. And country music affinity aside, it’s a special little slice of songwriting mastery and storytelling perfection that every music lover should have a solid copy of in their arsenal, and I really believe our version does it justice.”
Coat of Many Colors will be available for sign-ups starting July 27.
September: Emmylou Harris’ Pieces of the Sky
In September, VMP Country will feature Emmylou Harris’ haunting 1975 major-label solo debut, Pieces of the Sky. Recorded in the wake of her musical and creative partner Gram Parsons’ death in September 1973, the record reached No. 7 on the Billboard Country charts and launched Harris’ solo career into the sun. Mastered from the original tapes, this pressing is on 180g Gold Nugget vinyl, with a gloss single tip-on jacket.
“On top of the horror and pain of losing her beloved Gram, gone too was everything they were supposed to create together, a future consisting of night after night together on stage and in the studio making untouchable songs and changing the course of country music,” wrote Sutliff in the album’s liner notes. “She would’ve been content being Gram’s sidekick on stage until the end of eternity, but now, if she wanted to fulfill their vision and finish what he started, she’d have to do it herself — thrusting her into the solo spotlight in the midst of her grief. To honor Gram and to honor herself, she decided to pick up the pieces and make Pieces of the Sky. She would rewrite country the way Gram had rewritten it for her.”
Pieces of the Sky will be available for sign-ups starting August 26.