For years, I’ve heard the story of how, on the original pressings of Dolly Parton’s 1977 album, Here You Come Again, there was a different, more country version of Dolly’s well known hit “Two Doors Down.” I’m not sure how it worked out, but another artist covered and released “Two Doors Down” before Dolly, taking it to the Top 10 of the country charts in 1978. I’m not sure this would happen today – it seems to me like Dolly was a bit blindsided by the cover. Anyway, so as not to compete with the other version and to continue her attempt at pop crossover success, Dolly rerecorded “Two Doors Down” in a version that is decidedly more pop than country. It was a big hit for her and one of the first songs of Dolly’s that I knew after “9 to 5.” Further vinyl pressings of Here You Come Again got the new version of “Two Doors Down” and the other slipped into the annals of country music history.
I have always wanted to hear this version, but haven’t ever been able to find it. My vinyl copy of Here You Come Again has the pop version of “Two Doors Down” and it seems like every single one of the 5 million Dolly Parton hits compilations eschew the original country version for the pop version. The other day, I finally found it on Tumblr and then it occurred to me that I had never checked YouTube, where it’s been uploaded for over 2 years now.
Compare that to the pop version.
Comparing the two, I think they both have their merits. The pop version sounds like a very blatant grab at a pop hit, but coming on the pop success of “Here You Come Again” I can’t say that I really blame her. And when I listen to the country version, I miss the bridge (“whoa-oh-oh-oh, two doors down…”) but it’s good to hear it in its original form.
When I was a college freshman, I had a cassette copy of Dolly Parton’s Greatest Hits that I would listen to in my Walkman when I walked to and from classes. Of course, “Two Doors Down” was on there. I always remember there was a part that sounded kind of like a tricycle bell, but listening to the versions I have on my computer, I can’t seem to find it. Erased. Just like the original version of “Two Doors Down.”
Anyway, it was most appropriate that “Two Doors Down” opened the Dolly concert I saw in 2009. Here it is. She’s still got it, even though I think this isn’t quite live.