Country icon Dolly Parton has teamed up with a disco legend Barry Gibb for a special new duet, but there’s no bell bottoms or leisure suits involved in this reimagined version of The Bee Gees’ “Words.”
Part of the new Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, the track is one of a handful of Bee Gees classics redone in down-home style. Produced by Grammy winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) and recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the set gets to the songwriting heart at some of the danceable band’s favorite tracks, showcasing each with a country or bluegrass flair. Parton’s take on “Words,” for example, adds a new layer of dignified romance to the original (first recorded in 1967), with her whispery Tennessee vocal unfolding like a quiet promise in the night.
“It’s only words, and words are all I have / To take your heart away,” she and Gibb harmonize as the song comes to a close.
Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 arrives on January 8, and along with Dolly Parton also features reworked versions of Bee Gees songs by Isbell (“Words of a Fool”), Little Big Town (“How Deep Is Your Love”), Olivia Newton-John (“Rest Your Love on Me”), Sheryl Crow (“How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”), Alison Krauss (“Too Much Heaven”), Brandi Carlile (“Run to Me”), Keith Urban (“I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”), and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (“Butterfly”).