Steve Albini wants to produce that rock album Dolly Parton has promised us

Albini and Parton
(Image credit: Dolly Parton/Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM and Steve Albini/Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

After the madness of the past couple of years, we've learned to expect the unexpected. But with that said, we did not ever anticipate typing the headline 'Steve Albini wants to produce that rock album Dolly Parton has promised us'. And yet here we are.

We'll need to back up a little here, in order to explain what's going on here. Last month, after expressing her surprise at being nominated for inclusion in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, country music legend Dolly Parton declared that, should she be inducted into the music industry's gallery of greats, she would deliver "a great rock ’n’ roll album – which I’ve wanted to do for years, like a Linda Ronstadt or Heart kind of thing."

This week the story took a new turn, when the iconic country queen declined the nomination, stating that she doesn't feel like she's "earned that right" to be included. Parton's statement, which can be viewed below, did however reaffirm her intention to record a rock and roll album.

Enter, to considerable surprise, Steve Albini, long-time punk rock provocateur, former Big Black/current Shellac frontman, and the recording engineer responsible for committing to tape some of the most important alt. rock albums in history, Pixies' Surfer Rosa, Nirvana's In Utero, Goat by The Jesus Lizard and PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me among them.

Having evidently noted Parton's statement on Twitter, Albini replied with a tweet saying, "Dolly Parton do you like analog recording". Given that Steve Albini doesn't ever go touting for business because he is Steve Albini, this is as close as the famously-uncompromising and highly~principled studio technician gets to prostrating himself at the feet of a musical superstar.

Please universe, make this happen.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.