|1. Folsom Prison Blues|
|2. Dark as the Dungeon|
|3. I Still Miss Someone|
|4. Cocaine Blues|
|5. 25 Minutes to Go|
|6. Orange Blossom Special|
|7. The Long Black Veil|
|8. Send a Picture of Mother|
|9. The Wall|
|10. Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog|
|11. Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart|
|12. Jackson (With June Carter)|
|13. Give My Love to Rose (With June Carter)|
|14. I Got Stripes|
|15. Green, Green Grass of Home|
|16. Greystone Chapel|
Johnny Cash takes full advantage of the unusual circumstances, drawing energy from the literally captive audience, and creating an intense atmosphere which results in one of the most raw and stimulating performances you'll ever hear.
("This show is being recorded for an album released on Columbia Records", Cash says, "-so you can't say hell or sh*t or anything like that!")
Country weepers like "I Still Miss Someone" and "Green, Green Grass Of Home" may have seemed smaltzy if performed by an artist with less panache, but the imposing Johnny Cash imbues every song with dignity and sincerity.
Almost all of the nineteen songs performed has do to with death, prison, violence, drugs, loneliness, loss and regret, but "Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison" never becomes morose; Cash delivers songs like "Cocaine Blues", "Folsom Prison Blues", "The Wall" and "25 Minutes To Go" with conviction and a singular mix of seriousness and dark, acerbic humor, making this album a sublime concert album, one which truly couldn't have been recorded in the studio. One of the finest records of the 60s, and a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in the music of Johnny Cash.
This isn't a singles record, this is an album; you put it on to hear the whole thing. The performance itself is tight and structured, just like the venue. The recording is especially atmospheric - the reverb bouncing off the concrete walls, the sounds of doors slamming in the background, and an interruption by a prison announcement. Cash and the band (which includes the brilliant Luther Perkins, and his brother Carl - think Blue Suede Shoes) seem unflappable and completely at ease, belying the actual tension of the gig.
This reissue restores the original recording to its raw, warts-and all-feel, in direct contrast to the sanitized version that I grew up with: four songs have been restored to the set due to increased available length, plus Cash's interaction with the audience and the profanity (tasteful by today's standards) has been re-introduced, revealing the incredibly gritty nature of this record. Plus, the packaging is incredible: the handwritten note from Cash, describing why he felt compelled to make this album, the liner notes, and an appreciation from Steve Earle round out the package to create not merely a reissue, but a full restoration.
If you are hungry for something more substantial than the latest Clapton disc or Zeppelin reissue, you won't regret a minute of this terrific album.
From the opener "Folsom Prison Blues," through the addictive (no pun intended) "Cocaine Blues" and the epitomy of gallows humor... Read more
Cash is in roaring form here, delivering a wonderful mix of humour, sadness, joy, rebellion, comedy and... Read more