Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul Of Truth Blu-specCD
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See all 25 tracks on this disc
|1. Back In The Fold|
|2. Look Unto The East|
|3. I Was There When It Happened|
|5. Would You Recognize Jesus|
|6. That's Just Like Jesus|
|7. What On Earth Will You Do (For Heaven's Sake)|
|8. Keep Me From Blowing Away|
|9. Don't Give Up On Me|
|10. Over The Next Hill (We'll Be Home)|
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Two CD collection, the fourth installment in the official bootleg series. If not for Gospel music, there never would have been a Johnny Cash. When Cash decided he wanted to be an entertainer, there was really only one type of music he intended to sing. Although Cash reinvented himself many times during his life, there was one way in which he never did: His faith. And this faith, with its roots so firmly planted in Gospel music, stayed with him throughout his life. Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul Of Truth presents an intimate and personal look at Cash s passion for Gospel music and his own spiritual path. Bootleg Vol. IV presents three rare albums in their entirety: A Believer Sings The Truth; an untitled, unreleased 1975 set; and Johnny Cash Gospel Singer. Among these hard-to-find recordings are 15 unreleased tracks including outtakes from the sessions at which the albums were recorded.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first CD features the complete contents of A Believer Sings the Truth, an exhaustive 2-LP set Cash recorded at the same time he recorded his 1979 album Silver. Columbia wasn't interested in releasing a double LP of gospel at that time, so they gave Cash permission to release it on an independent label, though they later released their own version (which is why it should have qualified for the box set). There is great stuff here, including duets with Rosanne and Cindy Cash, and a few tracks aren't actually strictly gospel either. After the disappointing Gospel Road and the boring Precious Memories, Cash gets back up to full speed to deliver a worthy follow-up to his 1968 classic The Holy Land with these songs.
Disc 2 starts out with a full album's worth of songs recorded in 1975 that for reasons unknown was never released (though most likely because Precious Memories had just come out). It's actually a better album than most of the stuff Cash was recording for Columbia in the mid-1970s (like the awful John R Cash album) and features an early version of Far Side Banks of Jordan, one of the best Johnny and June duets, which in a later version was a hit single. The rest of disc 2 features the contents of Johnny Cash - Gospel Singer, an album Cash recorded in the early 80s for producer Marty Stuart, but its release was cancelled due to Columbia closing down its gospel label, Priority.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Disc 1 (25 tracks) : Has Johnny Cash often with The Carter Family as well as Anitar Carter in "Over The Next Hill (We'll Be Home)" : great duet, guitar chords & melody, Rosanne Cash in "When He Comes", Rodney Crowell in "You'll Get Yours And I'll Get Mine" & "He Touched Me". All these four are stand-outs/gems/solid tracks as well as "Wings In The Morning", "Lay Me Down In Dixie" & "What On Earth (Will You Do For Heaven's Sake)".
Disc 2 (26 tracks) Has Johny Cash mainly solo but with June Carter Cash in "Waiting On The Far Side Banks Of Jordan" & Jessi Colter in "The Old Rugged Cross". Stand-outs/gems/solid tracks incude "Would You Recognize Jesus", "That's Just Like Jesus", "Over The Next Hill (I'll Be Home)", "The Old Rugged Cross", "God Ain't No Stained Glass Window" : he sings* He Never Keeps His Window Closed*, "Half A mile A Day" : he 'talks' and sings & "You're Drifting Away".
On overall, this 2 CDs (Bootleg Vol. 4 : The Soul Of The Truth) release has great gospel music by Johny Cash, timely released (Easter around the corner) with liner notes by his son John Carter Cash, a highly recommended listening if you are into gospel music or a Johnny Cash fan on these rare 3 albums.
Volume IV, however, is a completist's dream. Focusing on Johnny's love of gospel music, it offers three complete, hard-to-find albums in their entirety on two discs, complete with unreleased bonus tracks. Disc one offers up "A Believer Sings the Truth", a 20-track double-album recorded in 1979 and released in 1980 on the small Cachet label. Tracks from that album were released in 1984 on an even smaller label as the "I Believe" album, with four unreleased songs from the same sessions. These four extra tracks, as well as one further unreleased track - "Truth" round out disc 1.
Disc two begins with 12 tracks intended as a 1975 album which was ultimately shelved. One of these came out a few years ago as a bonus track on some editions of the "Ultimate Gospel" compilation, while another was found on a recent Reader's Digest set. Here, now, we have the unnamed album in its entirety! The remainder of the album is the unreleased 1982 album "Johnny Cash - Gospel Singer". 10 of these tracks saw the light of the day as 1986's "Believe in Him" on the Christian label Word Records.
This is the type of release I am delighted to see come out. As a younger Johnny Cash fan, I have scoured used record bins tracking down some of these. While "A Believer Sings the Truth" pops up frequently in junk shops, I searched high and low before finally tracking down an old scratched copy of "Believe in Him" at a used record shop some time ago. I had all but given up hope on ever hearing those four tracks from "I Believe." Here, however, Columbia has given us all of these and more in one set.
As for the music, there are no surprises here. They are typical of Johnny's 1970's and 80's output, i.e., they are very slick-sounding. Some of the 1975 tracks get overblown with syrupy strings, but many of the arrangements are laid-back country done well. The 1979 tracks were a labour of love - recorded at home with his family and friends. While still possessing that sparkly, late 70's sound, there is lots of life in these tunes. The final set is even cleaner sounding, and sounds quite dated, but, again, I appreciate finally having all 14 songs released together. Some of the later tracks, as well, were spared the big arrangements and remain very listenable.
In the end, who should buy this? Definitely completists: you get three full albums with bonus tracks, one of which has never been released, the other two which have never been released on CD. As these weren't originally released on Columbia, they won't be on the forthcoming Complete Columbia Collection, either, so this set makes a nice complement. Also, any lovers of Johnny's gospel music, or Southern gospel in general.
In relation to Cash's other gospel output, these sessions stand alone - Hymns had the 60's echo sound, Hymns from the Heart was filled out with background singers, Precious Memories was treacly sweet, and My Mother's Hymn Book fits nicely into Rick Rubin's re-envisioning of Johnny. These songs are probably an accurate representation of the forgotten Cash - the mid-life man past the rebellion of youth, and the height of stardom, while not yet concerned with his mortality as he would become under Rubin's guidance. Here he was content; happy to record the songs he loved with the people he loved about the God he loved, with no concern as to whether Columbia had any interest in releasing them or not. It's taken them 37 years, but finally they've taken an interest. Thank you Columbia - keep it up!