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NEW Johnny Cash - Essential Johnny Cash (CD)

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005Y1M2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
From his first recordings in the mid-fifties up until his death in 2003, Johnny Cash has shelled out some of the finest hits in pop music history. His excellent stylings have made him universally accepted by many - I generally don't like country music, but Cash is a huge exception to that rule. Over the years, Cash has had a number of hits compilations (he has more hits compilations than many artists have studio albums!) Now, the Essential collection tries its hand at capturing Cash in a two-disc hits compilation. How does this compilation measure up? Read on and find out!
PROS:
-If you're just a casual fan of Cash, and you want a compilation that will give you the big hits of Cash's career, this compilation is a good bet. I Walk The Line, Don't Take Your Guns To Town, Ring Of Fire, The Ballad Of Ira Hayes, Folsom Prison Blues, and A Boy Named Sue are among the hits that you'll find here.
-In addition to the hits, you get a number of underrated masterpieces. Among these are Hey Porter and Get Rhythm, excellent tracks that were originally B-Sides.
-Many of the tracks on here are collaborations with other excellent artists. Among the artists Cash performs with on here are Bob Dylan, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, U2, and even his wife, June Carter Cash.
-This compilation is readily available in a number of stores, so you shouldn't have to look too hard for it.
CONS:
-Obviously, two-disc compilations cost more than single-disc ones.
-The major complaint I have is that there is no material on here from Cash's four albums on the American label. This really bites, because as another reviewer stated, his cover of the Nine Inch Nails song Hurt is nothing short of excellent, and it has been getting a lot of popularity.
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Format: Audio CD
I really wouldn't have thought this would be such a big issue for me, but I feel somewhat cheated by the fact that the song "A Boy Named Sue" [Live] was censored. It's not even a sound drop or fad, but just a BLEEEP in the middle of the song that really is jarring to the ear. I suppose what annoys me is that there isn't a need to censor it. The lyrics that were censored were "son of a gun" or a variation thereof. Nowhere in the description or on the case does it show that this song is modified or censored.

Perhaps I'm being a bit unreasonable, but to me there were other options. If the phrase "son of a gun" (or, since it was a live recording, perhaps the other word which I will not say here lest it be against the rules) is too raunchy to be included in the collection, then drop the song or use another live recording.
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Format: Audio CD
Some years ago I heard Johnny Cash on the U2 tune "The Wanderer", and thought he had a wonderful voice and "poise" about him. Unfortunately, it took me until he died and I saw him sing on TV before I bought this album -and I was really impressed!
This does not sound at all like "traditional" Country, and in fact, the Nashville music scene agreed with this for years, as they wouldn't play Cash on country music radio -Why?
Well, I would say this music sounds like a bluesy/gospely folk music that just didn't fit the mold at the time.
So if you are not a big Country Music fan, but you do like blues, gospel, or folk singing, you will very likely enjoy this album.
So many of the songs on this double-album are great, that I will only mention my absolute favorite 10 songs (due to space constraints).
"Hey Porter" was his breakthrough, and it is a truly fantastic rhythmic/driving song about riding a train and getting closer and closer to his home in Tennessee, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album.
"I Walk the Line" is his next "hit" and really showcases his deep voice that he became famous for, and I understand became of one Country music's "classic" songs.
I really like "Get Rhythm". It is a "popping" song with a great beat, and it just pulls you along. It seems more like a top 40 song that could have very well been sung by Fats Domino in the 50's! -no surprise then that Little Richard covered it on a Johnny Cash Tribute Album.
"I Guess Things Happen That Way" is such a short poignant piece of music, I am really surprised that it never became a standard at campfires or in movies.
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Format: Audio CD
After 40 years or so of listening to John, this is a wonderful compilation of some of his best works from early days to more recent cuts, all presented in the order of the release date.
The sound quality of songs such as "Guess Things Happen that Way" are quite amazing, showing how much information was really being recorded in those early days, far surpassing the playback equipment of the day.
From the rousing "Five feet high and Rising", "Johnny Yuma" with the incredible imaging of the individual voices of the Carter Family on the side, the Trumpets (and again the Carter Family) on a very clean "Ring of Fire" through the haunting and gritty "Ballad of Ira Hayes".
John's guitar work on "The One on the Right..." is truly amazing and crisp and genuinely shows his imense talent!
When listening to "Flesh and Blood", "Man in Black" and the auditorium sound of "Ragged Old Flag" you feel as if big John's right there with you!
"The Wanderer" with U2 was a pleasant surprize, as I'd never heard this before. This album is also a favourite of our daughter, who learned to count with "Five feet High and Rising" and who has enjoyed the "Folsom Prison" and "San Quentin" albums for the last year. This shows the incredibly wide audience John has been playing to!
He will be sorely missed!!
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