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Johnny Cash
The Legend Of Johnny Cash
Hip-O Records

It would certainly be an overly daunting task to try to come up with a single disc career spanning retrospective of the musical works of Johnny Cash. Inevitably, with a project like this, someone will be disgruntled that one of their favorite tracks was left off the record… but I have to say, that this collection is pretty fair, and covers just about every era of Cash's career. From Johnny's glorious beginnings with "Cry! Cry! Cry!" to his very last recordings, The Legend Of Johnny Cash covers it all. His infamous live version of Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue" from the Folsom Prison concert is here, as is Johnny's very first #1 hit "I Walk The Line". Many other classics, like a wonderfully melancholy live version of "Sunday Morning Coming Down", the famous duet "Jackson" with June Carter Cash, and the hilarious "One Piece At A Time" round out the older recordings.

But this record doesn't end there. The 70's found Johnny performing in The Highwaymen with his good friends Waylon Jennings (God rest his soul), Willie Nelson, and Chris Cristofferson, and their big hit "Highwayman" is included here. Then in the 90's Johnny sang brilliantly on an electronic track on U2's Zooropa album ("The Wanderer"), and we get that here, as well as his cover of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage" and his now famous rendition of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt". A few more songs from his later years are here, one of the most prophetic is the eerily haunting "The Man Comes Around". We also get a glimpse into Johnny's impish humor with the inclusion of "Delia's Gone" and his homage to the old days of country on his excellent cover of "I've Been Everywhere".

For those who don't own a ton of Johnny Cash records already, I ask simply: Why not? This album is a great place to start your appreciation for the music of one of the modern world's greatest singers. Really, the only things I think I would have included that aren't here would be "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" and "I Got Stripes"… but most folks have those songs on another album, anyhow… right?

-L. Keane

Track Listing:
1. Cry! Cry! Cry!
2. Hey Porter
3. Folsom Prison Blues
4. I Walk The Line
5. Get Rhythm
6. Big River
7. Guess Things Happen That Way
8. Ring Of Fire
9. Jackson
10. A Boy Named Sue
11. Sunday Morning Coming Down
12. Man In Black
13. One Piece At A Time
14. Highwayman
15. The Wanderer - U2
16. Delia's Gone
17. Rusty Cage
18. I've Been Everywhere
19. Give My Love To Rose
20. The Man Comes Around (Early Take)
21. Hurt

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