Q - 6/02, p.1313 stars out of 5
- "...Includes classic gunfighter ballad 'Don't Take Your Guns To Town'..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.993 stars out of 5
-- "[H]is straightforward way with these tales will forever engage with most listeners."
Personnel includes: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); Luther Perkins (guitar); Marshall Grant (bass).
Includes liner notes by Billy Altman.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder and Seth Foster (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
At the end of the 1950s, Johnny Cash departed maverick independent label Sun Records, where he'd started his career. Lured by the promise of artistic freedom (Sun's Sam Phillips supposedly wanted him to stay on the same raw country/rockabilly track), Cash switched over to Columbia. Fans feared that his departure from the spartan Sun sound would be accompanied by commercialization and overproduction, but they needn't have worried. On Cash's 1958 Columbia debut, THE FABULOUS JOHNNY CASH, the only real addition to the minimalist sound of Cash's Tennessee Two is a male backing vocal group, and even this can be satisfyingly contextualized by considering Cash's gospel roots. The songs include some of Cash's finest; the timeless torch ballad "I Still Miss Someone," the anti-violence "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," and the poignant farm-community narrative "Pickin' Time." The six previously unreleased bonus tracks included on this long-overdue reissue stack up favorably alongside any of those on the original release, further sweetening the pot.