Rolling Stone - 12/26/02, p.104
Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Uncut - 12/02, p.1603 stars out of 5
- "...Quintessential Cash..."
Originally recorded in 1969, AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN has been previously unreleased.
Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, acoustic guitar); Tommy Cash (spoken vocals, acoustic guitar); Carl Perkins (vocals, electric guitar); The Carter Family (vocals, guitar); The Statler Brothers (vocals); Bob Wootton (electric guitar); Marshall Grant (bass); W.S. Holland (drums).
Recorded live at Madison Garden Square Garden, New York, New York on December 5, 1969. Includes liner notes by Lou Robin and Allen Tinkley.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, acoustic guitar); Robbie Harden, Helen Carter, Mother Maybelle Carter, Anita Carter, The Carter Family (vocals, guitar); Tommy Cash (vocals, acoustic guitar); Carl Perkins (vocals, electric guitar); Harold Reid, Lew DeWitt, Philip Balsley, The Statler Brothers, Don Reed (vocals); Bob Wooton, Bob Wootton (electric guitar); W.S. Holland (drums).
Audio Mixer: Thom Cadley.
Liner Note Authors: Alfred G. Aronowitz; Lou Robin.
Recording information: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (12/05/1969).
Editor: Darcy Proper.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; George Kalinsky.
Arranger: J.D. Cash.
This 1969 concert recording fits nicely alongside Johnny Cash's live outings AT FOLSOM PRISON and AT SAN QUENTIN to create a mighty triumvirate. Capturing Cash at the peak of his commercial popularity before a sold-out New York audience, and featuring a full band that includes Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers, and the Carter Family, AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN stands in sharp contrast to Cash's bare-bones prison concerts. But the proof, as Cash invariably proves, is in the material and performances.
A high-octane "Big River" kicks off the concert, and sets the tone for the 75 minutes of back-to-back classics that follow. "I Still Miss Someone," "The Long Black Veil," and "Folsom Prison Blues" all get impassioned treatments, while Cash varies his repertoire with gospel tunes ("He Turned the Water Into Wine"), protest songs ("Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream"), and songs about civil rights ("The Ballad of Ira Hayes"). As an introduction to his work and an impressive document for long-time fans, this is a top selection in the artist's massive discography.