Johnny Cash The Best of Johnny Cash - 20th Century Masters / Millennium Collection
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- Released: May 21, 2002
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Mercury Nashville
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel includes: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); Waylon Jennings (vocals).
Producer: Jack Clement.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie.
Includes liner notes by Rich Kienzle.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of MCA's "20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection" series.
Personnel: Waylon Jennings (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Rich Kienzle.
Photographer: Alan Messer.
Though the '80s are regarded by some as a valley in the long career of Johnny Cash, the country legend's tenure at Mercury Records during that time produced some fine work. Such albums as JOHNNY 99 and ROCKABILLY BLUES found him shedding new light on songs by Bruce Springsteen and Guy Clark, and offering some hard-hitting new material of his own. So it's hard to figure why those albums were ignored on this collection of Cash's Mercury recordings. Instead, 10 of the 12 tunes are reworkings of classic tunes from the Columbia and Sun years.
While it would have been nice to hear the aforementioned gems, it's impressive enough to hear Cash revisit this material some three decades down the road with just as much vigor and (thanks to old pal Jack Clement) a production style amazingly free of any '80s dross. Instead, the rockabilly side of Cash's sound is underlined to fine effect. Of the non-vintage tunes that round out the album, well, only so much can be done for Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle," but Cash and Waylon Jennings offer a hearty run through the self-explanatory story song "The Night Hank Williams Came to Town."
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