Top

Latest reviews

Album Review

Out Among the Stars

April 4, 2014

Johnny Cash often seemed like he was granite in human form, so it's odd to think that such a giant once had his career derailed by John Travolta. The 1980 hit film Urban Cowboy accelerated country's long drift toward music that was soft, vacant and overproduced...

Album Review

From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2

February 22, 2011

Click to listen to Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" Even as a young turk, Johnny Cash sang with the voice of experience. The first disc of this fantastic two-CD set (which features 26 cuts previously unreleased in the U.S.) gives us the sound of Cash in his...

Album Review

At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition

October 17, 2008

After years of dwindling sales, Johnny Cash walked into California's Folsom Prison on January 13th, 1968, and reinvigorated his career: At Folsom Prison, the live album he cut that day, went platinum and shored up Cash's outlaw image with jailbird anthems...

Album Review

Personal File

May 26, 2006

The Cash collections keep comin'. But Personal File is unique: two discs of standards and obscurities, most of them unreleased by the man in any form, performed on home recordings between the mid-Seventies and the early Eighties with just voice and acoustic...

Album Review

American III: Solitary Man

October 3, 2000

Even the best good ideas can get pushed too far, and for Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man is one Rick Rubin-built cover album over the line. The point with the Cash-Rubin series, which started in 1994 with American Recordings and continued with...

Album Review

American Recordings

February 2, 1998
Not Rated

Among country's old guard, Johnny Cash remains incontrovertibly cool. Arbiters of hip from '60s Dylan to '90s U2 have grooved to the renegade soul of this Arkansas sharecropper's son, this original rockabilly. Aptly, Rick Rubin provides American Recordings...

Album Review

The Sun Years

April 5, 1990

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson are about as familiar as the faces on Mount Rushmore, and it's easy to assume that they are equally frozen in time, equally nonthreatening. They organize benefits, sing for presidents,...

Album Review

The Survivors Live

May 27, 1982

As Johnny Cash's slyly funny liner notes explain, this legendary trio's impromptu show in Stuttgart, Germany, last April is a first-take, unrehearsed affair — the three all just happened to be playing at a European music festival. Each man sings...

Album Review

I Would Like To See You Again

July 27, 1978
Not Rated

In recent years, Johnny Cash has made some poor music. He's recorded songs that didn't suit his peculiar, coarse subbaritone and struck saintly postures that couldn't help but look foolish on such a craggy tough guy. While you rarely doubted his sincerity,...

Album Review

Remixed

February 5, 2009

This set of heavily doctored Johnny Cash tunes almost succeeds as musical comedy. Pete Rock adds an electronic shuffle in an otherwise faithful sendup of "Folsom Prison Blues," and the result is pleasantly goofy. And producer Philip Steir (No Doubt, Los...

Album Review

American V: A Hundred Highways

June 26, 2006

Wheelchair-bound, nearly blind and close to the end, Johnny Cash nonetheless punched in for work immediately after American IV: The Man Comes Around was released in 2002. The first posthumous album in the Rick Rubin-produced American series will reportedly...

Album Review

Life

April 19, 2004

An addendum to 2000's Love, God, Murder a theme-based career retrospective conceived and produced by Johnny Cash himself, Life stands as the great man's final artistic statement: Frail and devastated by the death of his wife, June Carter Cash, in 2003,...

Album Review

Love, God, Murder

June 22, 2000

Johnny Cash began his career at Sun Records in 1955 and has been hailed as a rebel poet in each decade since. Appropriately, instead of dropping another greatest-hits anthology or an unsurprising set of leftover rarities, for this collection he surveyed...

Album Review

The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

September 16, 1993

At Bob Dylan's anniversary celebration, held at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 16, 1992, the event transcended the man. Between the stunning range of artists who performed Dylan's songs – from Stevie Wonder to Roger McGuinn, Tracy Chapman to Eric...

Album Review

Boom Chicka Boom

April 5, 1990

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson are about as familiar as the faces on Mount Rushmore, and it's easy to assume that they are equally frozen in time, equally nonthreatening. They organize benefits, sing for presidents,...

Album Review

Silver

February 7, 1980
Not Rated

Good news from the Cash-Carter camp: Johnny Cash, after years of phonographic complacency, has shaken the dust off his career and given us a splendid LP, Silver, which marks his twenty-fifth year as a recording artist. Surprisingly, he's turned from Nashville...

Album Review

At San Quentin

July 26, 1969
Not Rated

Johnny Cash remembers the forgotten men. They love him. Singing inside a prison to men whose spirits are being destroyed by our mindless penal system is Johnny Cash's kind of revolution. Music becomes spirituality in the context of the prison. Music is...

Loading...
x