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Artist's Choice: Johnny Cash
     

Artist's Choice: Johnny Cash

by Johnny Cash
 
The intimate nature of Johnny Cash's contribution to Artist's Choice -- a series of artist-compiled mix-discs -- is made all the more poignant by his death a few short weeks before its release. As with previous installments (by artists such as Tony Bennett and the Rolling Stones), the liner notes limn the

Overview

The intimate nature of Johnny Cash's contribution to Artist's Choice -- a series of artist-compiled mix-discs -- is made all the more poignant by his death a few short weeks before its release. As with previous installments (by artists such as Tony Bennett and the Rolling Stones), the liner notes limn the artist's specific connection to the songs. Unsurprisingly, Cash's set list kicks off with the expected country forbears and contemporaries, such as Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. Yet even closer to home are songs that Cash recorded for American IV -- namely Roberta Flack's "pitch-perfect" version of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and Linda Ronstadt's version of the Eagles' "Desperado" ("It's a song that I've always known I would record one day") -- which take on added resonance in this context. Other selections reveal the Man in Black's taste for songwriters who have carried on his charge to give voice to the workingman fighting his way through love and life, such as Bruce Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman" ("My favorite song of his"), a pair from Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" ("A very momentous, prophetic song"). Speaking of prophecy, Cash offers a peek at the future, name-checking songs he was apparently recording for his fifth Rick Rubin–produced album, including the Chad Mitchell Trio's wistful folk ballad "Four Strong Winds" and another Springsteen cut, "Further on up the Road," which is mentioned though not featured here. Finally, the ever-reverent Cash concludes his selection with two spiritual numbers, Red Foley's country gospel "Peace in the Valley" and Mahalia Jackson's blues-infused "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," closing a most impressive chapter in a life story worth numerous rereadings.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Another entry in the Artist's Choice series, this "mixtape" compiled from Johnny Cash's record collection offers no real surprises. Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, Johnny Horton, Marty Robbins, and two Kris Kristofferson tracks all made the cut; so does a handful of religious songs from Mahalia Jackson and Red Foley & the Sunshine Boys. Surprises come in the inclusion of Roberta Flack's soulful "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and Linda Ronstadt's cover of the Eagles' "Desperado," demonstrating Cash's wide range of interests and influences. His song-by-song liner notes are a fun glimpse into the thought process behind the song selections, but ultimately the album comes off as an interesting but uneven listen. While an album of anyone's favorite songs is almost critique-proof (no matter what, the songs mean something to the person who put them together), these particular tunes in this particular context may not bring the listener back for many return visits.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969071229
catalogNumber:
90712

Tracks

  1. Lovesick Blues @@Hank Williams
  2. I'll Hold You in My Heart ('Til I Can Hold You in My Arms) @@Eddy Arnold
  3. North to Alaska @@Johnny Horton
  4. Big Iron @@Marty Robbins
  5. Me and Bobby McGee @@Kris Kristofferson
  6. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) @@Kris Kristofferson
  7. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face @@Roberta Flack
  8. Desperado @@Linda Ronstadt
  9. Wichita Lineman @@Glen Campbell
  10. Highway Patrolman @@Bruce Springsteen
  11. The Times They Are A-Changin' @@Bob Dylan
  12. Four Strong Winds @@The Chad Mitchell Trio
  13. (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me) @@Red Foley
  14. His Eye Is on the Sparrow @@Mahalia Jackson

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Ewan MacColl   Composer
Eddy Arnold   Composer
Johnny Cash   Liner Notes
Johnny Horton   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Marty Robbins   Composer
Ian Tyson   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Don Henley   Composer
Bruce Springsteen   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Jimmy Webb   Composer
Fred Foster   Composer
Glenn Frey   Composer
Cliff Friend   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Tillman Franks   Composer
Vaughn Horton   Composer
Thomas Dilbeck   Composer
Mike Phillips   Composer
David R. Legry   Liner Notes
Charles H. Gabriel   Composer
Fred L. Foster   Composer

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