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Johnny Cash at San Quentin: The Complete 1969 Concert [CD/DVD]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A 2004 reissue of Johnny Cash's At San Quentin album was touted as the complete concert, but in fact this double CD/documentary DVD (which intersperses interviews with San Quentin inmates with concert footage) is the complete show, with most of its 31 tracks seeing the light of day for the first time. The 2004 disc, like the original vinyl release, featured only Cash's performances; this box set finally brings the entire show to disc, in that it features supporting turns by the entire troupe: Carl Perkins, with a blistering version of "Blue Suede Shoes," complete with a startling, fuzzed-out guitar solo; the Statler Brothers, frolicking through a warmhearted treatment of...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A 2004 reissue of Johnny Cash's At San Quentin album was touted as the complete concert, but in fact this double CD/documentary DVD (which intersperses interviews with San Quentin inmates with concert footage) is the complete show, with most of its 31 tracks seeing the light of day for the first time. The 2004 disc, like the original vinyl release, featured only Cash's performances; this box set finally brings the entire show to disc, in that it features supporting turns by the entire troupe: Carl Perkins, with a blistering version of "Blue Suede Shoes," complete with a startling, fuzzed-out guitar solo; the Statler Brothers, frolicking through a warmhearted treatment of "Flowers on the Wall"; and Mother Maybelle Carter and daughters Helen, June, and Anita, offering a haunting rendition of "Wildwood Flower" -- ahead of introducing the Man in Black, who enters with a surly take on "Big River" and proceeds to blow through a stunning mini-set of monuments on the order of "I Still Miss Someone," "Long Black Veil," "I Walk the Line," et al., before bringing on June to duet on "Jackson" and "Darlin' Companion." Everyone returns on Disc 2 (Perkins is featured on the only live recording ever made of one his best Columbia sides, "Restless"), which is highlighted by the entire troupe's spirited rendition of Perkins's "Daddy Sang Bass" as the centerpiece of a short, potent gospel mini-set; the introduction of Cash's newly penned "San Quentin" and Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue"; and a rousing closing medley reprising "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," and "I Walk the Line" and adding "The Rebel." Now the subject of an entire book as well as a documentary film, the San Quentin concert is taking on legendary proportions; to have it in its complete form is good news indeed.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
To put the performance on Johnny Cash at San Quentin in a bit of perspective: Johnny Cash's key partner in the Tennessee Two, guitarist Luther Perkins, died in August 1968, just seven months before this set was recorded in February 1969. In addition to that, Cash was nearing the peak of his popularity -- his 1968 live album, At Folsom Prison, was a smash success -- but he was nearly at his wildest in his personal life, which surely spilled over into his performance. All of this sets the stage for Johnny Cash at San Quentin, a nominal sequel to At Folsom Prison that surpasses its predecessor and captures Cash at his rawest and wildest. Part of this is due to how he feeds off of his captive audience, playing to the prisoners and seeming like one of them, but it's also due to the shifting dynamic within the band. Without Perkins, Cash isn't tied to the percolating two-step that defined his music to that point. Sure, it's still there, but it has a different feel coming from a different guitarist, and Cash sounds unhinged as he careens through his jailhouse ballads, old hits, and rockabilly-styled ravers, and even covers the Lovin' Spoonful ("Darlin' Companion"). No other Johnny Cash record sounds as wild as this. He sounds like an outlaw and renegade here, which is what gives it power -- listen to "A Boy Named Sue," a Shel Silverstein composition that could have been too cute by half, but is rescued by the wild-eyed, committed performance by Cash, where it sounds like he really was set on murdering that son of a bitch who named him Sue. He sounds that way throughout the record, and while most of the best moments did make it to the original 1969 album, the 2000 Columbia/Legacy release eclipses it by presenting nine previously unreleased bonus tracks, doubling the album's length, and presenting such insanely wild numbers as "Big River" as well as sweeter selections like "Daddy Sang Bass." Now, that's the only way to get the record, and that's how it should be, because this extra material makes a legendary album all the greater -- in fact, it helps make a case that this is the best Johnny Cash album ever cut. [A CD/DVD version added a third disc of bonus material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 828767591421
  • Catalog Number: 75914
  • Sales rank: 4,916

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins (3:51)
  2. 2 Flowers on the Wall (3:26)
  3. 3 The Last Thing on My Mind (3:34)
  4. 4 June Carter Cash Talks to the Audience (2:41)
  5. 5 Wildwood Flower (3:48)
  6. 6 Big River (1:43)
  7. 7 I Still Miss Someone (1:49)
  8. 8 Wreck of the Old 97 (3:24)
  9. 9 I Walk the Like (2:27)
  10. 10 Medley: The Long Black Veil/Give My Love to Rose (4:06)
  11. 11 Folsom Prison Blues (3:00)
  12. 12 Orange Blossom Special [#[ (3:02)
  13. 13 Jackson - June Carter Cash (3:23)
  14. 14 Darlin' Companion - June Carter Cash (2:24)
  15. 15 Break My Mind (2:56)
  16. 16 I Don't Know Where I'm Bound (5:13)
  17. 17 Starkville City Jail (3:32)
Disc 2
  1. 1 San Quentin (4:09)
  2. 2 San Quentin (3:13)
  3. 3 Wanted Man (3:29)
  4. 4 Restless - Carl Perkins (3:53)
  5. 5 A Boy Named Sue (3:45)
  6. 6 Blistered (1:45)
  7. 7 (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (3:13)
  8. 8 The Outside Looking In - Carl Perkins (2:59)
  9. 9 Less of Me (2:44)
  10. 10 Ring of Fire (2:06)
  11. 11 He Turned the Water into Wine - The Statler Brothers (4:00)
  12. 12 Daddy Sang Bass - The Statler Brothers (2:42)
  13. 13 The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago - The Statler Brothers (2:16)
  14. 14 Closing Medley: Folsom Prison Blues/I Walk the Line/Ring of Fire/The Re - The Statler Brothers (5:08)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Bonus Material
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Cash Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
The Carter Family Guitar, Vocals
Merle Haggard Interviewee
Carl Perkins Electric Guitar, Vocals
Lew DeWitt Vocals
June Carter Cash Vocals
Marshall Grant Bass
Don Reed Vocals
Bob Wootton Electric Guitar
W.S. Holland Drums
Philip Balsley Vocals
Harold Reid Vocals
Anita Guitar, Vocals
Mother Maybelle Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Marty Stuart Liner Notes, Interviewer
Johnny Cash Composer, Liner Notes
A.P. Carter Composer
June Carter Cash Liner Notes
B. Johnson Arranger
Ervin T. Rouse Composer
Bob Irwin Producer, Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
J.D. Cash Arranger
Jeremy Holiday Packaging Manager
G. Campbell Composer
Lou Robin Liner Notes
Sylvie Simmons Liner Notes
B.J. Wheeler Composer
C.C. Perkins Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Live at San Quentin

    Johnny Cash's second live prison album, the first being Live at Folsom Prison. The entire show is included on two CDs. Also includes a DVD of interviews with security and inmates with a few clips of the actual show itself. Any Johnny Cash fan would definitely want this set in their collection!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews