Murder

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"Here is my personal selection of my recordings of songs of robbers, liars and murderers. These songs are just for listening and singing. Don't go out and do it." --Johnny Cash, liner notes excerpt

Not as brutal as its title suggests, MURDER finds room for, well, tenderness in its song selection, making this disc the most surprising in the triptych that includes LOVE and GOD. Familiar fare dots the collection, such as the 1955 original Sun recording of "Folsom Prison Blues," the 1964 studio version of "The Long Black Veil," and the cautionary western tale from 1958, "Don't Take Your Guns to Town." These tracks are buttressed by lesser-known gems. From 1964 comes Johnny and June ...

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
"Here is my personal selection of my recordings of songs of robbers, liars and murderers. These songs are just for listening and singing. Don't go out and do it." --Johnny Cash, liner notes excerpt

Not as brutal as its title suggests, MURDER finds room for, well, tenderness in its song selection, making this disc the most surprising in the triptych that includes LOVE and GOD. Familiar fare dots the collection, such as the 1955 original Sun recording of "Folsom Prison Blues," the 1964 studio version of "The Long Black Veil," and the cautionary western tale from 1958, "Don't Take Your Guns to Town." These tracks are buttressed by lesser-known gems. From 1964 comes Johnny and June Carter Cash's delicate duet on Johnny Horton's "When It's Springtime in Alaska." Johnny's stark 1983 reading of Bruce Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman" reminds us that Cash was the first country artist to pick up on the Boss, continuing a track record he established in the early '60s when he introduced country fans to Dylan. For those who got a kick out of the gleeful brutality of Cash's AMERICAN RECORDINGS version of "Delia's Gone," this set includes the 1961 original, previously unreleased in the States. MURDER is good for what ails you. David McGee

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Of the three thematic Cash CDs simultaneously released in the spring of 2000 the others are God and Love, Murder is the most sensible. For one thing, there are actually far fewer Cash songs about murder than there are Cash songs about love or God, so this compilation is a more thorough retrospective of a niche in his repertoire. In addition, one has to admit that Cash's somber vocals and flair for storytelling are well-suited for tales of assassination. Also, this is a well-selected set of 16 tunes, spanning the mid-'50s to the mid-'90s. With the exception of the classics "Folsom Prison Blues" the original Sun version, "The Long Black Veil," and "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," most of these will be unfamiliar to many Cash fans, taken as they are from LPs, B-sides, and live recordings. Most of them are moving, sometimes chilling performances, whether Cash takes on the role of the killer or an observer. Cool overlooked cuts include 1965's spare and spooky "Hardin Wouldn't Run," and "When It's Springtime in Alaska It's Forty Below," recorded with wife June Carter. Some of these are pretty oddball tunes, too, in the best sense of that adjective. "Mister Garfield" is a gung-ho tribute to the most obscure assassinated American president, and "Joe Bean" actually manages some wicked gallows literally humor, its concluding punch line the message from the governor from whom Bean is hoping to obtain pardon: a gaily sung "Happy birthday, Joe Bean." One track, a 1966 cover of Harlan Howard's "The Sound of Laughter," was previously unreleased in the U.S., although it doesn't rate as one of the more notable entries on the anthology. Murder is also available as part of the three-CD box set Love God Murder, comprised of thematic discs that are available together or separately.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/23/2000
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646554326
  • Catalog Number: 65543

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Cash Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Johnny Cash Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Johnny Horton Composer
Bud Freeman Composer
Alan Lomax Composer
Steven Berkowitz Producer, Compilation Co-Producer
Charlie Bragg Producer
Larry Butler Producer
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Composer
Bob Johnston Producer
Frank Jones Producer
Don Law Producer
Rick Rubin Producer
Billy Sherrill Producer
Mark Wilder Engineer
Al Quaglieri Producer
Sam Phillips Producer
Tillman Franks Composer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Darcy Proper Mastering
Chris Athens Engineer
Quentin Tarantino Liner Notes
Dick Toops Composer
Mike Cimicata Packaging Manager
John Naatjes Tape Research
Hollie Dew Composer
Karl Silbersdorf Composer
Léon Pober Composer
J.R. Cash Arranger, Adaptation
Larry Butler Producer
T.J. "Red" Arnall Composer
H. Howard Composer
D. Foops Composer
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