Orange Blossom Special [Bonus Tracks]

Orange Blossom Special [Bonus Tracks]

5.0 1
by Johnny Cash
     
 

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Johnny Cash has recorded more popular albums than 1965's Orange Blossom Special, but few are better. Despite the title, it's not one of his concept albums about railroading, though it makes as strong a statement as his more thematically centered collections. Orange Blossom Special reveals Cash's embrace of the upstart folksinger See more details below

Overview

Johnny Cash has recorded more popular albums than 1965's Orange Blossom Special, but few are better. Despite the title, it's not one of his concept albums about railroading, though it makes as strong a statement as his more thematically centered collections. Orange Blossom Special reveals Cash's embrace of the upstart folksinger Bob Dylan in the form of three cover songs: "It Ain't Me Babe" becomes an attitude-rich duet with June Carter; the lilting, mid-tempo "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" features Luther Perkins's signature top-strings licks; and "Mama, You Been on My Mind" finds Cash with a swaggering tone. On an album with three Dylan songs, why not a song of social protest? "All God's Children Ain't Free" is a study in contrasts, its lilting, graceful swing and smooth, pop-styled female background voices juxtaposed against lyrics decrying all manner of injustice and prejudice. A tenderhearted reading of the Carter Family's "Wildwood Flower," a foreboding take on "Long Black Veil," an album-closing gospel celebration of "Amen," and the rambunctious, infectious title song are the tough choices to single out for praise on an album with no weaknesses. This is a folk/country/gospel masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Even if the best and most popular songs on this 1965 album are the ones most likely to show up on greatest-hits compilations ("The Long Black Veil, "Orange Blossom Special," "It Ain't Me Babe"), it certainly rates as one of Cash's finer non-greatest-hits releases. If nothing else, it would have historical importance for the inclusion of three Bob Dylan covers, at a time when Dylan was just starting to get heavily covered by pop musicians (and not often covered by country ones). "It Ain't Me Babe," with duet vocals by June Carter, was the most notable of them, although hearing it these days, some may be taken aback by the mariachi horns. Ditto for "Mama, You Been on My Mind" (which Dylan himself had not released when Cash recorded it), where it's startling to hear Boots Randolph's yakety sax come in for a bit. "The Long Black Veil," though, is an ageless classic, and the title cut one of his best train-oriented songs. The rest of the album is respectable and diverse, if not as outstanding, including the stark Cash original "You Wild Colorado"; more duet vocals from Carter on the Johnny Horton cover "When It's Springtime in Alaska," a bouncy rendition of the Carter Family's "Wildwood Flower"; the spiritual "Amen"; and, less successfully, a sentimental reading of "Danny Boy." [The 2002 CD reissue adds three bonus tracks that were previously unavailable in the United States (and had been included on the Bear Family box set The Man in Black: 1963-1969), among them an acoustic cover of A.P. Carter's "Engine 143" and a different version of "Mama, You Been on My Mind" (this time with mariachi horns!).]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/04/2009
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886974875024
catalogNumber:
748750
Rank:
3216

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist,Vocals
Norman Blake   Guitar
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Ray Edenton   Guitar
Marshall Grant   Bass
Luther Perkins   Guitar,Leader
W.S. Holland   Drums
William Whitney Pursell   Piano
Karl Garvin   Trumpet
Robert L. Johnson   Guitar
William K. McElhiney   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Liner Notes
Matt Kelly   Tape Research
Billy Altman   Liner Notes
Hazel O'Connor   Arranger
Quaglieri   Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
David Gahr   Inlay Photography
Traditional   Composer
Stacey Boyle   Tape Research
Kay Smith   Tape Research
Maggie Perrotta   Tape Research
Frederick Edward Weatherly   Composer
H. Howard   Composer

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