Johnny Cash was in his prime as a performer and near the peak of his fame when he recorded this concert for Danish television, and Columbia Music Video/Sony Legacy's DVD release of this rare special is a welcome event for fans of the country music icon. Johnny Cash: Man in Black -- Live in Denmark 1971
captures Cash and his guests (Carl Perkins
, the Statler Brothers
, June Carter Cash
, and the Carter Family
, all of whom were part of his traveling road show at the time) in fine form, with Cash delivering rich and emotionally resonant performances of such classics as "I Walk the Line," "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Me and Bobbie McGee," and "Man in Black." The broadcast has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and while the slight softness of the image and the color balance reflects video technology of the early '70s, the tapes have been well cared for and the material looks better than most fans would have any right to expect -- this is certainly one of the best records of Cash on-stage from this period in his career. The audio has been mastered in PCM Stereo, and while there are occasionally glitches inherent in the original recording, the quality is very good by the standards of early-'70s television and favors Cash and his guests quite well indeed. The performance is in English (though Cash does briefly attempt to address the studio audience in phonetic Danish), with no multiple language options or subtitles included. No bonus materials appear on this DVD, but given the quality of the performance and the archival source materials, it's of significant interest to anyone with who loves the music of Johnny Cash, and the package is put together with genuine care and dignity.