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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Rosanne Cash has always been in the back of my mind a country singer, but I have also seen her as a writer of songs that she also sings. In this CD, she is unleashed from the binds of her own work. and is singing tunes from a list her father gave her 36 years ago when she was a teenager. It is a list of the 100 folk/americana songs that she needed to know about. Somehow she picked twelve of the very best, and these suit her to a 'T'. She has made a CD that is pure love and music.

Roseanne has not had the life of luxury and fun that one might imagine from a child of a celebrity. Her father was a drug addict and on the road and missing from her life most of the time. Her mother was someone whose personality was closed. You did not divulge anything about the family. She found her own way and through a couple of marriages she is happy. In the past few years she has suffered much tragedy. Her father died, her mother died, her step-mother died. She could not sing for three years because of polyps on her vocal chords. She had a malformation of her brain that gave her such horrible headaches she had to have brain surgery which sidelined her for a year. But she seems to have conquered all of that and she attributes her positive attitude to her husband, love, music, and her children.

I listened to this CD several times and was taken by each song. I had heard each of these songs sung many times and by different artists. Rosanne Cash gives a new voice and meaning to each tune. Her husband, John Leventhal produced and played on most tracks. Rosanne's voice comes through clear with the melodies backed up with simple arrangements to showcase her voice. This is an album that that will grow and stay with us.

The 12 tunes on this CD were part of one hundred voices from Americana. The best writers, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Gary Davis and Bob Dylan. We mark my wr hear the sound of Patsy Cline in 'She's Got You'. 'Motherless Child' is a beautiful rendition with Rosanne's husband playing the guitar in a mournful manner. 'Sea of Heartbreak' sung with Bruce Springsteen is truly wonderful. This tune will be the number one pick, mark my words! The Boss does not roar but gently sings the rhythm. 'Take These Chains From My Heart', is longlingly lovely. 'I'm Movin' On' from Hank Snow takes on a new dimension. 'Heartaches By The Number' with Elvis Costello is more of a rocking rhythm than the rest. '500 Miles' is a tune that has been sung so many times, but never like this- it brings a funeral atmosphere. 'Long Black Veil' a tune we all know sung with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, gives us an image of the words- 'Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me'. Dylan's 'Girl From The North Country' brings back the image of her father, Johnny, singing this tune with Dylan. Rufus Wainwright, a favorite of mine, sings 'Silver Wings' with background harmony. 'Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow' is a fitting ending for this marvelous CD-we can feel the America that these tunes represent.

This is a low cut list of tunes that best represent the America we love. The story of how this list came to be, is an entry to the legend of Johnny Cash. Rosanne Cash has made these songs her own and has sung them in the straight forward manner that best represents her voice. Kudos to Rosanne Cash, this is just the Best!

Highly Recommended. prisrob 10-12-09

The Very Best of Rosanne Cash
Black Cadillac
22 comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The story goes that in 1973, on her 18th birthday, Rosanne's dad Johnny Cash gave her a list of his 100 favourite, essential American songs. (Maybe he bought her a present, too.) As a typical teenager in California, Rosanne was into the music of her time - The Beatles and all the other stuff to be heard on the radio - so perhaps the list was a gentle reminder of her extended family's rich musical tradition and heritage.

In recent years Rosanne has lost both her parents and step-mother June, and has now turned to the list for a selection of country standards, including a couple from the Carter Family, and Girl From The North Country on which her dad duetted with Dylan on the ground-breaking Nashville Skyline album.

The album starts with a lovely version of Jimmie Rodgers's Miss The Mississippi And You which lopes along nicely, with some neat guitar noodling, and Bruce Springsteen joins Rosanne to sing back-up harmony on Sea Of Heartbreak. There's a rolling, bluesy version of Hank Snow's I'm Moving On, whilst Elvis Costello is featured on a gently rocking Heartaches By The Number, which works really well, and is a bit different to the usual country shuffle for this one. Roseanne's plaintive 500 Miles also works very well (I seem to remember her singing a pared-back version on a recent Transatlantic Session programme). Wilco's Jeff Tweedy accompanies Rosanne on the dark Long Black Veil, recorded all those years ago by JC, Lefty Frizzell and so many more. A heartfelt She's Got You recalls the great Patsy Cline, and on Hag's Silver Wings, Rufus Wainwright adds shimmering background vocals

My copy has an additional track not listed above, A Satisfied Mind, a big song for Porter Wagoner in the '50s, which here features the alt. country singer-songwriter Neko Case.

I'm sure Rosanne's old dad would have been justly proud of this lovely, understated album of songs from his favourites, to which she brings new life. The super musicianship throughout is complementary and never intrusive, with the various guest artists each adding a little personal touch that brings something that's just that little bit different.
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on 16 November 2014
I bought the deluxe version and I'm glad I did there are 3 bonus songs which are good. But more important the booklet explains the background behind the album and and the songs which I found helped complete the picture.
I've liked Rosanne as an Artist for a while and have been disappointed that the List No 2 has not yet been recorded.
So I was surprised when this came out worth the wait, great songs and musicianship throughout.
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on 2 March 2010
The List

I ordered this after hearing one track on the radio. The list is a list of a hundred or so songs that the great Johnny Cash told Rosanne she needed to know if she was to be a performer. The CD is made up of songs from that list & I recommend every one. Obviously they are classics, but she gives them all her own treatment without spoiling them.

Long Black Veil, She's Got You, 500 Miles, Take These Chains From My Heart - every one is a gem. The only one I took a couple of plays to get into was Miss the Mississippi & You.

Enjoy
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Rosanne tells us that in 1973, her father compiled a list of 100 songs that she should know and use as a reference to her roots. I don't know if the list has ever been published, but I suspect that it would make a great basis for a compilation boxed set, especially given its source. Such a list would appeal to both roots music fans and Johnny Cash fans alike. Meanwhile, Rosanne used the list as a basis for this album, which features her versions of 12 of those 100 songs. They aren't necessarily her 12 favorite songs, because she had to consider which songs would work best for her. She also wanted to be as representative as possible, so each original artist is only represented once. She also avoided any songs that have been covered excessively, although some of these songs have generated a fair number of cover versions.

Not knowing what the other 88 songs were, I'm not in a position to say anything about them, although I imagine that there were several Carter family songs among them. Rosanne ended up selecting Bury me under the weeping willow, which one of the earliest Carter family recordings and became a pop hit for them, but it is a long way from being the most frequently covered among Carter family songs. The chosen song is a great way to close the album, but I wouldn't have complained if Rosanne had chosen a more obvious song.

Elsewhere on the album, the missing elephant in the room is any of Johnny Cash's own songs, although he represented by Girl from the north country (a Bob Dylan song on which Johnny sang with Bob) and she covered her father's Tennessee flat top box in the eighties and had a country number one hit with it. Maybe Johnny was too modest to put any of his own songs in the list, or maybe he figured that Rosanne knew those songs and didn't need them to be on the list.

The set opens with Miss the Mississippi and you (Jimmie Rodgers), which Crystal Gayle and Emmylou Harris both covered in the period 1978-80. I love Rosanne's version but while I don't think it is any better than those two, it doesn`t have to be.

Sea of heartbreak (originally a hit for Don Gibson, though he didn't write it) features Bruce Springsteen, but apart from a few words that he sings alone, he only provides harmony here. Take these chains from my heart (a Hank Williams song) became a sixties pop hit for Ray Charles. Among the other songs, Rosanne Cash avoids Merle Haggard's hits (surely one or two were on the list) and records Silver wings instead.

There is much to like about this excellent album including the tracks I haven't mentioned. Now let's see the full list , so that we can all learn from it. I suspect that I have most of the songs in my CD collection, but I'd like to know which ones I'm missing.
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on 9 April 2010
I bought this for my dad who has been a Johnny Cash fan for years. He thought the album was really good as he has heard the songs in their original version and feels Roseanne Cash does a really good job, furthermore adds something special to the songs like her father did, which I am sure her dad would be really proud of.
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on 25 April 2014
Once again the lady has come up trumps with the songs on this cd..
From start to finish every song is unique in it's own way Go on, treat yourself to at leas an hours pleasure
and do it today.
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on 24 August 2014
Rosanne Cash has a terrific voice and there are some great songs on this CD but the production is too lush and overblown. Couple of songs cut through the schmaltz, Motherless Children and 500 miles in particular but even the latter is very disappointing compared to Rosanne's stripped down acoustic version which i've seen on YouTube. Be great to hear these songs played on acoustic guitar with a more earthy production and playing.
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on 13 April 2014
Bought it on the recommendation of a previous listener. A great voice and beautifully arranged songs with excellent support musicians, I have to say I prefer her albums where she has written her own material. I didn't realise that the number of cover songs would detract for me.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2011
I had watched Rosanne on a 50 minute TV programme and liked her music, I came across this one while browsing thru Amazon and bought it.
I haven't been disappointed in it as she has chosen a mix of songs, mostly easy going and melodic, she has a great voice and a tight
band as well. For my first purchase of her music, I can say I'm not disappointed..
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