The Complete Columbia Collection Box set, Original recording remastered
|Price:||£454.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, 3 Dec 2012
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
A 63 disc box-set containing 59 albums from 'The Man in Black', covering his Columbia years from 1958-1990 plus three bonus discs. The CDs are packaged as mini replicas of the LPs with their original artwork.
Please note that there is a possibility that disc 57 will not play on some PCs, only in a CD player.
Top customer reviews
Let me start with the package. Sturdy box, rather dull artwork and with a flip lid. I prefer lids you can remove rather than hinged ones, the latter can wear out over the years. Also sturdy slipcases for the CDs: again I don't like these as there is a risk of scuffing the CD playing surface although I have extracted each disc with care. A magnifying glass is needed to read the liner notes for each album. Perhaps the 197 page booklet could have been a hardback rather than a paperback. Solution to the 'packaging problem': buy 2 Really Useful 6.5L boxes [Staples sell them]: they will comfortably take the the empty box and each disc in a slimline jewelcase [Tesco] with its associated sleeve. Packaging: 8.5/10.
Now to the guts. Is it what it says it is: 'Complete [original only] Columbia Albums': ehmm, probably. Why the hesitancy? I wonder whether 2 truly qualify: 'Keep on the sunny side' [disc #11] is really a Carter Family release with JC included as a 'special guest'. 'Koncert V Praze' [#55] was a release on the Supraphon label in Czechoslovakia, so was it a 'Columbia album'? Anyway, who really cares: both are included. More contentious are the omissions. Towards the end of 1960 JC recorded a narration 'A day in the Grand Canyon' included in an album 'Grand Canyon Suite' by the renowned conductor Andre Kostelanetz. JC's contribution was a single 11 minute track but deemed important enough for the album sleeve to give his name prominence. If the Carters album qualified so perhaps should this one. In 1975 a Columbia Special Products ['CSP'] album 'Destination Victoria Station' was issued, basically for sale in a restaurant chain of the same name. Of the 12 train themed songs included, 4 were tracks from other albums, 2 were new vocals on previous backing tracks and 6 were totally new recordings. This should have been included. Finally, if the Supraphon album was included, so should have been the 1979 Cachet release of 'A believer sings the truth': Columbia later released an abbreviated version and the full double album appeared in the UK on CBS. Hey, never mind: this album is included in 'Bootleg 4', released a few months ago.
How good a deal is this set for avid collectors? Sony claim that 35 of the 59 albums featured have not previously been issued on Sony Legacy in the USA. The extensive booklet does not identify the 24 allegedly previously released. Including CSP releases, I own 27 USA releases and this excludes 3 Christmas CDs reissued in 1995 I did not purchase. So that reduces the 'new' material to 29. One can further reduce this figure by 6 for the 2010 Readers Digest boxset, a further 2 for the Bear Family 2on1 release of the film soundtracks to 'I Walk the Line' and 'Little Fauss and Big Halsy' and a further 8 that can be compiled in their entirety from the 4 LP sized boxsets also issued by Bear Family. This leaves 13 albums new to reissue. These cover the later period of JC's time at Columbia when by common consent his recording quality was tailing off. However at an equivalent price of around £9 per disc these are still a bargain for completists. And this is without counting the first 19 albums being mono issues nor counting the 3 bonus discs. For album completism: 9/10.
The bonus discs divide me. The 28 Sun tracks on disc #61 are an excellent selection but is the disc necessary? Could not the Grand Canyon narration and a selection of rare and unreleased tracks have been included instead? On the other hand, the double album 'Singles, plus' [disc #s 62 and 63] is simply fabulous. With the exception of the 4 instrumental tracks released in 1959 and 1961 where JC was the 'friend' in 2 singles from 'The Tennessee Two and Friend', every one of the non-album singles plus an extended play issued by Columbia are included in chronological sequence plus a few tracks from his collaborations with such as Earl Scruggs. Several have not been released on any previous CD compilation and many tracks are a joy. Bonus discs: 10/10.
So far, in one day, I have played 8 discs and the sound quality is very good.
To sum up: a wonderful issue by Sony. I have pointed out some very small debatable points, all of which Sony can easily refute. For the uncommitted Cash fan this is giveaway value. For the completist it is still great value. If you doubt me, check out the price of the equivalent 76 CD set by Tony Bennett: just over £450! When this set was advertised I was thinking of a credit card busting £250 to £300: to find it for a fraction over £120 ie less than £2 per disc is truly amazing value. So well done Sony and thanks for the memories John.
So apart from the Sun releases, which are widely available, five albums on Mercury Records and the iconic American albums produced by Rick Rubin, this is pretty much the core of Johnny Cash's work.
The variety of Cash's output is may be surprising to some. It was Bruce Springsteen who pointed out how much humour Cash brought to his music and, for those used to his sombre Man in Black image, the presence of the comedy album Everybody loves a Nut may paint him in a different light. It's hard to think of another main stream singer who has released a comedy album.
In fact, it's hard to think of any entertainer whose work has been so varied.There are gospel albums, Christmas albums, a childrens' album, soundtrack albums from a couple of movies, including The Gospel Road which Cash produced in The Holy Land, two Highwayman albums, a collaboration with Sun survivors Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, a concert from a Swedish Prison and duet albums with June Carter. There are also two CDs of the singles Cash released on Columbia, plus Cash's guest appearances on other artist's albums
Most rewarding, in many ways, are the Americana albums from the sixties. If the biopic "Walk the Line" had a fault it was in portraying Cash as a self-destructive rockabilly singer with a one-track obsession with June Carter. In fact, Cash was incredibly hard-working and creative throughout the decade, researching folk and cowboy culture for a series of astonishing concept albums such as Ride this Train, Blood Sweat and Tears and Ballads of the True West. You can understand how this original work earned the respect and friendship of Bob Dylan.
Amongst the most powerful and satisfying of these records is Bitter Tears, a blistering attack on the treatment of native Americans, including the powerful Peter La Farge song The Ballad of Ira Hayes which brought Cash into conflict with the Nashville establishment. Also interesting is The Holy Land, a collection of original gospel songs inter-dispersed with audio recordings Cash made on location in Israel.
It is fair to say that Cash took risks with his work and that the recordings don't always work, or stand up well nearly 50 years later, but they give a fascinating insight into Johnny Cash's character and creativity.
It is hard to see the casual Cash fan forking out £120 plus for this box set although, at just over £2.00 a CD, it is arguably brilliant value. It is more likely to be those who bought the original CBS vinyl LPs who will want to listen again and fill the gaps of those they didn't acquire at the time. It may be you were at the live London Palladium recording of Strawberry Cake (as I was) when it was evacuated after a bomb threat announcement which made it onto the album. This is one of several recordings here which have never before been released on CD.
Altogether an amazing body of work from one of the most prolific of music's all time greats.
If you are generous enough to give this to the Cash fan in your life as a Christmas present, bear in mind they may still be playing it at Easter. 60 + CD's take a long time to get through !
Unfortunately, even though it states the "Complete" Columbia collection it did not include the following, which are in my vinyl collection:
Riding The Rails
A Believer Sings the Truth
The Walls of a Prison
A Boy Named Sue
The World of Johnny Cash
Oh well, I've still got my vinyls and a turntable to fall back on.
The contents in this box prove that Johnny Cash was one of the greatest ever figures in popular music. This set not only shows Johnny's ability to make you laugh, cry and most important of all think. It is also a chronicle of some of the finest songwriters of the 20th century himself included.
Like Hank Williams and Elvis Presley Johnny Cash's legacy will be eternal. I am just going to look at google maps to see if there is a mountain I can carve those faces into.
Make no mistake this is a fine box set thank you Sony for getting it right.
My vynal collection were showing the signs of use and really needed replacing.
This was the ideal solution. A great product at a fair price.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category