- Audio CD (21 Nov. 2005)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Island/American/Columbia/Legacy
- ASIN: B000BW9UJY
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 433 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Ring Of Fire: The Legend Of Johnny Cash CD
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The first ever definitive best of Johnny Cash, covering his whole career over five decades. From modest country beginnings in the mid-'50s to his death in 2003, the Man In Black became a legend. One of those rare artists that transcended his chosen musical genre to be an icon for generations of musicians.
This album collects tracks from his early Sun Records days through to his defining era at Columbia Records to his last recordings, the famed and critically acclaimed American Recordings.
The packaging features comprehensive sleeve notes and biography from US music writer Rich Kienzle and exclusive photographs from throughout Cash's career.
The eagerly anticipated Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherpoon, needed a soundtrack. So someone had the unenviable task of condensing a five decade recording career into one teeny tiny album.
But the twenty-one tracks here paint a good picture of an artist who started his musical career rubbing shoulders with Elvis at Sun Studios, went rebel rousing in top security prisons, stood tall with his fellow Outlaws, and bowed out shortly after recording the deeply poignant "Hurt" on the American Recordings albums.
Long-time fans won't need this compilation; others will have 2002's excellent two-disc set Man In Black. But for those new to the man who defined American music with such humour, beauty and pain, this is a fine place to start. --Sue Keogh
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Top customer reviews
When I first played it and the trumpets of Ring of Fire came on I wandered if I'd done the right thing ! The early tracks are pure 50s country, a complete contrast to the later U2/Depeche Mode covers/corroborations. There's something for everyone here but don't just buy it for the later stuff.
Cash has an amazing deep and warm voice, full of charisma and soul. It would have almost been worth being banged up in the notorious San Quentin to have seen him play live there. One of music's original bad boys, he lived his life and sang as he saw it.
For me and probably other non die-hard country fans, the later tracks probably have more appeal but I tend not to skip the early songs nowadays as they are mostly excellent. Personal Jesus is delivered deadpan but with so much meaning, a great interpretation of a classic. Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) could have been written about him, it has more emotion than any song I've ever heard and always sends a shiver down my spine. You can feel the "Hurt" in his voice as he mourns his late wife June Carter and no doubt voices the regrets of how he behaved to her and others during his pill popping years. It all comes out in spades and if it fails to move you, go and see the doctor to see if your heart is still beating....
Never owned a Cash record? This is where to start.