Johnny Cash – The Great Lost Performance

Johnny Cash – The Great Lost Performance / 2007 Island / 18 Tracks / http://www.johnnycash.com / http://www.islandrecords.com /

This CD makes a Johnny Cash that was a good fifteen years before the one that was captured during the last “American” CD. This means that the voice seems stronger, and that there is more of an energy with each of these eighteen cuts that blends well the younger and older Cash. This “lost performance” was recorded in July of 1990 at The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey. For those individuals that are only casually familiar with Cash’s discography, “Ring of Fire”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, and “I Walk The Line” all make their appearance on this album.

Obviously, this should not act as a substitute for a “greatest hits” album due to its’ live nature, but individuals that re fans of Cash will undoubtedly want to pick this up due to the different sound some of these tracks take. There are two tracks that will please Cash fanatics, being the gospel of “A Wonderful Time Up There” and “What Is Man”. The larger audience that “The Great Lost Performance” has is only increased by the inclusion of these tracks. The one thing that I should say as a preface to anyone that is interested in purchasing this album because they liked the “American” series of recordings is that the tracks here are much more country-based than any of the covers that were present on Cash’s later discs.

The addition of banter back and forth between Cash and the rest of the audience is interesting, and gives listeners both a look inside Cash’s own life and the songs that ey either wrote or made famous. For those individuals that did not have much of a chance to hear Cash besides listening to the countless punk bands covering “Ring of Fire” or the last few albums that ey cut with Rick Rubin before ey passed, “The Great Lost Performance” is a nice snapshot into the entirety of Cash’s career. The mastering of the disc even goes further than many of the soundboard recordings from this era, and could easily surpass the quality of a radio re-production. Sure, there might be a few audio artifacts noticeable to those that are audiophiles, but I am confident that fans of Cash and of music generally would be more than happy with the quality here. Give the disc a go if you want to hear one of the best country musicians of all time, in eir element.

Top Tracks: The Wreck of Old ’97, Come Along and Ride the Train

Rating: 6.4/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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