Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johnny Cash, The Tennessee Two|
The Complete Original Sun Singles
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Good, not great, representation of a monumental body of work
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Cash recorded for only 2 or 3 years at Sun before moving on to greener pastures at Columbia, but that was still enough time to record 60 or 70 different songs, creating one of the most important bodies of work in rock and country music history. Listening to these tracks, you hear Cash touch on a variety of American musical traditions, including gospel, folk, and blues in addition to country, giving you a clear idea of how each genre indebted to the other. What's real interesting is how he accomplishes this through performance and writing; the arrangements for most of his Sun work employs a simple boom-chick-boom beat. The raw setting actually worked in the music's favor, stripping it down to Cash's voice. Over the course of these records, Cash's singing becomes more casual, taking on a more honest feel. Unfortunately, by the time he perfected his trademark baritone, Sam Phillips began overdubbing back-up vocals on a lot of his records. Like the previous reviewer said, sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn't. Still, his Sun work remains a great body of work, so the stuff on this CD, for the most part, is good. However, it's an imperfect collection because such classics as "Wreck of Old '97" and "Rock Island Line" are passed over despite room to spare. It's great that songs like "Story of a Broken Heart" can finally be heard on a domestic CD, but it's a bit irritating that they stop short of collecting all the material that's truly essential. Newcomers or casual listeners may be better off saving a few bucks on "Sun Years" by Rhino (which is missing great songs, as well, but is still a nice package), and people wanting a bit more may be better off getting the 3CD box set, "The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-1983," which is as good of a career summation as one could hope. And even if you're REALLY looking to collect as much Sun material as possible, you might as well get it all on the Bear Family "Man In Black" box set, a pricey set with spectacular sound."
Superb collection of Cash's earliest, landmark singles
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 01/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cash's earliest recordings for Sun are as elemental and fully formed as an oxygen atom. His very first release, "Cry! Cry! Cry!" was a template of the sound that's sustained Cash to this day. Squarely in place on the earliest recordings were the walking basslines and twangy, spare guitar lines that drew focus to Cash's unswerving, manly baritone. Recorded at Memphis' legendary Sun studios, under the production hand of Sam Phillips, Cash's singles neatly wedded the complex, adult themes of country music with the brash stance of then-contemporary rockabilly.Varese's two-disc set includes well-known tunes like "I Walk the Line" "Get Rhythm" and "Folsom Prison Blues," as well as a host of lower-charting B-sides and later-50s productions by Jack Clement. These later recordings expanded the trio's sound with piano, background vocals and acoustic guitars, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. "Home of the Blues" and "Big River" survive the additions without losing the trio's power, while the choral accompaniment of "I Love You Because" and "Oh Lonesome Me" dilutes their primal equation. The teen-themed "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" and "Straight A's in Love" seem out of step with Cash's vocals.Varese's release collects the 40 tracks that comprised Cash's Sun singles, both A- and B-sides. It's an excellent compromise between single disc hit collections and all-encompassing retrospectives."
"young, lean & hungry for success...Cash in top form!"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 07/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After listening to this 2-CD-Set ~ "The Complete Sun Singles", was reminiscent of the days when I was growing up in the '50s, enjoying every record he recorded. Even if you don't care for country music, you can respect this one-of-a-kind musician who came from humble beginnings.
Cash started writing at a very young age about the railroad (trains) as we hear "HEY, PORTER"..."BLUE TRAIN"...and prisons "FOLSOM PRISON BLUES"..."GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE"...but listen to one of my all-time-favorites "BIG RIVER", just the way you like 'em...classic Johnny Cash.
Much credit to ~ Cary E. Mansfield (collection producer), Sun Records, Varese Sarabande, Varese Vintage and the Tennessee Two...reliving those early years when we enjoyed "The Man In Black"...JOHNNY CASH!
Total Time: Disc One 48:43 on 20 Tracks & Disc Two 43:23 on 20 Tracks ~ Varese Sarabande 302-066-056-2 ~ (1999)"