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Johnny 99
Johnny Cash
Johnny 99
Genres: Country, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Although it went virtually unnoticed upon its initial release in 1983, this intriguing record momentarily put a halt to Johnny Cash's precipitous artistic decline and kept the promise of his resurgence alive. Recorded in L...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Johnny Cash
Title: Johnny 99
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Koch Records
Release Date: 1/19/1999
Genres: Country, Pop
Style: Classic Country
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 099923798026, 074643869645

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Although it went virtually unnoticed upon its initial release in 1983, this intriguing record momentarily put a halt to Johnny Cash's precipitous artistic decline and kept the promise of his resurgence alive. Recorded in Los Angeles with session men including Marty Stuart, Norton Buffalo, Jo-El Sonnier, and producer Brian Ahern, Johnny 99 focuses on the work of younger songwriters--Bruce Springsteen, Paul Kennerley, Guy Clark--and might be the lone oasis in an otherwise barren decade. The solemn opener, Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman," sets the tone as Cash turns a very restrained reading into an emotional powerhouse, supported by Hoyt Axton's baritone growl. The Springsteen-penned title track becomes a honky-tonk anthem as Cash delivers the Boss's lyrics with acute understanding. The touching Civil War ballad "God Bless Robert E. Lee," the tropical/topical "Joshua Gone Barbados," and the attractive duet with June Carter on Kennerley's "Brand New Dance" help round out a rather diverse (for Cash) collection. Aside from the occasional guitar effect and unnecessary keyboard intrusion (it was 1983 after all), this set marks a high point of a low period. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

It's about time.
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 01/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Thankful for any Johnny Cash release, new or old, I was happy to see particular title come along.A consistent, quality album from an otherwise largely disgusting period in country music (which, save for Johnny, Willie, Billy Joe, Dale Watson and a few others, continues through the 90s), the Springsteen covers are definitely the highlight, but all of the tracks are worthwhile, especially "Joshua Gone Barbados."KOCH continues to provide the finest re-releases in country music and this is no exception. Definitely worth the low price."
Don't overlook this effort, it has several gems...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 01/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am starting my 50th year as a Cash fan, but back in 1983 when "Johnny 99" came out, I wasn't even aware of it. This was toward the end of his stint at Columbia, and JC had not had a hit in seven years. He would go to Mercury, producing only one good album ("Water From the Wells of Home") and then end up seven years after "Johnny 99" making that huge comeback with "American Recordings." Knowing the past and the future of this legendary artist makes listening to "Johnny 99" much more fascinating than it must have been back in '83. Some of the cuts have backing vocals like his mid-'50's rockabilly stuff, but more of them are kind of stark and solemn, predicting the "American Recordings" phase to come. Two songs are by Springsteen, one by Guy Clark, and one by Eric Von Schmidt, an old folky pal of the early Dylan. That one, "Joshua Gone Barbados" was done well in the '60's by Tom Rush, but Johnny gives an equally fine rendition. I also like "Girl From the Canyon" and "Brand New Dance" (a duet with June) and of course, the one track which has been anthologized in later CD issues, "I'm Ragged But I'm Right." Overall, this is a nice effort that got lost in the ton of material that Johnny released, and it is worth owning."