Although Johnny Cash is known the world over as one of the most recgnizable and successful country musicians of all time, the music that was truly closest to his heart was gospel. In fact, Cash left his original record label when his producer wouldn't allow him to record the gospel material that was so important to him.
Ultimate Gospel is the most in-depth collections of Cash's gospel recordings ever assembled-- all beautifully remastered from the original source tapes for dazzling sound quality. This 2 CD set of 24 songs is a must-have for any Cash or gospel music fan.
Man in Black Sings About the Light
Much of the power of Johnny Cash's music, be-yond the bold, no-nonsense lyrics, that amazing voice and rockin' band, was the paradox. The "Man in Black," recorded singing to San Quentin prison inmates on the classic 1969 albumthe centerpiece of the bio-flick Walk the Linefollowed the snarling "A Boy Named Sue," with "Peace in the Valley," "Daddy Sang Bass" and "The Old Account."
An incomparable talent, the iconic Cash never turned his back on gospel music, even though most famous for songs about troubled love, mayhem and murder. Collected here are 24 tracks including many of his best-known gospel numbers, "Belshazzar," "It Was Jesus," "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)," and lots, lots more.
Of course, these tracks were recorded in studio settings that sound dated and over-produced compared to the five incomparable collections recorded by Rick Rubin during the last decade of Cash's life. But schmaltz was part of the paradox of the great rockin' outlaw of a country singin' man.
The disc is front-loaded with some of the worst offenders, "Here Was a Man" and "The Preacher Said, Jesus Said,'" which includes the voice of Billy Graham. Still, these classics and "My Soul Will Sail" and "Far Side of Jordan" give voice to a faith that's "free from the chain gang now."
BRIAN QUINCY NEWCOMB- CCMMagazine.com