Thursday, May 25, 2006

What I'm Listening To

Between 1972 and 1983, Johnny Cash made some recordings at his home studio, apparently just for himself. He put the tapes away in a room where he kept things that meant a lot to him, and nobody even knew the tapes existed. They weren't found until after his death, when the family was going through his things. This new CD has nearly 50 tracks of mostly old songs that had some kind of personal meaning for Cash. Before he sings some of them, he tells a story about them (I like the stories as much as the songs). He even recites "The Cremation of Sam Magee."

Near the end of his life, Cash went into the studio and made a series of recordings like this, but as good as those recordings were, his voice was a mere shadow of what it was in the '70s. Personal File is a great collection of music. Check it out.

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Weirdly enough, the best single album I've heard by Cash is a Columbia Special Products promo item called DESTINATION VICTORIA STATION...I'd never heard of the gimmicky restaurant chain when I pulled the disc out of a flea market sale bin, but it's among the best 50c purchases I can imagine making, as it includes an impressive slice through his recorded train songs catalog...even the retooled VS jingle, written in both forms by Cash and released on one of his '70s CBS lps, while easily the weakest song on the album, is still pleasant, and the performances of, natch, "City of New Orleans," "Casey Jones," and the "Folsom Prison Blues" from the concert album, are all remarkable. Pity this one has never been issued on CD, but it could probably be surpassed with moderate ease with today's technology.