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Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Live

4.9 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, July 4, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No less than nine unreleased tracks highlight this first-ever release of Johnny's COMPLETE 1969 concert at San Quentin, which also includes unpublished photos of the show, a personal reflection from Johnny and Marty Stuart's new notes featuring an interview with ex-San Quentin inmate Merle Haggard! This was the only Cash album to reach #1 on the charts, partly due to the surprise hit A Boy Named Sue but more due to the way Johnny connects with the audience. A classic!


While Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, the 1968 album that made Cash a household word, spent only two weeks at No. 1, this 1969 follow-up topped the charts for 20 weeks. As with Folsom, the San Quentin LP had to be edited due to space limitations. Now, 31 years after the fact, the show can at last be heard in true perspective. All the original performances hold up, including the album's hit single: Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue," presented unbleeped for the first time. Equally impressive are the eight restored tracks and unexpurgated between-song patter. Cash's opening renditions of "Big River" and "I Still Miss Someone" are bracing. So are four closing songs teaming Cash with his complete performing troupe (the Carter Family, Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers). Their gospel performances ("He Turned the Water into Wine," "The Old Account," and an early version of "Daddy Sang Bass") are electrifying, as is a concluding medley featuring everyone. Cash is presented here at his roaring, primal best. --Rich Kienzle

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Big River
  2. I Still Miss Someone
  3. Wreck Of The Old 97
  4. I Walk the Line
  5. Darlin' Companion(Live in Denmark)
  6. I Don't Know Where I'm Bound
  7. Starkville City Jail
  8. San Quentin
  9. San Quentin
  10. Wanted Man
  11. A Boy Named Sue (Live in Denmark)
  12. (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley
  13. Folsom Prison Blues
  14. Ring Of Fire
  15. He Turned the Water Into Wine
  16. Daddy Sang Bass
  17. The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago
  18. Closing Medley: Folsom Prison Blues/I Walk The Line/Ring Of Fire/The Rebel - Johnny Yuma - Johnny Cash with The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers & Carl Perkins

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 4, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: July 4, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004U2GH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Asking "Which Cash prison album is best: San Quentin or Folsom Prison?" is like saying "Which of your lungs is your favourite?". They're both essential to ANY music collection. (If pressed by a particularly menacing and armed inmate, I'd lean towards the more atmospheric FOLSOM.) Which one you like best will probably depend on whether you want a more comprehensive take on Cash's music (the love songs and gospel on this one) or one aimed square at his audience (the prison song laden "Folsom").

Read the glowing praise from Merle Haggard (or Marty Stuart if you want someone of more recent vintage) and look at any critic's list of "Essential" country music and this will be on it. Look at the better pop critics' lists and even they will recognize this as the epochal moment in music that it is.

Choosing the best tunes here is hard, but I'll try. As on Folsom, Johnny performs an actual prisoner's song (T. Cuttie's "I Don't Know Where I'm Bound"). Cuttie's lyric is a classic tale about "rambling" and the search for identity. The reaction to the title song's line "San Quentin, may you rot and burn in He*l" is a "goosebump" moment for me. The audience loved it so much they demanded he sing it again...immediately. (Afterwards Cash remarks "I'm starting to like it myself" with a grin...) "Wanted Man" is surprisingly "commercial" for a collaboration with Bob Dylan. The "funny" songs on this one are also better than "Folsom": "Starkville City Jail" and alltime classic "Boy Named Sue" (which the liners note was being performed for the first time at this show..Cash actually had to read the lyrics off a sheet). "Daddy Sang Bass" is a great number,too...no doubt because the lyric (from Carl Perkins) reflected Cash's own upbringing.
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Format: Audio CD
I can safely say that any positive comment directed towards this album is 100% true. I have this on vinyl also, and this remaster is ten times as great. Just look at the tracklist here, it's practically a live hits album. Included is "I Walk The Line", "Darlin' Companion", "Boy Named Sue", "Peace In The Valley", "Ring Of Fire", and numerous other classics. However, what really makes "At San Quentin" amazing, is the between song chat between Johnny and the prisoners. It adds emotion and humor, and a real look at the kind of man Johnny was. This album alone solidified his status as rebel and legend. Another major plus besides the better sound and extra tracks is the price. This is the no-brainer of no-brainers. In summary, "At San Quentin" is the real Johnny Cash, it's real country, and even more than that it's just real good music.
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Format: Audio CD
This album, as 'At Folsom Prison', is a 'Classic' in the true sense of the word. Johnny is raw, honest, in control, moody, funny, scary, moving, inspired and unforgettable. A man's Man. This remastered version of San Quentin is truly a REVELATION! I've had these 2 prison-albums for quite a while, but now the best got even better; Johnny sounds like a hellhound and a saint at the same time. You will never hear an album like this and 'At Folsom Prison' again in your life, it's that impressive,unique, powerful, moving. Also his backing band which features Carl Perkins and June Carter a.o. is super. The sound of this album is just so incredible, it burns a whole through your soul, its contents: rockabilly, blues, gospel, country, folk, all rolled up in one blistering performance. I really hope that this amazing Man will go on with making great music and fully recover from his medical problems. I've got over 600 cd's and rate Johnny Cash as a musician, person, personality among the likes of Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters. Quintessential, go and buy this jewel!
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Format: Audio CD
Pay no attention to whatever critic asserted that this album should have "remained in solitary." The LP version was my first Johnny Cash album; I've since collected them all, but this new CD takes first place. What a show!
Cash purists who've seen the Granada TV special made in conjunction with the album know that this CD is neither "complete" nor "uncensored." At least two songs are missing: "Orange Blossom Special" and "Jackson." (At three different places on the disc you can hear convicts calling out the latter title; rest assured Cash and his wife did oblige them.) An off-color remark Cash made to a TV cameraman at the close of "I Walk the Line" has been trimmed. Also, unlike last year's "At Folsom Prison" reissue, the selections here are not in original running order. But knowing this diminishes neither the importance of what IS here, nor the CD's enjoyment factor.
This album marked the debut of lead guitarist Bob Wootten, who'd replaced the late Luther Perkins, originator of Cash's "boom-chicka-boom" backing. Wootten was never hotter than during his first year with the troupe, and his double-timed licks add to the sense of wild urgency that permeates the concert. And vintage rock-n-roll fans need to get this album if only to hear Carl Perkins. In addition to his licks on John Sebastian's "Darling Companion" and the classic "A Boy Named Sue," Perkins takes a verse of "The Old Account" and displays the kind of southern-black vocal soul that shows up Elvis for the pretender he was. Eric Clapton, among others, knew that Perkins was the real deal; the one verse here proves it.
But the main event is Cash.
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