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Only 3 left in stock.
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Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by gdyer49359
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: 2-disc set. Close to "like new". Not ex-library or rental. Very minimal wear to clear plastic sleeve, digipak case and insert, both discs are near-mint, show almost no signs of use. Not a cut-out.
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Personal File

54 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 2006
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$27.99 + $3.99 shipping Only 3 left in stock. Ships from and sold by imagine-this.

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Personal File + Out Among The Stars + American V:  A Hundred Highways
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a room behind his recording studio, Cash kept hundreds of tapes, including a set called "Personal File," which will be released as a double-disc, 49-track set on May 23. Personal File consists of solo recordings made mostly in the 1970s, and it features Cash performing songs best described as "late-19th century parlour ballads to mid-20th century country hits songs inspired by recent events and experiences songs of faith and inspiration," producer Greg Geller told

The recordings Johnny Cash started making for Rick Rubin's American label in 1993 launched a journey through the Great American Songbook--from traditional tunes to alt-rock--that continued until, literally, the end of his life. What wasn't known at the time was that Cash had anticipated the American Recordings concept 20 years earlier. A series of informal private sessions he recorded in 1973 featuring just voice and guitar--with a few numbers added between then and 1982--were left untouched at his House of Cash studio, unearthed only after his death in 2003. These 49 songs, labeled "Personal File," show him exploring 19th-century parlor tunes, Tin Pan Alley pop, gospel, little-known Cash originals, classic and contemporary country, and even a recitation of Robert Service's poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee." On many, his spoken introductions reveal personal ties to a given number. Cash reprises early country fare like Jimmie Rodgers's "My Mother Was a Lady" and "The Letter Edged in Black." He also revisits later country classics like the Louvin Brothers' "When I Stop Dreaming," close friend Johnny Horton's hit "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)," John Prine's "Paradise," and stepdaughter Carlene Carter's "It Takes One to Know Me." The second disc is a virtual hymnbook, blending traditional gospel and A.P. Carter tunes with a sacred composition by Rodney Crowell and Cash gospel originals. For those enchanted by the illness-ravaged soulfulness of Cash's later American recordings, hearing him in his prime is not only breathtaking--it underscores the depth of his still-remarkable musical vision. --Rich Kienzle

Disc: 1
1. The Letter Edged In Black
2. There's A Mother Always Waiting At Home
3. The Engineer's Dying Child
4. My Mother Was A Lady
5. The Winding Stream
6. Far Away Places
7. Galway Bay
8. When I Stop Dreaming
9. Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
10. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Seal It In My Heart And Mind
2. Wildwood In The Pines
3. Who At My Door Is Standing
4. Have Thine Own Way Lord
5. Lights Of Magdala
6. If Jesus Ever Loved A Woman
7. The Lily Of The Valley
8. Have A Drink Of Water
9. The Way Worn Traveler
10. Look Unto The East
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000F6YW08
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 110 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on May 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
First off, if you're merely superficially curious after the hype surrounding, "Walk The Line" this isn't for you. Many songs feature spoken word introductions that may wear on the listener in time. So this isn't something you'd throw on at a party, or are likely to bop around to while plugged into your i-pod. These recordings are best appreciated while sitting down and listening to as an entire album. The end effect is like having The Man In Black in your living room, giving you your own private concert. Much like the magic wrought on the 1st American Recordings album.

Though his later recordings with Rick Rubin were compelling, the ravages of illness were apparent. In addition, some song choices ("Personal Jesus", anyone?) seemed a little "calculated". Not so here. This is sound of Cash in his prime, singing songs that deeply left their mark on him. This is a mix of now obscure covers & sepia toned traditionals. Not to mention, some unheard & truely inspired originals. In terms of sound quality, this is far from some bootleg Cash's former label dusted off in order to capitolize on a posthumous surge in popularity. Even if it were, the passion here will leave you breathless.

The 1st disc consists of so many unheard gems it's hard where to begin. If the morbid sentimentality of "Engineer's Dying Child" doesn't choke you up, there's something wrong with you. Same goes for his take on the Louvin Brothers', "When I Stop Dreaming" & C. Walker's, "Jim, I Wore A Tie Today". In less committed hands, alot of the material here would've come off as mawkish. But not here. Among the orginals, "I Wanted So" is as starkly personal as it gets. The opening line, " I wanted so to tell that old man, oh so many things" is delivered with such dignified regret it can't help but hit home.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Soulboogiealex on May 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Johnny Cash is without a doubt one of the most distinct voices in music history. Although his medium is country music, the man transcends it. Cash has throughout the years appealed to a wide audience. In the sixties he appealed to the protest nation, in the seventies he was a darling to the Punk scene; by the start of the nineties the alternative audiences embraced him when he started working with Rick Rubin for the American Recordings. On these sessions Cash was recorded naked, just the man and his guitar. Cash hadn't sound so fresh since the late sixties. Creatively his career seemed to have gone down hill during the second half of the seventies and the eighties. The release of the Personal Files show us that Cash's muse was never missing during that period of time.

The music on Personal Files are all culled from the period his career seemed slacking. Sonically they resemble the first release of his American Recordings; yet as the title promises these recordings have a far more intimate feel. Throughout these two discs you get the idea you're privy to a living room concert for your ears only. The fact that some songs have a spoken intro heighten this experience. Some of the material here is very familiar and found its way to the studio eventually, other songs are brand new to our ears, others still have been a part of the American songbook for generations.

Here we get just Cash and his guitar, though bare, never boring. Cash has a hypnotizing quality that leaves you hanging on his lips, not missing a word. Like no other artist his material covers al aspects of life yet the most dominant themes are always guilt and redemption with Cash. His main strength is he capability to remind of our own humanity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Personal File is just that - personal. The sparse arrangements and accompanying stories breathe the true life of Johnny Cash. Too often, a man like Cash is overshadowed by the legend produced by the media, including excellent films like "Walk the Line". With Personal File, we are allowed to follow Johnny into a darkened studio. We get to hear him pull out his guitar and lead us through a musical journey that sees him come to life in the lyrics and the stories of remembrance. Most of these songs are not the kind that would sell an album. Those songs are brought to the singer by A&R experts with dollar signs in their eyes. These songs are life songs and death songs and faith songs. The listener is invited to sit quietly and let the moments sink in. And, they do sink in. If you are a fan of A Boy Named Sue and Folsum Prison, this may not be the best choice for you. If you thirst for an intimate knowledge of a man and the music deep in his soul, do not miss your chance to experience Personal File. I am blessed to have nearly all of Cash's music on CD. But, Personal File quickly became my favorite.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. McNally on May 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been listening to John R. Cash for over 50 years and can not recall being as affected as I was by this collection. He has done some marvelous work needless to say, particularly his American Recordings after he was "washed-up." This set goes right to the top of my extensive Cash collection. I'm sure at various times I will favor other disks but after my first listening to this set, this may be the one that gets the most play. His voice is the best that I can recall backed by the solo acoustic guitar. God, this set will make you miss Johnny all the more than you already do.
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