Customer Reviews

37
4.7 out of 5 stars
Ragged Old Flag
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$4.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"Ragged Old Flag" is a pleasurable album to listen to on many levels, a period-piece that holds up well in Johnny Cash's extensive catalog. First, it showcases Cash at a vibrant, conscious period of his career in the early- to mid-'70s. His baritone voice is warm and full, his songs are lyrically thought-provoking and easy on the ears, and his vision and demeanor seem focused; you can tell he was an authentic working man who admired other working men and women. And, though Cash was well-known for covering the work of other great artists' songs, on "Ragged Old Flag" every song is his own, written exclusively by him -- and the results are great.

The fiercely proud, storytelling title track is an ode to past American wars, and the song's prose is stunning. Cash succinctly sums up, in his heartfelt way, the hardships "Old Glory" has endured through the many years and wars this country has fought, through the eyes of a smalltown gentleman who's been around for a while. "Don't Go Near the Water" is a simple song where Cash is fishing with his young son, lamenting the growing deterioration of the water's content, speaking to the larger issue of worsening environmental conditions in the U.S. at that time. However, this 29-minute record is far from a political diatribe, as most of the songs are classic Cash tunes that speak to good old-fashioned middle-Americans, living ordinary lives. "All I Do is Drive" is about the grueling life on the road of a semi driver; "King of the Hill" deals with climbing up the ladder at work; "Pie in the Sky" talks about death; "While I've Got it on my Mind" speaks volumes about the benefits of marriage; "I'm a Worried Man" talks about the worry that's involved when there's young mouths to feed and not enough currency in the household. Interspersed with this sing-along campfire music is the background vocals from the legendary Oak Ridge Boys (see The Definitive Collection (Oak Ridge Boys), whose presence lends a lushness to the otherwise stark but worthy Cash-written songs.

Overall, it's just simply hard not to like this simplistic album that not only captured a time period, but also captures Cash at a poignant moment in his long, storied career. While many of Cash's older live albums, and his later Rick Rubin-produced records get more attention (see American V: A Hundred Highways), "Ragged Old Glory" is a fantastic starting point to discover the Man in Black's admirable mindset and great music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Ol' Johnny really had a few bones to pick on this issue-oriented album, which reflects the disillusionment and disaffection of Middle America in the post-Watergate era. Environmental collapse, unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse and patriotism are all adressed, with Cash adopting a somewhat aggrieved tone, an exasperated insistence that us folks could probably all pull together and make things a lot better than they've been. A good album, although a bit more "message-y" than his work tends to be. The title track is a classic country recitation, while the rest of the record has plenty of solid music to back it up... and plenty of powerful lyrics, many with real emotional punch.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album was released in 1974. Believe it or not, it was the first album on which Johnny Cash wrote all the songs himself. "Ragged Old Flag" was the single from the album. It's a great, patriotic song, but it only reached a disappointing #31 on the Country chart. Most of the other songs on the album are good, adressing subjects like the environment, the working man, prison and the Lord. Fans of The Man in Black should enjoy it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
the songs brought back memorys its good to rember our flag in these times

and the option of geting them in digital form as well as the cd was a nice deal
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Title says it all. His selections on this CD is well worth the buying. Going to buy more as presents.
Well worth having in your Johnny Cash Collection.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
While I can understand it if some non-Americans dislike the title track, I think it's fine despite - or perhaps because of - sounding a little over the top. Two other songs here (Lonesome to the bone, Don't go near the water) were later re-recorded by Johnny (indeed, he recorded at least three versions of Lonesome to the bone including the one here).

Particlarly interstinmg is Don't go near the water, an environmental protest song from the days before such protests really became popular in Britain. Maybe America was ahead of Britain on this issue, or maybe Johnny was very perceptive.

Another interesting song is Please don't let me out, about a prisoner who has got so used to being in jail that he doesn't want freedom. This could be interpreted a number of ways, but as somebody who never even visited a prison, I won't pass judgement.

There are plenty of fine songs here that form an interesting album.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Great. Who could not enjoy Johnny Cash. Wish more people still had this patriotism. A must have for any collection.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Just what I wanted from this CD. Mainly ordered for the one song but others were also good Would recommend
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on January 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is Johnny's best album, end to end, in my opinion. Many of his other albums have wonderful moments, great songs that are unfortunately surrounded by less stellar stuff. But as a package, this is truly is a wonderful album. The production is perfect, not overdone, the songs are brilliant, daring, well written and poignant. I love this album, I bought it about ten years ago and its been a great friend to me through many stages of my life. Highest recommendation for all fans of great country music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a really great album, which I wish I had before now. I ordered it for a friend who was interested in quoting the "Rugged Old Flag", and in the process discovered an album full of the essence of Johnny Cash. Sorry I waited so long. I thought I had all of his albums, but this is a treasure.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Legend of Johnny Cash
The Legend of Johnny Cash by Johnny Cash (Audio CD - 2005)

America, Why I Love Her
America, Why I Love Her by John Wayne (Audio CD - 2001)

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.