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Walk the Line Soundtrack

4.4 out of 5 stars 293 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, November 15, 2005
$22.44
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The soundtrack to Walk The Line boasts trademark Johnny Cash gems including 'I Walk The Line', 'Ring of Fire', 'Folsom Prison Blues', and 'Cry Cry Cry' performed by Joaquin Phoenix and Resse Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Cash respectively. Additionally, the soundtrack features performances by notable musicians including country/rock artist Shooter Jennings (who portrays his father, legend Waylon Jennings, in the film); alternative rock and folk artist Johnathan Rice (as Roy Orbison); and singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton (as Elvis Presley). Wind Up. 2005.

Amazon.com

This is not a review about Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon's hair. However--as any self-respecting fan knows--in country music, after proving you can pluck a guitar and carry a tune, the power of the right hairstyle is not to be underestimated. Johnny Cash, in fact, was famously vain about his locks--perhaps one of the few things he was vain about--and many a guitar store employee can attest to the fact that when the Man in Black came in to buy his special brand of guitar pick, his hair was dyed a jet black more often seen on a boy of 20 than a man of 60. In any case, Phoenix and Witherspoon's performances as Johnny and June Carter Cash succeed more in the style and hair department than in their musicality. Phoenix fares better than his co-star in reinventing the Cash mystique, and his sweet, almost earnest interpretation of "Get Rhythm" is as charming as it is honest. Unfortunately, the powerful song "Ring of Fire" is flat and wholly without the narrative pull it had when Cash sang it. And Witherspoon is simply not up to the warbling task she's faced with in singing as June Carter Cash. (To be fair, it's hard to know who would be, but the estimable Loretta Lynn or Tift Merritt would have had better luck). Carter Cash's honeyed gift with melody, and the largeness of her voice, honed over decades in live performance, is hard to replicate for even a seasoned singer, and predictably, Witherspoon falls short of the mark. It's certainly seductive to imagine that playing a figure as compelling as Johnny or June would allow an actor to channel the soul and some of the talent of the artist, but the closest this record comes is in "Cry, Cry, Cry," where Phoenix's gravelly voice offers the same sustained thrill that made Johnny Cash irresistible--to June and his fans. --Megan Halverson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 15, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: November 18, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Wind-Up
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • ASIN: B000BM7YYW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon sound amazing. You know its not Johnny or June singing, but that's the whole point and will not mar the enjoyment you'll get from the songs on this cd. James Mangold (the director) didn't want to use a Cash impersonator or the original recordings for the movie; He wanted the actors to sing and play their own instruments in order to understand how important of a role that music played in these artists lives.
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Format: Audio CD
Oh, wait. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon aren't trying to impersonate Johnny Cash and June Carter. Director James Mangold himself said, "If people want to hear Johnny Cash, they can buy one of his CDs." So stop calling the actors mindless impersonators; they're not copying Cash and Carter, they're trying to capture the essence of their sound.

Now, with that sermon preached, let's give this soundtrack the disgustingly positive review it deserves. Phoenix's voice is nothing short of astounding. Not only does he sound remarkably like Cash, he pours enough emotion into the tunes to make them believable. There's the opening "Get Rhythm," a toe-tapping ode to rock-n-roll. Better still is "I Walk the Line," where's Phoenix's voice doesn't miss a single note (listen to his impressively low register). He shines on uptempo numbers like "Cry Cry Cry," "Ring of Fire"--perhaps his finest performance--and the swaggering "Cocaine Blues."

And don't forget Reese Witherspoon. There's no denying her talent; she's got a nicely-twangy voice she's obviously been keeping under wraps. "Wildwood Flower" lacks some of the original's emotion, but Witherspoon is new and does a decent job. She mimics Carter's firecracker spirit on "Juke Box Blues," a twang-tinged delight, and "Jackson," a first-rate duet with Phoenix. Her back-up vocals on "It Ain't Me, Babe" also are impressive.

Tunes from other players are commendable if slightly less heartfelt. Tyler Hilton ably covers "That's All Right" and "Milk Cow Blues Boogie," and Waylon Malloy Payne scores a hit with the rollicking "Lewis Boogie." Shooter Jennings offers a fine country performance of "I'm A Long Way from Home."

Is this an album of cover tunes? In one way, the answer's a resounding yes. But every performer does well with the difficult task of interpreting the tunes to make them sound fresh.

And The Man in Black was nothing if not fearless when it came to his music.
1 Comment 52 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
It always makes me laugh how critical others can be. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are not singers, they are actors. But I thought they did a fantastic job singing the songs on this soundtrack. Obviously no one is going to sound exactly like Johnny Cash or June Carter...and that isn't the point of the soundtrack. Phoenix and Witherspoon give it their own sound and should be appreciated for that. I give them complete respect for actually learning and singing the songs and learning the instruments. Some people don't realize just how difficult that can be.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought the DVD of the movie after renting it because I enjoyed it so much, and previously had no idea of the course of their courtship-well, there are just too many good things to say about enjoying the movie here- but because of that was looking for the soundtrack of same.

However, having listened to cuts from this VERSION of the movie soundtrack & found them to be hollow--not nearly as rich as the audio in the movie. This was blatently obvious in every cut I listened too, glaringly so in the "I've got Rhythm" and "Jackson" selections, but true among so many others. VERY disappointing, to say the least.

And, I THOUGHT a "movie soundtrack CD" meant that it was the ENTIRE musical soundtrack. Where in fact this is only a SAMPLE of the songs by the lead characters w/a smidgen of some others. And the fact that they omitted "Times A Wastin'" is a GROSS oversight!

One can only hope the producers will see the err of their ways and release a properly produced and mixed and COMPLETE soundtrack soon. One that does justice to the fine job of replicating the works of the original artists as portrayed by the actors in the movie-because this CD falls WAY short on that note(no pun intended)

Side note: while Phoenix was the stronger in the replication of the 2 leads,I thought Witherspoon did a commendable job & I actually prefer her deeper rendition of the songs to June's. [But I admit, I have long been a fan of Witherspoon's work, & admire her guts and success in doing this (non-traditional- Reese) role. Although her characters & previous movies, are generally simply light entertaining movies,I have always found them enjoyable viewing.
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7 Comments 29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Johnny would have been proud of this outstanding musical tribute to his legacy. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon showcase some of his best tunes, and it's a real treat to have their vocal performances from the movie. Most Cash fans will already have his legendary original versions, so it wasn't necessary to present us with another "greatest hits" type package. After seeing the movie, I found this soundtrack a perfect companion piece to it, and I think it was perfectly put together. Great job Joaquin and Reese!
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Time's A Wasting
I agree. I was looking for this song to buy the soundtrack. now that i know it's not on there I am not inclined to buy it. If i see it anywhere I will let you know.
Apr 6, 2006 by Rosanna Lopez |  See all 20 posts
Joaquin Phoenix or Johnny Cash?
If it's a choice between the two, get one by Cash himself. A good single-disc compilation is B000BISBDY, The Legend of Johnny Cash, and the new box is good too: B0009YNSC4, The Legend. If you liked the duets, they just released a Johnny & June best-of, B000E6EJ2K, too.
Mar 7, 2006 by Benjamin Lukoff |  See all 7 posts
Guitar Ballad From The Love Walk and the end of the Film
I, too, was taken by the haunting guitar lines during the movie and on credits. I found the following on Rosebud.com: "Bill Frisell Featured in Hit Movie "Walk the Line". Rosebud artist Bill Frisell's music is featured in the highly acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.... Read More
Dec 31, 2006 by D'Artagnan |  See all 5 posts
Does anyone know what song it was that Shooter Jennings sang a few bars...
Isn't the song "I'm A Long Way From Home" by Shooter Jennings as listed on the CD soundtrack? I'm going to look on iTunes next to see if it is the same, and if I can buy it. Beautiful.

Yep, 99¢ direct download and purchased. I love iTunes!

Here's the... Read More
Oct 15, 2006 by Catherine Todd |  See all 2 posts
old blues song
I think the song you're referring to is called "dark was the night, cold was the ground" by blind willie johnson
Mar 28, 2007 by KEG |  See all 2 posts
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