At Folsom Prison
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At Folsom Prison (Legacy Edition)
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The legendary 1968 live concert, complete and uncensored! Johnny's at his best playing a gritty set of songs to the very appreciative, and very vocal, Folsom Prison inmates.
Johnny Cash had been breaking new ground for a decade when At Folsom Prison suddenly made the world at large take notice. The interaction of a volatile prison population starved for entertainment and a desperately on-form Johnny Cash was electrifying. His somber machismo finally found a home. The songs, which included every prison song Cash knew ("I Got Stripes," "The Wall," "25 Minutes to Go," "Cocaine Blues," plus his own "Folsom Prison Blues") were tailored to galvanize the crowd. This set is all about atmosphere. Live at the Grand Ole Opry this ain't. The 1999 version drops the San Quentin portion of the original CD reissue, instead adding three cuts to complete the full and uncensored Folsom show. --Colin Escott
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It is not the Beatles, or the Stones, or the Who, or Led Zeppelin, or ... anybody else. It is this album by Johnny Cash.
I am not a big country music fan, but fans of any genre should enjoy this.
Johnny had recently been arrested so the idea of playing a live album at a prison, for prisoners, meant a lot to him at the time, and it comes through in his performance.
Meanwhile, the songs themselves are a terrific slice of Americana and should not be missed. Pick it up if you enjoy country, folk, blues, or are just a music lover in general.
Amazon, you may want to give this special Legacy Edition its own review thread as it stands the comments are comming from the Vinyl, mp3, Audio CD AND At Folsom Prison Legacy Edition (2CD/1 DVD) altogether. The CDs of which I write have more content than the original vinyl and the remasterd version CD of the that Album.
What many people don't know is that on that day at Folsom Prison Johnny Cash gave two concerts: one at 09:40 AM and another at 12:40 PM. The 09:40 concert is the one put on the album most of us are familiar with. During the 12:40 concert you can tell right out that Johnny Cash had just given a previous concert as his voice is tired and he made more slip-ups--but still a good listen I think.
"The show at Folsom in 1968 was a long one and I always thought that the the songs that were not on the album were as worthy of being heard as the ones that were." --Johnny Cash: June, 1999 (Taken from enclosed booklet of the Legacy Edition).
If you have the remastered uncensored Audio CD of this concert you should know that this Legacy Edition has in addition to the extra tracts a little more of Johnny Cash chatting and making remarks.
What I enjoyed most is the 2 Hour and Ten Minute DVD. It is a Documentary and not a live film of the concert though you get plenty of live shots bw/color from other Johnny Cash concerts and audio snips of live interviews given by Cash commenting on the start of his career. Marshal Grant talking about the beginnings of The Tennesse Two and the old-times is priceless! W.S. Holland also puts in his memories of the early times with Johnny Cash. There are also interviews with Merle Haggard, Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart and former inmates who saw the concert.
The enclosed 39 page booklet includes photos by the Folsom Prison Concert photographer Jim Marshal --up to now unpublished.
All in all I think this piece of history is a steal at ca. $28.00.
Johnny's connection to a 'captive audience' if You'll pardon the pun. His singing is right on, and the small back up band brings His music back to
its roots. Mr. Cash claimed to be a spokesman for the downtrodden, the unfortunate, and society's rejects, et al. This appearance at Folsom
Prison backs up His claim. If nothing else, His concert delivered one evening of joy to the inmates to savor for a while.
I highly recommend this CD.
If you don't own a Johnny Cash album then buy this one, if you are a fan, then you should have bought this years ago. I had it when I was younger and lost it in a break up, and though I had all his other albums I never got back to buying this one, I now regret not getting it sooner. I'm sure you will as well once you listen.
What really hits me on this album is its concept. I've heard most of these songs many times, but I never really appreciated what the context of the album meant and how much the songs belong in that context. Amazing! His bond with the audience is palpable and his emotional intensity is only stronger than when you hear the songs individually. For instance, his version of John Henry, a song everyone covers at some point in their career, is unmatched when he's singing in front of a bunch of prisoners.
In the social context, I also appreciate this album. If you think of the great prison movies and books of the era (Papillon, Cool Hand Luke, Gulag Archipelago, Midnight Express, Discipline and Punishment, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the Great Escape, etc.) Johnny Cash's contribution to the genre is significant.
In some ways it was horrifying. Really, really, dark humor like singing about hanging to a group of guys who at least know people who were or are going to be executed, and joking about hanging innocent guys when you know there really were some cases that went that way.
In some ways it was inspiring. I liked the part where he took poems/songs from inmates and set them to music. He was given the song "Greysont Chapel the night before and launched the music career of inmate Glen Sherley with it.