Johnny Cash “Greatest Hits – The Sun Records Years” (Charly Records, 2017)

Ho hum. Another Cash (in) collection I hear you say. Well, yes, it is a compilation of songs that any self respecting fan will already have, probably several times over. However these 20 songs arrive encrypted in vinyl, shiny black vinyl, and when spun the sound is as vibrant as the yellow Sun Records label surrounding the spindle.

This album is essentially a taster compiled from seven albums Cash recorded for Sun Records from 1957 until 1961, concentrating here on his 7″ single releases.  All seven albums have been remastered from the original master tapes and are available from Charly Records in the UK. If the sound of this collection is anything to go by then the vinyl editions should be a must buy for avid collectors but there is also a CD box set of all the albums which contains an extra disc of outtakes and alternate versions.

The complete collection might be all well and good for the fanatic but for those who are just dipping their toes into the vinyl pond one can’t fault this as an introduction to the early Cash years. The signature “boom chika boom” sound is already there while the duality of heaven and hell is evident as he roams from Folsom Prison Blues to You’re The Nearest Thing To Heaven. Luther Played The Boogie is worth the price of admission in itself. With the ho ho ho season coming up this would make an excellent present for anyone with a turntable.

Author: Paul Kerr

Still searching for the Holy Grail, a 10/10 album, so keep sending them in.

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