It's a veritable Cashapalooza from Legacy Records as the label honors Johnny Cash with a new series called The Greatest. The late artist probably did more than any other one man to shape the genre called Americana, itself an amalgam of many styles. Three of the releases in the new series break down Johnny's work by genre while the fourth is a collection of his long list of hit singles.
The Number Ones – Deluxe Edition
Many of Johnny's signature tunes are here: "Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line" and live versions of "A Boy Named Sue" and "Folsom Prison Blues." But all 19 of the included tracks went to #1 even if for the moment you don't remember "Ballad of a Teenage Queen," "Flesh and Blood," "The One on the Right is On the Left," "One Piece at a Time" or Johnny's smash duet with Waylon Jennings, "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang." This deluxe edition comes with a bonus DVD featuring 10 previously unreleased clips from television's The Johnny Cash Show, all of which are performances of #1s.
Although his oeuvre went way beyond any one genre, Cash was first and foremost a country performer. This set presents some of his most popular country tunes including "Wildwood Flower," "The Long Black Veil," "The Gambler," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Delia's Gone," "The Battle of New Orleans" and eight others.
Some of Johnny's most famous duets were crafted with women; most notably "I've Been Everywhere" with Lynn Anderson and "Jackson" with his wife, June Carter. But the guys get their due here too as Johnny teams with Bob Dylan for "Girl From the North Country," Ray Charles for "Crazy Old Soldier," George Jones for "I Got Stripes" and fellow rabble-rouser Waylon Jennings for "The Greatest Cowboy of Them All" and "I Wish I Was Crazy Again." Also pairing with The Man in Black are Willie Nelson, Tommy Cash, Billy Joe Shaver and Anita Carter.
Not unlike his fellow Sun Records artist Elvis Presley, Cash had a deep love of gospel music. This 14-song set finds Cash covering traditional numbers like "The Great Speckle Bird," "The Old Account" and "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)" while also offering up his own (self-penned) good news in the form of "The Masterpiece," "He Turned the Water Into Wine" and the 1957 cut "Belshazzar."
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