For all of you Johnny Cash fans out there, there’s been a bevy of release and announcement activity lately you should be aware of—some of it newer stuff, some of it old, and all of it worthy to be on your radar.
Though many Johnny Cash or country music fans have already scarfed up a copy of the iconic Johnny Cash prison albums At Folsom Prison (1968) and At San Quentin (1969) from a thrift store, or record store, or from your parent’s record collection, they both will finally be reissued new on vinyl on August 7th. It’s kind of crazy to think they ever went out-of-print on vinyl, but such has been the case for years.
Also to be reissued on vinyl August 7th will be Johnny Cash Greatest Hits Vol. 1, and The Johnny Cash Collection, His Greatest Hits Vol. 2, capturing Cash’s biggest songs during his Columbia Records era. So if you’ve been waiting for your opportunity to pick up The Man in Black’s most iconic songs and performances on vinyl, this will be your opportunity.
Pre-order At Folsom Prison on Vinyl
Pre-order At San Quentin on Vinyl
One of the most consistently overlooked and forgotten eras of Johnny Cash music was after Columbia famously dropped him, but before he began working with Rick Rubin and his American Recordings imprint. This was the time Cash was signed to Mercury Records from 1986 to 1991.
Now Johnny Cash’s Mercury years have been released in box set form. The 7 CD or 7 LP set features six studio albums including 1986’s Class of ’55 recorded with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, and Water from the Wells of Home which includes collaborations with artists such as Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris and the Everly Brothers. The box set was released on June 26th after originally scheduled to be released on April 24th. Very little fanfare accompanied the release.
Other albums included in the box set are Johnny Cash Is Coming To Town (1987), Boom Chicka Boom (1990), and The Mystery Of Life (1991). The CD version of the box set also includes Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series (Early Mixes). These early mixes of the 1988 album have been mastered from tapes newly discovered in the Universal vaults. The albums have all been remastered from the original Mercury master tapes by Kevin Reeves at UMG Studios in Nashville. New liner notes have been written by historian Scott Schinder.
Along with covering Johnny Cash’s Mercury years in total, the box set also includes seven bonus tracks encompassing B-sides, alternate versions, and the unreleased outtake “I Draw The Line.” Not enough has been made of these rare and unreleased recordings finally seeing the light of day.
And if you don’t want to spring for an entire box set, Easy Rider: The Best of the Mercury Recordings, a new collection of 24 highlights from Cash’s Mercury discography, has also been released on CD, 2LP, and digital download. Each individual Johnny Cash album from his Mercury years has also been made available on 180-gram vinyl.
Purchase The Complete Mercury Albums (1986-1991)
And last but not least, Third Man Records has announced they are releasing a 17-song live performance featuring Johnny Cash at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles on May 5th, 1973 called A Night To Remember. Part of the Clive Davis-curated “Week to Remember” concert series where numerous Columbia-signed artists took the stage for performances, it will be released on “vintage white” vinyl by Third Man on July 31st.
As part of the package, there is also a DVD of backstage film footage taken from the event that is said to capture Johnny Cash in rare form. The package also includes a gold 7″ of Ruston Kelly playing “Dark and Bloody Ground” on one side, and a mystery artist playing a mystery Johnny Cash song on the other.
A Night To Remember Track List:
1. Big River
2. Sunday Morning Coming Down
3. The City Of New Orleans
4. Ballad Of Barbara
5. A Boy Named Sue
6. Going To Memphis
7. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine – with Carl Perkins
8. Medley: Hey Porter/ Folsom Prison Blues/ Wreck Of The Old 97/Orange Blossom Special
9. I Walk The Line
10. Jackson – with June Carter Cash
11. If I Were A Carpenter – with June Carter Cash
12. Help Me Make It Through The Night
13. Help Me with June Carter Cash & Larry Gatlin|
14. Lord, Is It I?/The Last Supper
15. If I Had A Hammer with June Carter Cash
17. Daddy Sang Bass with June Carter Cash & Carl Perkins
16. Will The Circle Be Unbroken with June Carter Cash & Carl Perkins
18. Folsom Prison Blues (outro)