Johnny Cash - The Original: Best of

Johnny Cash
The Original: Best of


First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2004, Volume 11, #3

Written by John Metzger


Over the course of his 48-year career, countless compilations of Johnny Cash’s music have been issued. The onslaught began back in 1963 with the release of Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash, only to be followed every few years with an updated and expanded set. In fact, there have been so many of these collections that the whole notion of a Johnny Cash "best of" has become ridiculously redundant and just plain silly, especially given that the "Man in Black" charted over 130 country hits and 48 pop singles.

Still, a majority of these compilations, such as the most recent addition The Original: Best of, are sufficiently good at providing an overview of an American legend, although none have been nearly as comprehensive as The Essential Johnny Cash, which includes everything from his first single for Sun Records (Cry Cry Cry) through his collaboration with U2 (The Wanderer). For what it’s worth, The Original: Best of entirely avoids Cash’s newer material and focuses instead upon his output from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, specifically some of his more humorous cover tunes, such as The Chicken in Black, Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart, Boa Constrictor, and The One on the Right Is on the Left. Consequently, it’s a rather unique assortment of songs, though the inexplicable exclusion of nuggets like Folsom Prison Blues and Get Rhythm also leaves it lacking. starstarstar

The Original: Best of is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

The Essential Johnny Cash is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!



1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2004 The Music Box